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•< DOLGI .. \S \lILLER G.\ E\lBLETO:\"

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Swabian alliance was fanned in 1487---a, which set
Illfrorlllrtioll up an arm) to keep the po\\ erful princes of
Bohemia and Bavaria at bay. This initial forcc of
12,000 foot and 1,200 horse is described by many as
The word 'Londsknteht' first appeared in the the first anny of Landsknechts to be recruited on
German language around 1470. 11 is said to have Cennan soil. In 1+87, in the same year thaI the last
been coined by Peler von Hagcnbach, who records national joust look place in Cennan) al Worms,
ha\'ing commissioned such troops for the service of the first units ofCennan Landsknechts wcre being
Charles the Bold of Burgundy. Landsknecht trained in the strccts of Bruges b) Maximilian's
literally means 'servant of the country' yel as early commander Craf Eitclfritz \"on Hohenzollem.
as 1500 me word had already transfonnt"d into However, the campaigns in the ;\1"ctherJands and
Lan;:;kn«ht as the pike became the trademark or the
footsOldicr. No\\ ada)'s, how eYer, the term Lands~
knecht is usually associated wilh the type of
Gem131l merccnal) originating from what is ((:>day
Alsace, Baden Wiirtlcmberg and the Austrian
T)roJ and who served during the reigns of .\Iax-
imilian I (1493 1;19) and his grandson Charles V
ISI!rS6 ).
When these troops were first employed, warfare
was in a state of transition. The Burgundian Wars
(1476-7) had shown that cavalry was virtually
helpless against well drilled pike formations and the
new handgun. The fifteen Burgundian 'Com-
pagnies d'Ordonnanccs' had outlived their useful-
ness and wcre considered as nothing morc than an
army of redundant knights. Moreover the cost of
raising such a force of mounted lroops had
increased considerably due to lhe rise in the
economic and political status of the European
nobility. Those who stood to gain therefore were
those 'gentlemen of war' or Kriegsherren, as lhey
were called in Germany, who could supply large
bodies of mobile infantry, usually pikemen, able to Mn;milj*n I (1459'"'5'9) know.. as th.. 't.S( of dl.. kJUghls',
10 lh.. thro..., in '4'nand b), virt"..ofth., marriage- of
follow in the tradition ofthc now famous and feared lIuc:ceeded
hin,,~"'f, hi. . .n, and his , .....d . .n, pioed Ih., N.,thu....d".ad
Swiss. Spain, HW>pry and Bob.,mia, lh... c:reating. v. .1 Unp~ for
his'...r Charl.,s V and f .. rtb.,rmembe oftheHabtibol~
It was against this background that Maximilian, dr-"Iy, Hi" mareb UIlO CoIOSft., in ISOS> ed with. balbc:o;d
hcir to the Holy Roman Empire, had to raise a force allb., bead ofa c:ol" of~d.l<.oec:bl.b.,raIded • ....
Gennany, Apart fro th., erealio.. of Lb., ~ds"n.,du. 10., i.
capable of upholding his claim to the Burgundian aI.. c:red.iled with th.,d.,,,,elop....,..1of110., finl.dV&llc:ed "yst.,m
of ord. .,... Both wer., 10 prov., vital ... lois . .m.,whal
legacy of the Netherlands and of controlling his nlloro l)' c:ond :led fortip policy,
future tcrritories in the cast. To this lattcr end the (P."mtotryD.m. A t.\u........ ,11..-. r,......!
whieh set out th(' legal conditions under which the
Landsknechts werc to sel"\'e, Having accepted the
appointment and secured the means of finance, the
colonel, or Obrist as he \\'as called, then began
appointing in tum his sceond·in·colllmand and the
captains in charge of thc Fa/mtein or companies
which were to make lip the regiment. This done,
drummers would be scnt out to beat for recruits,
The muster \\as seldom a difficult task; colonels
with great reputations such as Frulldsberg and "011
Sid:ingen \\ere capable of raising annics of 20,000
foot in a mat tel' of \\ ecks. The problem in fact often
lay in rejccting those who ,\ere either incapable or
tOO ill-equipped to be accepled into the ranks. In
spite of lhe selection process, \\ hich depended on
whcther the recruit brought his 0\\11 \\eapons or
not, the regiment must havc been a motle} crew of
joume) men, (X'asalllS and students all inspired b)
lhe chance of adHnture and. of course. pay and
1H ....... ter pa.rade (Mu§t"ru.acl was adopl~ Croon lh.e S....'4. loot. and the sons of wealth) patricians, there for
and was u_tia1 U. d~e~ tile dlicieacyoCt.ia.......1 to tM:
~ The prK'OOdilio.. for .ec::qxaa~ Lato tile I'Jlks was
the sake off."lmil} honour.
thai ...Idien sloovJd po5Hl1. thei.. 0_ weapo.... It was the Ha\"ingsigned up, the recruits \\ere instructed to
tat;k oCtile p-ytnaliler. wbo stood al ~ f_t arm..
arch, 10 _s1lre that thOH recruiu f*!: throo&f;:h we.... of meet at a certain time and place for the muster·
....UDd mind and body. It oft.... ocaa.rred thai the paym.uter
."Oped 10 _tinS tile recru.iIJi 'double-eowued' for tloe .....e
parade. Here the} \\ ere ordered inlo two columns
offiaancial' i.e. 10 .windle the Kriq;_hltrT. facing each other and al the end of the gap between
, 11"wt/M.,jlUl.l_ft_'Dn 'tII/"'''
LuJJ!;.u,f. ~,Fr"""i:lI81...
them an arch consisting of twO halberds and a pike
G6t11t.: /8821
was erected. J twas throul;"h this that each man had
lalCT in Bohemia, although successful. were to to pass befon" being acceptcd into the ranks. I twas
p,'o\'e that the nucleus of the 'German' anny the task of the recruiling officer losland at the arch
consisted of nothing Illore than bands of ill- and check lhat those mcn who passed through were
organi.sed mercenaries. of sound mind and body, At this stage the regiment
It was not until after the storming of the fonn.'SS was divided up into FiiJmfein of 400 men, each
of Stllhlweisscnbcrg in Bohemia in 1490, where- Fiihllltin having 100 experienced soldiers, or DQppet·
upon Ma.ximilian ordered his men to swear an soldner as they wen' called. since lhey recei\'ed
oath of allegiance, thal the 'father of the Lands- double the pay of the ordinal)' fOOlsoldicr.
kncchls' succeeded in instilling his troops with a As soon as the Landskncchts had been paid one
sense of discipline and csprit dr corps. Onl) by month's wage the) assembled in a circle surround-
emulating the Swiss, howcver, by adopung their ing the Ghrist whose duty it then was to read them
customs and tactics, would the Cennan Lands· their rights, duties and restrictions in the form orthe
kneeht be abk' to hold his (Mn and to this end 'Lctter of Articles'. The artides consisted or a \'el)'
~laximilian modelled his whoit' milital) system on dctailed code of conduct laying out all the
the amlics of the S\\ iss Confederation. punishable oflcnecs such as mutiny, unwarranted
plunder, drunkennc"S on dllty, ha"in~ more than
The Muster
one woman follo\\ ing in the baggage train, and so
According to S\\'iss tradition, if a lord required an forth. This \\ as followed b} an oath.taking cen"·
arm) to scHlc a dispute he nOlmall} contracted a mall) in which e\"Cl') Landsknecht swore his
gentleman ofwar b} means of the BtslaJlungsbriLfor allegiance to his cause, his Emperor and his officers,
letter of appointment. This contained a recruiting and promisl-d to abide b) the la\\s set Ollt in the
commission and the letler ofartidcs, .lrtiI.Asbriife. 'Letter of Articlcs'.

For the enforcement and administration of these parade. Commanding the rcgimelll was of course
laws the Obrist appoinled a Prot-osl and a &hulthtiss the Ftldobrist or colonel. Sometimes the Obrisl was
respectively. During this ceremony the standards in command of several regimclHs at a time, in
were handed over to the ensigns who were obliged which case he received the rank of Obtrster
to swear an oath never to allow the standards to FeldlwllplmmJ1l. The task of leading the Feldobrist's
leavc their hands in battlc. The ensigns in tum regiment in this case would fall to the
joined their F{jhnl~in \\ here thc captain would be lAcoltntnl- lieutenaOl-coloncl the second in
introducing the appointed adjutant, chaplain, command who onl) held the rank of captain while
doctor and quartermaster to his men. The remain- the Obrist was present.
ing formality was the formation of the Rollen or The colonel, as laid down in the Imperial Diet at
platoons, each being rcsponsible for electing ilSown \VOllns in 1507, was enutled to a staff or S/(1o/ of
Rottmtista. twellly-two officials. This included a chaplain. a
scribe, a doctor, a scout, a quartcnnastcr, an

(9/;r{flllisotioll ensign, drummer and fifer, and a bocIyguard of

eight trustworth) men. ,Sec Tablt A.
Each Fahn/eill had in turn its own complement of
Each Regiment normally consisted of len Fiilmleill officials. The captain had the privilege of his own
or companics-Fahnlein is the German word for a personal cook and servant and a bodyguard OflWO
small flag or standard carried within thc unit. The DopptlsOidna. There \\ erc also an interpreter, a
Fahnlein, as already stated, was divided up inlo chaplain, a scout, a fourier, and the usual colour
Rottm or platOons. Each Rottt had ten common party with musicians. The sergeant majors, Ftld-
Landsknechts or six Doppe/siildlltr. A regiment ll·tibel, wcre given the responsibility of carrying
thercrorc, usually numbcring about 4,000 mcn, was out drill and formation. There was normally
divided into ten units of 400, each unit having forty a regimental sergeant major the Ob~rs/rr­
platoons often men. It must be noted here that this Ftldwtb~/-who \\ as responsible for battle for-
4,000 was by no means a standard number-the malion. General discipline and liaison between
complement often depending on the number of officers and men was largely the task of the It'tibtl
men who presented themselves at the muster (sergeants) and the Gtmtinwtibtl, the latter being
elected on a monthly basis as spokesmcn for the
Landsknechts. (Sec Table n.)
In addition to lhe above there was an inde-
pendent group ofofficials who were responsible for
ma.intaining discipline and ensllring that the
Landsknechts conformed with the Articles. The
most feared 9fTiciat of all was the Provost who
remained unimpeachable during his period of
office. His retinue consisted ofajailer, a bailiff and
an executioner called the Frtimann, recognisablc by
his blood-red cloak. The red feather in his berct and
the 100is of his trade, name!) the e.xecutioner's
sword and the hangman's rope which hung from his
belt, acted as suitable deterrents for the Lands-
knt-chts, who gcncrall) regarded him as an
untrustworthy character.
The mUSl" p-rwde was followm by llte..-diAs of!.h., leu" of
Each Regiment had a full complement of
anid... (Verles_S). Hertupon the Laad....... ech~ we.... or-- mililal) police and judges, including Ihe Schul-
dend 10 tonn a riDS uwI the colonel (Obrilft) Wonned !.hem of
their rip'" and 1"8&1 r... trairtt.lf. ne lett.... of amd ... which theiss, the Profoss PrO\·ost) and the Gmltillll·~ib~/.
always accompanied the letter of waS read every The total pay for these oflicials came to 236 guilders
s;" months and was invoked immediately hO"'tilitiu bega.n.
(It'llIIodtwl bJ' JDII A_..... ) per month.
Table A
Rank Pay
Regiments Staat (ColoneLJs Staff)
FeLdobrist Colonel 400 Guilders
Chaplain .
Scnreibn Adjutant .. 24 .."
Wadltmeistn Officer of the Watch. 4° ..
Quartinmeisler Quartcrmaster 4° ..
Doctor ..
4° ..

Feldar~1 Field Doctor 4° .."
Trommelschlagn Drummer. 8 ..
Pfeifer Fifer 8 ..
Dolmet$cher Interpreter. 8 ..
Koch Cook 8 .. each
Trabant (8) Bodrguard. 4 ..
Hurenweibel Sgt of the Train 02 ..
Fuhrknuhl Seout 4 ..
Table B

Rank Pay
Ead/ Foot Fannlein
1 Hauptmann Captain. 40 Guildm
1 LLutnanl
1 Fiihndrich
1 Chaplain Chaplajn 8 ..
I FeLdwehel
I Filkrn
Sgt Major.
12 ..
4 "
I Fourin Fourier .. 4 "
2 JVebeL Sergeants . 4 each
2 TromfrlLlschliign Drummers. 4 cach
2 Pftifu Fifers 4 ..
2 Trabantm Bodyguards 4 . each
I DolmelsCntr Interprcter. 4 ..
I HauptmlJnllJ Junge Captain's boy 4 ..
I Fiihndriclu Junge Ensign's boy 4 ..
HauptmanllS Koch Captain's cook 4 ..
Reisiger Knecht Horseman 4 ..
(From: Kriegsbildn dn drolschLn Landsknechle by \'on Zwiedeneck.Siidcnhorst.)

