FACTOID # 28: Austin, Texas has more people than Alaska.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Landsknecht" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Landsknecht
Landsknecht. Etching by Daniel Hopfer, c. 1530.
Landsknecht. Etching by Daniel Hopfer, c. 1530.

Landsknechts (singular Landsknecht, German plural Landsknechte, sometimes also in English publications) were European, most often German, mercenary pikemen and supporting foot soldiers from the late 15th to the late 16th century, and achieved the reputation for being the universal mercenary of the European Renaissance. Image File history File links Landsknechte. ... Image File history File links Landsknechte. ... Christ Preaching, known as The Hundred Guilder print; etching c1648 by Rembrandt Etching is the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal (the original process - in modern manufacturing other chemicals may be used... Daniel Hopfer: Gib Frid - three old women beating a devil on the ground. ... June 25 - Augsburg confession presented to Charles V of Holy Roman Empire. ... A mercenary is a person who takes part in an armed conflict who is not a national of a Party to the conflict and is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a... A pike is a pole weapon once used extensively by infantry principally as a counter-measure against cavalry assaults. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units, though they may be transported to the battlefield by horses, ships, automobiles, skis, bicycles, or other means. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... The Renaissance (French for rebirth, or Rinascimento in Italian), was a cultural movement in Italy (and in Europe in general) that began in the late Middle Ages, and spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century. ...

Contents

Etymology

The term is from German, Land "land, country" + Knecht "servant", recorded from ca. 1480. It was originally intended to indicate soldiers of the lowlands of the Holy Roman Empire as opposed to the Swiss mercenaries. As early as 1500 the misleading spelling of Lanzknecht became common because of the association with Lanze "lance". This article is about the medieval empire. ... Swiss mercenaries crossing the Alps (Luzerner Schilling) Swiss mercenaries were soldiers notable for their service in foreign armies, especially the armies of the Kings of France, throughout the Early Modern period of European history, from the Later Middle Ages into the Age of the European Enlightenment. ... The term lance has become a catchall for a variety of different pole weapons based on the spear. ...


The term "Landser" is directly based on Landsknecht, as is the name of the French card game. Landser is a right-wing neo-Nazi rock band from Germany. ...


History

The first Landsknecht regiments were formed by Maximilian I, the Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 and King of the Romans from 1486. He called upon Georg von Frundsberg, known by many as the Father of the Landsknechts, to assist him in their organization. They later went on to fight in almost every 16th century military campaign, sometimes on both sides of the engagement. The landsknechts, formed in conscious imitation of the Swiss mercenaries (and, initially, using Swiss instructors), eventually contributed to the defeat of the redoubtable Swiss whose battle formations, overly-dependent on hand to hand fighting, became vulnerable to the increased fire power of arquebus and artillery. French artillery or Spanish firepower dealt serious blows to the Swiss formations, and the Landsknecht pike blocks were there to fight off the depleted Swiss attack columns once this had occurred. British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... Maximilian I of Habsburg (March 22, 1459 – January 12, 1519) was Holy Roman Emperor from 1508 until his death. ... The Holy Roman Emperor was, with some variation, the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, the predecessor of modern Germany, during its existence from the 10th century until its collapse in 1806. ... King of the Romans (Latin: Rex Romanorum) was a title used by the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire before their coronation by the Pope, and later also by the heir designate of the Empire. ... Georg von Frundsberg (1473-1528) was a German Knight and landowner. ... In the military sciences, a military campaign encompasses related military operations, usually conducted by a defense or fighting force, directed at gaining a particular desired state of affairs, usually within geographical and temporal limitations. ... Swiss mercenaries crossing the Alps (Luzerner Schilling) Swiss mercenaries were soldiers notable for their service in foreign armies, especially the armies of the Kings of France, throughout the Early Modern period of European history, from the Later Middle Ages into the Age of the European Enlightenment. ... Japanese arquebus of the Edo era (teppo) The arquebus (sometimes spelled harquebus, harkbus[1] or hackbut; possibly related to German Hakenbuechse or Dutch Haakbus) was a primitive firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ...

