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Europe' Smallest Countries: - THE VATICAN

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Author Topic: Europe' Smallest Countries: - THE VATICAN  (Read 3067 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #60 on: November 09, 2008, 07:26:25 pm »




             

              Pioneer of the Swiss Guards in France, 1779







Swiss Guards in France
 


There were two different corps of Swiss mercenaries performing guard duties for the Kings of France:

the Hundred Swiss (Cent Suisses), serving within the Palace as essentially bodyguards and ceremonial troops,
and the Swiss Guards (Gardes Suisses), guarding the entrances and outer perimeter. In addition the Gardes
suisses served in the field as a fighting regiment in times of war.

The Hundred Swiss were created in c1450 by King Charles VIII. Their main role was the protection of the King indoors, what was called the garde du dedans du Louvre (the Louvre indoor guard), but in the earlier part of
their history they accompanied the King on a war. In the Battle of Pavia (1525) the Hundred Swiss of King
Francis I were slain before Francis was captured by the Spanish. They shared the indoor guard with the King's Bodyguards (Gardes du Corps), who were Frenchmen.

Francis I of France used some 120 Swiss mercenaries in his wars. In 1616 King Louis XIII gave a regiment of Swiss infantry the name of Gardes suisse (Swiss Guards). The new regiment had the primary role of protecting the doors, gates and outer perimeters of the various royal palaces. This unit was officially a regiment of the line, but it was generally regarded as part of the King's Military Household.

During the 17th and 18th centuries the Swiss Guards maintained a reputation for discipline and steadiness in both peacetime service and foreign campaigning. Their officers were all Swiss and their rate of pay substantially higher than that of the regular French soldiers. Internal discipline was maintained according to Swiss codes which were significantly harsher than those of the regular French Army.

By the 6th century the Swiss Guards were brigaded with the Regiment of French Guards (Gardes françaises), with whom they shared the outer guard, and were in peace-time stationed in barracks on the outskirts of Paris. Like the eleven Swiss regiments of line infantry in French service, the Gardes suisses wore red coats. The line regiments had black, yellow or light blue facings but the Swiss Guards were distinguished by dark blue lapels and cuffs edged in white embroidery. Only the grenadier company wore bearskins while the other companies wore the standard tricorn headdress of the French infantry. The Guards were recruited from all the Swiss cantons. The nominal establishment was 1,600 men though actual numbers normally seem to have been below this.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 07:28:54 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #61 on: November 09, 2008, 07:30:33 pm »











The most famous episode in the history of the Swiss Guards was their defense of the Tuileries Palace in central Paris during the French Revolution. Of the nine hundred Swiss Guards defending the Palace on August 10, 1792, more than six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after surrender. An estimated two hundred more died in prison of their wounds or were killed during the September Massacres that followed. Apart from about a hundred Swiss who escaped from the Tuileries, some hidden by sympathetic Parisians, the only survivors of the regiment were a 300 strong detachment which had been sent to Normandy to escort grain convoys a few days before August 10. The Swiss officers were mostly amongst those massacred, although Major Karl Josef von Bachmann in command at the Tuileries was formally tried and guillotined in September, still wearing his red uniform coat. Two Swiss officers did however survive and went on to reach senior rank under Napoleon.

There appears to be no truth in the charge that Louis XVI caused the defeat and destruction of the Guards by ordering them to lay down their arms when they could still have held the Tuileries. Rather, the Swiss ran low on ammunition and were overwhelmed by superior numbers when fighting broke out spontaneously after the Royal Family had been escorted from the Palace to take refuge with the National Assembly. A note has survived written by the King ordering the Swiss to retire from the Palace and return to their barracks but this was only acted on after their position had become untenable. The regimental standards had been secretly buried by the adjutant shortly before the regiment was summoned to the Tuileries on the night of August 9th, indicating that the likely end was foreseen. They were discovered by a gardener and ceremonially burned by the new Republican authorities.

 




The Lion Monument in Lucerne.




The inscription in the rock reads (from Latin),



                                                    "To the loyalty and courage of the Swiss"



The heroic but futile stand of the Swiss is commemorated by Bertel Thorvaldsen's Lion Monument in Lucerne, dedicated in 1821 and showing a dying lion collapsed across broken symbols of the French monarchy.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 07:33:12 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #62 on: November 09, 2008, 07:35:28 pm »









                                          Swiss Guards in other European States






Swiss Guard units similar to the French ones existed at several other courts in the 18th century as well.



From 1579 on, a Swiss Guard served for the House of Savoy, ruling Savoy and later the Kingdom of Sardinia. The Guard was dissolved in 1798.

From 1696 to 1713, a Swiss Guard served at the court of Frederick I of Prussia.
 
A Swiss Guard also existed once in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

From 1730 until 1757 and again from 1763 to 1814 in the Kingdom of Saxony.

From 1734 until 1789 in the Kingdom of Naples.

From 1748 until 1796 in the Netherlands.

