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Osprey Men-at-Arms 58 : The Landsknechts

The word 'Landsknecht' first appeared in the German language around 1470, meaning literally 'servant of the country', but is more readily associated with the German mercenaries who served during the reigns of Maximilian I and Charles V in the sixteenth century. Having signed up, these Landsknechts were read a very detailed code of conduct, organised into companies, paid one month in advance, and sent into battle! The major weapon of these unique troops was the pike, which could be up to 18 feet in length, but those designated as Döppelsoldners, whose duty it was to advance in the front line and cut away the opponent's pikes, carried instead the fearsome Zweihänder; an enormous battle-sword around 66 inches in length! Douglas Miller describes in detail the organisation, tactics, weapons, uniforms and history of these remarkable soldiers, including accounts of suggested tactics [the surprisingly underhand and merciless actions of the Swiss and German troops shocked their opponents who had grown used to 'gentlemanly contests'], major battles such as Ravenna and Marignano and a fascinating commentary on flags and standards. Contemporary illustrations and eight full page colour plates by Gerry Embleton.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Organisation
  • Tactics and Formation
  • Weapons
  • Artillery and Equipment
  • The Campaigns
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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