Standard bearer fighting against five landsknechts, etching by Daniel Hopfer
Standard bearer fighting against five landsknechts, etching by Daniel Hopfer

The Landsknechts, although rather conservative themselves in weapons usage, and always containing a large majority of pikemen, were more predisposed to the tactical employment of firearms than the Swiss were because Landsknechts relied less on the precipitous rush to close combat and, as Imperial soldiers, they also often fought in formations mixed with Spaniards, who made widespread use of the arquebus and, later, musket. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Daniel Hopfer: Gib Frid - three old women beating a devil on the ground. ...


The landsknechts typically came from Swabia, Alsace, Flanders, and the Rhineland, but ultimately the regiments were made up of men from all parts of Europe. Germany, showing modern borders. ... (New region flag) (Region logo) Location Administration Capital Regional President Departments Bas-Rhin Haut-Rhin Arrondissements 13 Cantons 75 Communes 903 Statistics Land area1 8,280 km² (??? mi) km² Population (Ranked 14th)  - January 1, 2006 est. ... For other uses, see Flanders (disambiguation). ... The Rhineland (Rheinland in German) is the general name for the land on both sides of the river Rhine in the west of Germany. ...


Their battlefield behavior was highly variable. Sometimes, such as at the Battle of Pavia, they performed very well, being instrumental to the Emperor's victory. However, on many other occasions, (such as in the later Italian Wars, French Wars of Religion and the Eighty Years War) their bravery and discipline came under severe criticism, and the Spanish elements of the Imperial army regularly derogated the battlefield usefulness of the Landsknechts -- the Duke of Alba is said to have hired them only to deny the Dutch enemy of their service, and that he put them on display to swell his numbers and did not intend to fight with them. The Huguenots scorned their landsknecht mercenaries after these were immediately routed by the battered Swiss mercenary pike block they had been sent to finish off at the Battle of Dreux. Combatants France Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Duchy of Milan[1] Commanders Francis I of France Charles de Lannoy, Antonio de Leyva, Georg Frundsberg Strength 17,000 infantry 6,500 cavalry 53 guns 19,000 infantry 4,000 cavalry 17 guns Casualties 12,000 dead or wounded 500 dead or wounded... Combatants France, the Holy Roman Empire, the states of Italy (notably the Republic of Venice, the Duchy of Milan, the Kingdom of Naples, the Papal States, Florence, and the Duchy of Ferrara), England, Scotland, Spain, the Ottoman Empire, the Swiss, Saxony, and others The Italian Wars, often referred to as... The French Wars of Religion were a series of conflicts fought between Catholics and Huguenots (Protestants) from the middle of the sixteenth century to the Edict of Nantes in 1598, including civil infighting as well as military operations. ... The Eighty Years War, or Dutch Revolt from 1568 to 1648 was the secession war in which the proto-Netherlands first became an independent country. ... Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba. ... In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name of Huguenots came to apply to members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France. ... Dreux is a town and commune in northwest France, in the Eure-et-Loir département. ...


Organization

Landsknecht with his Wife. Etching by Daniel Hopfer. Note the huge zweidhänder sword over his shoulder, and the smaller Katzbalger sword at his hip, both emblematic of the Landsknecht.
Landsknecht with his Wife. Etching by Daniel Hopfer. Note the huge zweidhänder sword over his shoulder, and the smaller Katzbalger sword at his hip, both emblematic of the Landsknecht.

