Monday 30 November 2009

Der grimmig Tod mit seinem Pfeil

A song that aparently is from the 30 Years War but I've seen a lot older dates associated with this song. English lyrics:
the grim dead aims his arrow at your life
life dwindles away like smoke in the wind
no flesh can escape
your goods and chattels can't come with you
Nobody can foretell how long you will live
If dead knocks on your door, go have to unlock it
He takes with him the young and the old
even the king marches in his queue
Maybe today's your last day
virtue you shall ensue
and hope for many years to come
He who made made this song and sang it
often gazed at death
Now he lies in his deep grave
you're going to follow ... today or tomorrow
Instrumental version and German lyrics here

Friday 27 November 2009

Vivat Vasa

Images here of one of Poland's biggest 17th century events.

17th century Eastern European Reenactment in the USA

You might be surprised to know that there is quite a substantial and growing number of enthusiasts recreating the period as it manifests in the East with a special interest in Hussars on the East Coast of America. This site - Polish Hussar Supply Plus looks a great place to start with all manner of superb armour and equipment as well as this book which looks essential.

They also organise tours involving reenactment in Poland so plenty to get your teeth into if you have an interest in this sort of thing. Discussion group here.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Jamestown Militia

Well kitted out soldiers of 1607 presumably interpreters at Jamestown settlement.

Kalmar Nyckel

The Kalmar Nyckel (Key of Kalmar) was a Dutch built armed merchant ship noted for carrying Swedish settlers in 1638 to establish the colony of New Sweden. A re-creation of the ship was launched in 1997.
Wikipedia article
Website here

New World (2005)

As it's Thanksgiving over in the States today I thought I'd post this trailer for the movie set in and around Jamestown. If you haven't seen it it's worth keeping an eye out for. I suppose it serves as a reminder that recreating the early 17th century is also done in the Americas. Take a look at the Armory at Fort James in Historica Jamestown.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Battle of Honnecourt 1642

By Peter Snayers. Thanks to Stephane for identifying this. More here.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Wiesloch 1632

This image is worth looking at in detail as it's pretty impressive. Wiki on the battle.

Monday 23 November 2009

Storming of Basing House

Seeing the video of Winchester's drummers made me think of Basing House in Hampshire England, a place I've spent many happy hours reenacting and visiting. This is ironic in a way as it is a place of a tragedy, where the English Civil War took on some of the dark apocalyptic aspects of the Thirty Years War. Here when the House was stormed after a long and varied siege that reads a little like a Hollywood movie, looting and atrocities took place on a level rarely seen in the English Civil Wars. All manner of incidents took place from chemical warfare, plots to betray the garrison and relief columns tricking their way in under the guise of being Roundheads.
Read warden Alan Turton's piece on the siege for the full story.
Nowadays it is a ruin - having been levelled after the assault but it has become the place to visit for Civil War enthusiasts with lots of interesting stuff to see and enjoy from the museum to the tunnels. Apparently new changes are afoot at Basing and it is closed until the summer of 2010 but the project has a blog with all manner of interesting developments including the recent archaeological finds at the site such as a musket rest top and much more. Image from the excellent Basing House website showing the scale of the building that once was the finest house in England.
Watch an episode of Time Team when they visited the Ruins for a dig.


By Eric Flint. If you like science fiction and the Thirty Years War this book might be up your street. It's about a modern American town of apparent hillbilles thrown back in time to Thuringia in 1632. The book is available online - this is the prologue - it seems to be a really popular concept being a best-seller and creating many spin-offs.
Wiki on the novel with links to ebooks and a fansite

The Ultimate Y2K Glitch....

1632 In the year 1632 in northern Germany a reasonable person might conclude that things couldn't get much worse. There was no food. Disease was rampant. For over a decade religious war had ravaged the land and the people. Catholic and Protestant armies marched and countermarched across the northern plains, laying waste the cities and slaughtering everywhere. In many rural areas population plummeted toward zero. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasants, death was a mercy.

2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia. The mines are working, the buck are plentiful (it's deer season) and everybody attending the wedding of Mike Stearn's sister (including the entire membership of the local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, which Mike leads) is having a good time.


