Honour - Copenhagen 1801

Date - 02-April
Type - Fleet or Squadron Actions
Conflict - French Revolutionary War; 1793-1803

Description During the war the Baltic countries of Russia, Sweden and Denmark were antagonised by the British interruption to their trade with the rest of the continent. As a result Russia had confiscated British ships.

A British force of 18 ships-of-the-line plus 35 smaller vessels was despatched under Admiral Sir Hyde Parker on a sabre rattling expedition to Denmark.

Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the attack with 12 ships-0f-the-line, 5 frigates, 2 sloops, 5 bomb vessels and 2 fire ships. On 01-April the squadron was positioned two miles from the strong Danish line of 18 warships, hulks and floating batteries. Near Trekrover Fortress at the harbour entrance were another 4 ships-of-the-line plus supporting vessels.

On the morning of 02-April the plan was for the British squadron to take up allotted positions opposite Danish ships and bombard them. But Bellona (74) and Russell (74) were stranded in the middle ground shoal and Agamemnon (74) could not reach her position.

The bombardment began and the Danish Flagship 'Dannebrog' was set ablaze and later blew up. Two other Danish ships cut their cables and foundered.

A cease fire was agreed and Nelson's ships withdrew.

Casualties on both sides were heavy.


HM Ships
Agamemnon  Alcmene  Amazon  Ardent  Arrow 
Bellona  Blanche  Cruizer  Dart  Defence
Defiance  Desiree  Discovery  Edgar  Elephant 
Explosion   Ganges  Glatton Harpy  Hecla 
Isis  Jamaica  London* Monarch  Otter 
Polyphemus  Raisonnable*  Ramillies Russell  St. George
Saturn*  Sulphur  Terror  Veteran*  Volcano 
Warrior  Zebra  Zephyr     
* Support ships which did not engage, but were awarded the battle honour.
This page last edited - 03 December, 2012.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.