5 Comments

  1. avatar R.H. Iversen

    Another one for the record:

    9th of April 1940: Thanks to a decade of pacifist neglect of the military by the ruling socialist/liberal coalition Denmark is occupied by the german army in less than a quarter of a day. Denmarks production apparatus and countryside falls intact into german hands and serves to fuel the german warmachine for close to 5 years.

  2. avatar

    As mentioned in the post, that I linked to, I do not consider 1940 a mistake because the long-term effects for Denmark were negligible. That 1940 constituted a major national embarrassment is another matter.

    But in a hypothetical alternative history, we could make the case for 1940 as a potential mistake. The thing is that Denmark’s entry into the UN in 1945 was far from assured as the country for obvious reasons did not count as one of the Allied countries.

    It took a bit of negotiating to do the trick – and it probably also played a role that the UK and US didn’t have an interest in isolating or punishing Denmark in 1945 – but if Denmark had been left out of the UN because of the German occupation and the cooperation policy, then the country would in all likelihood have been worse off both economically and politically in the medium and longer term. And the Social Democrats and – especially the Social Liberals – would have seen their foreign policies of the 1930 being counter-productive as they leaned heavily on the role of international organisations.

    Finland – which was only accepted as a member of the UN in 1955 – could serve as a parallel (even though the country had been in a direct war with the USSR and suffered from a different geographical position).

  3. avatar R.H. Iversen

    By the same logic Christian IVs “meddling” in the 30 years war didnt really carry any long term disadvantages either (though one could argue that the rise of Gustavus Adolphus Sweden as a european major power was a such). Yet Denmark still remained a scandinavian major power and was able to fight the Torstensson feud to a draw.

    Besides, WW2 and the occupation led to the “loss” of Iceland 😉

  4. avatar R.H. Iversen

    I got my chronology mixed up. Meant the Kalmar war (not a draw but a victory) instead of the feud.

  5. avatar R.H. Iversen

    “Ill probably invite a lot of flak by not including 1940, as Denmark IMNSHO had no likely allies during the 1930.”

    I dont accept that as a criteria. Denmark had no allies during WW1 but managed to stay the course nevertheless, despite explicit german warplanning from 1916 aimed at preemptively “neutralising” a danish entry into the war on the Entente side like Romania had done. The sole factor that made this impossible was the size of the semi mobilized danish armed forces. Being engaged on three other fronts against other european major powers simply made it impossible to find the available german forces for a succesful invasion. The germans had to settle for screening the border instead (you can still see the concentrete fortifications and trench lines in the landscape). Thus the danish homeland was largely spared the horrors of WW1. Not thanks to any allies (although the threat of british access to the baltic should the danish army hold out probably helped to discourage any attack as well) but thanks to the (still limited) capabilities of Denmarks armed forces. A short sighted and stupid defence policy during the 1930s made a repeat of this feat an impossibility. Clearly a political mistake and not just an embarrasment.

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