The regiments often expanded from 4,000 to 10,000 men according to circumstances, or even larger -- the Black Band, generally considered to have been a regiment of landsknechts, were 17,000 strong when raised by the French in 1515. It was this flexibility which allowed them to be used in various battle conditions. Oberste (colonels) were given recruiting commissions by the Emperor to form regiments, with a lieutenant-colonel and various regimental staff, and units divided into Fähnleins (companies) with a Hauptmann (captain) in charge, as well as lieutenants and Fähnriche (ensigns). Other ranks included majors of the court-martial and officers in charge of camp followers. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 446 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (739 × 992 pixel, file size: 782 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 446 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (739 × 992 pixel, file size: 782 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Christ Preaching, known as The Hundred Guilder print; etching c1648 by Rembrandt Etching is the process of using strong acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal (the original process - in modern manufacturing other chemicals may be used... Daniel Hopfer: Gib Frid - three old women beating a devil on the ground. ... A replica of a katzbalger A Katzbalger is a short renaissance arming sword, notable for its sturdy build and a distinctive s-shaped or figure-8 shaped guard. ... The Black Band was a formation of 16th century mercenaries, largely pikemen, probably serving as Landsknechts. ... This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling. ... The Fähnlein (in Swedish: Fänika) was a military unit approximately equivalent to the company or battalion which was used in parts of Europe during the Middle Ages. ... Standard NATO code for a friendly infantry company. ... Hauptmann (German: ) is a German word usually translated as captain when it is used as an officers rank in the German Army. ... Captain is a rank or title with various meanings. ... Lieutenant is a military, naval, paramilitary, fire service or police officer rank. ... Fähnrich (officer candidate) is a German and Austrian military rank in armed forces which has no direct comparison in the English speaking world (though the French Army has a similar position called an Aspirant). ... Ensign is a junior rank of commissioned officer in the militaries of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. ... A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court that determines punishments for members of the military subject to military law. ... A civilian who follows military camps in order to sell goods or services that the military doesnt supply. ...


The Tross were the camp followers or "baggage train" who traveled with each Landsknecht unit, carrying the military necessities, the food and the belongings of each soldier and his family. Members of the Tross were made up of women, children and some craftsmen. Landsknecht with his Wife. ...


Weapons

Landsknechts were trained in the use of the famous long pikes and used the pike square formations developed by the Swiss. The majority of Landsknechts would use pikes, but others, meant to provide tactical assistance to the pikemen, accordingly used different weapons. For example, an experienced Landsknecht could be designated a Doppelsöldner, and instead of wielding a pike as did more recent recruits, would employ a six to eight foot long halberd or partisan, or, more famously, a zweihänder, a two-handed sword as long as 6 feet (although it was generally called at the time a beidhänder rather than a zweihänder). These great war swords could be used to hack off the heads of enemy pikes; or more likely to knock the pikes aside, creating disorder among the tightly arranged enemy pikemen in order to break through their lines. A modern recreation of a mid-17th century company of pikemen. ... The Pike Square was a military tactic developed by the Swiss Confederacy during the 15th century for use by its infantry. ... Doppelsöldner were mercenaries in Renaissance Europe who due to their mastery of the Zweihänder, a massive two-handed sword were entitled to double pay in the Landsknechts. ... This article or section cites very few or no references or sources. ... A partisan (also partizan) is a type of polearm that was used in Europe during medieval times. ... 16th century zweihanders, image (c) John Clements. ... A two-handed sword, used as a general term, is any large sword that requires two hands to use, in particular: the European longsword, popular in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. ... 16th century zweihanders, image (c) John Clements. ...

Ernst Friedrich, margrave of Baden-Durlach
Ernst Friedrich, margrave of Baden-Durlach

However, this tactic seems to have been of limited value, and was dropped after around 1510 - their Swiss adversaries had specifically prohibited it when they went over to widespread use of the pike in the early 15th century, because the weapon was too large to use in constricted pike warfare. "Doppelsöldner" meant "double mercenary", because they were paid double the wages of their less experienced counterparts, the landsknecht. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


Other Landsknechts would use the Arquebus, the precursor to the musket. When the Landsknechts were first formed, Arquebusiers composed up to an eighth of the total number of soldiers, but the number gradually grew to be about a quarter. Japanese arquebus of the Edo era (teppo) The arquebus (sometimes spelled harquebus, harkbus[1] or hackbut; possibly related to German Hakenbuechse or Dutch Haakbus) was a primitive firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries. ... Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk. ...


