Really interesting Civil War era battle scene from the Danish TV series "1864" - thoughts?

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privateflemming

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I just found this really cool battle scene from a Danish TV series about the Second Schleswig War in 1864 between Denmark and Prussia, and although it's not about the American Civil War it uses the same technology and the uniforms even look similar. The battle depicted is the Battle of Dybbøl in which the Danes and Prussians assault each other's entrenchments outside a town. It almost looks like it could be part of the Siege of Petersburg. I just wanted to share but any thoughts are welcome.

 

Llewellyn

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Feb 17, 2020
Location
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Prussians using Dreyse needle guns v Danes with what appear to be P1853 Enfields ?

But here's an interesting point for discussion: the frustrated young officer who draws his sword and leads the waiting troops forward (about 9 minute into the clip) is referred to as "Lieutenant Dinesen."

Now, in 1863, one Wilhelm Dinesen was admitted to the Danish Military Academy. Is the film meant to be portraying this real life man ?
Because Wilhelm went on to father Karen Blixen, the author of "Out of Africa", made into the award winning 1985 film - movie - starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

If I have the connection correct, then it would seem that a hatred for Prussians ran in the family, because Wilhelm fought for the French in the 1870/1 Franco Prussian War.

40 years later, at the outbreak of WW1 (1914) Karen's younger brother, Thomas Dinesen, tried to emulate his father by attempting to join the French army. I do not now why he was unable to do so, but he was eventually accepted by a kilted regiment of Canadian Highlanders, and won the Victoria Cross in France in 1918.

Can anybody fill in the blanks here ?
 

thomas aagaard

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Location
Denmark
I could spend the rest of the evening listing all the wrong tings in the series.

Just to take the most important that is part of this clip. (because the worst are in the rest of the series)
  • formations and orders got nothing to do with the real thing.
  • The drill suck and have nothing to do with danish army drill back then.
  • The prussian attack was very organised, with a close cooperation between infantry, skirmishers and combat pioneers.
    (unlike this unorganized charge)
  • There where no horses on the battlefield.
  • The danish did not carry Battalion colors into battle. (but did have smaller company flags)
  • The counterattack of the 8th brigade was pretty much done in a heavy skirmish line. (not this mess of a block)
  • Most of the danish infantry was actually between and behind the fortifications simply to get away from the extremely heavy bombardment. (During the last few days before the attack the bombardment matches anything on the western front in 1916. Sure the shells where less powerful, but you had about 8 times as men many in the front lines as would have been the case in 1916, so casualties where heavy)
    So when the attack started it was actually a race to get into the redoubts.
  • The prussians was never driven out of the danish front lines.

But it should also be praised for the things it do well.
Uniforms and other military equipment is generally very good. The Canons are the correct types.
With some understandable limits and changes
  • The main characters mostly carry the correct firearms, but you can see replica P1853s used by extras. Pretty sure this is simply a question of how many functional arms they could get hold of. Replica M/1842s are also used. A good solution.
  • Danish officers did not need to have a revolver and not all did. But many used a danish produced 5 shot revolver.
    That the tvseries use colts is again, Iam sure a question of what they had get hold of that can fire blanks.
    (One colt navy do exist in a museum that was used by a danish officer, but that was not the norm.)

  • The main characters are all in the 9th regiment. So they should all be with the reserves. And not in the frontlines.
    It was the 2nd regiment that held this part of the line. So all the extras in the frontline should have a 2 on the shoulder, not an 8.
    The reason the main characters and the men in the counter attack got an 8, is that they are part of the 8th Brigade. This is not historical.
    But since the counterattack is usually descried as "8.Brigades modangreb" it do make some sense from a TV point of view too keep it less complicated.
And they do have a number of good details.
  • Some danes did have skyblue greatcoats. Where most have black. (the actual uniform is dark blue)
  • The bombardment stopped and birds could be heard.
  • The Prussians did have a big military band playing.
  • There where wirefences in front of the danish lines.
  • The Prussians did carry big bags. This was because the danish had places large numbers of Harrows in front of the lines. So they used the bags to drop on the harrows. (but I do belive they carried their rifles slung and the bags with both hands)
    We can see this at 3:00
  • At 4:40 one dane fight of a good number of Prussians in hand to hand combat. That is inspired by a real event where one guy shot a Prussian who had planted a flag on the breastwork. He threw the flag in the ditch and pulled back into cover. He then did this again and did beat a handful of Prussians back with his bayonet... before getting shot repeatedly. (and this is noted in prussian sources)
  • The counter attack was delayed because the prussian bombardment shifted to behind the danish front line so no one could hear the actual fighting there. And the system of buglers broke down.
    And there was some confusion since part of the brigade was ready right away, but some companies was elsewhere. But no, it was not Lt Dinesen who started it.
  • General du'Plat (and his two staff officers with him) was killed, but they where on foot trying to keep the retreat organized later in the battle.
Lt Dinesen is a real person as Llewellyn mention. But is was actually only 17 years old. And he did not run around with two revolvers playing Rambo. (But he was involved in heavy fighting during the danish counterattack.)