When the dust settles, Mike leads a small group of armed miners to find out what's going on. Out past the edge of town Grantville's asphalt road is cut, as with a sword. On the other side, a scene out of Hell; a man nailed to a farmhouse door, his wife and daughter Iying screaming in muck at the center of a ring of attentive men in steel vests. Faced with this, Mike and his friends don't have to ask who to shoot.

At that moment Freedom and Justice, American style, are introduced to the middle of The Thirty Years War.

Dutch pikeman

circa 1610-1630.

Saturday 21 November 2009

English Civil War drum calls

Performed by the Marquis of Winchester's regiment's drummers. Read an article by Howard Giles on ECW drumming.

Thw sword of the common soldier

This image which is supposed to be German c1630 leads me to this question; what was the common sword type for pikemen and musketeers in the TYW? I know that it probably depends on when and where but I thought I'd pose the question. In ECW terms people talk about a pikeman's 'tuck' - a word derived from Estoc - a thrusting weapon - although tuck may simply mean 'rapier' as the estoc was a two-handed weapon. Is this what is illustrated here? It's an interesting image that is worth a close look at. Maybe its earlier than the 1630 date...background stuff is interesting too.

Steel on Sand blog

This blog is dedicated to wargaming in small scale and gives a good review of Irregular's pike and shot figures here.

White Mountain 1620

Engraving of the battle near Prague (I think). You've probably all seen this before but its new to me. I really like these type of images - not sure how based on reality they are but they are pretty appealing and are typical of the period.
I've often wondered whether this look could be recreated in 3D on the tabletop as they kind of look like they're on a table...presumably you'd have to use 2mm blocks.

Thursday 19 November 2009

Sir Horace Vere's Regiment?

Funny the things you miss - I've seen the portrait of Sir Horace Vere on the wiki page many times and thought 'not very interesting' and completely missed this image at the bottom of the portrait. It seems logical that this depicts some of his forces which I believe were equipped by the King and through donations from local dignitaries.

Horace Vere, Baron Vere of Tilbury attributed to Michiel Jansz. van Miereveldt oil on panel, 1629


Wondering about these and when they went out of fashion in England and Germany. Sir Horace Vere's (died 1635) tomb has figures wearing them and the wiki on the item says they stayed in fashion in Holland for a long time.

Mars 17th century

If you collect 1/72 figures you might be pleased to see a couple of new sets - 17thc Polish Haiduks are reviewed at PSR and a new set Imperial Army is also on its way. Mars Website

Gustav II Adolfs Fotfänika i Göteborg

Here for a Swedish group recreating the TYW period. The 1600-era Links page also is useful.

Der nächtliche Überfall

Another image by Augsburg artist Hans Ulrich Franck.

Hans Ulrich Franck

Two Mercenaries in a Conquered Village, 1643 from Bridgeman Art.
This is a scene that resonates with the general view of the Thirty Years War - apparently the word 'plunder' came into the English language from that conflict.

Tilly's infantry

Does anyone know anything about uniformity in the Imperial force's infantry around that time? Does the new Osprey have any information on the subject...has anyone got a copy yet?

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Portuguese site of interest

This site dedicated the the mid-17thc wars in Portugal is interesting.


This is an interesting image I'd like to know more about - it's apparently part of a series and is by Hans Ulrich Franck.

Eduard Wagner - 'European weapons and warfare 1618-48'

This is a book from the old days that some of you might remember - loads of really well drawn images showing aspects of the Thirty Years War - haven't got a copy anymore but if any of you have a pic I can put up - it was a staple of that era - the 80s...what a lovely book it was. The English edition had a Wouwerman picture on the front and was published by Octopus.

In My Younger Days

It's a bit of a nostalgia trip for me - this Thirty Years War stuff - I hope it's not annoying anyone...the last time I was interested in the period was in the md 80s when I was in my twenties. I joined the ECWS I was so into it and here is me at my first event (in the helmet). With me is the man who recruited me Gordon Usher and his son Nick - they ran the 'Froome Garrison' and were great mates. Every wednesday evening we'd meet at Gordie's for either WRG or a game of 'Kingmaker' and weekends we'd all go to the local wargames conventions in his green VW van - all sliding around in the back clutching our bags of figures feeling nauseous. Good times.
Funnily enough I knew there was a Czech TYW scene even around then which was no easy thing before the internet and the Velvet Revolution - my parents had gone on an early package holiday to Bratislava and witnessed a combat display in the castle and duly took photographs as they knew I'd be interested. The group was called 'Historical Fencing' or so they told me.

