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

Swedish-Danish War, 1643-1645

A.) Prehistory of the War

The Swedish administration (chancellor Axel Oxenstierna) still had an account to settle with Denmark for the War of Kalmar 1611-1613. In 1643 the 30 Years' War was drawing to a close; Sweden had a large army in the field in Germany, and it could be used to attack Denmark via Holstein, from the land, so that Denmark could not make much use of her fleet.
Arguments over the Sound Toll - Sweden claimed her nationals to be exempt - provided a cause.

B.) The War

Swedish General Lennart Torstensson occupied Holstein in Dec. 1643, the Jutland peninsula in the course of 1644. Swedish troops also occupied Jämtland, Härjedalen, Blekinge, Halland and Scania. Denmark, after having suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Wallenstein in 1629, was overwhelmed. In the Peace of Brömsebro, Aug. 13th 1645, Denmark ceded Gotland, Ösel, Jämtland, Härjedalen permanently, Halland for a period of 30 years.

C.) The Legacy

Denmark now clearly was outshadowed by Sweden as a regional power, and, similar to the Spanish in the Netherlands, unable to defend herself against her militarily superior neighbour. In 1657, Denmark believed the Swedish forces to be tied up in Poland and again declared war, to suffer another crushing defeat (First Northern War) which threatened the very existence of Denmark.

Torstensson's War, 1643-1645, from Many Swedish Wars, by Hans Högman
Biography of Lennart Torstensson, from EB 1911
Horns Krig i Skåne, 1644-1645, by Jonny Ambrius, in Swedish

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

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