The universal Landsknecht weapon was a short sword called a Katzbalger, carried in addition to the Landsknecht's main weapon. Indeed, the Katzbalger was seen as the very symbol of the Landsknecht, Swiss illustrators being careful to depict it to indicate that a mercenary was a Landsknecht rather than a Reisläufer. A replica of a katzbalger A Katzbalger is a short renaissance arming sword, notable for its sturdy build and a distinctive s-shaped or figure-8 shaped guard. ... Swiss mercenaries crossing the Alps (Luzerner Schilling) Swiss mercenaries were soldiers notable for their service in foreign armies, especially the armies of the Kings of France, throughout the Early Modern period of European history, from the Later Middle Ages into the Age of the European Enlightenment. ...


Clothes

However, what made the landsknechts so conspicuous was their elaborate dress, which they adopted from the Swiss, but later took to even more dramatic excess. Doublets, deliberately slashed at the front, back and sleeves with shirts and other wear pulled through to form puffs of different-colored fabric, so-called slash and puff; parti-colored hose; jerkins; ever-broader flat beret-type hats with tall feathers; and broad flat shoes, made them bodies of men that could not be mistaken. The unidentified tailor in Giovanni Battista Moronis famous portrait of ca 1570 is in doublet and lined and stuffed (bombasted) breeches. ... Robert Dudley in a slashed, probably leather, jerkin of the 1560s A jerkin is a mans short close-fitting jacket, made usually of light-colored leather, and without sleeves, worn over the doublet in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. ... Basque style Beret Black beret with military emblem A beret (pronounced in English, except in North America where it is pronounced ) is a soft round cap, usually of wool felt, with a flat crown, which is worn by both men and women. ... For other uses, see Hat (disambiguation). ... A shoe is an item of footwear worn on the foot or feet of a human, dog, cat, horse, or doll. ...


Modern image

There are Landsknecht associations in various European countries, as well as in the United States, which promote interest in the Renaissance tradition of the landsknechts and who often stage revivals and festivals. The action film Flesh & Blood portrays a group of Landsknecht and their fictional adventures in Italy. For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... The Renaissance (French for rebirth, or Rinascimento in Italian), was a cultural movement in Italy (and in Europe in general) that began in the late Middle Ages, and spanned roughly the 14th through the 17th century. ... Flesh & Blood (1985) is a film directed by Paul Verhoeven. ...


See also

Landsknecht with his Wife. ... Tercio was a term used by the Spanish army to describe a mixed infantry formation of about 3,000 pikemen and musketeers, sometimes referred to by other nations as a Spanish Square. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Doppelsöldner were mercenaries in Renaissance Europe who due to their mastery of the Zweihänder, a massive two-handed sword were entitled to double pay in the Landsknechts. ... A replica of a katzbalger A Katzbalger is a short renaissance arming sword, notable for its sturdy build and a distinctive s-shaped or figure-8 shaped guard. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

  Results from FactBites:
 
Landsknecht - LoveToKnow 1911 (0 words)
LANDSKNECHT, a German mercenary foot-soldier of the 16th century.
The name (German for "man of the plains") was given to mark the contrast between the force of these soldiers, formed by the emperor Maximilian I.
The landsknechts were raised by colonels (Oberst), to whom the emperor issued recruiting commissions corresponding to the English "indents"; they were organized in regiments made up of a colonel, lieut.-colonel and regimental staff, with a varying number of companies, "colours" (Feihnlein), commanded by captains (Hauptmann); subaltern officers were lieutenants and ensigns (Fiihnrich).
History (0 words)
The term Landsknecht translated literally means "servant of the country" and first began appearing in the German language in approximately 1470.
This new mobile infantry, the Landsknechte, pikemen in the tradition of the dreaded Swiss mercenaries, were trained in large numbers, and fast became the main body of mercenary armies throughout Europe.
The Landsknecht army, as it was, was a fearsome sight to behold.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m