The Assault on Copenhagen

Second Northern War, 1655-1660

Winter was coming. Denmark and Sweden had been at war for years, along with the Dutch, Russians, Prussians, Brandenburgs, Poles, and Lithuanians.

Battle of Lemke

Skirmish with Polish Tatars
Lemke, via Wikipedia

No love was lost between the two nations. A generation prior, Sweden had been part of the Danish Empire. But in June of 1657, with King Charles X of Sweden bogged down in Poland, Denmark attacked mainland Sweden and its outlying possessions to regain lost territory.

Assault on Copenhagen

king charles x

King Charles X Gustave of Sweden via Wikipedia

King Charles responded immediately. But rather than counterattacking Danish troops on the Swedish mainland, he withdrew from the years of battles in Poland and attacked westward from Swedish territory in Pomerania. His troops retook Bremen-Verden from the Danes and occupied the Danish mainland of Jutland within a month. As the Swedes seiged Danish forts that autumn, the Danes strategically withdrew to their island stronghold of Copenhagen for the winter, not expecting an attack until spring.