The Landsknecht (meaning 'servant of the country') flourished during a key period for military organisation and practice. In the late 15th century, the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, recruited thousands of mercenaries from Central and Northern Europe, with the aim of creating a reliable source of men for his armies - and the Landsknecht were born. This book reveals the true-life experiences of the Landsknecht soldier, using numerous first-hand accounts. It takes a close look at the recruitment, training, daily life and and careers of these formidable soldiers, and examines in detail their clothing, equipment and weaponry. Many fine, contemporary illustrations, some drawn by Landsknecht themselves, accompany the text.
John Richards has had a long-standing interest in the history of Central European warfare. He has researched the Landsknecht soldier for a number of years. He lives and works in Basel, Switzerland. Gerry Embleton has been a leading historical illustrator since the early 1970s specialising in the medieval period, but with a keen interest in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. An illustrator, and author, of a number of Osprey titles he has lived in Switzerland since the early 1980s.
Introduction - The Origins of the Landsknecht Organisation - Recruitment Army life - The Articles of War Officers Camp life - The Train Sickness - Religion Costume - The Landsknecht in their Own Words - The decline of the Landsknecht - Bibliography - Colour Plate - Commentary - Index