battle of Copenhagen

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Copenhagen, battle of, 1801. This encounter with the Danish fleet was fought on 2 April in the narrow 3-mile-long King's Channel, of varying depth, which bounded the eastern defences of the Danish capital. These consisted of the formidable Trekronor fort, flanked to the north by 5 moored warships and to the south by a redoubtable line of 7 unmasted warships and 10 floating batteries, all moored, heavily gunned and manned. The British under Sir Hyde Parker with Nelson as his second had 15 ships supported by a variety of assault craft and 600 soldiers. Following a daring navigation aided by a southerly wind the British attacked in line and broke the Danish defence, Danes and British each sustaining over 1,000 men killed. Nelson ‘turned his blind eye’ to Parker's premature signal to withdraw. The victory was as much a blow at Russia, leading the offensive ‘Northern League’, Nelson showing all his chivalry in subsequent armistice negotiations with the Danes.

David Denis Aldridge