Saturday, June 25, 2011

Swedish Allmoge Units

Here are some pictures of my Rebel/Swedish 1460´s army so far... A commander and 4 units of Allmoge soldiers under command of different Nobles. Most of the text below about the Swedish "army" during the Kalmar Union period has been whriten by my friend Ulf for a DBM army list...

Sweden had never really implemented feudalism and the commoners i.e.Allmoge had quite extensive legal rights and political agendas of their own. The Swedish nobles were a wilful lot and very keen on the King not getting too powerful. Efforts by the Union to extract more taxes and to modernize the country at the expense of traditional rights and privileges met with stiff resistance.

Sweden was almost continuously at war. Various factions either curried favour with the Union monarch or rebelled against him. The result was a confusing series of wars between factions vying for power while supporting or rejecting the Union King.

The Allmoge in each region (‘Landskap’, roughly the equivalent of an English county) to a large extent made their own decisions and frequently found themselves fighting against the Allmoge of other regions.

The Union King, usually a Dane or German, responded to rebellions by sending an army bolstered by lots of mercenaries. He also always tried to lure Swedish nobles over to his side. Rebellions could be very successful militarily, but infighting among factions meant that the country always returned to recognizing a Union King after political compromise, treachery and/or the odd murder.

The Swedish armies of this period differed quite a lot from most other European forces. Royal power was weak and there were always very few knights and other mounted troops. Instead the armies were dominated by the Allmoge troops, who were surprisingly effective. At their best (in the 1430s to the 1480s) the Allmoge infantry gave a very good account of themselves.

Their Achilles-heel was the lack of higher level leadership and the difficulty of keeping the armies in the field for long periods. The Allmoge were farmers, not professional soldiers, and simply went home for harvest, etc. This led to quite a bit of campaigning in winter, when farmers have some free time.

No known Swedish army of the period could deploy more than a couple thousand mounted troops in total, the overwhelming majority of other troops were Allmoge, with a few mercenaries (artillery specialists, for example) sometimes available.


  1. That's an impressive block of troops you have there!


  2. They look very nice as a group, I do love the flags you've made, they really set the troops off!!

  3. Amazing! Great painting and the flags look great also.

  4. They look excellent en masse...
    keep up the good work!

  5. Thanks !!!! :)

    Realy glad you like the flags! My first tought was to make paper flags i photoshop, but I´m glad that I changed my mind, specially as the heraldy are quite simple for the Swedish Noble Houses back in the 15th centery.

    The only real hard flags to make are the Banners of the Saints that they used and I will use for my commanders, got to make me at least 2 more, one wil absolutley be St:Olof as he was the most "popular" saint up in Darlecarlia... and then I might make me a St Erik banner to as he is the Saint for Stockholm and that the 3 crowns on blue was used by the House of Erik and are now the Royal arm for Sweden.

    Now i´m of to paint me some more Union/Danish Troops so I have some thing for these fellows to rebell against;)

    Best Regards Dalauppror

  6. very nice troops, and nice bit of military history too.

  7. Thanks !

    I tought I spread some Swedish military history by this project, I realy hope you find it interesting:)

    Best Regards Dalauppror

  8. I love these, been going through, you guys have some awesome sets. Great job, keep it up!

  9. Thanks !!

    Working on the Unions troops at the moment, pictures then I get my camera back...

    Best regards Dalauppror