The pay for the whole force of foot-soldiers regiment for a month was 34,624 guilders. Each
numbering 4,000 (10 x 400) amountcd (0 32,000 La.ndsknccht was normally contractcd to serve for a
guilders pcr month, DopptlsQldner receiving 8 minimum period of six momhs.
guilders per month as opposed to 4 guilders for the At the Imperial Diet at Worms in 1521 the
ordinary Landsknechl. Thus the total cost of a reforms of the military brought about are·
organisation of the war finance system, to assist tactical superiority that could be achie\'ed by a well
Charles in his Italian campaigns. TIle Imperial lTained lxxIy of pikemen. This superiority was soon
army was set initially at 20,000 foot-soldiers and to be challenged by the arquebus (although in lhe
4,000 mounted, each Reichstand being obliged to first quarter of the sixteenth century it was still used
offer a contingent. This force cost 128,000 guilders with some restraint). Despite the 'miracle of
per month and although a new tax unit was Creazzo' where Frundsberg's arquebusiers, with-
invented-the Simplum, equalling the above drawing from earthwork to earthwork, wreaked
amount-the problem of financing a lengthy havacon theoncoming Venetian fOOl, skirmishers in
campaign could never be resolved. open order were considered to be tOO vulnerable.
In 1526, Frundsberg, for example, was obliged to The upshot of this was that different generals
pawn his estate and treasures (MindcJheim) for tended to adopt various sets of taChes at these times
30,000 guilders in order 10 finance a campaign in largely depending on the composition of their
Italy for Charles V. This sum, however, only forces and the type of terrain. The Swiss, for
covered haifa month's pay and his troops mutinied instance, anxious to shorten their campaigns as
on him. Similarly, the Spanish general Leyva had much as possible and being largely dependent on
to melt down the chalices from the church in Pavia the strength of their pikemen and halberdiers,
and even the gold chain from around his neck to preferred a short swift encounter and were there-
prevent his garrison ofCcrman Landsknechts from fore inclined towards a pike charge in echelon
defecting to the French. formation of Vornut (van), Gewallhul (centre), and
NMhhut (rear). This of course was in lum de-

CJjf{tics{file!qorlll{ftioll termined by the lay of the land. The Germans and

Spanish, later relying heavily on the strength of
their arquebusiers, tended towards a more de-
In the Burgundian Wan the Swiss had shown the fensive position, if possible on uneven ground to
upset the impetus of a pike charge. As a result of
these diverse tactics the general of the day was
always at pains to outmanoeuvre his enemy so that
when il finally came to a confrontation his forces
would have the advantage of terrain.
The German Landsknechts who often adopted
defensive positions required a new formation which
would ensure maximum tactical efficiency from
both pike and arquebus. This formation adopted
from the Swiss system was called thegmerle Ordnung
and is the forerunner of the infantry square. In this
formation the pikemen and the halberdiers formed
a solid square in the centre with the two-handed
swordsmen in the front and rear ranks. Behind the
first two ranks of Dop/Nlso!dur stood the ensigns in
the centre of the first three FiiJmlein. Then came a
virtual fon:sl of pikes, in the middle of which were
to be found the ensigns of the four centre compan-
ies. At the rear came the final three ensigns amongst
TIoe oado-takiDs ctremOOlY (v~s) (oU_cd tbe reuii..q
o( doe articles -....d __ 10 .... til dUeiplUoe -....d the most experienced troops in the regiment. These
aUepa..ce into ... otberwUie wakDowa baad o(.....m... inlnot were positioned at the back to add impetus to the
OQ mooey ... d .dvnoRlre. The «remo..y, which _ . held by
the Scloultheiu •• the official rflpoQ.ible (or .dmil1i.terUtl anack and also to discourage the faint hearted from
junice, boWHI doe Lau<t.uechl 10 doe articl... by forci>o.S hi..m
10 swear ... _do o f ~ « to doe Ea1peror, or _ ....ord as deserting the ranks in front. Around this block
the e:a- Dli&hl be. AI doe _ e time the __ip-...,re .wardcd stood a wall of arquebusien affording protection
tIoeit staada.rd.s, _ whida tItey 100 had 10 pve . . oath.
(JfJIA_J from the pikemen and occupying the most effective
Because of this it was necessary to position
experienced troops in the from ranks of the square
to protect the artillery.
If the order was gi"cn to advance, a line of foot
was normally strung out in front of the square.
Kno,,'n as the tIO/OurU HaJift (forlom hope it was
composed of either volunteers, prisoners hoping to
redeem themselves or mose unfortunates who had
been picked by lot. It was their task to advance in
front of the square wim their pikes and two-handed
swords to stave off the oncoming enemy and hack
his pike to pieces so that their comrades would be
able to penetrate the gaps they had made. To
remind these mJants pndlu of the perilous life and
death situation they were in, the plain red 'blood
flag' was always carried lnlhis somewhallhin rank.
The verlore11t Nmife, olien distinguished by the while
feathers which the Landskncchts wore in their
berets, was sometimes used as a dccoy to lure the
enemy into thinking Ihal they were being charged,
whereupon Iheir countercharge would be met wiLh
a hail of bullets from the arquebusicrs placed
behind them.
In defensive situations the order " as given for the
regiment to form an 19t1 or 'hedgehog'. This was
___ ~' \1,'
' carried out in either square or circle. In this ploy
-. .- ---
.....,'" the arquebusiers moved to the third rank while the
pikemen moved to the front, levelling their
weapons at an angle to take the oncoming cavalry.
The DopptlsOidner wilh halberds and lwo·handers
The obe...te.. Fe&dhaupUDaaD (...prelDl! coan...Ddcor) was
dirutly I"6poDlI'ible 10 the EmpeO"O.. or pri.n« who load plugged the gaps in the front and second ranks al
co.......i.. ioned hi.... Despite t.hU be load • free baad the
compMitioo or~ anny and the IHlectiOD "fJU. office The the same time, allowing space for Ihe arquebusiers
Obri•• who c:onunanded the rqimedl waa On , ...... re1Ipo
ible to fire.
to the obe...IU FeJdhauptnlanD. The d ~ of rflpon5ibility
was rewarded accordingly with ooe bWldredfold the pay of. Before the batlle commenced the commanding
common Landllkn~Jn. The pay WlUl a.eeI in muh.iplea of" officer, who usually stood in lhe front rank, would
guilde... per month at the In>perial Di..t al CoruU.ance in 1507-
The Obnll thu. rec~""N 400 pild..... per month phi. an call for his Landskncchts to kneel down and give
add.ilional600 for the upkeep of hi. 'Staat',
(11'.,00"1 b) JI~1U THrlllg, 'K"'IJbud' ~ Grqf NmmiI.Td qf $olmJ /545', grace to God. This cuslom was complelely miscon-
B~IK~ SllJIJub,blllillvk, MUllullj strued by the Italian historian Paul Jovius who
claims that il was Ollt of fear of Ihe cannonbaJls
poSitiOn in attack. Towards the middle of the which were flying around during the early Slages of
sixteenth century the arquebus became more Ihe baltic lhal the Landsknechts 'took to Ihe
important and it was customary for a regiment in ground', \\'hale\'er the case a virtue was made of
squared fonnation to have four wings of arquc· necessity.
busiers \\ ho were trained to advance and fire and Sir Charles Oman refers 10 battles in lhe
then drop back to mc rear to reload, SO mat me renaissance era as 'games of chess in which
momCllIum of the ad,-ance could be maintained. checkmate \\'as accepted with little acrimony and
To complete the defensi,'c position the artillery still less bloodshed', It came therefore as a shock to
pieces werc drawn up in front of the square where the Italians when the French, Swiss and Cermans
they commanded a good sweep of the baulefield. crossed lhe AJps wilh the intention of laking towns
and slaughtering prisoners. In fact gcmlemanly 3· A suitable body of men ~hOllld be picked to
conduct soon began to disappear from the form thc 'forlorn hope'. This should advance
battlefield as devious tactics wcre introduced. in column at the side oflhe square. \'eerin~ off
Fronsbergcr in his masterly work of 15561isLS fifteen and firin~ before droppin~ back to reload.
ploys which the Ohrist of the day considered when 4· The regiment should always be organised in
drawing up his anny for battle: such a way that the heavily armed men are
drawn up on the plain while those nOI so well
l. The strength of the enemy. his number of equipped should be placed at the rear or
horse, and his ty{>(= of annour should be drawn up on the slopes of a hill. The \\eakcst
determined in advance and the lay of the troops should be facing the left flank of the
land, the weather, the time of day. all laken enemy.
into consideration before deciding on the type 5· The infalHI) should keep together and avoid
of battle formation to be adopted. extending imo a thin line.
'2. Prisoners should be taken before lhe battle 6. Advantage should be taken of both the sun
and subjected to torture to extract the desired and the wind and the Landsknecht should be
information. reminded of the more sllbtle ways ofrl·ndcr·

- ~~
l'~{ ",
- -
--,,- - ,
II was 1I---n)' the quartum.asler'. task 10 .d.......~ ahead Dr .........11 a U'aiD of ~ b 1.. size uod clUarTa)'. It w.s
1Jo... anQ)' and tak.. can of the .«0............ 00.. ror dI.. troopL th ro eceuary to !lave _ .. Co...... of pollee to kiEep tioe
n... woodC1&t, apia by DO~ depictll. quartenna.ter iD full <w..o ', •• dI.." were called, iD d>eck- n .. .-.~I of tM
• nn-.. whic.ll by thU tm>"-l~WUrtoll)' articulaled, wilJo. t (above) was 1.... iD Non_"'t dern hus: .......
doe 'tobll'ter' laS...... .....1.. pi.,.,... n .............., .im.ilar to
lilat _ ... by FnaadJlbnJ;, show•• diniacc Roonaa iDfI...... ~_
lIGUT: SiDce it - . . c:u.llornary ror 1Jo... Uadllkaecbt to tak.. 1IU
by doe
teidter' ( tlw).
b)' m
te.r, wh_ duty it - . . to ...,. t .. qooarTt!l-
of a tnuocheoo 1Jo... <v......

wir.. chiJd...... widl IWn On aunpaip 1Jo... n: oft.... (II'..../s.., DflmI~. 'A-,.",hcll, &.Jmst1w~,JlljJ IN~ ," ....11)

ing the enemy pike ineffecti\'e by using sand appear seemingly as reinforcements.
or dust to blind them. (At Bicocca, for g. In close combat situations shorter weapons
instance, the Swiss used Stones to disable the were to be used at all times, i.e. halberds,
Gennan pikemen at a distance.) Ka1zha/gtr, two-handed swords and axes.
7. The light horse should be used to create a dust 10. The use of nets to trap the fieeing enemy was
screen thus enabling a well ordered troop to also effecuvc on occasion.
get behind the enemy lines. Ahernauvely II. Disguising oncself as the encmy (which was
other Falm/Lin can be employed to draw the never a difficult task) was a practice which
enemy out of his position by faking a roul. As also was to be exploited. By sending impostors
the enemy breaks his ranks in charging after inlo the cnemy camp rumouT'Scould bequickly
this Fiilm/tin the opening gaps can be penet- spread that the Ohrisl had been murdered by
rated by a well-timed cavalry charge. his subordinate officers.
8. A further ploy should be the drawing up of 12. The rear of the geritrtL Ordnung was always to
several squads of horse, foot and members of be composed ofsturdy experienced fighlcrs 10
the train at some concealed. spot at the rear of 'discourage' those cowards wishing 10 retreat,
the army. These are to hide until a crucial and to give impetus to the attack.
stage in the battle whereupon they arc to 13. Rotten were always to be placed at the disposal
of thc commander to replace thc wounded.
14. Above all it should be the duty of the Ohrisl to
maintain moraJe. Those contemplating de-
sertion from the field of battle. for instance,
were to be warned that to do so would be
tantamount to killing their comrades stand·
ing next to them. It was, howcver, the
punishment of immediate death which de·
terred such cowards.
15. Before the order was given for a pike charge
the Obrisl was to call up a squad oflancers to
advance in front ofthe pikemen and charge at
the right momcnt with the aim of 'jousting'
the pikes out of the enemy's hands.

Towards the middle of the sixtcenth century, as

the arqucbusier and mounted pistoleer grew in
importance, somc ofthe morcdanng ploys began to
disappear as movemenl became restricted by

The major weapon of the Landsknecht was of
course initially the pike. The ash stave was one and
a half inclIes thick and usually between 14 feCI
It wal Kfl.elltUll for the eaplain (above) 10 wear annOur al h.e foughl in the fronl rank .longlide the DoppelllOldner
and 18 feet in lc:nglh. The steel head was iO
and was often cluI.UeDged to .. duel by h..i. eowUerparl. in the inches long and the tip had the shape of a 'frog's
eDeDlY rlUI.k.JI. II il inleretlting 10 Qote the dagger wal
fuler>ed 10 the right teg by Dleana of a thiD Mlh_almost in mouth'. Adopting the customs of the mOlllHed
'PJUllia.g:er' fadoion. The _poD he is ea""""'g il a boar- knighl, the Landsknecht would sometimes tie a
~~ t)' H.-J o..lJII} fox's brush or animal's tail to the tOp of the pike,
There were two main types ofsword designed for
different types of combat. In the case of the
Dopp~iJijldn~r both were carried. The smaller
'Roman' styled thruSting sword, known as the
K(lt~b(llgaor 'mangler' had a short metal hilt which
joined a broad double-edged blade about 28 inches
long and had a guard of two S-curved quillons
forming rings, It was carried in a leather or metal
scabbard, and the weapon was usually worn
horizontaJly over the stomach at the belt. TheZwti-
!Iandtr, the enormous battle sword about 66 inches
long, also had a double-edged blade, sometimes
undulating in design with a long grip co,'ered in
leather or cloth. The hilt was reinforced with two
curved quilJons and two nng-guards on each side.
The lugs at the heel oCthe blade served as a second
guard, to parry blows as well as to enable the user to
grasp the weapon at a lower point, as prescribed in
the drill movements. This was facilitated by a
leather ricasso between the ring guards and the
lugs. On the march it was sometimes slung over the
back crosswise by means of a strap,
The other weapon brandished by the Dop-
p~lsij[dntr was of course the arquebus. This was a
hand gun fined with the matchlock, which con-
sisted of a lighted fuse or match attached to an S-
shaped hook trigger which swung over to ignite the
R~vift& twiee tloe pooy of ~ C O _ O I l "1~. tloe Dop-
ptl.oklaol:r "",Id the (roat aM rear posiliocu iD the touch powder when the trigger was pulled. This
'sevtu1e Onbl-l'.11 was !heir taP. to ad iD (nJQl otlhe
cornlJlll'y swi..pc tIttir rwo-iaaadftlliWO...u. 10 ","I doWlllO tile
pike uafb: oftlte -iDA: <!:ann,! tad establish aloclf;ftDnll
by pn>dratiDJ chit CrocIl ra.ab of tloe ~n>y'. lio.. of battle
while doe ........-.iaiaS ~~u: roUoWfll them up, co.... , ,
- . _.

solidatiDS thm posilioa i.a the pp. Tbrir prisb ~ • . -
became. boue of COIlleuUcn> with the nobility, who dema.nded
tloe iDtroduetioD. or....uorm so WI ....... would be dUtiAsuiu-
. :..:x.:.::
lObi... M_ximiJi.n, bowevor.r. overruled their dem....d. 00 the
Jrounds that the f..aQddtaecht d~.....ed at Ie••• ollelwrury in
hi, miserable lif... Thul frefliom of d,..,. . _ s S ..... ted al the
Imperial Diet at AuS~but'J Ua 1503.

