The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

H102: The Mercenaries — Back to the Future?

The inability of the feudal system to provide reliable armies gave rise to cadres of mercenaries that at first supplemented the aristocratic warriors of the feudal army, and then replaced them. By the Renaissance period, armies were largely made up of hired mercenary companies. Aristocrats, once the knights of the feudal army, became the owners and officers of the companies. Mercenary companies were a key element of warfare throughout the 16th and 17th Centuries. Many consider that they reached their greatest influence during the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648. Toward the end of the war they began to decline in importance and by the end of the 17th Century they had largely been replaced by national professional armies.

Why did mercenary companies exist in the first place? What advantage did they initially bring to the battlefield?

How were mercenary specialists of the Renaissance different from the contract specialists that we used today?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mercenaries….then and now? Is there an over-reliance on mercenaries today, or are they indespensible for many security tasks that the military simply doesn’t have manpower to accomplish? Are logistics contractors on the battlefield mercenaries?

September 5, 2017 Posted by | H100, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mercenaries –Back to the Future?

The inability of the feudal system to provide reliable armies gave rise to cadres of mercenaries that at first supplemented the aristocratic warriors of the feudal army, and then replaced them. By the Renaissance period, armies were largely made up of hired mercenary companies.  Aristocrats, once the knights of the feudal army, became the owners and officers of the  companies.   Mercenary companies were a key element of warfare throughout the 16th and 17th Centuries.  Many consider that they reached their greatest influence during the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648.  Toward the end of the war they began to decline in importance and by the end of the 17th Century they had largely been replaced by national professional armies.

Why did mercenary companies exist in the first place?  What advantage did they initially bring to the battlefield?

How were mercenary specialists of the Renaissance different from the contract specialists that we used today?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mercenaries….then and now?  Is there an over-reliance on mercenaries today, or are they indespensible for many security tasks that the military simply doesn’t have manpower to accomplish?  Are logistics contractors on the battlefield mercenaries?

For a Free .pdf book on Renaissance Armies click here.

August 27, 2014 Posted by | H100 | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Mercenaries –Back to the Future?

The inability of the feudal system to provide reliable armies gave rise to cadres of mercenaries that at first supplemented the aristocratic warriors of the feudal army, and then replaced them. By the Renaissance period, armies were largely made up of hired mercenary companies.  Aristocrats, once the knights of the feudal army, became the owners and officers of the  companies.   Mercenary companies were a key element of warfare throughout the 16th and 17th Centuries.  Many consider that they reached their greatest influence during the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648.  Toward the end of the war they began to decline in importance and by the end of the 17th Century they had largely been replaced by national professional armies.

Why did mercenary companies exist in the first place?  What advantage did they initially bring to the battlefield?

How were mercenary specialists of the Renaissance different from the contract specialists that we used today?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mercenaries….then and now?  Is there an over-reliance on mercenaries today, or are they indespensible for many security tasks that the military simply doesn’t have manpower to accomplish?  Are logistics contractors on the battlefield mercenaries?

For a Free .pdf book on Renaissance Armies click here.

 
 

August 29, 2012 Posted by | H100 | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mercenaries and the Rise of the Professional Army

The inability of the feudal system to provide reliable armies gave rise to cadres of mercenaries that at first supplemented the aristocratic warriors of the feudal army, and then replaced them. By the Renaissance period, armies were largely made up of hired mercenary companies.  Aristocrats, once the knights of the feudal army, became the owners and officers of the feudal companies.   By the end of the 15th Century, Kings began the slow process of replacing mercenary formations with their own regiments.  Mercenary companies were a key element of warfare throughout the 15th and 16th Centuries.  Many consider that they reached their greatest influence during the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648.  During the war they began to decline in importance and by the end of the 17th Century they had largely been replaced by national professional armies.

The professional armies that came into existence in the 17th Century evolved from the mercenary companies of the Renaissance period as a more efficient system for the state to meet its military requirements.  They had the major advantages of always being there when the King needed them, they followed orders, they were cheaper in the long term, and could be relied upon in battle even when the odds were great.  They also ensured the sovereignty of the king, the rule of law, and the territorial integrality of the crown’s land.

Why did mercenary companies exist in the first place?  What advantage did they initially bring to the battlefield?

What other reasons were there for switching from an army of mercenary companies to a professional army equipped, recruited, trained and paid for by the King?

How were mercenary specialists of the Renaissance different from the contract specialists that we used today?

For a Free .pdf book on Renaissance Armies click here.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | H100 | , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments