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The Danish people (or Danes) represent a DLC civilization for Civilization V that was released in May 2011 along with the 1066: Year of Viking Destiny scenario. Like the Polynesians, they have a unique sprite for their embarked units.

* The preferred religion for Denmark in Brave New World is supposed to be Protestantism. However, since it is a DLC civilization, no updates were made to Denmark.


The unique ability of the Danes makes them very well suited to a domination victory. Unlocking the ability to embark units with the discovery of Optics is critical, as this will grant you the power to perform quick coastal raids. The Danish ability to pillage tile improvements without using a Movement Movement point allows them to quickly demolish their opponents' infrastructure and heal themselves. Taken together, the Danish player has the ability to make lightning-quick strikes from the sea, tearing down enemy territory. With the discovery of Metal Casting and unlocking of the Berserker, the Danes become even more dangerous from the water, as well as getting their unit earlier than other civs, giving an especially early advantage. Though more specialized, the Norwegian Ski Infantry maintain this pattern of increased mobility and can be used to great effect in their preferred territories.

Danish players should focus on developing social policies, religious beliefs, and ideological tenets that promote the growth of their military. They should also build a large number of Berserkers when available and try to keep them alive until they can be upgraded to Norwegian Ski Infantry, as the combined abilities of the two unique units result in extremely mobile late-game infantry forces that can cross most forms of rough terrain quickly.

Paratroopers are also an unexpectedly interesting addition to the Danish arsenal. The airdrop ability does not verify if the Paratrooper has moved since the beginning of the round; rather, it verifies whether the unit has at least 2 Movement Movement points left. Normally these two checks are equivalent - not so for Danes. If you park a Paratrooper on a coastal tile and move it to land at the start of the round, that's 5 (6-1) Movement Movement points left, which means you can airdrop the unit across half the map if your territory reaches that far.

Civilopedia entry[]


Nestled among the Nordic countries of Northern Europe, the Kingdom of Denmark encompasses the country of Denmark proper, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands. One of the oldest kingdoms in the world, early records of Denmark's history can be traced back to the 6th and 7th centuries AD, when the Danes were still a tribal people scattered across the region. Eventually united under the rule of King Harald Bluetooth, many Danes would also settle in England and Ireland during the invasions of the Viking Age. From these early tales of Viking exploration and conquest, to the modern nation of Denmark we know today, the Danish people have been at the forefront of global events for centuries.

Geography and Climate[]

Denmark is a relatively small nation (roughly half the size of the U.S. state of Maine) located in Northern Europe. Along with the neighboring countries of Norway and Sweden, Denmark is part of the region known as Scandinavia. Although consisting primarily of several hundred small islands, the peninsula of Jutland, Denmark's mainland body, shares its southern border with Germany, making it the only Scandinavian country with a direct connection to the European mainland.

Denmark is a notably flat country, its highest elevation being only 560 feet (171m) above sea level. As part of the temperate zone, both the summer and winter months are relatively moderate with little in the way of extreme temperatures or precipitation.

Early History and Origins[]

During the last Ice Age, the area that today constitutes Denmark was almost entirely covered by glacial formations. When the ice finally started to recede sometime around 12,000-14,000 BC, small groups of hunter-gatherers began to inhabit the area, surviving primarily by hunting reindeer. These hunters lived a nomadic lifestyle, moving with the seasons and following the migratory patterns of the animals they relied on for survival.

Over time, the population of the small island region would continue to grow as immigrants moved north, bringing with them an increased knowledge of agriculture. As early as 3,000 BC, farmers began to clear portions of the large deciduous forests found throughout Denmark, as evidenced by the many flint-stone axes unearthed in modern times throughout the country.

The custom of building "Dolmens," a form of tomb, and eventually "Passage Graves," also became prevalent around this time. The dolmen was a burial tomb consisting of several upright stones covered across the top with another large stone. These early burial tombs evolved into the Passage Grave, a megalithic structure consisting of a narrow entry lined with large stones, leading to a burial chamber covered in earth or additional stones. It's speculated that these megalithic tombs took entire communities years to construct, but having discovered examples that contained no human remains, archaeologists are still unsure of their true purpose.

