Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Terribly Obscure part 4 (D) Danish-Estonian War of 1219-27

Livonia was an area that was essentially the whole of Estonia and part of Latvia. Tensions and then all out war was created with the Christianising of the south of the area. The Danes became involved when their King, Valdemar II launched a Crusade with the support of the Christian Livonian Knights of the Sword and the bishop of Riga.  This crusade was against the Estonians under Russia's Greek Christian influence and originally took the Estonians by surprise by landing a large force at Lyndanise (the name of this as then trading town has since been called Reval and now Tallinn) A battle was fought here on the 15th June 1219 in which the Danes were originally losing but legend has it that a red flag with a white cross fell from the sky giving them fresh hope and they went on to win the battle. The Danish National flag is the oldest in the world as from this date they took this up as their national standard.

The Estonians were originally outnumbered and sued for peace but secretly reinforced their forces and through a five pronged attack drove back the Danes but they in turn were reinforced with German troops and Waldemar and defeated the Estonian-Russian forces before the end of 1219. The trading town of Lyndanise was again captured but burnt to the ground to be replaced by a fortress and later to become a city. The garrisons job was not just to enforce Danish rule but also to enforce conversion to Christianity of the Danish style.

Danish sovereignty in Estonia was lost when German troops fought against Valdemar at the Battle of Bornhoved (22nd July 1227) and was so hard pressed by both sides that it was said that they fought up to their knees in blood.

Battle of Bornhoved in the traditional depiction.
Control was finally regained in 1238 through agreement with the Livonian Knights (Brothers of the sword) with whom it all started.


  1. That's really terribly obscure but interesting!

  2. Another war I knew nothing about?? Nice one!!

  3. It seems to be one that could be interesting to play and if you have figures from that period not hard to adapt to fit. Four nations are involved so could be a really good mix of units.