Osprey Men-at-Arms 166 : German Medieval Armies 1300-1500
Medieval Germany comprised a number of states under the nominal control of the Holy Roman Emperor. In the west lay dukedoms and states where lack of central control had produced a confused pattern of holdings. To the north lay Denmark, a rival for Baltic trade and an unpredictable neighbour. In the east were the duchies of Austria and Bavaria and the Mark of Brandenburg: also prevalent was the threat from the Slavs beyond these borders. In all, the German rulers were forceful and powerful men, and the circumstances dictated the necessity of rule by strength based on military capacity. In the later 15th century, three houses rose above the others; the families of Wittelsbach, Luxemburg and the powerful Austrian Hapsburgs. The struggles of these and other houses, and of the knights and towns, were to be a feature of German history throughout the Middle Ages. Text by Christopher Gravett with illustrations by Angus McBride.
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