Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

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Jim A.
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Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by Jim A. » 23 Jun 2022 00:03

Hello, I have read sources that a full Danish mobilization could consist of the following from 3 sources: 55,000; 85000, and 100,000. Considering the number of Danish arms for the field seems like there would just be a large Infantry levy. Or was these intended to man the fortified lines around Copenhagen and other fortified locals? But I have also read that these land fortifications have been written off the defense plan.

-James

OldBill
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by OldBill » 13 Nov 2022 00:37

That's a great question, and I'd love to hear the answer myself. I wish I could add something to it.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by Sid Guttridge » 14 Nov 2022 00:04

I would very strongly recommend a series of articles by Per Finsted, of which this is the link to just one:

https://www.chakoten.dk/The%20Danish%20 ... mplete.pdf

In addition, I would recommend the film "9. April", which is available on DVD in a surprising number of British charity shops. (https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from ... eName=GSTL)

From memory, the Danes could initially mobilize only two divisions - one in Sjaelland (the Baltic islands including Copenhagen) and one in Jylland (the Jutland Peninsula). A third division was dissolved in 1932.

An unsourced note I wrote about 20 years ago: "On the outbreak of war between Germany and Poland on 1 September, the Danish government ordered the call-up of the Classes of 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1938 - which brought total strength up to 36,000 men (or a total of some 45,000 men). Seven annual officer classes also produced some 210 officers. Once it became apparent that Denmark was not under immediate threat, the 17,000 men of the Classes of 1934, 1935 and 1938 were stood down on 16 September. They were allowed to take their uniforms home, but not their weapons. The 1936 and 1937 Classes were also stood down in December 1939 and January 1940. In their place, the 1939 Class of recruits, and those of the 1938 Class who had escaped the mobilisation lottery at the time, were called up for training (on 1 February?)."

The Danes trained about 7,800 conscripts annually in the mid 1930s.

Cheers,

Sid.

OldBill
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by OldBill » 14 Nov 2022 18:01

Thank You Sid!

gebhk
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by gebhk » 15 Nov 2022 11:22

I would add to Sid's excellent suggestions the whole of the Danish Military History Society website https://www.chakoten.dk which is an Aladdin's cave of information. It is in Danish but as an English speaker I have found very little problem with that (admittedly knowing Polish, oddly, helps too) - even Google Translate, unusually, makes a decent fist of it but you need to be careful of military terms.

You need to press Ovrig Militaerhistorie (other, ie non-Danish military history - I never said it was intuitive!); Krige, Felttog og slag (Wars, campaigns and battles); Krige (wars); and then Mellemkrigstiden (between the wars) and then pick through the articles on the various branches.

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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by Waleed Y. Majeed » 15 Nov 2022 12:18

I’ll help with extra translations if and when needed.
Just send me a pm with the questions. I read/write fluent danish if in doubt.

Waleed

gebhk
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by gebhk » 15 Nov 2022 16:31

Hi Waleed

Where were you when we were designing our 'Invasion of Denmark 1940' wargame ten years ago? :)

Hi Jim A
I think I met Per briefly at a wargamring show in the UK a few years ago (my memory is not what it used to be and in never was that great to begin with). Anyway, if it was he, he was an absolute gent and happy to share his vast knowledge. I think it would be very much worth your while to try to contact him personally if you have any questions after reviewing the Chakoten website. There is also a useful article on the Danish Army on the Weapons and Warfare site.

Briefly, to add to Sid's assessment - there were indeed two infantry divisions (which were by 1940 standards quite strong) to which need to be added corps level support units such as the Air Defence Regiment, Engineer Regiment, Signal Regiment and service troops. Bornholm Island had a separate defence force (I've no idea what this consisted of, but it was, nominally at least, an infantry unit of regimental strength) and there was a small army air force (also divided into a Zealand and Jutland group, albeit both were based in Vaerlose with the flying school and supply base). The Danish Royal Navy was quite large comparatively, employing 3.400 personnel, 200 conscripts and deploying 74 vessels. There was a Naval Air Service with 2 squadrons (one of fighters and one of sea planes) plus its own flying school.

Oh and for some reason I think that the cavalry component of the Jutland division, while technically part of it, was in practice independent, but don't quote me on that.

OldBill
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by OldBill » 21 Nov 2022 21:04

Excellent info gentlemen, Many Thanks!

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kstdk
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by kstdk » 21 Nov 2022 23:11

Hello

A map about the Danish barracks and military units approx. 1939.

The map is from my Fathers military papers, he was with the 20th Bataljon in Viborg the 9. april 1940 when the Germans invaded Denmark.
He and his regiment were allerted at the early hours that morning and were at the parade ground ready to go to the border, but the order were retracted and the general mobilisation were stopped by the Government.

Best regards
Kurt
kstdk
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OldBill
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Re: Danish Mobilization and Fortifications 1940

Post by OldBill » 22 Nov 2022 03:45

Great map!

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