Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard

Admiral Erhard Jørgen Carl Qvistgaard (1898–1980) was a Danish admiral who was the first Danish Chief of Defence, from 1950 to 1962, and also Chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 1953 to 1954.[1]

Erhard J.C. Qvistgaard
EJC Qvistgaard.jpeg
Qvistgaard in 1952
Chief of Defence
In office
1 October 1950 – 30 September 1962
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byKurt Ramberg [da]
Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
In office
Preceded byCharles Foulkes
Succeeded byAugustin Guillaume
Personal details
Erhard Jørgen Carl Qvistgaard

(1898-05-11)May 11, 1898
Rorup, Denmark
DiedMay 8, 1980(1980-05-08) (aged 81)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Resting placeGilleleje Cemetery
Later workBoard member of IBM Denmark
Military service
Allegiance Denmark
Branch/service Royal Danish Navy
Years of service1919–1962
Battles/warsWorld War II

After training at the Naval Officers' School, Qvistgaard became a second lieutenant in 1919, a first lieutenant in 1920 and a lieutenant captain in 1928. In 1925-31 and again in 1935-38, he was commander of several of Denmark's submarines. In 1931-35 he was a teacher at the Naval Officers' School, and 1936-38 was a teacher at the submarine school for naval officers. In 1937 he became a naval captain, and from 1938 to 1945 he was an adjutant to King Christian X. In 1946, he was appointed Marine and Air Attaché at the Danish Embassy in London - a task he served in sufficiently[2] such that the then-Minister of Defense Hans Rasmus Hansen sent him on to the United States in 1949[3] with the temporary rank of Rear Admiral to act as a naval attaché and to lead the Danish delegation to the Washington group that was planning and setting up NATO.

Qvistgaard was given the job as the first Danish Chief of Defence in 1950. He was given the task of uniting the armed forces after the war, where there had been major friction between the three branches. He is the longest serving CoD to date.[4]


  1. ^ Chairmen of the NATO Military Committee. NATO. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  2. ^ Bjerg, Hans Christian.
  3. ^ Lidegaard, p. 502.
  4. ^ Rasmussen, Peter Ernstved (25 October 2016). "Two Chief of Defence Did it Better Than the Rest". (in Danish). Retrieved 14 September 2017.


  • Bjerg, Hans Christian. "Qvistgaard, Erhard Jørgen Carl". In Svend Cedergreen Bech (ed). Danish biographical lexicon. 3rd edition. Copenhagen: Schultz, 1979-84. Volume 11. [1] Archived 4 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  • Lidegaard, Bo. In The King's Name: Henrik Kaufmann in Danish Diplomacy 1919-1958. Copenhagen: Samleren, 1996. ISBN 87-568-1377-5.

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by Chairperson of the Nato Military Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chief of Defence (Denmark)
Succeeded by