At the beginning of the war, Denmark had available three infantry divisions, each of which comprised three infantry brigades with attached light cavalry and artillery.

There was also a Cavalry Division comprised of two cavalry brigades; an Army Reserve; and garrison troops in Copenhagen, the fortress of Frederica and on the Island of Alsen.

In addition to the field artillery attached to the infantry brigades, there were also ten companies of Fortress Artillery.  These totalled about 600 guns between them:  175 placed in the Dannewerk; 100 at Døppel and Alsen; and 260 at Frederica and elsewhere.

This gave a total of about 38,000 men which, by the end of the war, had been increased to about 55,600 men (including seven companies of engineers).

In addition, the Danish regulars were supported by a number of Freiwilliger units and the odd foreign volunteer.



A Danish infantry brigade consisted of two regiments. A regiment consisted of two battalions, each of 800 men.  A battalion was composed of four companies:  a company being the tactical battlefield unit.


The Cavalry attached to an infantry division operated in a half-regiment of 350 sabres divided into three squadrons.

The Cavalry in the separate cavalry brigades operated in two regiments of six squadrons each:  each regiment comprising 700 sabres i.e. approx. 110 men to a squadron.

The Cavalry consisted of a regiment of Guard Hussars; a Squadron of Royal Horse Guard (cuirassiers) and 6 regiments of Dragoon light cavalry.


A field artillery battery consisted of eight guns.



The Danish infantry used a number of rifles during the war:  all of them rifled-barrel muzzle-loaders based on the Minie system. Most common was the French M1822 percussion musket converted to Minie rifling, sighted from 225 yards to 750 yards. Next was the Tapriffel M1864, or “pillar breech”, with an effective range of 250 yards and a maximum range of approx. 600 yards.

Danish infantry also carried a bayonet and the short-hilted M1854 Infantry Sword.


The Dragoons used the Rytterkarabin M1836 or M1848 muzzle-loading rifled carbines, and Rytter Sabel M1843 sabres.

The Guard Hussars used the Suhler Tapkarabin M1848, and the same sabre as above.


Danish artillerymen were issued with the Rytter Pistol M1801-02.

Field artillery used the M1863 system, comprising a mixture of 4- and 12-pdr muzzle-loading rifled-barrel, cast-iron guns. 

Fortress artillery was mostly smooth-bore, and was classified into 6-, 12-, 24- and 84-pdr guns.



Regular Infantry

Dark blue, single-breasted tunic with two rows of white metal buttons and piped in red.  Shoulder straps were white with red-piping, collar had red flashes. Trousers were light blue and worn tucked into black leather knee boots. The regulation great coat was double-breasted and dark greyish black.

All regular infantry except for the 18th Regiment wore a dark blue low crowned soft cap with a red-white-red cockade stitched to the front.  The 18th Regiment wore a black shako.

Equipment was black. 

Other Infantry

The Livgarde wore the same uniform as the Regular Infantry, but with a bearskin, a white stripe down their trousers, and white lace instead of piping.

Engineers wore the same uniforms as the regular infantry, but with a black collar with red patches.



The Dragoons wore a double-breasted sky-blue tunic with red collar patches and shoulder straps.  The front of the tunic had two rows of white metal buttons.  Piping was red.  Trousers were sky-blue with reinforced black leather inserts.  Boots were black leather, worn underneath the trousers.

On their heads, the Dragoons wore either a crested helmet of black leather with a red-white-red cockade on the right hand side, or a fatigue cap similar in style to the infantry’s cap, but in sky-blue.

Equipment was white leather (black for the 3rd Dragoons).  The saddle cloth was red with a thick piped edge in white.  Slung over the back of the saddlecloth was a powder-blue haversack.

In addition to the above, the Dragoons were issued with a powder blue, double-breasted greatcoat called a Reitermantel.  Mounted, it was worn almost unbuttoned and pinned back, so that the coat spread out over the back of the horse like an extra blanket.

Guard Hussars

The Guard Hussars wore a sky-blue dolman the chest of which was heavily decorated with white frogging.  Piping and sleeve decoration was also white. The pelisse was scarlet, also heavily frogged in white but also edged in black fur.  Trousers were sky-blue with a white side stripe and, like the Dragoons, were worn over black leather boots.

Headgear was a black shako, or the fatigue cap, as above.  Other equipment was also as the Dragoons.  The sabretache was sky-blue with red edging, with white straps.  Strapped across the rear of the saddlecloth was a white haversack.

Hussars were also issued with the Reitermantel.

Royal Horse Guards

The RHG wore a pale yellow tunic with a red collar and cuffs, and with red piping and shoulder straps. Parade trousers were of white leather, but in the field the RHG wore the same trousers and boots as the Guard Hussars.

The helmet was crested and made of brass, with a falling black horsehair plume and a red-white-red cockade attached to the left-hand side.  RHG were also issued with a forage cap called a spidshue:  it was sky-blue with white piping and a white tassel.

RHG were also issued with a Reitermantel, but this was red in colour.

The cuirass was brass, equipment was black.  Saddlecloth was red and piped in red-white-red.  Troopers wore a red haversack.


The artillery wore the same uniform as the infantry, but the tunic was piped etc in a darker red and trousers were dark blue.  Headgear was the same cap.

Dismounted gunners were issued with the dark-grey greatcoat; mounted gunners with the Reitermantel.

Equipment was black.  Dismounted gunners carried a grey haversack, mounted gunners had a blue one slung over the saddlecloth.

Gun carriages and limbers were grey, gun barrels were bronze or unpainted iron.


General officers dressed the same as the infantry, but with a gold stripe on their trousers and gilt/silver/gold decoration elsewhere. The cap was sky-blue, the boots were black.


Danish troops should be classed as average to poor.