,· •, , , , , , , , •
because of an aJlcgcd magic healing property and ··
the power of protection.
The haJberd, which was relegated to a 'secon- •
dary' position, was carried by the NCO'S and
Dop~uiildner and used to dress the ranks. I t too had
a shaft one and a halfinchcs thick but was only six
to seven and a half feel in length. There were of Fo..a .."..;.... (~ne OrdaI&Dfl) of ...- "'-' c.1540- If ~e
squared fonnatioa _ . auaeked by cavalry. the fonnaUOD
course variations of the halberd, notably the ____ily adaptable 10 a d ..fensiye ploy. The pikanea facias
Voulge, the Glaivc, the Partisan, the Spctum, and in the respectiye dlrectio... with the erwI. of!JIeir pikK du«
inlo !JIe .,..-th would _till fOnD tlae ......... wall while tlae
a type of Fouchard which was used by Charles V's !IUl'TOundinS the... would advaac:e oul in liae to
face the onoo....u.g bo....e. Afler their 6 ....1 yoUey. they would
boc.l}'guards and borc the emblem oCtile two pillars ..elura 10 the front raak. of pike to reload.
of Hercules and the Burgundian cross on the blade. (F,rwrr. ..." <'lCltlh~r1-&b"JwUI)

had a range of up to 400 yards but was inaccurate posilion. The quarrel or bolt usually had a wooden
and often rendered useless by a shower of rain. night which o'eated a rotary action in flight
Although lhese guns must have had a considerable thereby increasing its penetrating effect. The
weighl lhere is lillie evidence from contemporary crossbowmen normally carried a shield which in
prints that the arquebusiers used a rest to support defensive situations was propped up with a stake or
their weapons. The arrival of lhe longer·barrelled sword so that a wall could be formed.
musket around 1520 necessitated the useofa rest. It The Fiihnftin were normally subdivided accord·
was not umil the middle of the sixteemh celllury ing to the type of weapon. Since the main weapon
that the first major development was made in firing was the pike, the core of the unit was formed from
mechanisms. The wheel·lock pistol made its first pikemen. This nucleus numbered 300, the remain-
appearance at the Battle of Muhlbcrg in '547. ing 100 comprising Dop/Nlsofdntr, 50 of whom were
Invented by the gunsmiths of Nuremberg, this gun armed with arquebuses and a further 50 with two·
worked like a cigarcuc lighter. When the trigger handed swords and/or halberds. Later records show
was pulled, a milled wheel driven by a spring SlTUck that the number of pikemcn began to diminish as
a spark from a piece of pyrites or flint which in tum the firearm became more popular. Thus, according
lit the touch powder. Although used mainly by the to Wilhdm Fronsbcrger, by 1596 only 200-220
famous &hU!or{,t Rnkr these pistols also found their pikemen were required.
way imo the belts of officers and DopptlsiJfdntr.
The crossbow, which had originally been the
forerunner of the hand gun, gradually became u1i1i//ery (/lid eqllipJllent
obsolete as the arquebus accepted as the
standard weapon. Yet at Marignano there were In Emperor Maximilian's biograph~, Wtiss Kunig,
still 200 mounted crossbowmen in Francis' royal menlion is made of the talented young prince who
guard, and Gascon foot brandishing crossbows. was capable of handling artillery pieces with
The later crossbows were fitted with a cranequin, greater precision than any of the more experienced
which consisted of a small iron drum filled with master gunners of the day. Weiss Kunig also
hooks \."hich were actuated by a crank handle thus records how the young Emperor achieved a new
drawing the bowstring back and selting it in technical superiority in one of the first·ever
organised systems of ordnance.
Thc new pieces which Maximilian ordered to be
made at thc factOries of Beck at Augsberg, and of
Sattler at Nuremberg incorporatcd several new
developments. Firstly they were lighter, being cast
in bronze, their calibres being bored out. For the
firsl time the barrels were carried on carriages
whereas earlier they had been carried on separate
wagons. Trunnions and elevating mechanisms
Huaprian Ordinanc.... In '53~, wb..... Chart.... V ....rc::bed began to appear and there were also developments
.sain5t th... Turlo5, who wue be51"'llnS Vi_,.t th" bead 0(.
buge armoy ftumbering 90,000 (oot and 300000 ho......., h ... d ... viud in the type ofshot, which incidentally was now iron
• ft~ ba,ll" (onnatiaft wbic::b would re.i51 any TurlWi.b instead of stone. Freysleben, the keeper of the
uuult.Jovius d ....cribes this (onn.doft.s haviBS. (remt ',000
paces to""S. It co_isted o( three uaiu o( pik~..... _c:b 'J,f,ooo Imperial arsenal, records the major types ofcannon
fDnl strollS (a, b, &r. c). The... were • .utably spaced apan to
aUow twO muses o( cavalry, Ncb c:ontaiaiftg 'n,GOO borH (A'" which the Emperor had constructed:
B), to take up potIitio... Surrow:u1inS tbU nw>n:nous (onnatiOIl
wall a five ...... deep 'I:oed,e' o( arqueb.... ie... spaced :JO yanh
(rom the pike aDd the bo There were IWO Pi'll in Ibis I. The Hauptbiithstn or heavy siegc·guns were
'I:oed(..... 10 allow th... ho to ch,....l Ie th.rou&b at the edeIDY· nothing morc than huge gun barrels mounted
Outside this bloc Ibe artillery was spaced at • .utable u.lervab
aDd the whole (ormati_ was a......ed by IWO wiDJs o( at an angle 011 wooden supports with numerous
H_priaa bo.......-(D .. C).. Kftowa a. Ibe Huapriaa 0rdiD-
-oe. this sq..-re _s (ar (rom c:u.mbenorne aDd ...... Turks rows of shoring behind the barrel to take the
were repulsed by drec:tiv... c:ha'll" o(th" Imperial shock from the recoil. Often such cannon were
lao aDd (oot.
(F,.. R....IaI!. '(;,~Jn hif..umr 18141 so cumbersome that the) took days to set up
first uHd as • tactical ploy u. the HUliliite W
fon' oaIy prov~ lfthe anDy
do", ~....
kNld.ed _to _11:_ with ~ d o o.... necoUUDaDder.. lnat
was u._riably fOOUld iQ the C'e'Dl", of dae _ p and ado
by • -...,idet-abl", artillny uaia. To add ..u..tIlp aad lire ..taadard .. toed al the iwa.d. of ",ny ,roup or l.... ttI or datil"'"
power to dae O1Ir-rd 'w1llJ.,', La.rJe ana.... ba.... W~ o(tna bdoasialllO dae fihaln.o.. (..t-. c.'UrJ ~,.. 8nllJl.\I_

and hours to load. As a result a protective barrel was usually twenty to fort}' times its width.
shield pivoted on a frame would be placed in 4. ~laximilian also ordered the construction of
rrOllt of the cannon and only raised on firing. siege Illortars, organ gUlls and grape guns, the
The greatest example of such a monster was details orwhich are for the most part unknown
'Mad Meg ofChent'. Her barrel was eighteen because artillery makers or the day were
feet long, had a 33 inch bore and a weight of pledged to secrecy in case the ellemy should
firtecll lOns and required a span or 30 horses to equip himse1fwith similar weapons.
pull it.
'2. Thc hcavy arullery, comprising the Schaif- Concerning the colour schemes of the artillery.
mtl<.t. Nachligalf, the long and short KOTtaunt the carriage was invariably painted black and the
(cannon royale) and the ROlhbiichst, were metal fittings rcd. The wheels wcrc Icft in natural
longer pieces and had a smaller calibre than colours. A wooden box was oftcn placed over the
the Hauptbuchsm. As a rule the barrels had a firillgchambcr to k~p it dl)'durillg transport and a
length 6"e to eight and a half times their small flag or pennant denoling thc colours of thc
calibre, and a reinforcement abo\-e the firing regiment was attached to the traillcK, usuaJl~ on
chamber. the left hand side. Because of the e.xtraordinal) sizc
3. The morc mobile medium artillcl) was com- of somc cannon, notably the siegc pieces. a
posed largely of &hlallgtn eukerins-both considerabl) largc train was required. Fronsbcrger
long: and short, and Basilisks. The length of tile (1566' estimates that a train of 130 artillery pie<:es
including 100 field guns needed the following

2,675 Horses
891 Carters
5 Geshimneister (Officers in charge of Ihe trans-
port of the pieces).
124 Master gunners (Biichsmmtister).
63 Ammunition carriers.
4 Fiihnlein sappers (often taken from the train, i.e.
women and children).
200 Schneller (loaders), usually artisans.

Apart from this a further 100 wagons were

required for ammunition and equipment, with an
additional 400 horses and 150 men. I f one could
keep running costs down to a quarter of a guilder
per man and horse one still had to scrape together
some 42,839 guilders a month !O prevent a mutiny!
Added to this came the costs for the actual A 1lCl"D." taken from MIlXimi1illn'. bi"graphy 'd".. WeiSIl Kunilt'
construction of the cannon. Fronsbergcr gives an depictiDg th" battle "f Utr«ht. n" main battl" lItandanf.
displayOld are th" 'Haing"rna.hJ', incorporatiDg th" CI"Ou "fSt
example of such a bill: ADdrew, and the l:I"nnal battle Rag bearing. whit" CI'OSS on •
..Old backgl"Ow>d.
(C<iUtltJ.J ~flht Stili#! M_wn)
60 hundredweight of metal including gun barrels. The SChan{Pltister or engineers who
wage for the caster 1,080 fl held the equivalent rank of a captain were in
The cradle inclusive of wood, metal command of the sappers or SchanzbautT, whose task
attachmellls and wage for the construction it was to strip the houses of wood foJ' future
The carriage earthworks. The remaining important offices
The limber belonged to the Gescltirrmrisler responsible for
The limber spike transporting the artillery, and the Zeugwart who
Chains commanded the train and the arsenal.
Two sets ofwhecls for lhe limber The artillerymen, being regarded as a special
and the carriage 10 fl breed ofLandsknechlS, were paid accordingly. The
Ladle, sponge, matchlock, etc 2 fl fully skilled master gunner usually received be-
tween eight and sixteen guildcrs; his services werc,
however, only demanded when a battle was
Because of the enormous running costs the imminent. Even the Schneller-the loaders-were
artillery always had first preference when it came to paid six guilders per month (two more than the
plundering besieged cities. The Oberster Zeugmeisltr nonnal Landsknechts). Fronsbergcl' writes that the
(Master General of the Ordnance), who had the artillerymen were rewarded with both extra pay
same rank as a field marshal, had the sole right to all and privileges because they had to keep their
the artillery and ammunition that was still intact positions during the battle and consequently were
and was also allowed to appropriate any remaining not allowed to lake part in the ensuing plunder.
arms and armour. He was, however, obliged to Such privileges included immunity from the
hand over one third of the booty to the Kriegsherr. Prowsi, the cannon as a place of asylum for fugitives
The master gunners were emitled to all the powder from justice, and the freedom of gunners' wives to
and shot. It was customary to seize the church bells form their own train. Due to their immobility on
since they provided a valuable source of metal for the baulefic1d artillerymen were normally clad in
greens and browns, otherwise they would have normally came under thejurisdictian afthe master
been obvious targels for enemy sharpshootcrs, The general of the ordnancc,
artillerymen were subject to their own Articles and

Table of Ordnance under Maximilian

7jpe Weight Slwt JVagollJ Horses Artill"Jmm
(tons) (kg.)
Srknrfmtlze 5 50 3' 163 48
Basiliew 3i 35 17 119 30
,N(Uhtigall 3 '5 13 88 ,6
Singtrin , <0 7 41 I'
Large KartauM 8 6 8
Small Karlaum

1* 5 , '7
16 5
Dmli RotJuchLange " 3'5 , 21
Sau (Bautt, Delise) I 10 , 17
Falkaum 2-5

1* 5
FaJl.end i I 3
&harffdinnle *

Hauptbiichsm, &karfmetz.en, Basilisks, Singtrinnm and Kartaunen were the larger siege pieces,
the remaining types made up the field artillery. There seems to have been a rationalisation oflhe
artillery under Charles V:

Table of Ordnance under Charles V

Type Weight/Shot Weight/Baml Calibre Length oj BamL
(kg.) (kg.) (mi.) (metres)
Cannon Royale 18'7 ',goo 18 3'5
Mcdium Piece 11'2 2,3 00 15 3"4
Culverin 5"6 1,380 I' 3"9
Demi Culvcrin ,·8 1,230 9'1 3'5
Saker 3'0 1,235 10 2'9
Falconct 1'4 795 7 ,·8
Mortar 6
4 '7 ',600 35'5 1'5

his marriage in the same ycar to Mary, the

CjJie {!tll/poiglls daughtcr of the Duke of Burgundy, regarded Ihese
territories as his rightful inheritance. AI the ensuing
Battle of Guingate in 1479 ~Iaximilian's foot
Upon the death ofCharles the Bold ofBurgundy on regislered thcir first success in defeating Louis, In
the batt.lefield of Nancy, the French King, Louis '493 when Maximilian became Hoi} Roman
XI, laid claim to the Burgundian legacy, which Emperor, this somewhal personal conflict between
included the Netherlands. Maximilian, by vinueof the French court and himself o\'er Burgundy was
ne army on the D1.II.rdo DOrrnally adopted a Connauon wbido and rea.r. ne a..m.onuoition and provilion. were protected by a
would be ea.ily adaptable libould it liuddenly corne under .e.-.eD in the centre. h i. interntin! to Ii" the method
auad.. nu. the onu",I<eteerl were placed on the flank. Cor of tl'1l.Dliport employed for the huse arqueb....eli in the
proteclio... a1oDJI:.ide the hor~ and the artillery at the front immediate foresround. (A_p. Co.tltJ.J oj IN BnfUA .If_I

now raised to an international level, thus destroy- i\lilan, "enice, and the Hal) Roman Emperor
ing the hundred-ycars' peace iliat had existed together in a military alliance against France.
between Gennan) and France. ~laximiliaJ1 immediately despatched a force of
Although he had secured the Nethcrl:lnds and several thousand Landsknechts to hah lhe retreat of
Austria, Maximilian soon found himselflhreatencd the French over the Alps, but they could nOI
in the southern reaches of his Empire. In [494- prevent thc withdrawal at FornUQvo. The
Charles VIII, the successor to Louis XI, crossed the Emperor's plan was for the League to launch a
Alps and invaded haly with the intention of concentric altack on France with the aim of
conquering the Kingdom of Naples to which splitting the French territOT)' into pieces. The plan
France had a centuT)'-old claim. Facing no \\as never rcalised. The League, which had been
resistancc whatsoevcr, Charles VI J I entered concluded on a 25 year basis, began to crumblc as
Naples in May 1495 with ~Iaximilian standing signatory after signatory abandoned the agrecment
helplessly in the wings. Yet this bold move by the when France withdrew from their territory. There
French set loose a countcrreaetion throughout were, howcvcr, twO important developments in the
Europe. When Charles finall) reached Naples he wake ofthis. First!). £\la.ximilian struck an c\-erlast-
found thai a great coalition had been formed ing alliance with Spain through the marriagesofhis
behind his back. TIlC League of Venice, concluded daughter ~Iargarete to Don Juan, the heir to the
in March '495, had brough! Spain, the Pope, Spanish throne, and his son, the Archduke I>hilip,

