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DUPPEL, a village of Germany, in the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein, opposite the town of Sonderburg (on the island of Alsen). (Pop. 600.) The position of Düppel, forming as it does a bridge-head for the defenders of the island of Alsen, played a conspicuous part in the wars between Denmark and the Germans. On the 28th of May 1848 the German federal troops were there defeated by the Danes under General Hedemann, and a second battle was fought on the 6th of June 1848. On the 13th of April 1849 an indecisive battle was fought between the federal troops under von Prittwitz and the Danes under von Bulow. The most important event in the military history of Düppel was, however, the siege by the Prussians of the Danish position in 1864. The flanks of the defenders' line rested upon the Alsen Sund and the sea, and it was strengthened by ten redoubts. A second line of trenches with lunettes at intervals was constructed behind the front attacked, and a small réduit opposite Sonderburg to cover the bridges between Alsen and the mainland. The Prussian siege corps was commanded by Prince Frederick Charles (headquarters, Düppel village), and after three weeks' skirmishing a regular siege was begun, the batteries being opened on the 15th of March. The first parallel was completed fifteen days later, the front of attack being redoubts II. to VI., forming the centre of the Danish entrenchments on the road Düppel-Sonderburg. The siege was pushed rapidly from the first parallel and the assault delivered on the 18th of April, against the redoubts I. to VI., each redoubt being attacked by a separate column. The whole line was carried after a brief but severe conflict, and the Prussians had penetrated to and captured the réduit opposite Sonderburg by 2 P.M. The loss of the Danes, half of whose forces were not engaged, included 1800 killed and wounded and 3400 prisoners. This operation was followed by the daring passage of the Alsen Sund, effected by the Prussians in boats almost under the guns of the Danish war-ships, and resulting in the capture of the whole island of Alsen (June 29th, 1864). After being still further strengthened and linked with similar defences at Sonderburg, the Düppel entrenchments were abandoned in 1881 in favour of landward fortifications around Kiel.

See R. Neumann, Uber den Angriff der Düppeler Schanzen in der Zeit vom 15. März bis 18. April 1864 (Berlin, 1865); and Der deutschdänische Krieg 1864, published by the Prussian General Staff (Berlin, 1887).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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