Frederick V and his army marching to Heidelberg

Walter Butler

Thanks to Norbert again I have found out a little more about this Irishman who was present at the murder of Wallenstein. He was born in Roscrea and initially was in initially the Irish Legion - which is a unit I'd like to know more about and eventually was Colonel of a regiment of Dragoons. Wiki here.
There's some interesting stuff about Irish soldiers in the Spanish army of the period and elsewhere here.

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Bethlen Gábor Hagyományőrség Altblau Regiment Tatai Patara BGHE

Well shot film showing some of Hungarian, Czech and Turkish reenactors in a spectacular setting. This film is impressive and is further evidence of the diversity of the period in Europe.

The Age of Bethlen Gabor

This Hungarian group look interesting - recreating the age of Turkish occupation in Hungary and the time of Gabriel Bethlen or Bethlen Gabor. There's plenty to read and watch on this well made website.

Terra Heroica 2009 Kamieniec Podolski

Gallery of images of this, the largest 17thc festival in Eastern Europe. Looks great.

Siege of Stettin

The City of Stettin under Siege by the Great Elector Frederick William in the Winter of 1677/78 (c. 1680) More images here

Musket and pike drill

Maniement du mousquet et maniement de la pique
"L'Art Militaire pour l'Infanterie [...]" de Johann Jacobi von Wallhausen (16..-17..), Leewarden, Claude Fontaine, 1630

General Sir Edward Cecil

Another British commander active in military actions in Europe was Edward Cecil.
Read Life and Times of General Sir Edward Cecil, Viscount Wimbledon, Colonel of ... By Charles Dalton (limited preview here)

Sir Charles Morgan - Welshman on the Elbe

I found this biography of the Welsh general who seemed to have done a lot of fighting on the continent. There's also another interesting account of George Monck at the siege of Breda here.

Mackay's Regiment

Were raised in 1626 to serve initially in the King of Denmark's army.
A narrative of the principal services of the Regiment, from its formation in 1626, to the battle of Nordlingen, in 1634 ; and of its subsequent incorporation with the Corps now
known as The Royal Scots or First Regiment of Foot of the British Army is online at page 128
There are some interesting titbits like the fact that there was an English regiment under a General Morgan in the Danish service. I found a reference to him in 1627 as a brave old officer of great experience, who, with four English regiments, was then encamped on the
banks of the Wasser. (source)

Cyrano de Bergerac

The Battle of Arras (1654 Turenne against the Conde and the Spaniards) is the backdrop to this scene from the famous film based on a play based on a real man. Apparently the real CdB did fight at Arras but in the 1640 battle rather than the 54 one. Shame it's a low definition clip but it's still good. Secours d'Arras wiki

French in the 30 Years War

I have been looking to see if there are any French groups recreating the 30 Years War but haven't found any. If anybody out there knows of any or is interested in starting one...there are some images of the Garde Francaises on Stephane's blog- to start with that might be a good unit.

Monday 16 November 2009

Potop - the Deluge 1974 - battle scene

The Imdb on this great movie here. The story is about the Swedish invasion of Poland. Interesting review here

Kamieniec Podolski 1672

This is worth watching... From an old tv programme this shows the siege of a town in the Ukraine.

Another depiction of the murder of Wallenstein

Can't read the key but it's an interesting picture. Just had this transcription from Norbert
the nakme of teh pic is: The murder of Wallensteins Officers, drawing by feather, anonymous
the notes on this, as far as i can make out:
a,b,c,d reads as Obristen.. whis means Colonel´s ... maybe "Colonel butlers" soldiers or dragoons e , f illegible g Tertzsky which is Trcka, one of Wallensteins subordinates and relatives i Rittmeister... which is a title for an officer

Scots and Irish in the Thirty Years War

What is the best source of information on this subject I wonder? Am I right in thinking Scots troops didn't use musket rests as in this picture? Longbows were involved? I notice there's an American group recreating Gaffney's Regiment. Also some stuff on Scotswars. A page on Mackays here.
Also there are a number of Irish officers involved in the death of Wallenstein and therefore in the Imperialist army. An Irish Captain Walter Devereux, a Walter Butler, and a fellow named Newman were present. Was there an Irish dragoon regiment in Wallenstein's army? Anyone have any ideas or information on this subject?

