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By Bellamy, M.J.

In the course of Christian IVs hugely influential reign, the Danish army grew to become some of the most major if fallacious navies in Europe.This ebook presents a close survey of its politics, management and operation.

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Additional info for Christian IV and His Navy: A Political and Administrative History of the Danish Navy, 1596-1648 (Northern World)

Sample text

54 22 April 1618, egenhændige Breve, I, 138–9 55 Sune Dalgård, Dansk-Norsk hvalfangst 1615–1660, (København, 1962), 413–429. Two armed ships, Røde Løve and Hvide Løve, were purchased from the Netherlands for the purpose. 53 the role of the navy 29 the area and became the principal importer of fish into Denmark. The company had bases in Copenhagen and Glückstadt and operated a considerable fleet of cargo ships and large armed merchantmen, which were occasionally requisitioned by the navy. However, Danish hopes of monopolising the northern seas were clearly forlorn.

83 The first exposure of the new Danish fleet to the western world occurred in 1606 when Christian IV took a squadron of eight ships on a state visit to his brother-in-law James VI and I in London. The impact was immediate. Pamphleteers and commentators all praised the ships, their ordnance and men, and news of the visit spread rapidly across Europe. The visit had no overt diplomatic purpose and it seems that the visit, apart from the obvious family reasons, was arranged purely as a show of naval strength.

This situation did not last long, however, as after the Torstensson War in 1645 Sweden gained control of the Bremen side of the Elbe and all Danish claims to sovereignty had to be abandoned. 80 Royal Prestige The question of royal prestige played a great part in the development of Christian IV’s navy. 81 The navy, as the most visible instrument of foreign policy, was therefore greatly influenced by these considerations, especially in the early years of his reign. Ken Booth, writing on twentieth century naval policy, gives an interesting analysis of the question of prestige that could easily be applied to the time of Christian IV: prestige is sought not merely or mainly to serve the national interest (although actions are justified in these terms), but as a political end in itself.

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