Sunday 4 October 2020

The Free Canton of Dithmarschen

In some respects the Free Canton of Dithmarschen was ideally protected from its enemies; to the west is the North Sea, the south, the Elbe River and north is a vast area of swamp leaving its frontier with the County of Schleswig the only land route for invaders. The free peasants of Dithmarschen successfully beat off the House of Schauenburg (1319 and 1403) and the Kingdom of Denmark (1500). 


A relatively easy army to assemble, at its core are nine elements of ‘fast’ pike supported by three light troops armed with bow or javelin. All figures are Legio Heroica and taken from several lists. Scattered throughout the pikemen are halberd armed figures and to add further variety miniatures are a mix of standard infantry and peasants from the Feudal range. Clothing colours are mostly with earth tones with a sprinkling of red and blue.


Only one banner was painted for the peasant army and this comes from the painting of the Battle ofHemmingstedt (1910) by Max Friedrich Koch. Clearly depicted is the flag of the patron saint Mary of Nazareth. Unfortunately collection of figures lacked a suitable ‘virgin Telse’ to carry the banner but guarding the banner is a clerical type from the Essex medieval range.