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"Greenland Iceland Military History" Topic


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Lilian27 Dec 2023 7:40 a.m. PST

found almost nothing about military events and garrisons of both Danish territories throughout 18th 19th century
or maybe you need to speak Danish to know more

Denmark didn't seem to have maintain a military presence and both territories seem to live outside the convulsions of Europa and America


all I found is that for Greenland when in 1728 Denmark sent an expedition with "officers and soldiers with artillery to build a fort" under a Major Claus Enevold Paars as governor, Captain Landorff and Lieutenant Richard, this first attempt of military settlement lasted 3 years

PDF link

In the same year, 1728, two armed vessels and two transports were fitted out and laden with whatever was required for building a fort of twelve guns in Greenland. A governor was appointed to head the expedition, attended by a captain, who was to be commander of the intended fort, besides a lieutenant, several subordinate officers, constables, gunners, and 25 soldiers. Eleven horses were added to the equipment, so that the governor and his attendants might make an attempt to ascertain whether the east coast of Greenland, which had proved to be in- accessible to navigation, could not be reached, by going across the country on horseback. Five of the poor animals, however, died on the voyage out, whilst the remainder soon perished from hunger and hardships in Greenland.
At a later period, however, when the governor set out on the intended excursion towards the interior of the country, he may have experienced some -manner of consolation for this loss in the fact that the country which should have been travelled over only exhibited one vast insurmountable glacier. Care had also been taken to supply the colony with a population of a superior race to the natives. Besides the soldiers, who were accompanied by their families, ten male ,and as many female criminals were taken from the houses of correction, married by the summary process of casting lots, and despatched to Greenland. The ships reached Egede's place of abode in safety, and the work was commenced 'by removing his 'houses and founding the new establishment on the mainland where the present settle- ment, Godthaab, the 'capital' of South Greenland, is situated. But the new houses were only half finished when winter set in, to the great dismay of the new comers, who had already suffered much during their removal. After this villanously unpromising batch of settlers had become devoid of sufficient shelter, not only did disease break out among them, but their discontent tended to open mutiny.
It is told that in winter the officers were obliged to shut themselves up in the government house, mounting it with guns and keeping guard during the night, lest they should be attacked by their own people. During this dreadful winter, no less than forty Europeans were carried off by sickness.
(…)
in 1731 the matter was cut short by the unexpected death of King Frederick IV. In this year a vessel arrived conveying an order from his successor Christian VI, to the effect that the establishments for trade as well as for missions were to be given up, and- that the Europeans should embark for Denmark


after that Denmark sent only warships off the coasts to prevent from Dutch and British vessels to land…

Grelber27 Dec 2023 12:32 p.m. PST

Iceland was caught between the British Orders in Council (1807) blockading trade with French ports and ports under French control and Napoleon's Continental System banning trade with Great Britain. Danish law prohibited other nations trading with Iceland, and Danish ships couldn't trade with Iceland because of the British blockade. British merchants made attempts to trade with Iceland but were rebuffed by Danish appointed authorities. These episodes started to involve British merchant ships pointing their cannon at "forts" in Iceland, at which point the Icelanders would generally concede (besides they needed the merchandise the British were offering).

In 1809, a Danish adventurer Jorgen Jorgensen, working as a translator for the British merchants, announced that the Danes were no longer in charge of Iceland, and he was now the "Protector." As the locals were unarmed and defenseless and the Danes were unable to come to their aid, the locals stayed quiet.

Jorgensen recruited a small force of "guards," and designed an Icelandic flag with three white codfish on a blue field. He started refurbishing the local defenses. He also led a force of armed followers to northern Iceland to seize the property of Danish merchants there.

Then a British warship, HMS Talbot (an 18-gun sloop), sailed into Reykjavik harbor. The crew dismantled the redoubts and chucked the cannon into the ocean. The captain, Alexander Jones, negotiated an agreement with local authorities allowing British trade with the island, returning Danish goods to the Danish merchants, and sending Mr. Jorgensen back to England.

Jorgensen was taken back to Britain and imprisoned, and generally hung out with the "wrong sort," so he ended up in Tasmania, and died in Hobart in 1844.

Grelber

Lilian28 Dec 2023 3:23 p.m. PST

Thanks interesting and unkown (Hi)story

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