German ships off the Danish coast in the Øresund Strait



Denmark managed to remain neutral throughout World War One. As part of the preparations to uphold this neutrality a major defence force of 50,000 men was gathered, of which the majority were deployed to defend Copenhagen.

This picture features new recruits keeping watch on a jetty by the harbour of Skovshoved, north of Copenhagen. This was also a much-loved place for excursions, which may explain why the soldiers are accompanied by a few random visitors. From 1915 onwards the number of soldiers was gradually reduced until the final disintegration of the force in 1919. Establishing the force meant that the number of Danish men in arms at the outbreak of the war reached a total of more than 60,000, the largest number ever in Danish history.

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German ships off the Danish coast in the Øresund Strait
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