Sweden, 1611-1654 Denmark, 1525-1660 Norway, 1525-1814

Swedish-Danish War, 1611-1613

A.) Prehistory of the War

Denmark regarded any Swedish claim on territory adjacent to the Arctic Ocean, which Sweden claimed to have gained from Russia in the Treaty of Teusina 1595, as invalid, violating Norwegian territory. In 1611 (Swedish King Charles XI. just had died, and Sweden formally was still at war with Poland), Denmark-Norway declared war.

B.) The War

The Danes, utilizing Scottish mercenaries, took the fortresses of Kalmar and Älvsborg. After the contested fortress of Kalmar, the war is known in Denmark and Sweden as the War of Kalmar. The Swedes occupied the Norwegian provinces of Jämtland and Härjedalen and also contested the Norwegian claim on Finnmark, recognizing the Norwegian sovereignty only over the islands. In 1613, at Knäred, a peace treaty was concluded according to which each side returned her conquests; Sweden had to pay an indemnity of 1 million Dalers to Denmark and recognized Norway's claim on the disputed territory on the Arctic Ocean..

C.) The Legacy

Young King Gustavus II. Vasa undertook a reform of Sweden's military, and, within two decades, made Sweden a formidable military power. Sweden remained suspicious of her Danish neighbour, and would inflict a devastating defeat on her in 1643-1645.

The Kalmar War 1611-1612, from Many Swedish Wars, by Hans Högman
Battle of Kringen 1612, from DHM, scroll down
Jens Munk, from Northern Lights Explorer Route
The Scottish Expedition in Norway in 1612, by John Beveridge, posted by Electric Scotland

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 31st 2003, last revised on November 18th 2004

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