General Ernst Peymann commanded the defending Danish troops while at sea a British fleet under Admiral James Gambier pressed in to close the ring. The Danes refused the British summons to surrender and Gambier began to bombard Copenhagen. Some 2,000 civilians were killed before General Peymann agreed to surrender. The British demanded that all Danish naval forces be turned over to them, which was agreed to, though Crown Prince Frederick secretly ordered Paymann to have all the ships burned. This, however, was not done and the Danish fleet passed into the hands of the British. One can certainly understand the concern of Great Britain over the possibility of the French being able to turn the powerful Danish navy against them but the whole episode was an unfortunate affair. The Danes really had no great love for Napoleon and had intended to resist the French like most everyone else in Europe. However, the British attack on Copenhagen and the seizure of their proud fleet soured all feelings against Britain. The Kingdom of Denmark, therefore, entered into an alliance with Imperial France under King Frederick VI who came to the Danish throne in 1808.
|King Frederick VI
|The battle of Copenhagen