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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Introducing the Danish Navy

The Danish Navy goes a long way back in time, arguably back to the Viking times, or to the times when Denmark and Norway were a single country with a powerful navy. That navy saw plenty of action during the 300+ years that the union lasted. I think however that the real founding of the Danish Navy was when Denmark and Norway went their separate ways in 1814 and Denmark became the country it is today. This caused a substantial reduction in the size of its Navy, which took multiple decades to overcome. However, by the time WWI took place, Denmark had quite a modern fleet, with armored ships powerd by steam engines, although it did not see any action during this conflict as Denmark remained a neutral country. During WWII, Denmark was quickly occupied and the Navy was used by the Germans for securing its own ports and shipping lanes. The most significant moment of action during WWII took place in August of 1943, when the Danish Navy decided to 'defect'. The ships were instructed to make an escape attempt to neutral or allied ports, but few actually reached their destination. Most were were scuttled or captured. Out of the dozen or so ships that reached friendly ports, the Danish naval flotilla in exile was formed, as well as a Brigade of approximately 5000 ground troops. In terms of plastic toy soldiers representing the Danish Navy, there is only one Danish manufacturer that I am aware of and it has only produced a few poses as seen below.

Reisler Danish Navy
As you can see, Reisler was quite conservative with this set. Not just in terms of the number of poses, but the actual poses themselves. It's not just that the poses are lacking movement and action -except for the man firing on the left, although he seems to be firing a salvo- but also, why would they have made two poses that are almost the same. OK, one is marching and the other one is standing guard. The only explanation that I can think of is that they wanted to avoid fighting poses as Denmark did not get into combat in WWII, but still, there could have been more exciting non-combat poses. As far as the rest of the sculpting, the figures are reasonably well detailed and will probably look fairly decent when painted.

Click here to see a post about the French Navy

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