For a brief time (1748–1767) during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa (reigned 1740–1780), approximately 250 to 450 soldiers from Switzerland were hired to guard the Hofburg, the winter
palace in Vienna. They replaced previous military units that had performed that duty, and were
later replaced by others. The oldest courtyard of the palace is still called the "Swiss Court" (Schweizerhof) in acknowledgement of their 20-year presence.
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« Reply #63 on: November 09, 2008, 07:36:55 pm »




           










                                                         Pontifical Swiss Guard






Schweizergarde

Active 1506-

Country Vatican City

Branch Army

Type Foot Guards

Role Close Protection

Size One reinforced company

Garrison/HQ Rome

Commanders

Ceremonial chief His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
 


The Corps of the Pontifical Swiss Guard or Swiss Guard (Ger: Schweizergarde, Ital. Guardia Svizzera Pontificia, Lat. Pontificia Cohors Helvetica, or Cohors Pedestris Helvetiorum a Sacra Custodia Pontificis) is something of an exception to the Swiss rulings of 1874 and 1927. It is a small force responsible for the safety of the Pope, including the security of the Apostolic Palace and access to the entrances to the Vatican City.

Its official language is Swiss German.

It serves as the de facto if not de jure military of the Vatican City.



The history of the Swiss Guards has its origins in the 15th century.

Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484) already made a previous alliance with the Swiss Confederation and built barracks in Via Pellegrino after foreseeing the possibility of recruiting Swiss mercenaries. The pact was renewed by Innocent VIII (1484-1492) in order to use them against the Duke of Milan.

Alexander VI (1492-1503) later actually used the Swiss mercenaries during their alliance with the King of France. During the time of the Borgias, however, the Italian Wars began in which the Swiss mercenaries were a fixture in the front lines among the warring factions, sometimes for France and sometimes for the Holy See or the Holy Roman Empire.

The mercenaries enlisted when they heard King Charles VIII of France was going to raise a war against Naples. Among the participants in the war against Naples was Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, the future Pope Julius II (1503-1513), who was well acquainted with the Swiss having been Bishop of Lausanne years earlier. The expedition failed in part thanks to new alliances made by Alexander VI against the French.

When Cardinal della Rovere became pope Julius II in 1505, he asked the Swiss Diet to provide him with a constant corps of 200 Swiss mercenaries.

In September 1505, the first contingent of 150 soldiers started their march towards Rome, under the command of Kaspar von Silenen, and entered the city on January 22, 1506, today given as the official date of the Guard's foundation.

"The Swiss see the sad situation of the Church of God, Mother of Christianity, and realize how grave
and dangerous it is that any tyrant, avid for wealth, can assault with impunity, the common Mother of Christianity,"

declared Huldrych Zwingli, a Swiss Catholic who later became a Protestant reformer. Pope Julius II later granted them the title "Defenders of the Church's freedom".

The force has varied greatly in size over the years and has even been disbanded.

Its first, and most significant, hostile engagement was on May 6, 1527 when 147 of the 189 Guards, including their commander, died fighting the unruly troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V during the Sack of Rome in order to allow Clement VII to escape through the Passetto di Borgo, escorted by the other 40 guards. The last stand battlefield is located on the left side of St Peter's Basilica, close to the Campo Santo Teutonico (German Graveyard).

The Swiss Guard has served the popes since the 1500s.

Ceremonially, they shared duties in the Papal household with the Palatine Guard and Noble Guard, both
of which were disbanded in 1970 under Paul VI.

Today the Papal Swiss Guard have taken over the ceremonial roles of the former units.

At the end of 2005, there were 134 members of the Swiss Guard.

This number consisted of a Commandant (bearing the rank of "oberst" or Colonel), a chaplain, three officers, one sergeant major ("feldwebel"), 30 NCOs, and 99 "halberdiers", the rank equivalent to private (so called because of their traditional Halberd).
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 07:43:22 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #64 on: November 09, 2008, 07:46:18 pm »




                       









Recruits to the guards must be Catholic, single males with Swiss citizenship who have completed basic training with the Swiss military and can obtain certificates of good conduct. New recruits must have a professional diploma or high school degree and must be between 19 and 30 years of age and at least 174 cm (5'8.5") tall.

Qualified candidates must apply to serve.




If accepted, new guards are sworn in every May 6 in the San Damaso Courtyard (Italian: Cortile di San Damaso) in the Vatican. (May 6 is the anniversary of the Sack of Rome.) In 2008 the ceremony took place in the presence of the head of the Swiss army. The chaplain of the guard reads aloud the oath in the language of the guard (mostly German, some French, a little Italian):



(German version)

"Ich schwöre, treu, redlich und ehrenhaft zu dienen dem regierenden Papst [name] und seinen rechtmäßigen Nachfolgern, und mich mit ganzer Kraft für sie einzusetzen, bereit, wenn es erheischt
sein sollte, selbst mein Leben für sie hinzugeben. Ich übernehme dieselbe Verpflichtung gegenüber dem Heiligen Kollegium der Kardinäle während der Sedisvakanz des Apostolischen Stuhls. Ich verspreche überdies dem Herrn Kommandanten und meinen übrigen Vorgesetzten Achtung, Treue und Gehorsam. Ich schwöre, alles das zu beobachten, was die Ehre meines Standes von mir verlangt."


