If you have ever visited the Vatican, you have seen the stoic guards that look like they missed the bus to the local Renaissance Festival. The truth is they are a high-end military force made up of top ex-Swiss soldiers. And don’t let those spears fool you, they can shred you to pieces with them. If that doesn’t work, they have one of the finest firearms collections on the planet to finish the job. The Pontifical Swiss Guard is over 500 years old, making it one of the oldest standing military units in the world. Founded officially on January 22nd, 1506 by Pope Julius II, at the time the Swiss Guard was really a mercenary force. Back in the 14th century, Swiss fighters were knows to be some of the best anywhere, renowned for their ability to take on far larger armies and win. In the 1400s, Swiss mercenaries proved themselves in battle time and time again, sometimes while fighting for the Holy Roman Empire. In a way, their small footprint with big results was a precursor to today’s elite special forces teams. A History Of Courage The Swiss Guard’s first major engagement, and the one that proved the force’s… Read full this story
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