The Battle of Hemmingstedt took place on February 17, 1500 south of the village of Hemmingstedt, near the present village of Epenwöhrden, in the western part of present-day Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It was an attempt by king John of Denmark and his brother Duke Frederick, who were co-dukes of Schleswig and Holstein, to subdue the peasantry of Dithmarschen, who had established a peasants' republic on the coast of the North Sea. John was at the time also king of the Kalmar Union.
The ducal army consisted of the "Great Guard", 4,000 Landsknechts, commanded by a petty noble named Thomas Slentz, 2,000 armoured cavaliers, about 1,000 artillery-men and 5,000 commoners. The defenders were about 1,000 men, all peasants. These men were a well-armed and well-organized militia, not the desperate, badly armed rabble one would associate with the term "peasant army".
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