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The Danish armed forces 1909-1918

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372
No
Engelsk 
The Danish Armed Forces

The Danish armed forces 1909-1918 

– between politician and strategic reality
2007 - Michael Hesselholdt Clemmensen  
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Denmark successfully preserved her neutrality throughout the First World War, and the military supremacy of the German Empire in the West Baltic region was never challenged in earnest by Germany’s enemies. On the surface, the military history of Denmark during the First World War seems a singularly boring theme. However, as the reader of this work will find, a closer look reveals a course of events of high general interest.

The areas of interest can be subsumed under two headings. The first is the military role in preserving neutrality. This has some well known aspects concerning the international political credibility of the neutral armed forces and their long range strategic planning. This was quite problematic in the Danish case. Despite her professed neutrality, Denmark could not be counted among les satisfaits of the European state system; and, on top of this, Denmark was strung out between economic dependence on Great Britain and strategic dominance by Germany. It was not very difficult to imagine Denmark being drawn or pushed away from the neutral stance. The military role in preserving neutrality also had a short range dimension. The armed forces had to handle the numerous episodes where the activities of the warring powers touched Danish territory. Every such episode posed the threat of rapid erosion of the fragile foundation of Danish neutrality: the preference of the belligerent powers for things as they were. Despite neutrality, this was indeed times of war for the Danish forces in several important respects. As in war, developments lacked predictability and transparency, and false choices carried extreme risks. The forces of the warring powers were not enemies, but they were as unpredictable as an enemy in war, and might be turned into enemies by a false move.

The second area of interest is the relationship between the political and military leadership. This had a special character due to the fact that the Danish government was formed by a party which had anti-militarism and disarmament high on the agenda, but did not command a parliamentary majority. What we see is a very early example of the complex relationships which strictly constitutional democratic government can produce. It was unusually visible that the military was in a multiple role as a branch of government, a locus of expertise, and a social group with specifi c interests and value systems. In the belligerent states, the strain of the war produced conflicts and often remarkable redistributions of power within the political and military leadership. In Denmark, tension around the role of the military as such presaged a theme which became important in many states during the twentieth century.
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Michael Hesselholdt Clemmensen  
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{{resources.ReleaseYear}} 2007 
{{resources.Language}} Engelsk 
{{resources.PageCount}} 139 
{{resources.ISBN}} 9788791421365 
{{resources.ReleaseDate}} 05-12-07
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Militærhistorie
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