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First campaign 1716
King Charles' first campaign to conquer Oslo in 1716 was not a success. Charles failed, retreated and tried instead to conquer the fortress Fredriksten in the town Halden. The citizens managed to get rid of Charles by putting their own city on fire. This is mentioned in the National Anthem of Norway.
Second Campaign 1718
The second campaign was actually two campaigns, one in the county of Østfold, in the Southeast of Norway, and one in the county of Trøndelag near the city Trondheim in the middle of Norway. Charles himself headed for Fredriksten fortress again, and this time he came with an army numbering 40,000 men. This map shows Swedischen Postirungen und Befestungen in the Swedish (earlier Norwegian) county of Bohuslän and in Østfold.
This map shows Fredriksten fortress and the battle between the Royal Danish and the Royal Swedish fleets at the fjord outside Halden.
At the same time General Armfeldt, led 10,000 men aiming for Trondheim. Sweden had been at war for so long that the quality of Armfeldt's soldiers was quite low. Many of them were Swedish rural boys from the counties of Jemtland and Herjedalen. This is the area just across the border from Trondheim. Jemtland and Herjedalen was lost to Sweden at the peace of Brømsebro in 1645, so motivating the soldiers to fight against their own relatives was quite difficult. For this, Armfeldt brought Finnish mercenaries with him.
Armfeldt crossed the Norwegian border (
Norwegian side and
Swedish side) Northeast of Trondheim, behaving like armies usually do, plundering and burning.
Armfeldt came to Stene entrenchment and beat the Norwegians in September 1718. The victory at Stene allowed a gateway through to Trondheim, but because of a combination of epidemic diseases and lack of heavy artillery, Armfeldt failed to take Trondheim.
At the same time Charles besieged Halden. Many trenches were dug and on 11 December 1718 the King was careless in raising his head too high, and he was killed by a bullet. Historians are still wondering whether it was a Norwegian or a Swedish bullet... A simple map shows where he was killed and how long the distance is from the fortress.
The retreat from Østfold did not cause any losses. But in the north, in Trøndelag, General Armfeldt got the message three weeks later. On 12 January 1719 he started the retreat. The army split, but the main part went south and tried to cross the Swedish border through an area called the Tydal mountains. This is an alpine landscape, the mountains are from 1000-1700 metres high, with a cold climate in the winter time wich makes it quite a rough area if you are not properly dressed. The database contains maps showing different routes.
This map is probably made by a cartographer called Klüwer. It is not signed, but it is possible to recognize his handwriting. Klüwer was a family of officers from the area around Trondheim, with at least two cartographers. The map is probably made in the 1750-60s.
The army took some locals as pilots and their families as hostages. Historians believe that the pilots led the army higher than the forest line (600 metres above sea level) and round mountain dairy farms to avoid finding shelter, food and deserted soldiers. Up in the mountains the army was suprised by a snowstorm. The 17th and 18th century is called 'The Small Ice Age', and even today the temperature in the inland often reach 30 degrees below zero. General Armfeldt's army was dressed for August temperature. After the wind had dropped, locals went up and found 3000 men and 500 horses frozen to death. Armfeldt himself survived and reached first Duved and then Jerpe entrenchment in Sweden. There was not shelter for all of them and many of the survivors perished. We know that just a few from the Armfeldt campaign reached their homes.
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