(English translation)

"I swear to faithfully, honestly and honorably serve the reigning Pope [name of Pope] and his legitimate successors, and to dedicate myself to them with all my strength, ready to sacrifice, should it become necessary, even my own life for them. I likewise assume this promise toward the members of the Sacred College of Cardinals during the period of the Sede Vacante of the Apostolic See. Furthermore, I pledge to the Commandant and to my other superiors respect, fidelity, and obedience. I swear to abide by all the requirements attendant to the dignity of my rank."



When his name is called, each new guard approaches the Swiss Guard's flag, grasping the banner in his left hand. He raises his right hand with his thumb, index, and middle finger extended along three axes, a gesture that symbolizes the Holy Trinity, and speaks:



"Ich, [Name des Rekruten], schwöre, alles das, was mir soeben vorgelesen wurde, gewissenhaft und treu zu halten, so wahr mir Gott und seine Heiligen helfen."

"I, [name of the new guard], swear diligently and faithfully to abide by all that has just been read out
to me, so grant me God and so help me his Saints."

The term of service is between 2 and 25 years.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 08:30:16 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #65 on: November 09, 2008, 07:49:32 pm »












The official dress uniform is of blue, red, orange and yellow with a distinctly Renaissance appearance.

While usually attributed to Michelangelo, Commandant Jules Repond (1910-1921) created the current uniforms in 1914.

While the uniforms of the Swiss Guard bearing Pope Julius II on a litter (painted by Raphael) is often cited as inspiration for the Swiss Guard uniform, the actual uniforms worn by those soldiers are of the style which appears by today's standards as a large skirt, a common style in uniforms during the Renaissance.

A very clear expression of the modern Swiss Guard uniform can be seen in a 1577 fresco by Jacob
Coppi of the Empress Eudoxia conversing with Pope Sixtus III. It is clearly the precursor of today's recognizable three-colored uniform with boot covers, white gloves, a high or ruff collar, and either a black beret or a black Comb morion (silver for high occasions).

Sergeants wear a black top with crimson leggings, while other officers wear an all-crimson uniform.

The regular duty uniform is more functional, consisting of a simpler solid blue version of the more color-
ful tri-color grand gala uniform, worn with a simple brown belt, a flat white collar and a black beret.

For new recruits and rifle practice, a simple light blue overall with a brown belt may be worn.

During cold or inclement weather, a dark blue cape is worn over the regular uniform.

The original colors (blue and yellow) were issued by Pope Julius II taking his family (Della Rovere) colors, Pope Leo X added the red to reflect his family's Medici colors.


       

Headwear is typically a black beret for daily duties, while a black or silver morion helmet with red, white, yellow and black, and purple ostrich feather is worn for ceremonial duties, the former for guard duty or drill; the latter for high ceremonial occasions such as the annual swearing in ceremony or reception of foreign heads of state.

The tailors of the uniforms work inside the Swiss Guard barracks. The Renaissance style uniform weighs 8 pounds, and may be the heaviest uniform in use by any standing army today. They are also the most complicated to construct, one uniform takes 32 hours to complete.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 08:09:28 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2008, 07:52:31 pm »





                      









Building on tradition, members wear a long sword (officers a rapier or straight sabre) and receive instruction in
the ceremonial use of their halberd on a four-sided pole which is held on their right during marches, drill, and
regular formations in their official duties around the Vatican. The halberd includes a loose metal ring just below
the halberd blade which adds a loud clink when an individual or formation comes to attention.




Other weapons and regalia carried by higher ranking non-halberdiers include:



a command baton,

a partisan,

a flamberge (a wavy two-handed sword), and

breastplate with shoulder guards.




Besides their traditional arms the Swiss Guard also has contemporary non-ceremonial small arms like
SIG P225 pistols and SIG SG 550 assault rifles at its disposal for security duties.

These small arms are also in use by the Swiss military.

The Guard also engages in yearly rifle competition and receives self-defense instruction, as well as
basic instruction on defensive bodyguard tactics similar to those used in the protection of many
heads of state.
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« Reply #67 on: November 09, 2008, 08:05:46 pm »

       
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« Reply #68 on: November 09, 2008, 08:10:59 pm »



             





                                                 





           
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 08:15:59 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #69 on: November 09, 2008, 08:12:30 pm »




                                                   





             
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« Reply #70 on: November 09, 2008, 08:22:30 pm »

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« Reply #71 on: November 09, 2008, 08:24:01 pm »

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« Reply #72 on: November 09, 2008, 08:32:19 pm »

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« Reply #73 on: November 09, 2008, 08:33:58 pm »




             
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« Reply #74 on: November 09, 2008, 08:35:59 pm »




             
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