Wednesday 2 May 2012

Le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche

Gendarmes under the standard of Le Chevalier Bayard
 This post marks exactly a year since I started this blog and I thought I would mark it with some pictures of my Gendarmes in the company of the legendary Bayard. I recently read "The story of the chevalier Bayard, from the French of the Loyal servant M. de Berville, and others (1869)". While it is rather dated and I am not entirely sure of all of its accuracy it is based on historical sources and I found it a fantastic read. Anyone who has read a bit on the Italian wars may recognise the parts about Bayard crawling through a ditch at night at Marignano to get back to the French lines, where French Gendarmes refuse to enter the breach of a Venetian town because the Imperial Gendarmes also refuse and Bayards duel against a Spanish Knight in the war in Naples. Ravenna, Fornovo, The Battle of the Spurs and Marignano all feature.
There is lots of great stuff about ambushes and skirmishes with Stradiots and Landsknechts. Suprisingly there is quite a bit about dealings with spies. It seems intelligence gathering, espionage and counter espionage was just as important back then as it is today. The text is available for free here:

I would recommend giving it a read, if only for scenario ideas and to get a good feel of the type of combat they were involved in when pitched battles were not taking place.

The pictures below show the Gendarmes with a combination of my hand painted flags, the printed cloth flags and a Freezywater flag depicting the arms of Bayard. The standards are all interchangeable and I am really pleased with the result, I think the different styles work well together.

Bayards Gendarmes

Various French standards

French Gendarmes
 Below is another Freezywater Flag this time depicting Antonio de Leyva, a Spanish commander who fought under Gonzalo de Cordoba in the very early Italian Wars. He is most famous however for his defence of Pavia when besieged by Francis I and the sally that helped secure the Imperial victory in 1525. His standard is shown here with Spanish Gendarmes who are less heavily armoured than the French ones depicted above. Again I am really pleased with the way the standards work. There will be lots more experimentation to come with these!

Spanish Gendarmes under the Standard of Antonio de Leyva

Antonio de Leyvas Gendarmes


  1. Glorious Gendarmes! Bayard epitomized the fast fading French chivalry of the prior era.