Monday, March 24, 2014

Battle of Visby 1361


During the weekend I was at the new exhibition at the Historical Museum here in Stockholm "Medieval Massacre – the Battle of Gotland 1361"


They tell the story about the horrifying medieval battle between the allmoge of Gotland and the well trained soldiers of the Danish army.


In May 1361, King Magnus IV of Sweden writes a letter of warning to the burghers of Visby:

“… some of our enemies are conspiring ... 
to attack your area by force of arms and a strong army …”

On 27 July that same year, the mercenary troops of Danish King Valdemar IV Atterdag kill 1,800 Gotland farmers. Men, old folk, youths, cripples – they all die in battle outside the city walls of Visby. Their corpses are thrown into mass graves.


Extensive archaeological investigations of the graves in 1928-1930 and modern science have provided new knowledge of what happened.

I have seen parts of this exhibition at Gotland in 2011, they have done some more research, but I must say that the Historical Museum of Visby had a better exhibition. Most of all I lacked new books or a fancy exhibition folder about the event, not event a reprint of the very fine book "Visby 1361: Invasionen" by Gun Westhom. Still, if you are in Stockholm by any chance it is well woths a visit.


...the backside about this kind of museum visits are that it starts some bad thoughts about new small projects... and in combination with the up comming Lion Rampant rules and the fine minis from Claymore Casting and Perry HYW range I might end up with one more project...

Here are a link to the exebition material.about the battle of Visby 1361 Its primary for touch screens so It isn´t that easy to navigate on a PC, but I think you manage...

32 comments:

  1. Have to go check the exhibition the next time I'm in Stockholm. All the numerous wars and battles between Swedes, Danes and Norwegians are certainly very interesting from a historical and a wargaming point of view. Though as you say these exhibitions can really cause some unnecessary urges to start new projects :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed well worth a visit next time you visit Stockholm:)

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  2. Good post. we had a documentary on TV over here on Visby did you mange to see a copy?

    Jason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jason ! I might have seen it, you have a lin to any "play" service for the documentary?

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
    2. Hi Michael,

      The TV Programme was called 'Medieval Dead' It was made by and for Channel 5 over here in the UK.there were several episodes all about Medieval battles etc with at least one from your part of the world. The links on You Tube don't seem to be playing but I found this link ,not sure which episode it is though or if the link is any good.
      http://primetv.us/medieval-dead-s01e04-hdtv-x264-tvillage

      Kind Regards
      Jason.

      Delete
    3. Thank you very much Jason, i Will check it out.

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  3. I'm full of envy. Would like to see that exhibition..well at least go to Livruskammaren and take a look at the Vasa museum some day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If i´m not remember wrong you don´t live so far from Stockholm John? Might be the time for a Stockholm tour for Vasa, Livrustkammaren Historical and the Army Museum:)

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  4. I saw a project about this and a few other battles from around there and my God it looks a nasty battle and very one sided.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed a nasty battle...

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  5. How fascinating Michael, I'm afraid my knowledge of this era is very poor so thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Appreciated Michael ! It´s my quest to share the knowledge about some Swedish history:)

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  6. I have read something about this terrible battle. Those times were really hard...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hard times indeed, but still lots of inspiration for us wargamers...

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  7. Thankyou for highlighting this battle Michael. I have heard and briefly read about this battle and the archaeology work on the grave. Your great blog sight has certainly thrown some light on the medieval brawling that went on between Danes, Swedes and Norwegians

    Cheers

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris ! Sounds like I have some success in my work of sharing the Swedish history;)

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  8. Thanks for scouting out this exhibition Micke! Sounds like I better go have a look as well, if not at Historiska then at Visby. It smells like a new "Valdemar Atterdag" project coming on any day now ;0)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I´m sure you like the exhebition Sören, be sure to visit a Friday (free enterance). The drawback with a "Valdemar Atterdag" project are it´s resemblance with my already ongoing late 15th centery project...got to stay focused...got to stay focused... got to...

      Delete
  9. Looks awesome. My mind has been wandering to medevil wargaming as well.
    cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to the fantastic medieval wargaming:)

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  10. Sounds very interesting, I never anything about this piece of history??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to heare that you find the period interesting Ray, but it sounds like you need some more historical education;)

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  11. Interesting post,exhibition and battle- very tempting to game!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed it is:)

      got to resist...got to...

      Delete
  12. Thanks Michael. Very interesting stuff! I like others here know very little about this part of history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to share my knowledge Rodger, please feel free to as more if you plan to start a Swedish project;)

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  13. Fab. Thanks for the link Michael.

    Darrell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Appreciated Darrell !

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  14. Looks like an interesting exhibition – despite your objections! ;) – and hopefully I'll manage a visit.

    I'm also looking forward to your new not-project based in this ... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. indeed a not-project:)

      Be sure to make a visit, might get you in to a new project to...

      Best regards Michael

      Delete
  15. Visby is well-known among medieval re-enactors; I've lost count of the number of times I've seen people wearing a Visby coat of plates at re-enactment events!

    The bodies in the Visby war graves provide ample and horrific evidence of the destructive potential of the weapons of the age.

    The war graves are also a great source for various armour types. The bodies were buried quickly owing to the hot weather at the time, but unusually, they were not stripped of their armour.

    Consequently, Visby shows us the wide variety of different armours (some obsolete by 14th century standards) worn by the Gotlander smallholders in their ultimately doomed defence of their town. I dare say that the better-equipped Danes had no need for any of the poor farmers' kit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldnt say the Gotlander smallholders "defended their town" as told they didnt get much help from the German Town folks as Visby was by the time a well known Hanseatic League town and the inhabitants didn´t want to be involved and let the Gotlander smallholders get slaughtered by the Danes...

      As the battle took place during the summer they had to get the dead in the ground fast, so fast that they didn´t even had time to loot them, at the exhibition they show a money purce with a greate amount of coins, about £3000...as well as several armours, so far they have found about 25 coat of plates and 130 chainmail hoods as well as very much arrow and crossbow heads.

      A very interesting bit of historical evidence.

      Best regards Michael


      Delete