The Danish Army 1914–18

The Dan­ish Army force 1914 — 1918

By Steen Jensen and Chris­t­ian Raun

The pur­pose of the “1914 Groups” is, through events and pub­lic par­tic­i­pa­tion, to visu­al­ize the peri­od 1914–1918 in order to give a vivid pic­ture of the Secu­ri­ty Force’s deploy­ment at Copen­hagen For­ti­fi­ca­tion — at the forts on the North Front and on the Vestvolden.

The groups are set up with­in the frame­work of the Dan­ish Mil­i­tary His­to­ry Soci­ety, since the acts and pow­ers through deci­sion of Decem­ber 2013 have been agreed with the Soci­ety’s Board of Directors.
The Dan­ish Secu­ri­ty Force was Den­mark’s defense of neu­tral­i­ty dur­ing World War I 1914–18. The call for the Secu­ri­ty Force was not a mobi­liza­tion of the Army, but a polit­i­cal mark­ing of Den­mark’s will to defend the coun­try — pri­mar­i­ly the state insti­tu­tions, the gov­ern­ment and not least the Roy­al House. All sym­bols of our nation­al law. Sym­bols where if they dis­ap­peared as a result of a Ger­man or British occu­pa­tion only mean that our coun­try had to be aban­doned as an inde­pen­dent nation. At least it was a sce­nario the then gov­ern­ment felt they had to act on.

Inter­est in this in many ways dis­tinc­tive peri­od in Dan­ish mil­i­tary his­to­ry, arose among some mem­bers of the Soci­ety in 2009. At the same time, in Rødovre munic­i­pal­i­ty there had been a major ren­o­va­tion of part of Copen­hagen’s old for­ti­fi­ca­tion plant, Vestvold­en. Togeth­er with Rødovre munic­i­pal­i­ty’s project Expe­ri­ence Cen­ter Vestvold­en, there was there­fore cre­at­ed the basis for a col­lab­o­ra­tion and not least a restora­tion of some of the orig­i­nal sites for the Secu­ri­ty Force.
In 2010 and 2013, a num­ber of uni­forms were made avail­able with friend­ly help from the Roy­al Life Guard. Gar­den guard uni­forms could — and still are — some adap­ta­tions used as uni­forms for foot­men, artillery and engi­neers from the time before and dur­ing the draft.

As a his­tor­i­cal com­mu­ni­ca­tion group, the Secu­ri­ty Force today con­sists of two groups. The secu­ri­ty force 1914–18 at the Vestvold­en and the Guar­an­tee Force at Glad­sax­e­fortet. Both groups include the dif­fer­ent types of weapons rep­re­sent­ed in strength. Pri­mar­i­ly the Foot Peo­ple, who at that time were in can­tonel along the fortress and in the Tune posi­tion estab­lished between Roskilde and Mosede, but also the Fortress Artillery which manned the North Fron­t’s forts and can­non bat­ter­ies at Vestvold­en. Engi­neer detach­ments and cater­ing and sup­ply troops as well as the med­ical corps peo­ple are also an impor­tant part of the over­all strength.

Equip­ment and equip­ment are pro­vid­ed in var­i­ous ways. Part­ly through the mem­bers’ own col­lec­tions of orig­i­nal objects from the peri­od, but also through a great deal of work to restore, among oth­er things. tents of the dif­fer­ent types that were in use in the camps in which were built behind the Vestvolden.
The groups par­tic­i­pate each year in the Fortress Day, which is held on the last Sun­day in Sep­tem­ber, but also par­tic­i­pate in events and events relat­ed to the peri­od or Copen­hagen’s fortification.