Amidst universal anarchy, the young king, barely twenty years of age, inexperienced, ill-served, snatching at every expedient, worked day and night in his newly-formed camp in Scania (Skane) to arm the nation for its mortal struggle.
Valdemar was brought up at the court of the German emperor, Louis of Bavaria, during those miserable years when the realm of Denmark was partitioned among Holstein counts and German Ritter, while Scania, "the bread-basket" of the monarchy, sought deliverance from anarchy under the protection of Magnus of Sweden.
Valdemar had indeed pledged it solemnly and irrevocably to King Magnus of Sweden, who had held it for twenty years; but profiting by the difficulties of Magnus with his Norwegian subjects, after skilfully securing his own position by negotiations with Albert of Mecklenburg and the Hanseatic League, Valdemar suddenly and irresistibly invaded Scania, and by the end of 1361 all the old Danish lands, except North Holland, were recovered.
By the recovery of Scania Valdemar had become the lord of the great herring-fishery market held every autumn from St Bartholomew's day (24th of August) to St Denis's day (9th of October) on the hammer-shaped peninsula projecting from the S.W.
Corner of Scania containing the towns of Skanor and Falsterbo.