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,
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.
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.