10 Donna Juana, thc daughtcr of Fcrdinand and Albrecht IV of Bavaria·~lunich (urned to his
Isabella. Secondl)', he summoned the princes of ~Iaximiliall and thc Swabian
German) to the Imperial Diel at Worms in April Alliance for assistance. Th(' Swabian Alliance was a
1495 in which he laid out plans for (among~a other political and milital) organi<;ation which had been
things) a general war levy. The scheme remained fOlmed in 1488 betwcen the Emperor and the
on paper, !t.laximilian having to rely on the rich leading princes, among them Dukc Sigmund of
Venctian and !t.lilancsc families for financing his Tirol and Eberhard, Dukc of Wurltembcrg with
campaigns. the main aim of preserving peace in Ba\aria.
In 1499 hostilities ,\cre rcsumed when a French The opposing forccs met at the village of
army crossed the Alps again in a second attcmpt 10 WenZCllsbach ncar Regcnsburg. This was the first
take ~Iilan. The new King of Francc, Louis XI I, major test for Georg von Frundsbcrg later to be
succeeded in holding the cil) until the spring of nicknamed the ·father of the Landsknechts· in
1500, the Duke of ~lilan, Lodovico Sforza, having command ofa regimcllI from ~Iemmingen. ~lax­
been bctra) ed by his own Swiss mercenaries. The imilian commanded the anny of his brother·in-
next prize was :\aples and an alliance with Spain law, Albrccht, which outnumbered the encm~
soon made its capture a fonnality. However the quite considerably. Ruprechl's men had taken up a
allies then began to quarrel and at the battle of defensive position on a hillock behind a wall of
Garigliano October 1503 the Spanish sword·and· shields. Thc battle was decided, however, b) the
buckler troops won a resounding "ictory o"er the devious tactics of ~taximilian's Landsknechts \\ ho
French, who were forced to withdraw from the advanced to meet Ruprechl's horse. The latter
Kingdom of Naples.
!t.laximilian now called for a new Imperial Dict
which met in Augsburg. The invasion of~'lilan was
the pretexlthe Emperor had needed to com'ince his
princes of the imminence of the French threat. Yet
he was still unable to stir his nobility into providing
him with the financial support necessary to mount a
campaign against France. !t.laximilian was so
desperale that he allowed the formation of a
R,ichsrtgimtfll a council oftile leading princes who
were prepared to buy their share in the running of
the Empire.
In the following years Maximilian transfonncd
his stratcgy and adopted a marc peaceful policy
towards France, hoping to presclve his prize so that
he might inherit her a\ a later date. In 1504 and
1505 rcspeclively, tbe Treaties of Blois and Hag-
cnau werc signed, in which thc daughter of the
French king was bctrothed to thc Archduke
Charles. Thc accord lasted only a year. In 1506
Louis proclaimcd that his daughter Claudia would
marry thc crown prince, Francis of Angouleme.
This was fclt as a great }X>litical blow against
~Iax.imilian. Howcver, due to domestic conflict he
was obliged to post}X>ne any plans for re,·enge. Early WoodCUI& &UUKI thai the arqu"bus wa& ..-ed wilhout
After the dealh of the Duke of Landshut, George the aid of& relit. ney w"re raLber primiliweaad ~berso_"
afFai"> c:c: I1" _d wiLb & 1"Il-IlJ" of appro..-ately 400
'the Rich', in 1504, the Wittclsbach family began to yard&. ne dew"lopme," towards Lbe .,...... t:! look place
La the "s- wlM:a the rul wa& Ualroduced, . . baadpas
quarrel ovcr Ihe legacy. Thc Palatinate Ruprecht bec:a.m" er .... Ilad • wid" calibre.
allied with Vladislav, King of Bohemia, whiJe (F,..; ·<nlJ r.
MIII.Il-./i-. ~"d.j..u."Iwt/ld.lJtatid,
charged the Imperial 'forlorn hope' only to be lured. three year truce with the Venetian Republic.
into a thick \\'all of pike behind them. Some 1,600 The Pope, who had meanwhile become fearful of
men were slaughtered. The victory at Regensburg the growing po\\'er of Venice, now sought a
and subsequent succ(..'SSful siege of the fortress of protectivc alliance with :-'Iaximilian. The resulting
Kufstcin did much to enhance the military re· League ofCambrai formed in IS08 included Spain
pUlation of the Emperor and al the Impel"ial Diet at and France. In Ihe following year lvlaximilian
Constance which was held in 1505 all his demands, commissioned Frundsberg 10 march down the
particularly for his militaI) budget, were met. It River ElSCh via Trient and recruit a regiment for
was at this Diet that an organised system of the Alliance ",hich was now preparing to atlack the
payment was establi~hed for the LandskncchtS. Venetian positions. Realising that their strength
In 1508 ~Iaximilian dre\\ up plans to rene\\ lay in their diplomatic ralher than their militaI)
imperial control in Italy. At thc Imperial Dict at cunning the Venetians tried to manoeuvre each
Constance he had demanded financial support for member of the League into a position whereby
his Rome campaign, promising knighthoods for quarrel and ultimale dissolution would become
those princes who would follow. His desired ann) inevitable. Thus Pope Julius II and me Spanish
of 20,000 LandsknechtS was never realised. Of the King Ferdinand the Calholic were persuaded that
12,000 men that were placed at his disposal only a their interestS did not lie in the Habsburg camp.
fraction e\'entualJ) took the field. It was obvious The League was dissol\·ed, Germany finding itSelf
that r>.laximilian was intent on war \\ith Venice on the same from as I-ranee. Fnllldsbcrg, who had
and not the French. The Venetian Republic barred meanwhile held the fortress city of Verona, was
the way to Rome. This barrier proved to bc tOO relieved an~ joined the french force commanded
strong, for in February that year the Emperor's by Trivulzio. In May 1511 they
anny ground to a hah at Trient. Without adequate succeeded in defeating the Papal·Venetian forces
militaf) suppon ~laximjJian was obliged to sign a between Imola and Bologna and then pushed

StaB" w",poa. or ~ 6f'1~Lh. aDd .... teeaLh. can..tie.: .) S It 6) h.ll.... la.are. de boeu.f; "'2) Partisans; I:J-Isl
Military rork;".) Ahlforsdo ; 3) RaJuo,o .. r or Runka HI) Co.-que; ConeqlO"116) RWIb; '1) h.liaa Bill; ") Glaive.

Th~ basic difl"~rencebelWftft Swi5lll and German pikedrill ....s poliihonli of the drill, ...... y of which we.... adoplM by the
lhal the German Landljkn~Ju. b~ld the pike al ",houlder Germanli. The armour shown I. Iypical Maximilian lityle,
Ioel&bt wbenali the Swi",. prefft'Tftl to bold their wcapo... at an cbaracreriRd by the llw:nel'O'" HUM!li On the brea"t plat.. aDd
a.a.s1e or.bove the bead. TbiIi phoforapb mo_ the nllietItial the cuili..... (c..tU!J~tiIII&....... \~ ,11_. ;:'_ndj

north-east, thus forcing the \enetians to \\ ithdra\\ It was at this stage mal a ne\\ power began 10
from their foru'csses in the Friuli dislricl. It is said make itself felt-Switzerland. The cnmil) between
that with only I,Boo men Frundsberg succeeded in the Swiss Confederation and Germany had arisen
defeating 9,000 Venetians and laking the fortresses largely due 10 the desire on the parl of i\laximilian
of Scala, Covelo and the 'impregnable' Cadore in 10 bring the Swiss under his political wing. The
the Dolomites. The strategic importance of this n.'Suh had been a succession of border clashes me
viclory was that il secured the main crossing points 'Swabian Wars' in 1499 in which a three pronged
in north-eastern Italy for fUlure Imperial armies. Imperial assault froOl Alsace, Constance and lht'
This was to be me only gain from Frundsbcrg's Tyrol had failed miserably at the Baltle ofDomach
viclory, for ne\\ political developments had upsel on 22 July. From lhat day onwards the Swm
the international scene once again. Confcderation bccame an independent political
In 15" the Pope fanned a Hal) League with cmity. This break ",ilh Gemlany had strengmened
Spain and Venice and Henry VIII of England Swiss sympathy for the French. Vel surprisingh the
against France. Maximilian, secing this as a great finest troops in Europe had now entered the scr\ict'
opportunity to seal the fatc of France and al the of Pope Julius II, thus helping to s'J·en.~then the
same time secure haly once and for all, joined the Holy League which was no\\ intent on dri\ing
League. France out of Italy.

The Battle of Ravenna _ _--
... __ ...--
.... _M _ _

------ ...

f\t Ravenna in '5[2 tbe opportunity arose for the

new allies to show their strength. The Papal.
Spanish army under the command of Raimund
Cardona made a stand three miles from the city,
which the Frcnch commander Gaston de Foi" had
deliberately besieged in an effort to draw the army
of the League into a confrontation with his own
force, which numbered 22,000 and included a
contingent of 5,000 German LandsknechtS. Draw·
ing up his forces barely 30 yards away from the
banks of the River Ronco, Cardona ordered
earthworks to be erected across his front. With his
Medium artillery p;«e5, probably Kartaune... In general the
horse on both flanks and his infantry arranged in rate "ffiring WIIS ..low. Thi. was ..... part due 10 the D«essity 10
cool IlDd dean the bon: each time to p...,venl prem.ature
echelon formation similar lO the Swiss tactic, the e"'plOt;io.... wben reloading; vinegar __ .... ed to cool the
Spanish commander ordered wagons to be drawn barrels.
up in front of the forward infantry square. On these
commandcr his life. Ravenna was one of the
wagons were placed large arquebuses, while lhe
bloodiest ballies of thai era. Over 10,000 bodies lay
heavy artillery was positioned in front of the left
strewn on the bauleficld with double losses for the
wing of cavalry.
League. According 10 Machiavelli the French
As the French advanced towards Cardona's
victory was gained solely due to the stubborn
front a heavy cannonade bcgan. De Foix, noticing
resistance and fierce c1ose·quaner fighting or the
that the enemy had placed mOSI of his strength on
German Landsknechts.
the left flank, ordcred his artillery to be drawn up
Several days after Ravenna Maximilian ordered
and for twO hours bombarded Cardona's weak
all the German Landsknechts in the pay of the
right (lank. The effort proved succcssful, for he
French to return home. All except 800 obeyed their
brought the enemy out of a strong defensive
Emperor; and these Soo wcre to form the nucleus of
position on to the field. Colonna, the commander of
the infamous 'Black Legion'. In the following year
the Italian horse, threw his troops against the
the Holy League broke up on the death orthe Pope
French right wing. Outnumbered twO to one the
Julius II. The Venetian Republic, seeing that its
French were forced back, bllt the advance of the
real enemies were lhe Germans and the Spanish,
Leaguc was soon checked by a counter-chargc from
struck an alliance with France; and the Pope, a
the French lancers in the rearguard and, thrown
Medici, had other interests.
illlo confusion, the League was put to roul.
In the centre the Spanish and Italian infantl)'
Creazzo and Novara
began their advance towards the German Lands·
kncchtS who stood in typical squared formation. In the summer of 1513 a new army 7,000 strong
At this poilll the lauer, breaking into a great commanded by Frundsberg and Ulrich von Hlitlen
charge, swooped into the ranks of the Spanish and crossed the Alps and was joined by the veterans of
precipitated biller hand·to-hand figlaing. Seeing Ravenna. Uncertain of the political situation,
that the Spanish were gaining the upper hand which was in a SlalC of pcrpclllal fllIX, the Imperial
Caslon ordered his horsc to attack the Spanish foot, army marched on Padua whcre a large Venelian
causing the latter to take up a defensive instead of army was reported 10 be assembling. Reinforced
an offensive formation. Surrounded on all sides, tbe with Spanish and Italian contingentS, Frundsberg,
Spaniards tried to keep together and reach the after severa] minor skirmis.hes with local units,
banks of the Ronco where lhey could make a turned nonh·wcst towards Creazzo wherc the
retreat between the earthworks and the river. commander of[Jle Venetian forces, d'Alviano, had
Furious ,hat the Spaniards were retreating, Caston confidcntly invitcd thc gentry of Padua to observe
ordered a final charge which cost the French the resounding victory which he was about to
Th.. cul".. ria was on.... charact..riHd by th.. shan ~I .....
the Joooe: U"Ili1 pi~. Th.. l-rn:1 _ elevated by meaas of. the ~ I _aonnaUy 110 to 40 limo... its width. (Dnu)
.i.mpl.....ed:uuUsm al the ~.r ofl.h.. lraiI pi~. The 1"'D!th of

