In November of 1453, Vinland joined Sweden and Norway in electing Charles VII as King, in flagrant disregard for the wishes of the Danish counts, who had elected Christian I as King. This led to a Danish force of being despatched to dissolve the Vinish government. However, the forces deployed in the area were predominantly Swedish in origin, and had begun to train the locals of Vinland into militias to fight against the Danes. When the Danish forces arrived, they were met with scattered cannon fire from the port of Annenbyen, and without any adequate means of retaliation, could not attack the port, or land a force. As the Danish fleet attempted to flee, a ship was lost. Storms along the coastline prevented the fleet from landing at any natural harbour, and sunk a further 3 ships. The Danish fleet returned to Scandinavia without seeing a single soldier. The return journey - without landing to restock on supplies, was a catastrophe. Storms in the Atlantic took their toll on the Danish fleet, whilst a lack of food and water led to widespread malnutrition and disease within the fleet. Of the original 50 ships to leave Copenhagen, only 15 returned, each packed with dead and dying sailors.
Battle of Näätämö
The King of Denmark, Christian I, declared war on Vinland, when the devastated fleet limped back to Copenhagen. A second fleet, numbering around 200 ships was mustered, and set sail for Vinland. The fleet arrived at Vinland in April 1454, and landed at Kalleburg, where the Markland militias had chosen to side with the Danish, against the rest of Vinland and the Swedish.
Now able to deploy their forces, the Danish travelled south, into Näätämö, where they prepared to lay siege to Ny Gravingsundset. The siege lasted around a month, with development, when a Vinlander relief force of 50,000 arrived. The Vinlander infantry formed a defensive position at the base of a hill, whilst their cavalry remained concealed in the forests which dominated the hill top.
The Marklanders formed the cavalry of the Danish army, and were keen to engage their enemy. Their commmander failed to heed the warnings of the Danish infantry commander, and charged his cavalry force against the Vinlander infantry positions. The charge was intended to break the Vinlander infantry, but was brought to a standstill by a line of stakes deployed defending the Vinlanders. The Vinlander infantry then rained arrows on the Markland cavalry, as they struggled to clear the stakes. Once the knights cleared the stakes, they charged the Vinlander infantry, and drove them backwards up the hill, slaying around 3000 infantry as they pushed them back.
When the Marklanders had forced the Vinlanders back to the brow of the hill, they were set upon by the Vinlander Cavalry. Armed with swords so as to more readily defeat infantry, the Marklander cavalry retreated before the vengeful Vinlanders. Much of the cavalry strenth was lost immediately, and those that were not killed, fled.
The Danish infantry formed up to take back the initiative, planning to use their superior weaponry and greater experience to drive the Vinlanders from the field. However, as they moved forwards to do so, their formations were compromised by the fleeing cavalry, which broke up the precise formations, and many Danish troops fled. The majority held by their leader, but having lost cohesion, they lost many men to the depredations of the Vinlander archers, and were in no position to go on the offensive. As the Vinlander Infantry moved forwards to attack, the Danish commander called for a general retreat. Many Danes continued to fall, as the Vinlandic Archers swept the Danish force with withering volleys. Roughly 15,000 Danes and Marklanders fell on the field in that single day.
This early victory provoked over confidence in the Vinlandic Cavalry, who pursued the retreating Danish forces, leaving the infantry far behind. This proved their undoing, as the Danes turned to face them as they entered Markland, and though the Vinlanders beat a hasty retreat, some 500 Vinlandic cavalrymen fell unnecessarily, a mere 3 days after an unexpected triumph against a better armed force.