Katzbalger, 15th Century?

I first want to say that I'm new to this forum.... and I'm dutch.... So please don't execute me for my spelling.

Okay, this is also my first topic here, so I don't know this already exists. I'm in an Medieval reenactmentgroup, late 15th century (1470 -1490) and I saw on the internet an picture of a so called 'Katzbalger' sword. I wondered if that swordtype could fit in that period. (an early version or something) In Holland we had many influences from the Landsknechten form Germany. Hopefully you guys can tell me more about it.



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That's a very poor attempt at an early 15th c. Katzbalger. In any case, I doubt you'd see that specific style used much beyond Germany or northern Italy. Even the Swiss had a very different short infantry sword.

Fortunately, our friends in the Low Countries can turn to the art of Hans Memling. The image below is from his series on St. Ursula, ca. 1480. If you want a short infantry sword for your impression, the one here is perfect. A messer also would be a good choice.

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You should see some of the hands on reviews of Katzbalgers on this site, they are very nicely done as a rule worthy of a check up if you are thinking about purchasing something.


Mr Flynt is correct though that they did not get much circulation outside of "the empire" BUT in an interesting crossover there are several wood cuts from the Kriegsvolker (sp?) that show landsknechts with messers just like the one mentioned above. I think they may have preferred them if they could get them, foreign blades had some novelty for them. And novelty was everything to a landsknecht :)

I nearly forgot my favorite image of a contemporary Katzbalger is on Swords.cz

When were Landsknechts actually founded? I don't know exact year... And did Katzbalgers appeared before them or with them?
Although Maximilian I formed the first Landsknecht unit, the need evolved alongside the 15th c. rediscovery of ancient military theory that emphasized organized and well-disciplined infantry, standing armies, extensive use of pikes, etc.

The Wikipedia article provides a good overview:

Last edited by Sean Flynt on Tue 03 Mar, 2009 7:49 am; edited 1 time in total
Another place that makes good Katzbalger, esp. for re-enactment circles, is Lutel. The following semi-custom piece was one I got from Lutel a couple of years back.

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