register against the Imperial forces. Yet Frunds· his imperial claim on Italy, was faced with a new
berg and his Locolcllt!1l1 Jakob VOll Landau, selling problem. The young and impetuous successor to
their men up in squared formation, converted what the French duone, Francis I, was intent on
seemed a certain victol1' for the Venctians into a rccovering the lost Dukedom of Milan. In August
humiliating defeat. Some 8,000 mercenaries of the 1515 a French army, 30,000 strong with a train of
Republic met their death against only minor losses 72 guns crossed the Alps and surprised their
for Frundsbcrg's men. encmies in the rear, pitching camp at Marignano
~Ieanwhile the French had been forced to ten miles south·east of ~tilan.
withdraw from Italian soil after suffering defeat at Francis had takcll the trouble to recruit 9,000
the hands of the Swiss at the BatLie of~ovara,June German Landsknechts under the command of the
1513. The French amly, encamped some 28 miles Duke ofGucldres, having lillic rcgard for his own
west of Milan were taken by surprise by a '3,000- Gascon infantry. II is said that man} of the
strong Swiss force. In Ihe deadly battle which Landsknechts belonged to lhe infamous Black
ensued, the German LandsknechlS of the Black Bands, so-called because of the black uniform and
Legion and the French Gascon foot were thrown armour which lhey wore. The Swiss, 25,000 Slrong,
back and hacked to pieces by the Swiss halberdiers. had withdrawn to Milan where they received a
Out of 10,000 men thc French suffered 50 per ccnt considerable bribe from Francis to turn against
,! losses. Those Landsknechts in the pay of the French their hosts. Howe\'er, careful persuasion b}' their
f who surrendered were e.xecuted wilhout mercy by leaders made them realise that the French meant to
the Swiss. Novara was the highwatcrmark of Swiss destroy them.
military achicvcment. The opposing forces met at Marignano on
1 By the end of '514 most of north·eastcm Italy Septcmber 13. Whilc the Swiss hesitatcd over the
j wascomrolled by Imperial troops until in 1515 the bribe from Fmncis, lhe French king took up a
Curtain began to rise on a new act in the Italian defensi\'e position. making dfcCli\'c U5C of the
" tragedy. ditches which broke up the terrain in frolll of his
c ranks. Having ordcred some of these to be built up
j Marignano illlo eanhworks Francis placed his artillery, ar·
~Iaximilian, who had juggled about with France quebusicrs and Gascon crossbowm('n in the front
,c and the Venctian Republic in an attempt to secure line. Behind this came the Gemlan Landskncchb in
fighting, the Swiss withdrew from the field with
only 3,000 men left. The French were thus able 10
recover Milan, while Maximilian could only offer
token opposition.
When in 1516 the Emperor organised a cam-
paign from the Tyrol against Venice and ~liJan, his
military bankruptcy was exposed. One half of his
troops were Swiss mercenaries in the pay of the
English, man} of whose comrades "'ere still in the
pay of the French (lhe Confederation had been
divided). l\loreovcr l\1a.ximilian was not e\·cn
commander of the whole arnly. In spite of this his
anny had managed to reach the gates of Milan, yet
H~ w .. flll'tbu esampl.. of _ aiI~ wiu aD onoat.. when he hesitated over the assault of the city in
twisted barrtt IUld wa...,..,J .truu 10 add ...bill.,. l& U .. wIoole favour of a more stratcgic manoeuvre, his troops
carriat.. d~ U"Ul$pan. grew impatient and demanded their Sturmsold.
(lkw; 'n.,~ .. s.u.udwj')
When this moncy was nOI forthcoming they
mutinied, some defecting, some returning home,
squared formation, Ranked by the French ho~. leaving the Emperorwi!.h no choice but to abandon
Somewhat confused but anxious to get at their his campaign and make a hasty retreat to the T)TOI.
treacherous enemy, the Swiss had meanwhile left This marked the end of Maximilian's military
Milan and drawn themselves up in typical echelon engagements. Forced to adopt a more peaceful
fonnation with a forlorn hope well ahead of the policy towards France, he concluded the Peace of
main Cru.'a/tltut. Pressing forward, the 'forlorn hope' Brussels with France in December '516, by which
reached a small fannhouse where, under cover he delivered up his last prize of the Venetian
from enemy fire, the Swiss were able to SCt up the
fourculverins which !.hey had taken from the Milan
arsenal. Francis immediately ordered a troop of
horse to approach the farmhouse with the illlention
of setting it on fire. This they succeeded in doing,
rendering the cannon useless.
Pressing on, the 'forlorn hope' crossed the
ditches, wading through waleI' in some places, and
traversed the walls built by the French engineers.
Complctely overpowering the Gascon archers and
arquebusiers the Swiss van, now closely followed by
the main body of foot, reached the last ditch
protecting the Frcnch position and crashed illlo the
German Landskncchts. In thc ensuing melee the
Swiss captured several guns and for a while the two
forces were locked together 'at push of pike'.
Fortunately the Germans rallied and at their
second assault the Swiss were checked by a Ranking
charge from the French horse and salvoes from the Th.. So or Sow _ . _l4bt fidd piece wiu_ 8TftIteT traj«cory
thaa u .. mvuiD •. The equlpm.... t req~ to Lb..
French artillery, which ripped holes in their ranks. anillery ... load onieT ova. quit.. ~bJ.. , -.idtl" and
By midnight the battle had reached stalemate. It is .cyth" for deariDl th.. uad"rvowtll, -.boyd. IUld KoOpS for
th.. ean.bworks, boo.1a.a_ aDd for m ....urinJ out u ..
said that both Swiss and Germans slcpttogether on doarJ" or papawd , I er buekeu for carT')'iD« U ..
powder Cram ~ d p to u tadletl for cha.rJin&: uem,
the battlefield until fighting was resumed the ad.. lP'ftH for ue wb_1s, plIO. barrel. of......ns, _po c:aadI....
folJowing morning. Finally, after 28 hours of Ia.ot~ and thO! .ecunr')' tool..


, .0- ..
J, HO;:r1'-;I,,'iN MiirtC'I'1U1

If. Land»knecht had committed. crime .... d lJu«ftCIed ... pIlC:" fro... the p.n the ProVOll( _llld IlOt .........1 .b.i.m.. If I.bU the ProvOill by reaching one oCthe pna in the artillery law wa. broke. thea the Ulalltft'1lftle,,1 of the had
par'" he autom.atiCll.1ly had the ris"bt of .....<:mary for ~ the ritl:btto withdraw hi. artillery train from the .. nny.
dar-. As lcml .. the Cgptiv" remaUo.ed wit.hia • nuii... of 2f ( Dtis,: 'DIU dnl/MItI SMJ4Ino&w" )

Wars-the CityofVerona to Francis. In the same pronounced aim ofa 'A!onorchia L'nivtrsaliJ' which
year Charles, Duke of Burgundy, the grandson of posed a great threat to France.
Maximilian, inherited the Kingdom of Spain from Ancr several minor engagements in northern
Ferdinand. This suddenly posed a military threat Spain (Villalar, 1521) and thc Netherlands
nOt only for France but for the Pope too, for the (Bouchain) hostilities resumed in northern Italy.
whole of soulhem Italy belonged to Spain. Thus Francis had renewed his alliance with the Venetian
when Maximilian died in 1519 Pope Leo X allied Republic and Genoa and had recruited an anny of
with Francis I, seeing this as the only move capable 16,000 Swiss mcrccnal;es under the command of
of countering a possible pincer movement which Albrecht von Stein and his uco/rnent Arnold von
any future Gennan emperor could mounl. Winkelried. The French forces under the supreme
The eJection ofCharles as Hoi) Roman Emperor command of Lautrec had occupied most of the
was no clear cut malleI'. Francis I, w;th consider- kingdom of Lombardy.
able financial resources at his disposal, set about Frundsberg, commander of the Imperial forces,
wooing the German princes who were responsible was approached by several Italian princes to raise
for the election. His challenge was shortlived. an army and hah the French advance, With the
Charles succeeded in securing the necessary help of hundreds of peasants he cleared a way for
financial supporl from the rich Fuggcr and Welser his Landsknechts through the snowed-up Bergam·
families of Augsburg, thus enabling him to askian Alps and joined the Imperial-Papal forces
influence several of the more importam princes. At under the command of Prospero Colonna at Milan
the same time Maximilian's grandson arranged for in February 1522. The French Army, which had
an army to be despatched to Frankfurt the venue meanwhile been forced back cast of~lilan, decided
for the election). This showofforce commanded by to make a stand at La Bicocca in April 1522. This
Frundsberg and Franz von Sickingen was 3. was a decisive baule not for any strategic reasons
sufficient deterrent for Francis and his prospective but because for the first time Swiss and German
voters amongst the German Electors. This con- mercenaries faced each othel" in considerable
frontation meant a revival of the Habsburg-Valois numbers.
struggle which was to be intensified by Charles's
Q 10 SO
fl-~'TI---'~--'--r, '-' miles
020 80km

10 0

T YR 0 L
• Castel Roncolo
~s Pieve de Cadore
, ~

Trient. v

La Bicocca



• Florence

Map oftbe North Italian and Tyrol~ theuret of war during

tbe fint quarter of Ihe .Ui:1e..ntb century.

I hnperial Herald, 15'15
:I Georg von Frund1bers
:J GOI:! von Berlichingen (1481 15&:z)


-. . .

The Em.peror Manmilian I

( • c.ptaio:l, '520
'lI Schu1tl>~ •••
3 Standard Be-ftl'. '500S


L:::::;;;:_"'~ ~~------,,~_---= ./c

Arqu~bu,per, lsao
2 ~m~i.n ..·~bel, Wi.llibald Pird<.b~;m~r Rq; ':>29
3 Pikeman, "·'5'10

.: .... •

• t.


,'- ...

... E>,I!lll Te)'"
I DoppelHklau ohhe Black ~ 'po
~ SutJererl.
3 Pr0v051

~----4 ~~~.-------~
.' ..


•. (hnperial MltI" Raldi ~ Suuodanl of friedrida of
Bavaria. 15:P; 3- Standard oCOuo..les Viol_ Sta.Qdard o(M•• i_ili...
i.ncorporatinJ the B~d.ia.n cron of 51. Andrew; So SULadard ofGeo"l
VO" fna.ndsb..'l;1 6. ero.. oCSI. Andrew; 7- Standard orthe fuge" £an>i1Yi
8. Standard of 1\.1"... mi"8""1 9. Slandard of the Geor."cbild Rin"rgell"lIl'<'hafl
(Ln8"'e of Swabian Knigbl.); 10. Reichsrennfahn ...

Bicocca and Pavia
Colonna, the Italian commander in chargc of the
Spanish cOlllingent, had realised that the hunting
lodge at La Bicocca presellled a considerable
defensive position. A sunken lane ran between the
bottom of a garden and the fields which separated
Ihe two armies. He ordered the bank to be built up
on the garden side illlo a rampan, and positioned
hjs arquebusierson it in ranks four deep, aJong with
several heavy cannon. The German pikemen took
up the rear of the rampart. As the Swiss advanced
across the fields (with roeks and sand in their hands
ready to throw at their enemy) their ranks were
decimated by the murderous fire from the Spanish
arquebusiers and artilleT). Those who succeeded in
reaching the lane found themselves in a deathtrap
and were slaughtercd by the arquebusiers, who
were so high that the Swiss pikemen could not even
louch them. Frundsberg, adopting the Spanish
'tercio' method, had deployed his pike in chequer-
board formation behind the arquebusiers. This
proved to be unnecessary, as his pike rushed down
.......~ ..~ ~ w."-
into the lane (0 finish olfthe Swiss. In the ensuing .......s."iItlI. ,• ..,d:oSlm
melee Albrecht von Stein and Arnold von Winkel- .................-r..
&eo... von Fl"WId.sbe..., Ifn-1sa'. Lord of MiJodoeUoeioa, is
ried were killed at the hands of Frundsbcrg. Some reprcled by m_y.a Lbe true 'C.Lbn- of the LaacbJutecbu'. He
bec:arne Iiupreme corornauder of the Imperial forc:eli IlJlIdn-
5,000 Swiss, including 2'2 of their officers, were Charleli V portly afler the latter Ii"cc~ed Lbe throoe.
killed in theonslaughl. La Bicocca was a disaster for Fn&Ddabe"l! fougbl hili finl _g.g",,_1 .pinal !he Swi•• in
1499 aDd in the same year wu amo,,& the Imperial 11'00I"'
the Swiss. Lautrec ,,·as forced to withdraw from de.paldoed 10 . .sis, the Du.l<e of Milaa, Ladovico Sfora,
.pia•• Lbe rreocl>.. Mnimm•• iB
Lombard)- and in the following months Genoa o........ia&: the Laads.kDechl. and in lsog, 1513 -...d 15'f
surrendered. La Bicocca proved once and for all the ~.tu-ed owne...... '''Cc:elises .pil"l the V_etiamI aad the
Frellcl>.. Throush hi. victory.l Bicocc:a in 15'1:1 be bro"plw
supcriority of the Spanish and German arquc- grealer pari oCLombardy ....der!.he iDftuftlce oCCharl" V,.I
busiers and the Landsknecht pikemen. !.he _ e time d"U'oyiDg Lbe ~"tatl.oo oC the Swiss as Lbe
besl Cool_ldie"' .... Europe. He also played. onajor role in the
~lean"hile a new domestic conflict had broken d~""I of the F>..I PII.viso in '5"" He died in Aups. ,p:8.1
MiDd~uloa...ud £nuo loi.ezt.... h·e_paicIu: iBltaly.
out between the German princes and the knights. (PM/wI " .u""'W"" ,...".II~ __. _\f~
The latter, led by Ulrich von Hutten and Franz von
Sickingen, felt themselves threatened by the The internal weakness of the Empire had in fact
increasing influence of the nobility which had been been o\'ershado\\ed by polilical ructions on the
manifest in the formation ofa RtiduTtgimtnl. Franz international scene. In haly the Habsburg ally,
von Sickingen had planned to align the knights Duke Francesco Sforza, had taken conlrol of
with the eities in an allempt to seize the political Milan, long regarded as the rightful inheritanc(' of
power from the princes. In August 15'2'2 he began France. Henry VIII of England had landed in
his campaign at Trier, bcseiging the Archbishop Northern France, as had been planned \\ ith
Prince, Richard von Greiffenblau. Immediatel)· Charles V. Yet Francis was to suffer an ('\cn greater
the princes united against him and a large force setback. Charles, Duke of Bourbon and Constable
under the Prince Louis of the Palatinate and Duke of France, had quarrelled with his king and taken
Philip of Hcssen engaged him throughout the year service wi III the Emperor, who had promised him
until finally in the spring of 15'23 their flags were both the hand of his sister Eleonora, the wido" of
flying on the Landstuhl-Sickingen's castle. the KingofPortugal, and a kingdom in the south of

