The Battle of Als – Reenactment

Early in the morning of June 24th you can get to experience the reenactment of the Battle of Als. This battle became the decisive moment in the war of 1864 between Denmark and The German Federation.

On Saturday you can see the soldiers parade through Sonderborg, hear a marching band play tunes from the period and visit the soldiers’ camp where you can experience how they lived, prepared for war and got treated in the infirmary.

On 18 April 1864 the Prussians overran and captured the position at Dybbøl, but the Danes were able to retreat to the island of Als with heavy losses. On 29 June 1864 under cover of darkness the Prussian soldiers crossed the water of Alssund. Using 600 boats 2.500 Prussian crossed the water in the first wave. It was a daring operation that was rewarded with victory. The Danish army lost nearly half its deployed forces and had to give up Als and thereby ending the war with a defeat.

The Historical Brigade Als will revive the battle in authentic uniforms and with weapons and equipment, which corresponds closely to what the soldiers used during the war in 1864.

The main event will be when the German soldiers cross the water which will be reenacted at the historically correct time of 3am in the morning on Sunday the 24th.

2.30am Introduction to the battle and reading from eyewitness reports.
2.55am Audience gather to scout the sound. Danish soldiers on guard.
3.00am The boats with German troops leave the Dybbøl side.
3.05am Danish guards spot the first boats. First shootings.
3.10am The boats reach the shore of Als. Prussian troops storm ashore and the ground battle begin.
3.25am Danish and Prussian eyewitness reports are read about the battles.
3.40am Audience gathers and look across the water again. Brief explanantion of the battle and the Danish ironclad Rolf Krake. Next batch of Prussian soldiers prepares to cross the water.
3.45am Ironclad Rolf Krake appears at the point of crossing and fires on the boats with German soldiers. The boats retreat and the crossing is temporarily stopped. Ground canons fire at Rolf Krake and it retreats.
4.00am The battle is over. Audience can great the reenactors.

This is our translation of the program. Check ‘Kampen om Als’ website for any updates. Please note that at the time of writing this post the Danish version of the site had a lot more information than the English version.

Leave a Reply