During the Nordic Bronze Age, these tombs further evolved into the "Tumulus," or burial mounds, commonly associated with the Vikings today. It was also during this period that the battle axe, legendary weapon of the Vikings, progressed from its Stone Age roots into early bronze renditions. Although Denmark had little in the way of copper resources to allow the creation of bronze, large quantities still made their way north via trade and conquest, allowing the Danes to master the art of metalsmithing. By the 8th century AD, iron was readily available, and the Vikings were well-equipped with their historic weapon of choice.

Age of Vikings[]

Beginning in the late 8th century, each spring the Vikings of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden would conduct raids across the North Sea into England, eventually striking into France, Spain, and points east. In 793, the infamous Viking raid on Lindisfarne, a Christian monastery just off the English coast, would serve as an eye-opener to Western Europe and historically marks the unofficial dawn of the Viking Age.

The legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrok, who sailed the river Seine in 845 and threatened the destruction of Paris, only to be paid a ransom of 7,000 lbs of silver instead, would solidify the Vikings place in history as the unrelenting scourge of Europe through the 11th century. Ragnar's alleged propensity for sacrificing captured prisoners to the Norse gods would terrify the Christian sensibilities of the European royalty, leading to increasingly larger payouts (known as "Danegeld") to appease the Vikings.

The key to the Vikings success during their infamous raids was the Scandinavians' prowess in ship building. Already known for their fearless mastery of the seas, the construction of the "Langskip," or Viking Longship, gave the Vikings a previously unheard of advantage during this period. While relying on conventional sails when moving on the open seas, the Vikings could quickly revert to using oars for added maneuverability when moving near the coastline or on rivers. This versatility would prove to be the undoing of many European coastal settlements.

Formation of the Kingdom[]

King Gorm the Old would lay the groundwork for the Kingdom of Denmark beginning in c. 936 AD, ruling until his death in 958. However, it was his son, Harald Bluetooth, who would be the first to unite all of Denmark under one rule, expanding the kingdom's grasp into parts of Norway and Sweden. Bluetooth would become a strong proponent for the conversion of the Danish people to Christianity, a process that would continue under future kings, particularly Canute the Great and Sweyn II.

Canute (also known as Cnut), ruled from 1016 until his death in 1035, and at one point would serve as King of England, Denmark, Norway and even parts of Sweden. His reign over England would prove to be pivotal, during which time monks from England were sent to Denmark to help further establish Christianity. As reparations to the Church, Canute ordered all of the English churches and monasteries destroyed or damaged by the Vikings in the past be repaired, going so far as to repay the wealth plundered from them.

Following the death of Canute, Magnus I would briefly rule both Norway and Denmark. However, it was the leadership of his successor, Sweyn II, that would make a more lasting impact on the kingdom. During Sweyn's reign, churches were constructed throughout Denmark, and he strove to unite his people with Christians throughout Europe by advancing the Danish people's knowledge of Latin. Sweyn was not without controversy however, and his relationship with the Church was often strained. During his lifetime, he fathered over 20 children, 19 of whom have been confirmed to be illegitimate (born out of wedlock). Of those 19, five (Harald III, Canute IV, Olaf I, Eric I, and Niels) would peacefully succeed one another as future kings of Denmark over the 60 years following Sweyn's death in 1074.

Starting in 1397 and lasting up until 1523, Denmark was part of what came to be known as the Kalmar Union, through which the Kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under a single leader. It was during this union that Denmark's first female monarch, Queen Margaret I, would serve until 1412. The current Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, is the only other female ruler since.

Later History[]

Throughout the 16-18th centuries, Denmark was a prosperous nation, benefiting from increased trade with Europe during this period. Christian IV, Denmark's longest serving monarch, having ruled from 1588 until 1648, instituted a number of policies that would both expand Denmark's national defenses as well as bolster its economic and cultural foundations. During his reign, Christian more than doubled the size of the Danish navy, while also commissioning the construction of numerous fortresses. In 1616, the founding of the Danish East India Company would lead to a brief windfall for the nation, thanks to a trade monopoly awarded by Christian and various tea smuggling operations into England. Although he remains a popular historical leader in Denmark, his involvement in multiple wars, particularly the Thirty Years' War, would actually lead to a decline in Danish power throughout the Baltic region.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain's displeasure with continued Danish trade with the French would lead to increasingly aggressive skirmishes at sea. In 1801, much of the Danish navy was destroyed by a British fleet outside of Copenhagen. Britain would grow increasingly concerned that Denmark's fall to the French was inevitable, leaving Britain with restricted access to the Baltic Sea, an unthinkable loss to the British military command.

