Most commanders of the period went into battle with a personal guard,
or ‘Lifeguard’. As supreme commander of the Catholic League forces, and
mercenary captain extraordinaire, Wallenstein’s lifeguard was more akin
to a private army consisting of both foot and mounted companies.
Originally the mounted arm of the Lifeguard consisted of two
Harquebusier companies, but by 1627 when Ottavio Piccolomini (who became
a famed cavalry commander in his own right) was installed as Commander
of the Lifeguard it had expanded to one company of armoured lancers, one
of Harquebusiers, one of Dragoons and one company of Croats. Shortly
after a second company of harquebusiers were add.
The armoured lancers were certainly the most unique, impressive and expensive of these troops.
Contemporary accounts described them as of ‘magnificent
appearance’. Equipped with full armour they were clothed in the finest
material. Cloaks of blue and red, lined with gold trim were the standard
uniform of the ordinary trooper; officers and trumpeters were bedecked
with extra trim, buttons, silks and laces. Gold coloured pennants were
attached to the lance tips for extra impact; part elite cavalry unit,
part haberdashery they were to stay with Wallenstein through the highs
and to his untimely demise.
Contains 3 metal mounted figures.