This blog continues from last weeks rabble about the TAG work in progress on the Dutch Rebellion, and the Long War that resulted from it.

In the previous piece I wrote about Dutch and Spanish forces, and out lined our plan to fill out what is necessary to reproduce the period satisfactorily.

But, it is impossible to look at this period of warfare without giving thought to the ultimate mercenary troops of the period, the Landsknechts, whom both sides employed in large numbers though-out the early Rebellion.

Landsknechts of this period looked considerably different to those of the the mid century, and are a world away in appearance from our early Italian Wars miniatures for us to have to consider making another four packs with pike, a couple of command groups and maybe three packs of arquebusiers, to make ‘sleeves’ of shot along the sides of the pike blocks… (9)

But of course Landsknechts are only half the story of German mercenaries in the 16th Century, also used in equally large numbers were the rapacious Reiter.

Reiter, pistol armed horse men, appear at first as a kind of charging melee cavalry in the middle of the 16th Century; initially armed with boar spears and swords, they soon developed in to deep formations firing by rotation, and charging only when an enemy was weakened. We have to make the boar spear miniatures to cover our Tudors for 1544,  who were one of the first to hire this new type of cavalry men, but we will also need at least two other packs with pistols, to represent the later formations, and a command. (4)

Other than this, I would like to say something about the armies of the French Wars of religion, which was running almost concurrently with the Rebellion and the start of the Long War, is intertwined with it. Other than we are fine with our Valois representing both Catholic and Huguenot French forces of the early Civil War period, and our forthcoming Swiss models being good for the French Royal Swiss troops up until about 1589, but we will not be making any specifically ‘French’ troops for the FoW.

All the troop types covered in the French armies are also considered in the Dutch and Spanish ranges, and we would be struggling to interesting characteristics to differentiate between Protestant ‘Dutch*’ in Antwerp, and French Protestants fighting at La Rochelle… Equally our high renaissance styled Spanish should be good for what every remained of the French Royal Catholic armies after 1588…

Opinions in the reply box below very gratefully received.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hello Peter,

    Glad to see you intend to cover both the Landsknechts in Pluderhosen and the German Reiter in full respect.

    As for the French support troops, they were involved in large numbers during the early years of the war,
    In Zeeland several regiments of foot were involved during 1572-1575. In 1572 a French Huegenote army of about 7.000 men was defeated at St.Ghislain, while other French troops had occupied Mons. This French army contained several troops of cavalry, most probable also the well-known Miller cavalry. Perhaps the latter might be a useful addition to the Valois range.
    During the early 1580’s Anjou led his own troops into the Netherlands.

    As for the English troops, during the 1570’s several regiments operated in the Southern Netherlands. With Leicester several thousands of troops cam into the Netherlands including cavalry, especially demi-lancers.

    You asked about the Dutch Bandes d’Ordonnance. They were real gens d’armes. During the early years they road plate-barded horses and wore full plate armour Burgundian style. Although part seems to have trnasformd into demi-lancers, the heavy lancers seem to have been operationally until the later 1580’s. However they fought exclusively on the Spanish side as they originated from the Southern Provinces. They are often described as wearing cassocks over their armour with false sleeves. By the early 1590’s both the demi-lancers and gens d’armes seem to have been replaced by the cuirassiers.