Nelson's First Letter to the Crown Prince of Denmark

Introduction
The Document
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Introduction

After three hours of intense fighting at the battle of Copenhagen, Danish resistance began to slacken. By half past two, most of the fighting had stopped, but there was still some intermittent resistance. Unwilling to inflict unnecessary destruction on the danes, he had the following note sent to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark with the hope that it would lead to an end to the fighting. Between Nelson's sending the letter and the Crown Prince agreeing to a truce, the British position had worsened to the point where Nelson was seriously considering withdrawing

The Document

To the Brothers of the Englishmen, the Danes:

Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson has been commanded to spare Denmark, when she no longer resists. The line of defence which covered her shores has struck to the British flag: but if firing is continued on the part of Denmark, he must set on fire all the prizes he has taken, without having the power of saving the men who have so nobly defended them. The brave Danes are the brother, and never should be the enemies, of the English.

Dated on board His Britannic Majesty's ship Elephant, Copenhagen Roads, 2 April 1801.

Nelson and Bronte, Vice-Admiral, under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker.

 

See Also

Books on the Napoleonic Wars | Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars | Napoleonic Homepage

How to cite this article

Rickard, J (5 February 2006) Nelson's First Letter to the Crown Prince of Denmark, http://www.historyofwar.org/sources/nelson_copenhagen_letter1.html

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