The Battle of Dybbøl 5th of June 1848.

by Mads Kofoed


Danish OB

Allied OB

This battle was the climax of the series of Skirmishes and engagements on the peninsula of Dybbøl in the summer of 1848.

The Danish army had withdrawn after the battle of Slesvig, as there was a marked overweight of enemy troops deployed against them. There was two major parts of the Danish army. One in northern Jutland and one on the island of  Als and in the position of Dybbøl. The idea was to use the Danish naval superiority to transport troops between the two points to create a majority at one of the two places.

At the battle Nybøl the Danish army had cleared the area of enemy troops and was now in position on Als and in battle stations on the Peninsula. There was armistice negations going on, and there was no great expectations of any fighting.

However General Halkett wanted to avenge his defeat and made plans for an offensive on the 5th of June.

Since both parties were leaking information like sieves he masked the preparations as a parade for the Hanoverian kings birthday the 5th  of June. He even made a ball on the evening the day before the battle.

And it worked. The Danes had no inkling of his intentions.

The plan was that the allied brigades and the Prussians should attack at the same time, but even in preparation was the cooperation foiled. The Prussians were given a starting time two hours later than the Hanoverians.

Because of the heat and the terrain were both parties after the schedule. As will be seen, everything in this war takes time, because of the skirmishing tactics and often difficult terrain.

The start positions given is at 1400 hours. The allied brigades has been fighting a two hour long skirmish, and the Prussian are now entering the stage at last. The Danes hasn't even alarmed their units on Als before now, and they will slowly arrive at Sønderborg.

When the Prussians has deployed, both groups will press forward and the Danish army will go back to Dybbøl hill, and take up a position around the mill, where the reserves are waiting.

At around 1700 hours the battle will culminate. The German side realize that they cant win this battle and decide to retire, and the Danish army has given orders to a counteroffensive. The result of this is that the Germans are swept from the battlefield, and the Danish are standing as victors.

The Danish Generals shows a very good ability, and the Germans show that they cant coordinate.

Afterwards general Halkett claimed it was only a reconnaissance, but he deploys his troops in defensive positions, expecting a Danish offensive.


Battle notes.

The battle will be twelve turns, Starting at 1400 hours ending at 2000 hours.

All terrain except where otherwise noted is cover 1., and  speed 2. The light infantry do not ignore the speed limits.

The Danish, Prussian and Hanoverian infantry can deploy as skirmishing infantry.

They either fought in Company columns or skirmishers.

The Prussians will enter on move 1 on the road in square A1.

The following Danish units will activate in Sønderborg on the following moves:

Move 1: 1st brigade.

Move 3:  6th line.

Move 5: Lifeguard.

Move 7: 3rd Line.

Move 9: 7th Line.

Move 10: 2nd Jäger.

The German cavalry followed half the Danish unit "Herregårdsskytterne" out of the depicted battlefield into the south which in fact is another peninsula, where they were taken aboard by the Danish navy.


Allies: Clean the peninsula of Dybbøl of Danish troops, subsidiary inflict major losses on the enemy without incurring any themselves.

Danes: Keep the position of Dybbøl, subsidiary inflict losses on the allies.

 Remember this: The Germans did want to support the insurgent Schleswig-Holsteins, but it was a result of the 1848 revolution in Germany, and not a genuine wish of either the Absolute kings of Hanover, Saxony or Prussia. Indeed the Prussians were sent away from Berlin because of the fighting against the insurgents in the streets.

So its okay with victories, but any losses could easily turn the public opinion against the intervention.

The Danish side did of course want and need victories, but it was more important to keep an army in being. Without any troops the war was lost. The prime importance is keeping the army alive.