Before we learn about the legendary Mercenary Armies from history, let us first understand the meaning of Mercenary Armies. They’re the individual hired professional soldiers who fight for any chosen stare, nation, cause or issue, without any boundaries. This system existed during the mid 17th century, where the military forces extended their support and forces with the mercenaries. Our ancient history witnessed some of the enormous mercenary armies equipped with freelance warriors. They were aligned with a particular nation or a king for a specific cause or motive. This article contains 6 of the most legendary ones.
The Ten thousand
The ten thousand was the army of ten thousand Greek warriors during the Historian Xenophon’s Anabasis, contracted by Cyrus the younger to kill this brother King Artaxerxes II and they dethroned him from the Persian throne. The event took place in 401 BC when the Hellenic soldiers hired veterans from the Peloponnesian war who fought alongside Cyrus in Baghdad. After Cyrus was killed, the remaining of the then thousand was forced to band together and finds their way out of the new territory. Despite many ambushes, weather and other dangerous factors, they managed to arrive on the friendly soil with three fourth of their members intact.
The Swiss Guard
They’re popularly called the striped-uniformed protectors of the Pope. Over one million adventurers fought during the European’s battle between the 15th and the 19th century. They were considered the first ones to master the use of pikes and halberds. By 1400, they earned the title of the best troops money could buy. They were often hired to work for the French and died during the French revolution.
The White Company
They were the most infamous bands of soldiers who fought for warfare during the 14th century for Italy. After falling under the command of Sir John Hawkwood, they gained the title of the most elite mercenary armies in Italy. They possessed the skills of lightning-quick responses and surprise attacks during the battles, even in harsh weather conditions or at night, that baffled the other troops. Between 1363 and 1388, they fought against the city of Milan and also the city of Florence and rarely got out of the field, not even during the times of space.
The Flying Tigers
They were officially called the American Volunteer Groups, who fought the Chinese against the Japanese in World War II. Although the risks were utterly high, so was the pay and the intense army gladly agreed to follow the orders of President Franklin D Roosevelt. The pilot’s earn $260 a month, whereas the mercenaries earned $600 and $750 a month, with a bonus of $500.
The Catalan Grand Company
It was first organized in 1302 when they contained the Spanish veteran’s for the war of the Sicilian vespers un Italy. They consisted of 56500 men, who swept the Turks away from the Constantinople. However, in 1305, 1300 of the army’s men were ambushed and killed by another mercenary.
The Varangian guard
They were a group of Viking mercenaries who were hired to act as the personal bodyguards of the Byzantine Empire. The entire until putting a rebellion and saved the Constantinople for over 200 years, by continually fighting battles and wars for them.