Vincents Budde

1660-1729
Budde was born in Fredrikshald (now Halden). There were many officers in the family, and his father had been a lieutenant colonel in the military campaign against Jämtland [in Sweden] in 1657. A military career was also the way forward for Vincents. Before he reached the rank of captain in 1688, he had been in several of the war theatres which at the time dominated the political scene in Europe. In 1710 he became the head of det Trondhjemske regiment [the regiment in Trondheim], but the subsequent years were generally spent in the field, in wars against Germany or Sweden.
In 1718 he was appointed the general in command of northern Norway [nordenfjelds]. Intelligence reports told of a looming Swedish attack, and when arriving in Trondheim in May, Budde immediately implemented security measures. He concentrated the defences around Trondheim, and had the then modern Kristiansten Fortress at his disposal. He received reinforcements from the south, which included his brother, Frederik, who took part in the ensuing skirmishes. His defence of the town was also reinforced by ships contributing cannon fire and supplies.
When Armfeldt and the Swedish forces made their advance, they encountered little resistance. Their progress was slow in difficult terrain, and it was hard to obtain supplies.
The Swedish army reached Bakke farm and Strinda in early November. The defence of the town was well planned and after sporadic attacks Armfeldt surrendered, relinquishing his orders to conquer the town. Via Gauldalen, Armfeldt and his army started their retreat, which was to have disastrous consequences with winter closing in.
People and businesses had suffered enough under the martial law Budde imposed, and there was severe displeasure with him and his defensive tactics. But in the light of history his tactics are now considered to have been both wise and effective.
As conditions were then, Budde was a commander who was close to his troops. He was still on active service as a general when he died almost 70 years old.
Recommended reading: Henry K. Jensås: Trondheim som regional festningsby [Trondheim as a regional fortress town]. 1996.

Author: Einar Rædergård