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The Battle of the Great Belt was a major battle during the German Patriot War. The battle was a decisive victory for the British who crushed the fledgling German Navy.
In July 1838 war between Denmark and Germany was declared. Following an invasion of all of Jutland it appeared that Germany would occupy all of Denmark, defeating the Danish at the Siege of Kiel and the Battle of Dybbøl. Admiral Nugent’s forces were separated, surrounding the entrance of the Great Belt. On the morning of 19 April, Nugent regrouped with his right flank and entered German controlled waters. The German navy, a band of navies from several former German states was just recently reformed by Prince Adalbert. If not for his naval experience the German navy would never have gotten afloat. Under his command a large force was ordered off the coast of Jutland to provide support for the German land forces.
The British initially did not outnumber the Germans, however, as the British left flank arrived as reinforcements, the Germans were easily halted. The remaining German ships tried to rout as the British pursued them deeper into the Great Belt. Although Prince Adalbert survived the battle he would never again command naval forces with the same respect, and would fall into obscurity.