Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 6: The Masses are Rising – The German Peasant's Revolt

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 6: The Masses are Rising – The German Peasant's Revolt

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 6: The Masses are Rising – The German Peasant's Revolt

The German Peasant's Revolt was one of the more famous of the surprisingly rare large scale peasant's revolts of the medieval world. We start with the normal overview, looking at why the revolt started (and why there weren't more of them), traces the outline of events, looking at the rare successes and more common defeats of the peasants. It is supported by a good looking map that is frustrating missing a key, so it isn't actually clear what it represents.

Five articles look at the revolt, or related topics. First is a look at the role of the Landsknechts in the revolt, providing a backbone to some of the peasant bands. Next is a study of the siege of Salzburg, a near-success for the peasants, but their failure to take the fortress of Salzburg doomed them to failure. Next comes a biography of Götz von Berlichingen, the Knight of the Iron Hand, a rather quarrelsome man who ended up being forced to lead on of the peasant armies, but who survived to write his own autobiography! The study of the soldier in art isn’t entirely based on the revolt, but it was a key event in the life of the artists of the period, so clearly had an impact. Finally we look at Engels's view of the war, which shows the dangers of relying of a politically motivated history, as the events are so often twisted to fit with the political theories.

Away from the theme there are two articles. The first looks at the royal forests of Normandy, a key military resource and also the site of an early attempt at sustainable forest management. Finally there is a look at a weapon that never existed - the European military flail.

Lucifer and his angels: A look at the German Peasant's Revolt
Wildcards: Landsknechts in the peasant armies
The Siege of Salzburg: The Prince-Archbishop vs. the people
Knight of the Iron Hand: Götz von Berlichingen, reluctant leader
Death, violence & sex: Anti-war propaganda in the 16th-century
Through modern eyes: Engels on the German Peasants' War
The seeds of war: Royal forests during the Hundred Years War
The military flail: The medieval weapon that never existed


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