The Battle of Hemmingstedt

  • Wars And Conflict
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

Fought on February 17, 1500 - between The Peasant Army of the Village of Hemmingstedt (Western Germany), and the forces of King John of Denmark (and his brother Duke Frederick). The Royal forces were assembled to quash a rebellion of local Peasants who decided to form their own Republic (based on the King's tyranny). The movement started and was headquartered in Hemmingstedt - and it was there they raised their "army" of 4,000. They had little to no military arms and used farm implements to stand off the Royal Army (close to 11,000 with artillery).

 

The only main road leading into town was heavily barricaded at the outskirts of the village. Flanked on both sides by low lands, the Peasants knew this was a problem. In a classic example of using the terrain to slow or harass  an enemy - the Peasants flooded the lowlands. This created a sort of "moat" on the flanks of their positions. The Royal Army, upon their arrival - found that they could not outflank the Peasants. The few attempts to led to many troops drowning under their gear. The Peasants (knowing the flooded grounds "high points"), were said to have used punting poles to "jump" onto the dry areas and slaughter the stranded troops.

 

At some point The Royal Army set up it's artillery and set about to destroy the barricades. The Peasant Army was no match for the field pieces. It was said, as per "battle legend" - a young girl stood upon the barricades waving a flag with an image of The Virgin Mary (as a rallying symbol). Although defeated, the Peasants took 4,000 Royals down. Their losses were light with only 1,000. That number would go up with the pending executions!