The situation was becoming quite serious for
Charles. Pope Clement VII had tumed his back on
the Empin: and entered into an alliance with
France and the Venetian Republic, allowing a
French anny under the command of the Duke of
AJban) through the Papal Stale to attack Naples.
Charles, in response 10 the call for help from Leyva,
hadlo throw new troops into the Italian arena.
Bourbon, afler a disastrous retreat from Pro-
vence, entered Gennany and began recruiting a
new anny inJanuary 1525. Together with Lannoy
he approached the ailing Georg von Frundsberg,
\\ ho obliged and promptly raised eleven Fiilmltin.
At Lodi, north·east of Pa\;a, he joined Marx
Sinich von Ems, who had brought a further
eighteen eompanies with him. Along with the
Spanish troops of Pescara, a considerable anny
numbering some 17,000 infantry and 1,000 horse
was ready to relieve lhe garrison at Pavia.
Meanwhile attempts by the French to diven the
River Tissino had proved a failure and a thrce·
'fhilI pamlinS by Titi.lul. depict. Charles V a' the B.nle of pronged assault on the city had been equally
Miihlbers. 1547, we-riDS a .Wl of by hQ
unsuccessful. Realising that the Imperial relief
wi'" ~olU"er DHideri... HehDKbmied.. It .. of bhoe
.IHI deco.....ted .n o~ baacb: ....t. c:urved dericR etdaed
ia Sold. He .. we-riDS the red or pink conlln• ...:ler'. sash which force would soon be aniving, Francis had moved
w" the field .ip for the ea"'olia at MiiJdbe"!:. his headquarters to the park of Mirabello, securing
(PrDde ••\fadnJ/)
a strong position bel ween Pavia and the oncoming
France. ntis was a gl"eat diplomatic move, fOI" by Imperialist ann)'. Frundsberg, ordel"ing pontoons
cl"cating an ally in southem France, a front from 10 be built across the Po, dl"ew up his forces facing
Italy to Spain could be established against Francis. tht' French artiUery. There foHowed three weeks of
There was only one drnwback and that was the trench warfare and intennitlenl sonies.
successful invasion of Provence. Joining the 1m· Frundsberg's men succeeded in making contact
perial army in Northem Ilaly, the Duke of Bourbon with Leyva in the city, supplying him with
setoffon his campai~n in the South ofFrnnce. After ammunition and provisions and co.ardinating
six \\cells of inconclusive campaigning he was plans fOI" the oncoming baule.
fOl"ced to make a hasty withdrawal. Francis, instead Drenched by rain and decimated by sickness, the
of pursuing Bourbon, had crossed the Alps in the French soon began to lose morale. On '20 February,
meantime with an ann) of 40,000 men. Suddenl) 6,000 French troops insisled on returning home. At
the tables had tumed. B) October '524- Francis was the same time 2,000 Cennans deserted the French
at Ihe gates ofMilan with only a handful offortified camp, thus reducing Francis's army to less than
cities I"emaining under Imperial conlrol. On 20,000 men. Of this total 9,000 were Italian, 5,000
hearing the news that Milan had fallen, the anny of Swiss, 4.500 Cennans and 1,300 Gendannerie. His
Gel"man Landsknechts undel" the command of generals advised Francis to withdraw, while Leyva,
Kaspar \'on Frundsberg, the son of the famous in a similarly desperate situation, warned Lammy
commander, and GrnfEiteifritz von Hohenzollcm, thai he could no longer hold the cil)'. At this point
which had been marching on ~liIan, was forced to Bourbon begged for an attack.
rctum to Pavia where Ihey joined the old Spanish At midnight '23/'24 February the Imperialist
general Don Antonio de Leyn. On the same da) anny, under cover of an artillel) barrage and a
that Ihe French entered J\lilan the firsl assault nois), dcco) cl"eated by three companies of Lands-
began on the southcm walls of the city of Pavia. kncchts remaining in the camp, moved nonh-
wards up the River Vernavola to a fordable strctch the mercenaries in the pay of lhe French were
and proceeded to cross it, thus outflanking the surrounded on three sides by the Imperial foot and
French. Having crossed the ford they reached the hacked to pieces.
wali of thc park. Without drawing the attention of Meanwhile the Swiss, facing Pcscara's arquc·
the enemy the Spanish engin(..ocrs succeeded b} busiers positioned in the trees of the park, suffered
daybreak in making a breach 50 yards wide. grievously as swift vollies from 1,500 muskets began
Frundsberg now formed a van of seven Fahnltin, decimating their ranks. With his fOOL in rout
ordering them to put on their white shins over their Francis now threw his mounted Gendannes into
armour (those who did not have shirts wercordered the fray in a last·ditch attempt to break the
to use paper) so that they could easily recognise Imperial assault. However, with their lances useless
comrades in the darkness. B} da}break the Im- amidst the trees in the park, they were gunned
perial forces had advanced in column on Mir- down at point-blank range by the no\\ well.
abello, Lannoy and Bourbon commanding the positioned arquebusiers. Francis was one of the
horse in front, with the artillery and thc main body victims. His horse shot from beneath him, he "'as
ofinfamry under Pcscara behind them. With three only barely s.1.Vecl from a mob of vicious Spaniards
blasts from a cannon Frundsberg signalled to Leyva b}' sevcral of his entourage and the speed}
that it was time to attack.
The French, now having to reverse their front,
were brought into confusion. Since most of his
troops were guarding the lower banks of the
Vcrna\'ola, Francis was forced to deploy the
remainder (the more doubtful units of the Black
Legion) to the right and the Swiss to the left. Leyva,
seeing the time was right, now swept out of the city,
thus cUlling offAlcm;on, in command ofthe Frcnch
forces on the western nank, from his king. Francis,
ordering the attack, sent his horse against the
breach in the park wall where several companies of
Italians wcre persevering with the remainder of the
artillery which was bogged down in the mud. The
French had lillie trouble in forcing the Italians [0
withdraw to a near-by wood. On seeing this,
Pescara ordered Lannoy to throw his horse against
the French lines, but they were met wilh such a
hea\'} fusilade from the French artillery that they
too had to seek shelter, this time behind a group of
fannhouses. Francis now took the offensive and
ordered his horse to charge, with the Swiss and
Gcmlan [OOtIO follow. The salvo which Galiot, the Fruu;:itI t, 14!H-1547, wu KiDS of FI'UlCe fl"On> '515 _til biI
death. A.uDou.s 10 ..-lUe the Valois d.a.iDu 0.. Milan aJId
French military commander, had fued at the ~y, lie pursued an agrn,pve fomp poliq wllidt.
Gennan horse was his first and last, for the French "'vulved IWn i .. a Rriu of wan willi Charles V oC Gern>a.ay
By iii. victory at MaripaJ>o lie WOD the rqn.tatio.o oCth.....oa
were now charging across his line of fire. In spite of powerful aad I:l0riou. prince ... E...-ope. Ia 15'9 be
....-cc:es..fv.I . . c:aadidate Corllle dectioD DC ...... Holy Ro
this situation the French had rallied well and were Emperor. Ia '50 F......cis failed to acqu~ tJl.e .uppa" 0
attacking in good order. However, the infantry Henry vm at ...... Fidd of th.. Cloth oC Gald, and ~
fu Ht-backs al Mila.o. ... '50 and with the d d " _ 0
were too slow in following up the charge and were Charles Duke OfBo.rboD iI:t 1,5ll3o Ia retaliario.. for Bourbon'
checked by the Imperialists. The Gennan Lands· ....ali 0 .. M.anftlln F...... cis ODce more ...vaded Italy, ....
was ddn.led resowulirtslyat lIIe Bani.. oCPavia .... 'S-50 8e~o
knee-hts of the Black Band now found themselves biI death, F..... w ud IDOU-llled further e:am.pups .,....
Charles aided Illy Dew allin_the Turtt. and th.. Protes
facing their own kinsmen in the ranks of Frunds· Priac.on ofGerrna.ay.
berg and Ems. In the violent melee which ensued (P.,.tutt ~ 0.-1, l.~ M _ ; ~
intervention of Lannoy, who granted him safe and Flanders. However, no sooner was he rem·
conduct from the field of battle. stated at his court than he declared the temlS of
The battle had been equally disastrous for the peace invalid and sct about cstablishing a nC\\I ami-
French on the right flank. Kaspar von Frundsberg, Habsburg alliance. On '2'2 .1\la) 15'26 in Cognac,
leading the charge from the cit) against Alem;on's Frands fonned the Holy League with the Pope,
troops, had succeeded in dri\-ing hundreds of the Francesco Sforza of Milan, and the princes of the
French into the Tissino \\here man) drowned in Venetian Republic and Florence.
their hea\') annour.
In less than twO hours 8,000 Frenchmen had
Italian Cantpaigns 1526 29
fallen at the expense of only 700 Imperialists. The
defeat of the French at Pavia left Ital) at the mercy .1\lcanwhile Charles had been faced with internal
of Charles, and proved that the Spanish and the problems. The Gennan peasants had sought to venL
Gennan Landskneehts were the best shock troops their political frustration by means of revolt, but
in Europe. this had been speedily crushed by the Swabian
Francis, exiled to Spain, had to suller the Alliance. Furious at the defiance shown by the
humiliation of complying with Charles's terms French court Charles approached Frundsbcrg once
before he could return to his kingdom. Thus he again. The forces of the League had already begun
pledged to renounce his claims on Burgundy, Italy to consolidate their positions in Lombardy. "',lith

Loc:oc_1., or ........I.........I-Coloaft. fine &pre: a. the Ioead of doe ~e.1I or FiJ:mJeiD. II ...... _
11 .....1~ H_~. ·AmpMlt-lli,-.! RnrJt.J.js.L.s'. ~4t IUllCOlllU:llOa .0 6Dd the eou;ip ia do.. L1Uclo: of the &.o.y def~
~~.,4tt.M..d lIIQ: .raadard Iiteno.Uy wido toodo ....l Bail. Jori..... doe halia..
RlOIfT: hiJiu.ria.a, tP\"eS ... aCCOlPlI or a dead eo:uip fowod Da doe
TIle UlIilp WlUI a1 ..... ys haDd-picl<ed rrom the I"IlDlu. He WlUI h.llJdi",td with bedo aTDUI Iuocl<ed ID piec:u ....lloi•• t::a.adard
co.u.......uyaccornJl"li'ied by the drununer ...d fifer,....l CUi a cletlldoed ia lois teeth.

an army of 12,000 Landsknechts, poorly equipped
and without adequate financial resources, the
Imperial commander succeeded in avoiding an
engagement at Trient and reached Brescia by mid-
Xovcmber 1526. However, Frundsberg and Bour-
oon were divided and unable (0 join together.
~Iedici, commanding the Papal forces, had
planned to ambush the Imperial almy under
Frundsberg south of Mantua at the Po crossing by
Bargofone. Frundsbcrg rightly hesitated to cross,
hoping to hear news of the conclusion of a peace
treaty, but on seeing that the Papal Venetian army
was about to take the offensive he ordered a small
falconet to be brought up: loading it himself, he hit
the commander of Lhe enemy's forces, smashing
Medici's leg 10 pieces with only his second shot. The
Italians withdrew in confusion.
Although the Imperial troops were now able to
cross the Po and enter Papal territory their strategic
position was not strong, as provisions and finances
were veT)' low. \\'hat Frundsberg must have been BlocIdl.oodt al ADlwftJ>' nu. woodCUI l;akea from ~ 'WN.
KlUliC (CCMU'tn)' of the BriIiAb M _ ) depiru. _ e r.......
fearing had already happened to Bourbon-his _01M.ximm.n'.arl)'_~iatheLowCo"'lri_Lo
1111 wllea M••imjlian __ ID&I'do.iag ... ADlwftJ> be __
Spanish troops had mutinied and were now lI.hed by a btockhouH which Charm VD.I .!lad erected to
running riot in the Italian Countryside. d.f.nd the city. bered, Maxirni1.ia.n. avoided
the blO(:lo.ho..... and charged the eaemy al hi. Darrow..t froat
By the end ofthc year Bourbon had succeeded in to m,.l,,: ..B'ed;v.... At: of hi. Land.bedu•. After takUtg th..
assembling an army again and in February 1527. lie ordered it to be n>ced ...... the occu.....,. ""eo;>Ited by ~ aDd the 'wllet:l'.
with some 20,000 men, he left Milan and joined
Frundsberg near Piaccnza. A march on Rome now was one of immediate sympathy for their com·
secmed inevitable, for only by forcing Clcment to mander and all thoughts of mutiny soon disap·
recognise the Impcrial claim to Italy cOllld Charles pcared.
succeed in splitting the League down the middle. Frundsberg was taken to Ferrara and Konrad
At the same time the Imperial anny was thirsting \·00 Borneburg took o\cr his command. Disciplint',
for plunder and to deny the Landsknechts such an in spite of the incidcnt in the German camp. \\
opponuniry would have been an open invitation to now virtuall) non·existent. I t was only the thouKht
mutiny. On the march to Romc news came that the of rich plunder which drove the Imperial arm) on
Pope had signed a peace treat)' with Lannoy and towards Rome. By April, Bourbon and Boynebur~
had offered 60,000 ducats to appease the Lands· had reached Florence, and by decoy. passed an
knechts. Enraged at the off"er of only twO ducats army of the League which stood in their way By
pcr man, the Spanish and Italian contingents ~fay they had reached Rome. Bouroon, who had
mlltinied on Bourbon. The news soon spread to been forced to leave his artilleT)' behind and was
Frundsberg's camp, where his men demanded withollt any siege equipment, asked the Pope for
immediate payment on Lheir AlonatssoJd. In a great provisions for his men and free access to Naples.
speech the veteran commander tried to placate his Clement. hoping for relief from the Duke of
troops, who seemed to be on the verge of mutiny. l:rbino, refused. The Constabk. now gro\",in~
His attempt was in vain, yet JUSt when il seemed desperate, had to make a quick decision. The amty
that total rebellion was incvitablc, the situation was of the League which he had c1e\'erly by-passed was
saved by an odd twist of fate. Frundsberg, exhaus· now in his rear and his own troops wcre ~~n~ for
ted b)' his cxtensi\'e campaigning and no\\ in ill an assault.
health. collapsed in front ofhis men. Their reaction On the morning of6 ~fa) 1527 the first German
Landskncchts broke through the walls of Rome. Pope to maintain his hold on ltaJ). Not until
Bourbon, who had insisted on leading the first February 1528 did the last units of Landsknechts
assault, was killed climbing the city wall. As soon as leave Rome. For the march on Naples a final
the first cannons had been captured lhey were muster-parade was arranged. Of lhe 1'2,000 men
aimed at the fortress of San Angelo. The Pope who had crossed the Alps with Frundsberg scarcely
followed by his cardinals only just managed to 5,000 remained, the ranks having been decimated
escape to the Castel San Angelo, while his Swiss by the plague which had mcamvhilc broken out in
bodyguard fought a fateful rearguard action in the Rome.
Vatican. Within lhree hours lhe whole Vatican had The war in Italy did nOl end until the summer of
been taken. Von Boyneburg made an attempt to 1529. Atlhe Peace of Cambrai Francis renounced
restrain his troops from plunder, but predictably, it his claims on Italy for the second lime at the
was in vain. Although they had assembled in Imperial expense of the Duchy of Burgundy.
squared formalion, expecting an attack from Charles had to promise to overthrow the Medicis of
Urbina's oncoming relief force, the) soon dispersed Florence in return for the Papal recognition of
on sight oflheir Spanish and Italian comrades who Habsburg sovereignty in Italy and Europe.
began a wild rampage through the city, looting and In February 1530 Charles V was cro\.. noo
murdering. The 'Sacco di Roma' outraged the Empcrorofthe Holy Roman Empire by the Pope in
sentjment of lhe whole civilised world. Bologna. The' MonorchiD UnilNTsalis' thus seemed to
Charles, now with the whole Papal State in his have been achieved at last. However, external
power. was ex~cted to declare himself 'The pressures were soon to change this. In the East the
Supreme Head of the Christian Church'; but he Turkish Emperor Suleiman 11 had been extending
refrained from doing so, seeing that he needed the his innuence. In 1532 the Turks, having swept



