Last modified: 2014-03-06 by klaus-michael schneider
Keywords: hamburg | sentinels | hanseatic legion | militia | city soldiery |
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Hamburg was ruled by merchants. Business being the most important thing an army was considered to be an unnecessary and expensive thing derogating profits. So Hamburg held itself only little armed forces. The job was done by mercenaries. Only when special scills were needed, Hamburg kept some professional soldiers, i.e. gunners of the local artillery. After the city walls had been extended on the eve of 30-years-war, more soldiers were needed. So a militia was created in 1619. And there never had been a regular army until 1868, when the own militia was deployed and the city was defended by Prussian troops.
Hamburg organized its defence by clever treaties with neighbouring countries, which protected the city in case of an assault.
Also Hamburg's naval power is more fame than reality after the days of the Hansa League. Since then the Hamburgian navy always had just a few ships in order to accompany the armed vessels of its ctizens in convoys. Therefore the Admiralty had been established in 1624. But the Hamburgian navy was just able to fight against pirates but never to make a serious war against an established naval power.
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 19 May 2011
More details about the various Hamburg militias can be found on these pages:
back to Hamburg index page click here.