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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Sat 06 Aug, 2016 4:53 am    Post subject: Some Questions about the Landsknecht         Reply with quote

Hello guys, I've been reading a lot about aspects of the history and organization of Landsknechts, as well as their similarities and differences with the Swiss mercenaries, so I would like to make some questions that some of you might be able to answer:


-> Most of the pictorial sources of the Landsknechts usually comes from woodcarvings from the early sixteenth century. However, most of these carvings shows virtually ALL mercenaries with little or no armor at all. Certain modern drawers even represent most of them fighting without armor and wearing their hats instead of helmets, for example. I know Landsknecht used to hate wearing armour outside battles, so that's probably explain why the carvings shows them in a more "casual manner" (as if they were in daily campsite live). Still, I have to ask: is it true that most of the Landsknechts, at least in the period 1487 to 1515/1525, were known to not be so armoured as, for example, the swiss were?

I also notice this picture:


Mail Hauberks were still a recurrent armour among them by early 16th century?

-> About Messers: It's usually claimed that Messers, Langmessers and Kriegsmessers, as german renaissance swords, were a popular weapon among the Landsknecht, however, they aren't nearly as popular as Katzbalger as it is shown. My question is: Messers really came to be popular weapons? It had some considerable adhesion between the Landsknechts, and if it had, it was just among Doppelsoldners?



Last Question: It is known that the Swiss didn't take prisoners, but Landsknechts also had this conduct? I know they don't spared Swiss and other Landsknechts enemies, but this also extended to high-born prisoners or anyone who could worth a good ransom?
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 18 Sep, 2016 11:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Some Questions about the Landsknecht         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Most of the pictorial sources of the Landsknechts usually comes from woodcarvings from the early sixteenth century. However, most of these carvings shows virtually ALL mercenaries with little or no armor at all. Certain modern drawers even represent most of them fighting without armor and wearing their hats instead of helmets, for example. I know Landsknecht used to hate wearing armour outside battles, so that's probably explain why the carvings shows them in a more "casual manner" (as if they were in daily campsite live). Still, I have to ask: is it true that most of the Landsknechts, at least in the period 1487 to 1515/1525, were known to not be so armoured as, for example, the swiss were?


It's not easy to answer this question since the level of armour in both Swiss and Landsknecht formations varied according to the individual soldier's place in the unit. The foremost ranks usually had fairly extensive armour, and in many cases so did the outermost files on both flanks of the unit (some even had well-armoured men in the very last rank too so the unarmoured or less well-armoured bulk of the formation was encased in a shell of armoured men).

You might also want to look into this thread: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=33947


Quote:
I also notice this picture:


Mail Hauberks were still a recurrent armour among them by early 16th century?


Yes. Mail shirts were extensively used throughout the 16th century -- it was particularly common among light cavalry. Another common configuration was a breastplate or cuirass with mail sleeves.


Quote:
Last Question: It is known that the Swiss didn't take prisoners, but Landsknechts also had this conduct? I know they don't spared Swiss and other Landsknechts enemies, but this also extended to high-born prisoners or anyone who could worth a good ransom?


The thing about the Swiss not taking prisoners has been rather exaggerated. They took prisoners sometimes when there was a specific military or political reason for it, or when they had been specifically instructed to do so. So did the Landsknechts.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Sep, 2016 12:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This set of woodcuts in particular has several depictions of late 16th-century English troops in mail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Image_of_Irelande,_with_a_Discoverie_of_Woodkarne
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Fri 08 Sep, 2017 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
This set of woodcuts in particular has several depictions of late 16th-century English troops in mail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Image_of_Irelande,_with_a_Discoverie_of_Woodkarne


Thanks. By the way, I actually found pictures of landsknecht (or soldier who look like landsknecht) using mail in this article about the Schmalkaldic War:
http://ejercitodeflandes.blogspot.com.br/2017...uerra.html

The paintings:


I notice the pikeman and the serjeant are using some strange neck guard made of plate here:
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qJ8GeQQyCCI/WXh6IhoHREI/AAAAAAAADtc/uM4pQv-pNRcQxAjeyiLmNzmUOPNuJsgwwCLcBGAs/s1600/C%25C3%25B3dice%2Bde%2Btrajes%252C%2B1547.%2BHombres%2Bde%2Bguerra%2Balemanes.jpg

This is a flemmish pikemen, but I don't know if he is a landsknecht:
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TA7b7Nh4pBw/WXiATo1JqqI/AAAAAAAADt0/EykJlTzrkFwvEt4trW9_Jpz3Tnb4YlIHgCLcBGAs/s1600/C%25C3%25B3dice%2Bde%2Btrajes%252C%2B1547.%2BPiquero%2BPa%25C3%25ADses%2BBajos.jpg
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Sep, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The 'strange neck guard' you refer to is just a high-collared gorget. Pretty nice piece of armor in that day. Wink ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Chris Friede




Location: Austin
Joined: 15 Mar 2014

Posts: 39

PostPosted: Fri 08 Sep, 2017 12:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In regards to the messer...most of what I've read talks about how the messer was a very common weapon throughout the Germanic areas...."Here they fight with Messers, God ref their souls." Stands to reason Landsknecht would carry them as being pretty easy to find and probably some xperience with them just growing up German. The Katzbalger would have more cachet as a signature weapon, of course. These guys were all about the swagger.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 09 Sep, 2017 12:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, there's nothing even remotely odd about the articulated plate gorgets. They're very similar to the types attached to contemporary close-helmets.
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