Four Musketeers Siege of La Rochelle

More trivialising of the period from me but this is an amusing scene from the 1974 movie directed by Richard Lester. Part 1 of this scene here

Wallenstein parade

If you are interested in the Czech 30 Years War scene as I am you'll find this footage of a parade celebrating the arrrival of Wallenstein interesting. Nice to see all those musket rests in action.

Anglo-French war 1627-29

This war is mostly famous in Britain for the Siege of La Rochelle (surrendering in the colour pic) as featured in the Four Musketeers movie. From an English perspective there was a sizeable contingent under the Duke of Buckingham in this war...also some Irish reinforcements numbering 3,000 apparently - something else in the general era of the Thirty Years War to think about.

Battle of Lutzen

According to the Wiki today is the date of the anniversary of this pivotal battle in 1632 though presumably because of the calendar change the Swedish people celebrate it on November 6th. Apparently they make celebratory cakes - go to this blog to see a Gustavus Adolphus cake.

Saturday 14 November 2009

Thirty Years War battle - 28mm

Thirty Years War. Swedes vs Catholic League 'Father Tilly' 28mm. Herts Volunteers (Photographs courtesy of Joe Dever)

Thursday 12 November 2009

Sebastiaan Vrancx's depiction of soldiers

Thanks again to Norbert of Vienna for these images by Sebastian Vrancx. Not sure of the date of this image but if you look closely you can see some foot soldiers in the foreground and background that are worth studying. I ought to say at this point that I am not saying I'm an expert in this period - I haven't really got any knowledge other than bits I gleaned long ago so bear with me. Thanks for all the help I've had so far and hopefully I won't make too many stupid mistakes. Keep the help coming...

A feast of images for 30 Years' War fans

Thanks to Raia for this link to a page of museum exhibits and images from the military musem in Vienna - should keep you busy for a while. Thanks Raia.

Spanish Army in 1641(colour version!)

I am very grateful to my readers. What a knowledgeable crew. Thanks to Stephane whose blog and book on the Thirty Years War I am sure you all know (if you don't you should) I now can post the full version by Snayers. If you want to see more and the source check out the comments on the post below. You know this is such a brilliant piece of work - maybe another contender for 'best ever 30 years war painting ever'. Look at it closely. It's an education in picture form.

Freikorps 15mm Thirty Years War/ECW

When I used to wargame the 30 Years War back in the mid 80s these figures were in my opinion the best available. These two poses - based on the illustration below probably - were excellent as they were easy to paint and they look great en masse. It's a well researched range that's more 30 YW than ECW (hooray) and I think you might want to check them out if this is your scale. They also do Elizabethan/Irish wars.

Spanish Army in 1641

At the siege of Aire-sur-Lys by Pierre Snayers. Sorry it's the only version of this picture I have...if any of you know of a colour version?
It's one of my favourite depictions of an army on campaign, though its hard to pick out detail from this version.

Best Thirty Years War picture ever!

Ok that's just my opinion.
Yesterday I put out a call for this and thankfully Norbert from Vienna responded with a scan. This image is from an Italian Merchant's bill that's in the Vienna Army Museum's TYW collection. This image to me represents what I would like a reenactment group of the 30 Years War to look like - call it 'generic non-uniformed'. What I mean by that is a unit that could - with maybe the odd field sign, cloth attached to the forquette, sash, field as any side - could be in Mansfeld's, Tilly's... pretty much any early army with a little effort. This is what I would like Sir Horace Vere's regiment to look like (if I do it) - not really any English items but instead to look classic 30 Years War.