I don't believe his family hated the Germans.
His father A.W.Dinesen served with the french army in 1837 in north Africa and traveled a good deal.
In the 18th and 19th century it was in no way uncommon to serve in other armies to get experience.
(A number of danish Officers served with the french, Russians, Prussians, Austrians and others at some point during the first half of the century)

He then served as the commander of a battery in the first sleswig war and was very very god at his job.
He also wrote about his experience in north Africa and was respectful in his description of the Arabs they where fighting.

This Dinesen did serve in the french army in 1870, wrote a book about it and covered the siege of Paris and the destruction of the Commune. He then spend a few years in Wisconsin as a hunter. And wrote about it.

And his children similar travels a lot and wrote about it, and Thomas won the Victoria cross with the Canadians.
(after trying both the french, brits and americans I believe) And he wrote a book about it.
And Kara Blixen obviously lived in Africa and wrote about it.

So I think it was more a question of a family who had a hard time sitting still and living ordinary lives... So they traveled. The men fought in wars. And they all wrote books about what they did.


I do have two old topic on the war:
and
 
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Irishtom29

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Comancheria
@thomas aagaard

Very interesting. I watched bits of that movie on youtube and wondered what you thought of it.

How about that movie about the Danish bicycle infantry fighting the Germans in 1940? I forget the name of the movie, it was on Amazon Prime. It was pretty good.
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
How about that movie about the Danish bicycle infantry fighting the Germans in 1940? I forget the name of the movie, it was on Amazon Prime. It was pretty good.
9th of April.
I really like it.

The unit is fictitious. There where fights the 3 places we see, but no single unit was involved in all 3.
The men are also fictitious, but do give a good idea of ordinary danish conscripts.

Iam no expert on the danish army in 1940 but there is nothing in their way of doing things that I find strange.
(M/1889 rifles, Madsen LMGs, Madsen 20mm cannons on motorcycklere are all original. So are uniform, bikes and similar)
I got a few friend who was German soldiers in the movie (reenactors) and do know way more about the topic and And they say it is generally correct.

We do see the germans using MG42s... in 1940. The production did have an agreement with a collector about borrowing a MG34, but he backed out at the last moment. So they had to use their 42s. (that the reenactors already own)

And when in the town at the end, you can see modern windows and similar.
But that is because It was recorded on location in the town of Haderslev at the correct locations. At one point near the end we see a 37mm bofors Anti tank gun. With a hairdresser on the other side of the street.
That is recreated more or less perfectly. (thanks to this photo)
29e-e09649ec70e6_1_90_0_0_700_539_880_678_ef90562e.jpg



Another danish war movie that I will highly recommend is "A war".

Same writer and director Thomas Lindholm.

And with Pilou Asbæk as the Main officer just like he play the LT in 9th of April.
(And the horrible Captain in 1864, that we see begging for his life in the 1864 clip above)

It is about a infantry company in Afghanistan.
It is a good movie and a good example of how a movie can be entirely unhistorical but very authentic at the same time.
All but 3 of the soldiers are actually danish soldiers who served in Afghanistan.
(The CO, XO, who did serve for 10 month and one of the private soldiers are actors)
So the gear, drill,orders and all that is correct. The afghans civilians are afghans. Even the Taliban in it is played by an afghan who did in fact fight ISAF troops before fleeing to Turkey. The same with a number of other "professions in the screens in Denmark. Doctores, judges and so on.

But the actual story is invented.
 
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privateflemming

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The Prussians did carry big bags. This was because the danish had places large numbers of Harrows in front of the lines. So they used the bags to drop on the harrows. (but I do belive they carried their rifles slung and the bags with both hands)
We can see this at 3:00
I was wondering about those dirt bags. Thanks for this whole explanation. Very interesting.
 
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