Monday, May 21, 2007

My Favorite Warrior

Everyone who collects tin or lead soldiers has their favorite warrior. They may be huge burly Vikings with bloody swords or knights in full amour spurring their steeds into a full gallop, lances at the ready. Even sophisticated modern warriors in camouflage uniforms carrying weapons of destruction that can eliminate twenty or more adversaries with one sweep and a loud RAT-tat-tat! Every collector has their favorite warrior as do I.

My favorite lead soldier has a prominent position on one of my top shelves. Standing just a touch smaller then the other 54mm warriors on either side, my favorite warrior carries a sword that was never drawn and wears armor that was never dented in combat located in my favorite warrior’s right hand is a staff with a large white standard.

My favorite warrior ran up and down the French countryside during the French expulsion of the English forces in the late 1420’s until 1431. “La Pucelle” as my favorite lead soldier was nick-named dressed in full battle armor and carrying only a “trademark” white standard led French forces into battle and victory after victory.

My favorite warrior’s first major battle and the first French victory was the lifting of the Siege of Orleans. In only nine days after the arrival of my favorite warrior English forces led by the Duke of Salisbury were forced to give up their siege and go into a defensive posture. Some scholars regard the battle of Orleans as the turning point of the Hundred Year War between the French and British which ultimately led to the ending of hostilities. In May of 1429 my warrior was arrow shot wounded and removed from the field of battle. Only temporary though as the white standard soon returned to the battle and rallied the soldiers once again to follow it onward to victory.

As with all “favorite” warriors, yours and mine, they must fight their last battle. At the battle of Comfine on May 23rd 1430 “la Pucelle”, “The Little Maid” struck her standard for the last time as she was captured and held prisoner for a year. My favorite Warrior was a woman! Not only a Woman but a GIRL!! After many successful battles Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake on May 30, 1431 at the young age of twenty-nine.

The month of May seems to have had a recurring influence on my favorite Warrior’s life but nothing like May of 1920 long after her death. My favorite warrior was canonized a Saint by Pope Benedict XV

Everyone has a Favorite Warrior.

Who is your Favorite Warrior?