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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1801 British and Danish Fleets 70

batteries were commanded by the two two-decked block-ships Mars and Elephanten.

The entrance into the harbour and docks, which latter lie in the heart of the city, was protected by a chain thrown across it; also by some batteries on the northern shore, and particularly by the Trekroner or Crown batteries already described. In addition to this, the two 74-gun ships Dannemark and Trekroner, a 40-gun frigate, two 18-gun brigs, and several armed xebecs, with furnaces for heating shot, lay moored in advantageous positions off the harbour's mouth. Along the shore of Amag* island, a little to the southward of the floating line of defence were several gun and mortar batteries; thus making the whole line of defence, in front of Copenhagen, cover an extent of between three and four miles. The Danish naval commanding officer was Commodore Olfert Fischer, who had his broad pendant on board the Dannebrog,62 ; nor was there a want of men, both skilful and brave, to work the Danish guns either afloat or on shore. One spirit, indeed, seemed to animate all Denmark, and that was to repel the invaders by every possible means.

The day of the 2d of April opened, as the British had hoped it would, with a favourable or south-easterly wind. The signal for all captains on board the flag-ship was hoisted almost as soon as it could be seen; and at 8 A.M. the several captains were made acquainted with the stations assigned them. As circumstances, which will be mentioned in their place, prevented the plan's being strictly followed, it may suffice to state, that all the line-of-battle ships were to anchor by the stern abreast of the different vessels composing the enemy's line, and for which purpose they had already prepared themselves with cables out of their stern-ports. The Amazon, Blanche, Alcmène, Arrow, and Dart, with the two fire-ships, placed under the immediate directions of Captain Riou, were to co-operate in the attack upon the ships stationed at the harbour's mouth and to act otherwise as circumstances might require. The bomb-vessels were to station themselves outside the British line, so as to throw their shells over it; and the Jamaica, with the brigs and gun-vessels, was to take a position for raking the southern extremity of the Danish line. A similar station was assigned to the Désirée. It was also intended that the 49th regiment under Colonel Stewart, and 500 seamen, under Captain Fremantle of the Ganges, should storm the principal of the Trekroner batteries, the instant that the cannonade from the ships had silenced its fire.

At 9 A.M. the pilots and several of the masters were ordered on board the Elephant. Their hesitation and indecision, about the bearings of the shoal and the line of deep water, might well provoke a more patient man than Lord Nelson. At 9 h. 30 m. a.m. however, the signal was made to weigh in succession. The

* Spelt Amak by Southey, and other authors.

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