Tak... (renD Ihot 'ScbwfturKhlacht' by Ha.oo. Holbela, this .... like. Tbe more KaabaJ«er pro~·ed ...osl elfeo;:ti~·e al do.e
vivid po""'raJ or 'bad war-i.e. a coftf"rOIlt.atiOIt qllltrters Ihot cumbersome halbercltl aad plkes.
betwee:a $wi.. and Germ.... mercenaries_m...l hit.... beftl rc..kV IN 10 ~,jtrJtuftJ.U/1'dl, BIU/t)

through Hungary, had arrived at the gates of
Vienna. Charles, who had bttn involved in re-
ligious conflict wiLh factions within the Empire, was
forced to concede to the Protestant princes once
again in order to acquire arms and money at the
Imperial Diet at Augsburg in 1530. In 1532 he
ad\'anced on the Turks at the head ofa huge army
and repulsed them in the woods of Vienna. Despite
their defeat the Turks maimained their aggressive
policy. [n the ).,Iediterranean Barbarossa, the
much-feared pirate, became the scourge of Spanish
and Italian shipping and in 1534 crowned himself
'King of Algiers and Tunis'. In the same year he
approached Genoa with his f1cct as an open gesture
of challenge to Charles. The lattcr promptly
relaliated and with an army of 30,000 and an Map of me Battle ofRav_l.) CoIOJUla with800beavy bOrM
b) 6,woSpamsh ialuatry. c)600 b_vy cavalry. d) ,,-WlUlt";
armada of some 364 ships and galleys attacked m Iquan< uader Carda-. e) 400 bnvy borM. f)..- (__ ,)
whh . , _ l.if!:;bl bof'ft_ .J Duke of Fern... with 7SO
Barbarossa at Tunis, uttcrly defeating the Turkish PHcanl.
be.vy ca... try from me Compllpn d'Ordoroaaaee.•) 1,000
commander both on land and at sea. Francis, who Gee....... LandslulKhu u.ader MoUard and Jaoob von Ern•• 3)
,,- e . - aDd Picard)' U'y m .uppo.....tJ La l'ali ..
had In pan instigated the aggressive Turkish with s80 beavy cavalry. s) 00 WaJlU'y, rnaiaJ)' h ..l 6)
policy, was unable toolfer the Turks any dircct hclp ],000 liS11i bol'M.
(1-;_ R...IIN.. '~sdN.u tl61'!f1Ul1~'''', f·.... Ij
since thc Imperial campaign had the aura of a
crusade for '-Veslcrn civilisation. He did, however, alliances with the Turks and Charles promised to
hastily conclude the so·calJed 'Capitulations' with yield Sa\'o) and two-thirds of the territory of
Suleiman, strengthening their alliance III an Piedmont to the French. Milan \\as not discussed.
attempt to restore the balance of power. The Turkish pressure was soon to gather fresh
momenlUm. In 1538 Corfu fell to Barbarossa and
Ferdinand was dealt a second blow b} Turkish
Campaigns of 1536 54
forces at PCSI in Hungary. Charles was obliged to
In the meantime the war in Italy had flared up undertake a second expedition, Ihis time against
again. Francesco Maria Sforza, the last Duke of Algicl'S. His flcet ravaged by the clements and his
~lilan, died in 1535 without an heir. The Duchy of arm) drenched b} rainstorms, the expedition
Milan therefore fell to Charles V. Francis promptly proved abortive. In the light of these defeats
claimed the Ouch)' for his son Charles Ill, Duke of Francis decided to declare war on Charles once
Orleans and occupied Turin in 1536. As a result the again, using the murders of his diplomats as a
German Emperor crossed the Alps once again, this pretext. Aftcr a succession of inconclusive cam-
time entering his opponent's tcrrito')-. With an paigns the French lost Luxemburg and much of
army 50,000 strong he devastated Provence and their southern from around Piedmont. In February
began besieging ~'larscillcs. He was soon forced to 1543 Charles entered illlo an aJliance with Henn.
beat a retreat as his ranks were decimated by the VI I I of England and in June the same} ear the (1('\\
plague, and he retumed to Germany with his Imperial ally declared waron France. The idea W<ti
objectives unachieved. The Turks had meanwhile an obvious pincer movement-Hen')' \'ia Calai.
renewed their threat-Barbarossa conquering and Charles from the Lo\\ Countries. Charles \\-as
Naples and Suleiman I I inflicting a heavy dcfeat on delayed by further Turkish aj.{gression III the
Ferdinand of Bavaria, the brother of Charles V, at ~Iediterranean. In Piedmont. the French had alS(
the Batue of Esscg. The Emperor realised that he becn successful. Francois d'Enghicn, a cousin of the
was incapable of fighting a war on two fronts and French king, had laid scige to the Imperialis
agreed to a meeting with Francis at Aigues·Mones fortress of Carignano. The ~larquis del VasIO. i
in 1538. Francis thereby agreed 10 abandon further command of the Imperial forces, decided 10 fore
the French into batLle in an atlempt to relieve the
fortress. The twO annies met at Ceresole d'Alba, '--
some 30 miles south east of Turin. Enghien had
mustered 13,000 foot, 600 light horse and goo
hea\l' cavalry while del Vasto's force comprised
--_. I·

.- . .
• -«......
_~ _-

o 0 0
18,000 fooL, 800 light horse and 200 heavy cavalry. • 0
The battle was nOlable for the inlroduction of
new lactics by both sides. The French concealed
most of their arquebusiers immediately behind the
artilJery in the front, and on the wings between the
..- II
I ii
'- 1.1. : •.• I U
'-/ --
fonnations of horse and pike. The Imperialists
employed cxacd) the same tactic, the overall
intent.ion being to fire on impact of the two front
ranks, thus killing the officers and seasoned troops.
During the ensuing bloodbalh the Imperial horse
on the left flank registered an initial triumph •
against Enghien's gendarmes, but the fooL guard-
ing the right Rank were soon repulsed and rouled /
TILi. detailed pba of ....e Balde of P.via .hoWl' b_ ....e
by the French 'provincial legions', and Swiss m.pnialU;I ...... y OUtJnaBoeavrM FraIII<U' anny, ....u. fon:iDK
detachments. Del Vasto managed to beat a hast) him 10 I1Ino his liae 10 f.a~. c:harte Ibroup the trefl of the
park ofMirabdlo. n.e trefl pro"ed 10 '"' .. V-1 adVLauo&e 10
retreat ha\'ing lost some 6,000 men and all his tile Gn-uoaa aad Spa.Uaia arqa~ who _ ..urably
co"ued apio.1 the cowne.-..d:I.a.rJea of the F dl borlle.
art.iUery. Yet in spite ofthis victor)' the French were AI_~ aad .... e con.tiasenla failed 10 _ e to the
recalled from Piedmont as Charles had invaded ..ll.I.taDce of FI'"AIlCU., ~ piomed dowD by .. -.DoWned
....wt &O.......e pni_ tnIoOps ill Pavia umlu ....e comDUUMl
Champagne with 30,000 Landslmechts and 9,000 ofKaapar "on Fnmd.berz:, ....e aon of the m.periaJi.t
Spaniards. Henry VIII had also landed and takcn seneral.
(Photo uu,1tsy &l>'lt RomJmd LJd)
Boulogne, wilh 4-0,000 troops. By July 1544
Charles had taken Saint Dizier, Epernay, and
Chateau Thierry. Henry VIII, contenl with his refused to accept the authority of this Council and
'Enterprise of &ulogne', showed no intent.ion of were consequently outla\\ed by Charles. The
advancing inland and the Dauphin, who had electors had fonned thc Schmalkaldic League in
successfully implemented 'scorched earth' tactics, 1546 in an attempt to defend Protestant interests
placed the Imperial anny in an impossible SIlU- against Imperial intc[yemion. B} 1547 the)' had
ation. The Cennan troops, starving and mut.inous, mobilised a considerable army supported b)' the
began to desert and Charles was forced to sign the cities of Vim, Augsburg, Constance and Stras-
Peace of Crepy on 18 September, whereby the bourg. In April lhat year Charles engaged Moritz
Emperor renounced his claims on Burgundy while of Saxony at Miihlberg with t3,000 Imperialists
Francis acceded Naples, Artois and Flanders; and 3,500 Papal troops. The battle was importam
Savo)' and Piedmont were restored to their rightful for the introduction of a new tactic detennincd by
houses. the increasingimponanceofthe mounted pistoleer.
In the space of 27 rears the Valois·Habsburg This new mobile firepower proved devastating
struggle had brought four wan to Europe without against infantry, and the repeat<.'C! vollies fired by
either side gaining any monumental advantage. each line of horse bcforedropping back demolished
Francis died in 1547, giving Charles the leeway he ranks at a time. The Protestant ann)', numbering
needed to turn his attention to the religious eonAict 9,000, was thoroughl)' defeated by the Imperialists,
which was lhreatening to split the Empire from who su[fered only 50 casualties. The two Protestant
within. In December 1545 an ecumenical council leaden were taken prisoner and all fears of a
had been held at Triel1l to solve the religious prolonged ci\'il war seemed to have been ground-
question. The Protestant princes, notabl)- Moritz, less. In France, however, the new king Henry II
Elector of Saxony, and Philip, Duke ofHcsscn had had resumed his father's policy of aggression and
concluded an alliance with the PrOlcslanl princes
in Germany. In 1551 Henry met Moritz of Saxony
and Philip of Hcsscn al Friedewald, and t.hey C]/ie 'P/rlf6
arranged to assist the French king in taking the
cities of Metz, Toul and Verdun. In 1553 Charles Al Imperial Htrald, 1525
besieged Metz but was forced to retreat and in 1554
If several regiments were together in one army it
he suffered a further defeat at the hands of the
was customary for the commanding officer to have
French king at Reuly. ~Ieanwhile ~IOrilZ had been
a herald who could act as liaison and convey
pressing south towards Innsbruck, the Emperor'S
messages to the enemy. He was normally clad in a
place ofrcsidence. In 1552 Ferdinand of Austria,
silk surcoat bearing the embroidered coat ofarms of
me brother of the Emperor, was forced to sign the
the Obrist or, as in this case, the Imperial double·
Treaty of Nassau with the Protcstanls. Charles was
headed eagle. As a symbol of his peaceful task he
b) now no longer in a position to govern his Empire
carried a while baton.
and handed Ferdinand this responsibility.
In 1554 Charlt'S, in a last attempt to weaken the
A2 GnJrg ron Fnmdsbtrg
French threat, organised a marriage between his
son Philip ofSpain and ~Ial)- Tudor of England. In Born in Minde1heim in 1473, Georg von Frunds-
January 1566 Charles abdicated in favour of his berg became a devoted servant of the Habsburgs.
son, who received control of all the Italian lands He continually wore the Imperial field recognition
and colonies. In September thai year he renounced sign, which was a red sash, and was noted for his
me Imperial tiLie in favour of his brother Fer· hclmet and the halberd which he
dinand. bore with distinction.

Aj Got-t von Btrlichingtn (1481 1562)

Known as 'Gotz of the Iron Hand', he belonged to
Although the L.'tndsknechtS \\lere 10 sec service the class of Imperial knights who were fast
throughout Europe, it was precisely this in· becoming an anachronism al Ihis time of upheaval.
tcrnational involvcment which caused their ul· His iron hand was a substilute for the onc he had
timate disappearance. Charles was continually at lost at the Siege of Landshut in '5°4-. Largely
pains to acquire funds and support for his cam· celebrated as a 'robber baron', he took part in
paigns from his Princes, who wcrc inclined to o[fer many campaigns in Burgundy, Lorraine, Switzer·
financial aid only at a political price. The Lands· land and for Maximilian in t497 and 14gB; his
knechts, for their pan, suOered largely from a career ended wilh the wars against the Turks in
breakdown in discipline, as the mercenaries were Hungary in 1542 and the campaigns ofCharlcll V
prepared to renounce their allegiance to the against Ihe french in t54+ He was also prominent
Emperor at a price. The ultimatum 'No in the Peasant's Revolt, in which he led L11e peasant
money no Landsknechts' was often beard. Many 'Bw/dsdlUh Regiment'. (Thc standard was a red nag
historians are led to believe thai the decline of the with a green shoe and trailing ribbon motif.) He
Landsknechts began upon the death ofFrundsberg. was acquitted by the Imperial Chamber for his part
Certainly the original conception of .Maximilian's in the rebellion, bUI seized by the Swabian Alliance
reign-that ofa lxxIy ofpikcmcn who would be a in 1528 and kept prisoner at Augsburg until 1530.
malch for the S\\liss-had gradually been super-
ceded due to the progress offirearms. B}' the second B TIlL Emptror Maximilian I
half of the sixteenth CCOllll) garish costume began
to disappear, and e\'en the word Landsknecht soon Apart from his contribution towards the creation of
made wa) for 'kaistrlichtr Fussknuht' (Imperial the LandsknechtS and Ihe development of a
FOOl.soldier), thus marking the end of one of the 'modern' artillel)' system, ~1aximilian was also
most colourful periods in European military responsible for the production of one of the most
history. important styles of renaissance armour. Known as
nu. rather wCc:u.nlte reprneae.tioD of P by P.tiDier lm.peria.I eroo. . are forciol their _,. thro"tl:b th", breach io
a1pCures, oevenheles.. the maio fcatvru of the nle. I... the the wall of the Park of Mlnboo:Uo. I... the forqroUDd, the cla.ab
cop Ide of the piclure 0011' caD see Alenl;oD'a croops io their vain belW_ th", Fnncb 1D0Ufteed e-darrn.,. .Dd Lanno}"a
.uempe to eacape .eros. the Tiu;ioo. I... the CftIln: the eavalry ;. vi.iblt:. (Au.rllm/«ulMs MIlSt~'"' j'ItMIJ)

'Maximilian armour' in referencc to the support was Cuslomary to find the' Hauprftutt' in armour.
which lhc Emperor gave lO the amlOuring guilds in This captain is wearing a lalcr fonn of 'Max-
Gcrmany and Austria, this style was dominanl in imilian' armOlU· wilh ornamenlal flulings. A laler
lhc ycars between 1500 and 1530. II was character- dcvclopment was the so-callcd Trablwmisch or
ised by the multiple groovcs and flutings which trOlling armour, which was a much lightcr form of
affordcd both omameillation and greater pl'O~ protection with more rounded articulations, wider
teclion. The Emperor owned IwO sets of horse ann-guards and shoulder pieces. Hcadgear in
furnishings. The larger battle armour retained a gencral consisted ofa felt. beret with a basin-shaped
Gothicoutline and \\as festooned with the Imperial crown and a wide brim. Often this was cuI al
device (the two-headed eagle). The horsc furniture regular intervals all round, and sometimes turned
depicted here is the lightcr sct bearing the Austrian back 10 fonn stiff loops. This was suitably adorned
coat of anns notc the Tyrolean eagles on the with bright fealhers, or ruffled wool.
C2 S(kullh~iss, C.1520
CI Captain, 1520
Since this office was usuall) taken up by a village
Since they were expected to fight in the front rank it magistrate or somc other public dignitary, lhe
ul1ifonn Tarel)' underwent a transfonnation of any ing needle, grease, rag and clout was worn at the
sort. The important features arc the chain ofoffice waist and suspended beneath this \'0 as a small tin
and the Slaff, a foml of roar spear, which was phial containing olive oil for cleaning and lubricat-
probably the forerunner of Ihe officer's spontoon. ing the moving parts of the arquebus/musket.
The skull cap he is wearing, known as a calQ/lt, was Further accoutrcments were the small touch.
usually made of cheesecloth or thin linen, de· powder horn, somctimes hooked all to the butt of
cora ted with slashjng. The purpose of the cap was the gun; the iron ramrod, which was later replaced
to keep rolh hair and hal in place but in actual fact by a wooden version; and a four.foot.long match
it was originally a type of hairnel worn by the which hung from the belt on the ri~ht hand side. In
womenfolk. The tunic, in Italian Renaissance style, \'oct weather this was carried under the berel or in
is Iypical of the dress worn b)' officers, members of the leather pouch. The invention of the cartridge
the nobility and indeed Ihe mounted troops of the case in lhe lauer half of the sixteenth centul1'
day. greatly facilitated the wholc procedure ofloading.

