View Full Version : Thirty Years' War casualties found

07-13-2010, 03:39 PM
Something different for a change...

Skeletons of Wallenstein mercenaries found

Stralsund/Northeastern Germany. The scene back in 1628 must have been a dramatic one. Coming out of the Stralsund old town which was surrounded by a ring of fortifications Protestant mercenaries fiercely attacked the empirial troops under Wallenstein. His lansquenets (German term: Landsknechte; literally: "servants of the country" - FTG) -who had withdrawn to a trench just outside of the town- saw only one chance to save their lives. In panic they dropped their weapons and dashed to the rear. Two of them however recognized the threat too late. Still holding out in their trench they were ran over and killed by the mercs.

Almost 400 years after this surprising attack archaeologists recovered the remains of this bloody scenery. The lansquenets still lying face down are still wearing their leather boots, pieces of cloth cover parts of the bodies. Their weapons are lying unsortedly below and next to them: six spears embattled with iron pikes and maces, six swords and three muskets. The wooden butt ends of the fire arms are labelled with the initials "W.N." and O.N.".

"A battle scene frozen in time" says Marlies Konze, chief of the archaeological team. "This finding reveals the dramatic of the Thirty Years' War way better than any exhibition." Especially the accumulation of the historical weaponry which was typical for this armed conflict is described as spectacular. Stralsund was one of the hardest-fougt towns during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). Wallenstein himself is said to have once mentioned: "Even if this town was fixated to the skies with seven locks and chains I'll still get it down!" For him however the Hanseatic city remained impregnable. In mid 1628 -after a siege of several weeks- Wallenstein's troops were forced to retreat. According to historical sources about 12,000 mercenaries lost their life in course of the battle.
Thee skeletons of the two lansquenets will now be sketched and documented, afterwards the mortal remains will be examined piece by piece. Close-by two massgraves with 10 and 25 skeletons were found lately. One of them can be related to the Thirty Years' War, the other one seems to be more recent, supposedly from the Great Northern War (1700-1721).

http://www.nw-news.de/_em_daten/_dpa/2010/07/13/100713_1622_nwjpeg_1479da008200bbde_20100713_img_2 5554504_original.large_4_3_800_102_0_2893_2093.jpg

Text: an-online.de
Photo: dpa

Additional info on Albrecht von Wallenstein: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallenstein

07-13-2010, 06:21 PM
Wow, that's an impressive find!
Reminds me of the Japanese/Australian battlefield that was found in New Guinea.
See if this link works:http://http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/07/lost-wwii-battlefield-found-war-dead-included/ (http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/06/07/lost-wwii-battlefield-found-war-dead-included/)

P.S. @ FTG. I sent you a PM. You had said something about it not working correctly, just letting you know.:)

07-17-2010, 05:47 PM
It seems odd that these remains have spent the last 400 years less that 1.5 metres below the current surface.
While they are archaeologically significant, I do hope they are given decent burial soon.
I've never really studied the late mediaeval era in Europe, there didn't seem to be too much point in it, when the Orient of the same era was (to me) far more interesting.
However, I admit my views on the epoch are slowly changing.
A most interesting post, FTG,
Kind and Respectful Regards, Uyraell.

Smoking Frog
01-21-2011, 02:41 PM

A little while ago, there was a story of a body of a WWII pilot found hanging in the trees along the Kokoda trail...turned out to be a bunch of vines!!:shock:

The link below tells the story:


Iron Yeoman
01-21-2011, 03:58 PM
I remember reading somewhere that 1/3 of Germany's population was killed during the 30 years war. I would recommend 'The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800' by Geoffrey Parker, if I remember correctly there's some shocking statistics about population decline in Sweden during Gustavus Adolphus' campaigns. I tried to specialise on the period when I was at uni.