Sunday, August 21, 2011

Battle at Visby

Unfortunaly we left Visby by boatduring the night befoe the reenactment of the Battle of Wisby, but I found some nice film that show the battle.

The Battle at Wisby Monday the 27 of July 1631

A unit of peasant soldiers march onto the battle field. They look ragged and their armor consists of various pieces gathered from different places. Some have decent equipment and some have no equipment at all. Some of them have swords, spears and crossbows and others still have tools for agriculture which will now be used to harvest lives instead of crops. Some are mere boys. Others are already old. Some come riding at their small horses, russar, but most of them walk. They are what could be mustered, the last defence. They have already tried to stop the Danes in Mästerby, with little luck.

They greet another Gotlandish force coming from a different direction. They all know that the enemy is close. A courier comes riding, telling them that the Danes are already there. The Gotlandish leaders decide to take up defensive positions on a couple of small hills – there is not enough time to get inside the walls.

The Danes appear behind a ridge. A Gotlandish force is not quick enough, but are trodden down by the heavy horses of the Danish knights. The main Danish force form up and march at the Gotlandish lines. The battle commences. The well-oiled, efficient Danish force gains the upper hand, and the Gotlandish center breaks. People scream and the Danes break through. They are now able to fight one half of the Gotlandish army at a time.

They start with the left one. Arrows dart through the air, and the infantry grinds the peasants to a panicking mass of dying, retreating men. The Danish cavalry pursue the fleeing men and cut them down. After all is finished, the Danes turn to the right one. The Gotlanders are firmly defending their hill – but it is of no use. In the end, they are only a handful left and they are completely surrounded, fighting for their lives. In the middle, the Gotlandish banner is still flying, but eventually no one is able to hold it high anymore. It falls. The Gotlanders are defeated and the Danes pursue the fleeing peasants.

The Danish king charges the field with his body guard. Then all is silent. All that is left is the bodies of the men that fought and died to defend their homes. The bells in the cathedral tolls, when a memorial service is held for the fallen.

Text from the "Battle at Wisby 1361-2011" site


  1. Very nice , thanks for sharing.

  2. Excellent stuff -pity you missed the reenactment yourselves...