Heligoland, Battle of

Heligoland, Battle of
   A naval engagement of the Schleswig-Holstein War. When war broke out between Denmark and Austria and Prussia in early 1864, the Danish navy blockaded German ports in the North and Baltic Seas. The only German naval power of note was Austria. A small fleet of two Austrian frigates under the command of Captain Wilhelm von Tegetthoff arrived in the North Sea at Cuxhaven at the end of April. Accompanied by three small Prussian warships, Tegetthoff’s makeshift fleet sailed to challenge the Danish fleet of two frigates and a corvette. Although the Austro-Prussian fleet had more ships, the Danes possessed superior firepower. On May 9, the two sides met off the island of Heligoland and exchanged fire for several hours, neither side losing a ship. Tegetthoff withdrew his battered fleet to Cuxhaven. Although the Danes had inflicted heavier damage, they withdrew their forces from the North Sea and did not reestablish the blockade.
   See also <>.
    Dicey, Edward. The Schleswig-Holstein War. 2 vols. London: Tinsley Brothers, 1864.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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