Tuesday, July 18, 2017

BIRKENBEINER

When I reported into 1st/10th Special Forces Group at Panzer Kaserne, Germany, one of the first things I saw was this painting hanging on the wall in Headquarters. I came to learn what it meant, what it signified, and over the course of many winters in the Alps I came to appreciate . .
. SL



In Norway around the year 1200, rival groups shared the identical but opposite goal of controlling the entire country. In 1202, when King Sverre died, he had managed to acquire most of Norway, but in Østerdalen, the group known as 'Baglers' were still very powerful. Sverre's death meant some decrease in the power of the Birkebeins (literally, the rebels were so poor they made their shoes of birch bark). His successor, King Haakon Sverresson, died only two years later, leaving his son Haakon Haakonsson as the ultimate target for the Baglers to get rid of the pretender to the throne. In 1206, the Birkebeiners set off on a dangerous journey through treacherous mountains and forests, taking the now two-year-old Haakon Haakonsson to safety in Trondheim. Norwegian history credits the Birkebeiners' bravery with preserving the life of the boy who later became King Haakon Haakonsson IV, who ended the civil wars in 1240 and forever changed Northern Europe's history through his reign. The events surrounding the journey are dramatized in The Last King:


Norway is ravaged by civil war, and the prince Haakon Haakonsson is born in secrecy. A boy half the kingdom is out to kill, and whom two men have to protect with their own lives. The Last King is the story of the escape which changed the history of Norway forever.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

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