Gottfried “Gotz” von Berlichingen or Gotz of the Iron Hand (1480-1562) was a German knight who lived to fight. When there weren’t enough wars for his liking, he formed his own mercenary band and hired himself out for any fight he could find. Even the loss of his right hand to a cannon ball didn’t slow him down. He had prosthetic hands made that would allow him to hold a sword, his horse’s reins, and even a quill. He survived countless battles, skirmishes, and two Imperial banishments. And yes he popularized a phrase that would come to be known as the Swabian Salute.
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