Thursday, 20 November 2008


The statue is of Giovanni De Medici called Giovanni of the Banda Nere.
The story goes that after his last battle and
As they cut his leg off after the wound at Governalo he held the candle for the surgeon, (two figures above repainted by modeller Jim are HINTON HUNT)

if that story is true and its on good authority, then he was a man with a capitalM.
He died after gangrene set in, the greatest warrior and condotteiri of Italian history.

The soldier on the left is one that was on offer at Italian newstands.The Landschnects were contrary to popular belief, not considered great soldiers but were bought so that they would not fight for the other side.Giovanni was shot by one of these.

ON THE LEFT IS A STILL FROM THE FILM "The Profession of Arms"by Olmi. Plus a portrait of Giovanni.
He was the last great Condotteiri of Italy and with his small army tried to stop the Landschects from sacking Rome at the affluence of the Po and Mincio rivers,the place was Governalo (Governalo is pictured in the two river photos, the top two models represent the period in 54mmon on sale from the Florence Museum Stibbert; the armour is the one Giovanni wore at his funeral) also on exhibit in this little known museum.
After the war with the Duke of Urbino, he formed a company of fast travelling lightly armed horesmen operating hit and run tactics; this was devastating to his enemies.
In 1521 he defeated the French near Milan at Vaprio D'Adda.The use of the Banda Nere (black arm bands) was the fact that after the death of Pope Leo X he wore them as a sign of his mourning.
He met the fanatical protestants at Governalo on the Mincio River and destroyed their rearguard with his small army and there a battle of small proportions but epic heroism took place.
He died at 27 years old .
As he was claiming victory he was hit by a mobile field cannon which mortally wounded him .
This was the end of the noble knight Condotteiri riding into battle with the sword or the lance.
Below scenes of the battle recreated by Stefano a model soldier converter.
Followed by a mounted knight of the times offered by Del Prado at Italian newstands.
The last photo shows Giovanni in the film "The Profession of Arms" by Olmi. I urge you to get this but before viewing read up.(to be continued)

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