Klaus Störtebeker (1360 - Hamburg, 1400 or 1401) was a German pirate of the North Sea and Baltic Sea and the most famous leader of the so-called Vitalienbrüder, the extraordinary privateers in the war between the Swedes and the Danish and the powerful Hanseatic League. "Victual Brothers" because originally they were hired to supply the besieged city of Stockholm with provisions.
After the end of the war, the "Brothers" continued to capture merchant ships by themselves (by true pirates) and renamed "Likedeelers" (literally: equal sharers). At the helm of their power they also plundered Bergen in Norway and posed a huge threat to any commercial vessel on the Baltic Sea and (later, when they were driven from their base in Visby, Gotland) and the North Sea.
He was finally captured by the Hanseatic League, which had put in place enormous resources, and executed by decapitation, along with his companions. A skull of these, found in Hamburg, was used to suggest a hypothetical "reconstruction".
|Hanseatic Cog (ship) from 1380s|