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The Landsknecht Cometh
May 01, '15

Seeing the familiar has always triggered my mind. My subconscious wants to manifest the memories of past lives so that the conscious mind can contemplate the lessons and review the emotions of that time.

In June 1980 I was recovering from my year long cancer treatment of radiation and chemotherapy. During the dark days of that treatment I had sought mental refuge in the eternal. Unable to go to Holland I had created Holland here in England in the form of a United Provinces of the Netherlands army based on what I now know where real memories.

The universe loves timing! The fractal nature of time reiterates in a spiral form in every decreasing echoes of past events, people and fashions. History repeats - is a well known phrase and it certainly does that, often with the same souls swapping sides to experience what the other side experienced. It's all to do with maintaining balance and learning lessons. The Earth is indeed a school.

My mind searched for a new direction of study as I had concluded my 1629 Fredrik Hendrik Beleg van s'Hertogenbosch project of a book and Wargame Army. 1979 the year I was diagnosed just before going to work in Holland for the summer holidays had been the 350th anniversary of the great siege that secured the province of Noord Brabant for the United Provinces.

I picked up by chance a wargame magazine that summer featuring a Battle of Imperial German Landsknechts on the front cover. It may have been the Battle of Parvia 1525 that was depicted?

The image triggered a wave of recognition on a subject hither to unknown to me - renaissance Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

The Margate Winter gardens was hosting the South London Warlords Wargames convention that September. There I spied Essex Miniatures brand new Landsknechts!!! I had to have some.

Amazingly I still have their catalog from 1980!

There now followed a tragic mistake on my part. Being strapped for cash I rashly traded my beloved crescent 54mm American Civil War soldiers and Britains figures for the Landsknechts. Total cost £20 - in 1999 I bought then back for £200!!! A few missing but pretty much intact. (That is a remarkable quantum coincidence story for another day!)

I purchased George Gush's ground breaking book Renaissance Armies 1480-1650. I had corresponded with George in the 1960s when setting out on my wargame path. He was a famous early wargamer and history lecturer at the time.

At the time this was as good as it get on finding out information on a subject!

His book illuminated a dark corner blind spot for me as my secondary school had not once mentioned what was occurring in Europe at the time, our diet being the standard fare of Tudors and Stuarts only!!! Such is the limited view of this island nation's idea of history for the masses.

I noted later that this was not so for the Grammar and Public Schools. No wonder the masses are woefully ignorant of the rich historical heritage we as Europeans have.

The figures displayed in this article are the very same purchased in 1980. Central very definitely was The Father of the Landsknechts Georg von Frundsberg.

The knight depicted I now know to be a representation of Siegfried von Schwalbach a heroic defender of Boppard who died defending the city in the siege of 1497.

The statue is to be found in the main church in Boppard. As a fleeing young boy he would have made a startling impression on me in his full Gothic armour.

Boppard, Karmeliterkirche 1497

Epitaph des Siegfried von Schwalbach, bereits vor 1675 am heutigen Standort an der Südwand des Langhauses bezeugt. Große Platte aus gelblich-grauem Sandstein mit dreiseitiger Umschrift auf breiten Leisten, in den vier Ecken jeweils ein Wappenschild. Im leicht vertieften Feld reliefierte Figur des nach Osten blickenden Verstorbenen mit Harnisch und Schaller, in der erhobenen Rechten den Streitkolben, die Linke am Schwert. Die untere Randleiste kragt leicht abgeschrägt vor und bildet die Standfläche der Figur. Bis auf geringe Ergänzungen an der Nase und am Helmrand sehr gut erhalten; die abgearbeitete Schamkapsel wurde zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts durch ein Kettenhemd ersetzt.

Unfortunately they chopped his codpiece off at the beginning of the 20th Century! This was sculptured into a chain mail shirt. Such is the desecration of pious idiot iconoclasts!!!! 'Twas ever thus!

My subconscious memory attempt to depict him. I shall have to check whether he still has his codpiece?!!! :D

May 01, '15
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