Tuesday 10 November 2009

Sir Horace Vere's Regiment - England's 30 Years War unit

I suppose English 30 Years War enthusiasts ought to recreate the regiment led by Sir Horace Vere which was part of England's small military involvement in the conflict. They mainly fought in the Palatinate. Anyone know much about them? There's some details of Vere's expedition here
According to the wiki
Sir Horace was a professional soldier, even-tempered, brave and popular. The Earl of Essex was one of his lieutenants, and the Earls of Warwick, Peterborough, and Bedford served under him, as did the royalist soldiers Lords Grandison, Byron, and Goring. A large number of Englishmen who were afterwards distinguished soldiers served under Vere in the trenches at Den Bosch. Among them were: Thomas Fairfax and Philip Skippon, the future organisers of the New Model Army; Jacob Astley, Thomas Glemham, the future royalist generals; Sir John Borlase, and Henry Hexham, the historian of the Dutch wars. Fairfax, Skippon, and George Monck, particularly, were his pupils in the art of war.[1]

Detail from Callot's Siege of Breda 1632

The doublet the bending figure is wearing is interesting - like an early cassock or similar to a Musicians coats in the English Civil War. I suppose these are French soldiers.

Deepeeka helmets

I started looking at what was around for the 30 Years War and found these helmets. Deepeeka is a name mostly associated with very cheap Roman stuff and I didn't know they did 16thc stuff. Deepeeka only sell to traders or in large numbers but you can usually get them cheapest from a seller on ebay - just search morion or burgonet...the burgonet which has a removable visor and buffe goes for about £50! Obviously the drawback is that probably everyone else has the same idea and they are ubiquitous but I mention these helmets just in case any of you non-reenactors want one to adorn their hall table or something. My thoughts would be to paint them black...anyone got a photo of the burgonet without visor and buffe?

Spanish tercio in Italy

I'm trying to find out more about the TYW reenacting scene in Europe. This Italian group recreating a 17thc Spanish tercio has some interesting info and links to other groups.
I'm not being that successful in finding 30YW groups...there was/is one in the UK - Confederation of the Thirty Years War but the webpage is down. Anyone know of any discussion forums for this period?

Blasthof Blog

Fans of the Charge! book may want to surf over to this new blog full of ephemera and information on this classic book.

Monday 9 November 2009

Firearms and equipment of the Thirty Years War

This is an interesting site with lots of information about guns (in English) and other things such as photos of reenactments of the period and much more.


Someone who has recently been revived with a new statue at the Czech senate after a successful exhibition is Wallenstein - this is the first part of a German documentary on the man. There are quite a few different episodes of this series up on Youtube - search Dreißigjähriger Krieg for all the episodes.


Well you knew in my search for tercios and cuirassiers I'd finish up with this clip from the recent movie which I think depicts French cavalry at Rocroi and the Spanish tercios.

I know my Pappenheimers

From here

Searching Pappenheim yields all manner of repro swords and burgonets.

Abb. 2: Der Kürassierharnisch, ein so genannter Pappenheimer, vom Anfang des 17. Jahrhunderts: Heute unvorstellbar, dass die Kavallerie der Kürassiere in diesen 25 kg schweren Rüstungen kämpfen konnte. Wehe, wenn ein weniger kostbar gepanzerter Soldat verwundet war! An Krankenpflege war in den seltensten Fällen zu denken.
Fotos: Jürgen Gebhardt

Museum of the Thirty Years War

More Bila Hora

Been looking around the web to find out more about this event so if any of you want to go there next year either as a spectator or participant you might know who to get in touch with. This webpage is useful Projekt Bílá hora 1620 and this page which has links to loads of galleries and videos.

Jacques Callot

One of my favourite artists depicting the 30 Years War is the great French engraver Jacques Callot
His series on the miseries of war are a treasure and his camp scenes masterful.
They are full of detail easily ignored such as the strip of cloth seen here on the tip of the pike that prevented rain and blood running down the pike shaft.

30 Years War in 1/32

Since the appearance of a Call to Arms' Hazlerigg's Lobsters (see pic) - ideal for conversion into Pappenheimers - the idea of doing this period in this medium is tempting. But apart from a Call to Arms ECW what else is there? Replicants do a pretty good range of ECW 1/32 including pikemen and musketeers dismounted harquebusiers and personalities - ideal for this sort of thing - maybe not a full scale battle but for skirmishes ideal - you can get them from here.