there a threat against Denmark during WWI?
One can do a lot
of guessing, and in my opinion there was a risk. Especially in the beginningof the war.
situated as a cork in the Baltic and considered an open flank for Germany, was a
possible target. The question is, if Germany was willing to use a great amount
of resources to
march into Denmark.
In order to maintain its neutrality, Denmark had mined some of its waters after
a German demand.
It would be against German interest if these mines were removed, giving England
access to the Baltic.Just the threat of this could justify a German invasion.
The German Navy was very anxious to invade. The Army however, was more
Even at that time, the capitol was the key to the country, and therefore an
attack against Copenhagen
and the defense line was possible.
To have an
opinion on the possibility, we know that a German attack-plan was made. It was
found in the German Marine archives in Freiburg (fall J - Plan J)
We can use the
judgments of the generals and other officers at the time and we can compare with
the German attacks on Liege, Namur and Antwerp.
The three defense lines mentioned above was demolished by German siege artillery
twice as power-
full, as any fortress was build to resist or anybody except the Germans knew
3 scenarios were
Occupy the city with infantry, siege the city to surrender or shell it to
Occupying the city would require at lot of infantry and artillery. Equipment,
that was desperately needed
on the western front.
Further more it should be remembered, that it took the Germans 2½ month to crush
Dybbøl in 1864. The construc-
tions of Dybbøl were not even dug in or made of concrete.
Normally it's considered that it takes 3 times so many men to attack than to defend. Denmark had
40.000 men on
the Copenhagen defense line. Did Germany have the ability to spare 120.000 men and logistic to move them with the
needed artillery. ? Were they willing to risk their major naval forces ?
I think Denmark was to inferior for such an operation.
Another scenario was to avoid the defense line with artillery and shell the
capitol form outside.
That way they could force the city to surrender without confronting the defense.
Germany had the
ability with the 30,5 and 42 cm guns.
But transporting the biggest guns Germany had very little of (6 pieces of the 42
cm gun in 1914 and 20 in 1916) to Denmark, demanded a lot of railroad and harbor
facilities. Facilities that had to be occupied first:
An old-fashion siege of the city, with at ring of warships, infantry and
artillery to starve the city.
The naval blockade would confront the naval- and coastal fortresses. This
scenario also demanded
a great amount of military resources, resources Germany probably could not