C3 Standard BeaUT, 15°5 D2 Gem~inlL'thtl, lI'illibold Pirdhelmtr Rtglment,

Hairstyles were still long at the beginning of the 15 29
sixteenth centuI) and beards were not yet in The only attempt made in these times at some fonn
fashion. With the advent of the Spanish trends in of uniformity was made by the Nuremberg pat-
fashion a reversal in slyies look place, short hair rician Willi bald Pirckheimer, who raised a regi-
being preferred, together wilh long, orten exag~ ment in 1529, fining it out wilh red jerkins and
gerated beards. A certain AUSlrian by the name of hose, red being Ihe heraldic colour of :'\Iurcmberg,
Andreas von Rauber, it is recorded, let his beard and also blending in well with blood! This corporal
grow to the ground and whenever he fought tied it is wearing the Donnal shin gathered at the neck,
round his waisl; and the Oberst GrafEiteifritz von \\;th full slecn."S which were pulled OUI through the
Hohenzollern plaited his beard from his chin slashes in the puffed-out jerkin. The origin of
downwards! The red cross, which was the field sign 'slashing' probably lies in the complete un·
for Imperial troops (the other being a red sash) was suitability ofsixlcenth century costume for fighting.
sewn all to the doublet. The Swiss mercenaries wore An oversized shirt, often gathered at the neck, and
a white cross on their jerkins to distinguish tight-fitting hose and doublet restricted movement
themselves from Ihe foe in times of "bad war'. The at the joints. Realising this the Landsknecht sel
standard is the 'BlutJalm£ which was carried in the about com'erting and adding to his ·unifonn'. The
'forlorn hope' to remind the Landsknechts of the first step was to slil open thejerkin at the elbows and
deadly situation in which they found themselves. shqulders, the hose at the knees and hips. To create
a more striking appearance, slrips of ribbons were
Dl Arquehusitr,1520 tied round tbe arms and the shin was pulled
through the jerkin in bunches.
Before the early 15205, which marked the arrival of
the musket, the arquebusiers rarel) used rests. With
D3 Pikffllon, (.1520
the introduction of the musket, incorporating a
longer barrel, rests became more common. It was It was uncommon for the nonnal foolSOldier to
also cuStomary for arquebusiers 10 carry Ihe wear armour. The 'true' Landsknechl never \\-ore a
powder, unmeasured against the number of bullets, backplate since he nevcr turned his back on the
in a hal'll around thc neck. Herc, however, we see a enemy. It was, however, due 10 lack of resources
bandolier bearing the 'Elcven Apostles', Ihe eleven that Ihis cuStom was adopted. The len leg was oftcn
charges equalling 1 lb. of powder. Each charge was left bare, free of any hindrance, so that pike drill
contained in a wooden vessel with a leather could be carried Qut with greater de'\tcrity.
covering, which was preferred to the somewhat Sometimes lhis was carried to the extreme, the
noisy copper vcsscls, and attached finnl) to the bUllOCks being completely exposed. The hose were
bandolier. A leather pouch containing shot, clean· sometimes slashed in the upper part and striped in
the lower. The Icgs were of different colours and were also developments in the horse-armour, which
decoratcd in various ways wlth pipings, stripes and began to show greater articulation, notably with
spiral bands. the three-piece hinged 'pcytral' or pectoral buckled
to the main body-piece by means of leather straps.
E Locolmml, 1545 The bulbous ornamentation on the pectoral,
known as the glance-knob, was designed to parry
Armour underwent several changes during the
lance blows.
sixteenth century. A complete suit of armour
usually weighed between forty and fifty pounds. it Fl Drummtr, 1525
was therefore necessary to introduce as many
articulations as possible to increase mobility in The drum was often large and cumbersome and
some way. By 1530 the Maximilian-styled armour was usually carried on the back during the march.
with its multiple grooves and flutings had disap- Sometimes it bore the Imperial motif either the
peared, with the breast plate and the cllisscs double-headed eagle or the Burgundian crossed
revcrting to their former smooth states. The breast staves and fiery devices.
plate bcgan to assume a more curved shape, taking
on the form of a peascod. The neck-piece was F2 Landskntehtl c.1553
replaced by a collar with a gorget which was The origin of the Pluderhost' the huge baggy

articulated in lobster fashion, as were the upper hose dates back to 1553 when they first appeared
arm sections and the gauntlets, which had jointed in the camp of Prince Moritz of Saxony who was
fingers. The saddlery, which at the bcginningofthe besieging ~Iagdeburg. So monstrous was their
sixteenth century had been essentially iron with the appearance that the clergy banned them. The
cantle fiued to its mountings, was now made of court priest at Berlin, a certain ~llusculus, in a great
wood and leather reinforced with iron, affording treatise on the subject complained that the hose did
greater comfon and freedom of mo\'ement. There more to expose the anatomy than hide it since it was
divided at the hips by a huge often obscene; cod-
piece in the form of a bow of slashed material.
Before its acceptance as a fashion it was not
uneommon for Landsknechts caught wearing
Pludtrhost to be incarcerated. Essentially the hose
consisted of yards of material held up by' slasht:d
bands sllspended from the waist at the front and

F3 Ensign of Nuremberg, 155 0

By the mitl-sixteenth century costume had under-
gone a considerable transformation, being
influenced to a large extent by Spanish trends.
Beards became more pointed; and the wide slashed
beret gave way to a much smaller version, or to a
helmet ofmarion and burgonct type. The burgonet
had hinged cheek-pieces, and often an additionaJ
faee plate known as a beaHr. The marion was a
simple open helmet used particularly by the
arquebusiers. Doublets were prone to c.xtensive
110e "Redu de:r .....,"'"' Spies"" or 'jud&m",",1 o( the pikes' ...... a vcrtical slashing, and the shirt was rurned at neck
rOnD of n>aai.ot me p_deL After the priamler bad Hna tried and cuffs in typical Spanish fashion. Footwear
by jury l:Ie ...... led 10 eM plaICe O( .....ecutio... wlricll ...... aD
av",",ue O( OM pikes o( Iris c:ontndes. Aller the uecuticm, 1M began to cover the whole instep at this stage. in the
Pro~_1 ~ed them _ICe more o( the "mela' and thoe <:os!
or Tailia& to obey them.. earlier period an exaggerated type of shoe called

As WIIS ofteo the CII""'. jUlilice .ameli...... h.d lO be .dJniDi....
'"-M' Ixlle.-diDS auwI the 'wheel'. {Woo'(MI ~, BMr~t-lrf .....
lerfll withoul lrial. Co... mon (ormJl of eseculioR were 'Wtiu Ii. Mf"t' ,(I>M1Ul7 8111IJh ,1/Mmt1>l1

•Kuhmiiult' -cow's mouth-had been fashionablc, group of soldiers grew originally from a nucleus of
but the open instep and elaborate toe section was some 800 Landsknechts in French pay \\ ho refused
quite impractical on mudd) battlefields. to return to Cemlan) in accordanc~ with
~1a.ximilian·s decree artcr the Imperial defeat at
GI DopptlsolJntr oj tht Black Ltgion, 1520 Ravcnna in 1512. Cnder the command ofthe Duke
Known as the 'Black Legion' or 'Black Bands', this of Gueldres, this nOLOrious compan) was outfitted
DnunDlrr and Piper: Found invariably in th ....nlouragr ofth., r"rry 6".. beats of th.. drum. During th., march On"
"Dsi"" thr m.usicians w .. r .. relipo.u;;bl .. fot' m.aintaiaing th.. Dormll1ly joined th.. rear.
intpetus i.D th.. aliliauh, mo".,mrnt being art a' W .... pile.... for (1I'oodo</ oJ ] .Immutl ttl 8/(lu" •Orr d,ul!.:!" ""'tldsAnnA!')
in black jerkins and hose, and their armour was require, and was often the fil'Stto join in the plunder
blackened by fire to avoid rusting. The 'Black of a caplUred town.
Legion' was finally destroyed at Pavia in 1525.
G3 Provost
G2 Sulltms
The provost was responsible principally for polic-
The sutleress and her male counterpart were often ing the Landsknechts and enforcing the 'articles'.
found in the train, where their goods found a After the quanennaster had selected a suitable site
certain market. Their prices were fixed by the for the camp, the provost immediately detennined
&h.uJthtiss to avoid any haggling, which was often the location of the marketplace and ordered a
the cause of camp brawls. In general the sutleress galJows to be erected. While the &huJthtus fixed the
provided \'inually everything a soldier might prices of the goods to be sold, the proVOSt charged
the sutlers and sutlercsscs a small 'protection' fee. flag was nOI 10 be unfurled until the unit had re-
Similarly he often demanded a sum of money from established ils honour. During this time the
prisoners who had finished their sentence in the standard was always carried with the point facing
camp gaol (oftcn the provosl's own lem). theground. On the death ofthe ObriSl, his body was
draped in the flag and buried with it. Similarly.
H: Standards when the regiment disbandccl after a campaign, me
The Fiihnltin, which in Gcmlan is the diminutivc of standards were usually taken down from their
Rag, was by no means a small affair. Standards were staves and tom into pieces, each soldier recei\'ing a
portion as remembrance for his service.
usuaJly anything up to ten feet in length with a
width of six feet. The staO" was nonnaJl)f slightly There were also flags designed for the train. The
leading carriage of thc Emperor or the FtJdobrist
longer than the width of the standard and bore a
usually carried the imperial standard or that of the
knob at the lowcr end whieh was used 10 facilitate
commanding officer. ThOS(' wagons carrying bread
the cdebratcd 'flag swinging', which still goes on in
and flour carried a white flag, and the field kitchen
paruofSwitzerland and Southern Gennany loday.
a red. flag. Oftcn standards were taken aJong \.. hich
The standards of the Fiihnll!ln usuaJly bore the
had no place in the train whatsoever. TIltse of
colours and heraldic devices of the captain, or of a
course belonged to unwarranted bands the so·
city, ifit was represented. The material was usuaJly
called Aftroiltbrudtr, from which we have the word
silk and the shape and size often varied. Con-
marauder J who were to be found in most annies on
temporary prints show rounded standards attached
the march at that time.
to haJberds, for example. The standard was a
symbol of the april ilt corps and accordingly if a HI The Reichsstunnfahne was the Imperial
regimen! or Fiihnltin had fallen into disrepute the batLle flag and as such always bore the double-

The whole _uale ' oneo derisively caJ.lecI the 'wltorn artlo_rb or ... tid, the artillery. The w .....e u-aia wu uader
aDd. ........ n', wu in y retlpKU • ....ul in iudf,"'~;ta the c:om.rnand of the HtlreDwllibd, ... offieer with lIM: raak of
Owa .. laAdard aDd. of1_ bdDti en>pJoyecl 10 ........ trua c:apuiD wbo had biti _ ti~,etUUI', eaa;p. ..... Rrw-t'L

headed cagle. When the Emperor was not present
the standard ofthe commanding officer became the
leading baule nag.

H2 In the Turkish Wars, '532, the standard of

Friedrich of Bavaria who was the supreme
commander of the Imperial forces was used instead
of the double-headed eagle. It bore the figure ofSt
~Iichael on the Bavarian colours beneath the words

H3 Charles V as successor to MaximiHan in-

herited an immense empire. This was s~ mbolised
on a new Imperial flag depicting the twin pillars of Cunp' ....... was_ Cort., doe I .. od,kn~u: w~ Wt to
Hercules i.e. German)' and Spain and the motif ~. to 6JKI or ~ .....m ........ abdt...... Thit oCtao
.....ft.- ........
lOOk tile Corm oC ...impl.. leaa-co Or aD l.locI-.l>aped lau' __d ..
'PLUS OULTRE' or in Gcnnan ':',lOCH oCb.......d>... -....d mud .upported ... aD A' &a.m... oCIoalbndL
110.. (:IlIDp ~ Itevtr _ to 0 _ be<m complet.. without
the h"l'" beer Mr"l"tl and tIM awn......... clru-. ased ..
pmbliaS tabl....
H4 Arter the marriage of Maximilian to ~fary,
daughterofCharlcs the Bold, the Burgundian motif HIO RnthsrtmifoJmt. This Rag was always carried
of the cross of St Andrew was adopted and by the arch-marshal alongside the Emperor.
appeared on all his standards until his death. The
figure of the crossed branches later appeared in BIBLIOGRAPHY
gold, blue and red. It was nOt uncommon to see the
Cross of St Andrew nanked by the twin pillars of Anon, Wtu.r Kun;g, Biography of Maximilian I,
Hercules "ith the words 'PLUS ULTRA' above. 15 18.
Blau, Friedrich, Dtr deutsche LiIndrknecht, Garlitz
HS Standard of Georg von Frundsbcrg. 1882.
Deiss, Friedrich, Dos deutstht &ldotenhuth, Berlin
f/6 The Cross of St Andrew orten appeared In 193 2 .
simple fOlm against a yellow background. Doring, Hans, Kriegshuch oj GraJ Rtinhord rif Solms,
H7 Standard oflhc Fugger family, Augsburg. Lezius, Martin, Vonviirts ... Vorwiirls ... zur
Geschichte dtr dtulschm Landskntclll, Leipzig 1935.
/-/8 Standard of Memmingcn, Nell, Martin, Zur En/sleJlUllg der deu/schen UJnds-
Hg Standard of the Georgschild Rirtergesellschqfl Richter, Erich, Frtmdsberg, Munich 1968.
(league of Swabian knights). This standard was RUSfOW, Vol. I, Geschichte dtr lrifallttrie, 1884..
adopted by the Swabian Alliance and ultimalely Scheer, Johannes, Das UJndsknechtsltben.
carried by Swabian troops in the fifteenth and Zwiedeneck-Sudenhorst, Hans von, Kriegsbildtr der
sixleelllh centuries. deutschm LiIndsknechlJ Stuttgart, 1884.


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