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Date Posted: 09:28:01 04/03/18 Tue
Author: Albert Parker
Subject: Re: Where was the rest of the Danish Fleet?
In reply to: Chuck 's message, "Where was the rest of the Danish Fleet?" on 02:34:02 04/03/18 Tue

>On this 217th anniversary of the Battle of Copenhagen
>(1801-04-02) and VAdm. Nelson's defeat of the Danish
>Fleet under Adm. Fischer...I was wondering where the
>rest of the Danish Fleet was during this time. (1)
>Other bases? (2) In Ordinary? (3) On patrol in the
>Baltic or North Sea? (4) Moored or anchored in
>defensive positions at other bases just in case Parker
>and Nelson showed up there?
>Ideas or notes anyone?

When the British made their second attack in 1807, and wiped out the Danish fleet at Copenhagen, destroying all the ships they did not sail away, two Danish ships of the line were absent. One was at Christiania, Norway (now Oslo), I think with a frigate, the other was somewhere else on the Danish coast.

Denmark only had one naval base, at Copenhagen. That's where all of their warships were built, and where they were kept in peacetime or when not in commission. Besides the ships under Captain Olfert Fischer that Nelson attacked in the King's Deep, there was a division under Captain Steen Bille in a channel west of the Trekroner battery.

Bille's division included Elephanten, 74; Mars, 60; Danmark, 70 (Bille); Trekroner 74; Iris, 40; and brigs Sarpen and Nidelven, 18. Elephanten and Mars were old ships not fully rigged; some of the others were under way during the battle but did not come out to challenge either Nelson (who was to windward) or Parker, who had the biggest British ships north of the Middle Ground shoal. Parker had London (Parker) and St. George, 98, plus four 74s (Warrior, Defence, Saturn, Ramillies) and two 64s (Raisonnable, Veteran).

Other Danish ships were presumably elsewhere in Copenhagen harbor, not fitted out. Danish naval mobilization was a slow process, especially since about 40% of the sailors were from Norway, and they had not been able to fit out and crew all of their seaworthy ships when the British attacked.

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