Friday, 10 October 2014

Carl von Arenstorff – Danish Commanding General at Lund 1676

Carl von Arenstorff pondering his next move at Lund.

As the date for the big convention game in Copenhagen is nearing, time has come to get the commanding Generals in their saddle.

At Lund the German noble Carl von Arenstorff led the Danish forces. His brother Frederic also served in the command of the Danish army, and would eventually take the supreme command at Lund as Carl got shot and had to retire to attend what would later show to be a mortal wound.

Frederic von Arenstroff - Carl's intriguant brother.
He would take command at Lund when Carl got wounded.

The Arenstorff brothers had been plunged in intrigues ever since they came to the Danish court in the early 1670's. Carl had quickly gained the King’s favour and had even been given a seat in the Royal Council. 

When the Scanian War opened and the Marshall’s baton for the Danish forces had been given by foreign recommendation to the very able Duke of Plön, the Arenstorff brothers were far from pleased and immediately set about an elaborate bad-mouthing campaign leading to the King finally dismissing his undermined C-in-C duke. 

Orders are being scribbled down by the staff.

The Duke of Plön had led the Danish forces successfully through the opening phase of the Scanian War land campaign, overseeing the occupation of Scania and tactical rebuffing of the Swedish army. He was rewarded the island of Usedom on the German Baltic coast for his achievements. 

Command then passed to Carl von Arenstorff in October 1676. Perhaps an able cavalry commander, but a very unsure card as supreme leader of an army. Quickly things deteriorated for the Danes, leading to the game-changing defeat at Lund on the 4th December 1676.

A High-Command in harmony? 
The Danish commanders prancing on their horses 
as the army, lead by the Duke of Plön, 
conquered Kristianstad. 

Perhaps it was really a stroke of luck for Carl von Arenstorff ‘s honour that he was wounded at Lund? It certainly took him of the battle at a very early stage, and thus out the blame-sphere and the subsequent infested defeat-ferment in Copenhagen, seeing the King putting many of his commanders on trial for treason. 

Oddly enough, and perhaps as an omen, Arenstorff actually started his career in the professional and highly successful Swedish army under King Charles X Gustav. He was a Swedish cavalry commander in the Dano-Swedish Wars fought in the late 1650's, that eventually saw Denmark loose 20% of its territory to Sweden, most notably Scania. 

Charles X Gustav successfully occupies all of Denmark by a daring crossing over the frozen belts of the Danish Isles in the1650's.

Now some 20 years later, Carl von Arenstorff was back in the saddle, but this time for the opposition – the Danes. Now he was fighting to reclaim to Denmark, what he in fact had precipitated the Danish Crown to loose two decades earlier. 

Another view at the command stand.

Carl von Arenstorff died in Copenhagen 6 days after the Battle of Lund, as wound-infection had spread gangrene in large parts of his body. His death marked the starting point of a large purge in the Danish high command – opening the question; how would the Danes have fought at Lund – with their superior numbers in infantry, cavalry and three times the artillery – had they been properly led, for instance by the Duke of Plön?

Thank you very much for reading.

28 comments:

  1. Another outstanding command stand! The officer's red coat is vibrant and your work on the mounted officer's white horse is striking. The horse's black socks and muzzle are really well executed.

    Nice!

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    1. Thanks Jonathan! Some effort have gone into studying how horses actually look, and what color combinations are realistic. I'm glad you noticed these details, so my many hours surfing horse-pictures (that raised certain concerns with my fiancé) have not been wasted!

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  2. I can only agree, great work.

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    1. Cheers Engel, thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Another great read and command figure Soren.

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    1. Glad you liked it Chris. Soon done with this collection. Looking so much forward to actually gaming now!

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  4. Great stuff yet again. With miniatures like this the coming game will be spectacular! /Mattias

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    1. Thanks Mattias, I hope so. We've all put a lot of work into it, and with the terrain (and your wonderful houses) we aim to leave an impression in Copenhagen. Also, we'll be featuring a little Warfare Miniatures Shop at the convention table, as Barry Hilton was kind to trust us with a substantial stock of products. So, we've got everything for sale here now in Stockholm on an agent basis - rules, minis and flags. (In case you're interested let me know)

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  5. Another marvelous command piece. A nice tribute to the fallen general.

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    1. Thanks Dean - yes, poor fella, from what I saw when I did a google-image-search on the word "gangrene", this was not a pleasant way to check out.

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  6. Another great looking vignette...and post, excellent work!

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    1. Thank you Phil - BTW I have some news on my upcoming figures-range that might interest you. What e-mail can I reach you on?

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  7. Yet again superb work and background info!

    Christopher

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    1. Cheers Christopher - I'm privileged to have a reading audience who bares with my many longwinded detours into history. Thanks!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks Michael - I'll bring him along for Sunday's game. Johanna is off to visit friends in Dalecarlia, so I've got a full day at the painting table. Shall try to get Helmfelt finished for tomorrow too, so we have some generals on both sides.

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    1. Thanks John, glad you liked the basing too - wanted to get that frosty "december-morning" feeling in there.

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  10. Looking good!!! I bet the game will be awesome!!! I posted the pictures and an AAR on my Blog a few minutes ago.
    Have a good weekend!!

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    1. Thanks Mark - yeah beautiful pics on your AAR. Looking forward to flying the Spitfires too with the added maneuverability!

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  11. Your little vignette is a real beauty again. Looks like it won't take much longer till you'll have painted any and everyone of importance during the conflict.

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    1. Thanks M, and your right - only need the Swedish general and wing-commander plus a handful of dead and wounded to be sprinkled over the battle board for extra realism. Then we're off to Copenhagen!

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  12. The history lesson that fits perfectly with your painted figures are the icing on the cake. Your post is very well put together and the quality of painting on the figures and the way you have done the winter basing is superb.

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    1. Thank very much for those kind words, and for dropping by for a read! Your words are very encouraging as I now put the last miniatures of this project on painting table!

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  13. Wow! Another stunning command base for this project. Very, very well painted Søren. The horse, in particular, is exquisite.

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    1. Thanks Jonas, hope you and the misses are holding out - let me know when its time to congratulate :0)

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  14. lovely work on the figures.... great background notes as well..

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    1. Cheers Phil, happy you liked the little read on Scandinavian history too. Killed by a deer, imagine that...

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