In 1807, the Bombardment of Copenhagen (The Second Battle of Copenhagen) began when a massive British fleet, accompanied by ground forces encircling the city, attacked a greatly outnumbered Danish force that refused to surrender. Copenhagen was badly damaged, and over 5,000 civilians and soldiers were killed in the ensuing attack. The British confiscated any remaining ships of the Danish fleet, and drew Denmark into the war on the side of the French. Denmark would fight until 1813, when the war effort plunged the nation into bankruptcy, forcing the signing of the Treaty of Kiel between Great Britain, Sweden, and the allied Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway.

World War II[]

Although neutral in World War I, Denmark would become unavoidably engrossed in World War II. In April of 1940, Germany invaded Denmark, meeting little resistance. Denmark was allowed to maintain the majority of its own independent government functions and continued to cooperate with Germany economically during the occupation, until 1943. In August of that year, Denmark's leadership finally refused any further participation, and ordered the majority of its fleet be scuttled. Throughout the occupation, the Danish government and the resistance movement successfully assisted the majority of Danish Jews in escaping to Sweden.

After its liberation in 1945, Denmark quickly joined the Allied forces and became one of the founding members of the United Nations. Denmark was also active in the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance formed in early 1949.

Modern Denmark[]

Today, Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, with Queen Margrethe II serving as its head of state over a parliamentary system of government. Denmark joined the European Economic Community (predecessor to the European Union) after a public referendum voted in favor of membership in 1972. However, unlike many member nations, Denmark has rejected changing its currency to the Euro. Modern Denmark has a robust economy that thrives despite the nation's small size, with Denmark currently ranking 16th in the world for GDP. The primary exports in Denmark are food and livestock, as well as machinery and industrial supplies. Despite considerable oil resources, Denmark has proven to be a world-leader in the adoption wind power. Currently wind energy accounts for over 15% of Denmark's total power generation, giving it the highest percentage of overall wind power utilization in the world. From the humble beginnings of the Danes of the Stone Age, Denmark has risen to become one of the world's most progressive nations.

Cultural Figures[]

Denmark has produced a number of important cultural and scientific figures throughout its history. The Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen was renowned for his children's stories, which are still inspiring new renditions today. Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1922, was instrumental in the development of the first atomic bomb. In the mid 20th century, the "Father of Danish Design," Arne Jacobsen, would inspire designers and architects throughout the world with his modern, functional style, reflected in everything from furniture to lighting fixtures.

Danish Factoids[]

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark," the oft quoted phrase from Shakespeare's play "Hamlet," was a reference to the mismanagement of Denmark's political structure by the fictional King Claudius, murderer of his own brother (Hamlet's father).

The "Danish," a popular pastry served throughout the world, is originally attributed to Austrian bakers who worked in Denmark during a strike amongst bakery workers in 1850. In Denmark, this confection is known as "Wienerbrod," or "Bread of Vienna."

The term "Danegeld," literally meaning "Dane's Gold," was originally used to describe a tax raised by French and English kings to pay off the Viking raiders rather than attempt to fight them. In modern times, Danegeld is used to reference any form of coercive payment to another.



Related achievements[]

Hands Free to Victory!
Hands Free to Victory!
Beat the game as Harald Bluetooth.
Wordplay conflating the name of the historical king of Denmark with modern "hands-free" wireless Bluetooth devices.
Where's the Biathlon?
Where's the Biathlon?
Enter a snow tile with the Norwegian Ski Infantry.
Biathlon refers to the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting and that originates from Norway.

See also[]

Civilization V Civilizations [edit]
AmericanArabianAssyrian BNW-onlyAustrian GodsKings5 clearAztecBabylonian1Brazilian BNW-onlyByzantine GodsKings5 clearCarthaginian GodsKings5 clearCeltic GodsKings5 clearChineseDanish1Dutch GodsKings5 clearEgyptianEnglishEthiopian GodsKings5 clearFrenchGermanGreekHunnic GodsKings5 clearIncan1IndianIndonesian BNW-onlyIroquoisJapaneseKorean1Mayan GodsKings5 clearMongolian1Moroccan BNW-onlyOttomanPersianPolish BNW-onlyPolynesian1Portuguese BNW-onlyPueblo2 BNW-onlyRomanRussianShoshone BNW-onlySiameseSonghaiSpanish1Swedish GodsKings5 clearVenetian BNW-onlyZulu BNW-only
1 Requires a DLC2 Сut from the game

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.