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Other tasks include surveillance, search and rescue, icebreaking, oil spill recovery and prevention as well as contributions to international tasks and forces.
During the period 1509–1814, when Denmark was in a union with Norway, the Danish Navy was part of the Dano-Norwegian Navy.
As shipping was the ideal means of transport at the time, Danish maritime interests had to be further protected.
King Hans is credited with establishing a joint Dano-Norwegian fleet in 1509, substantially increasing the number of professional crewmembers.
They were often based in a small number of villages, usually with a common defence agreement; Viking ships, usually of the Knarr type, were light, and therefore easy to transport from village to village over land.
With time, the defence pacts gave rise to larger, more offensive fleets which the Vikings used for plundering coastal areas.
They received basic training in seamanship and carpentry, enabling them to sail the ships.In the period after the Vikings, and up to the 15th century, the fleet consisted mainly of merchant vessels.Indeed, it is said that king Valdemar Sejr had more than 1,000 ships during the conquest of Estonia in 1219.Queen Margaret I, who had just founded the Kalmar Union (consisting of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Shetland, Orkney, parts of Finland and parts of Germany) ordered the building of a navy — mainly to defend the union against the Hanseatic League.Earlier the national fleet had consisted of vessels owned and operated by the nobility, but the country as such did not have a navy.
In retaliation, Denmark closed the Øresund in 1568, laying the first seeds for the Scanian War (1675–1679), only eight years after the end of the second Nordic War (1657–1660), during which Denmark lost the now Swedish provinces of Skåne, Halland and Blekinge.