Landsknechts are troops of colorful and dogged men, professional soldiers of fortune, whom cavalry can not frighten. Equipped with halberds, pikes, crossbows and double-handed swords that are roughly two yards long with hilt measuring two feet and large, curved cross guards they wake respect in many simpletons. Though predominantly of Temerian origins, they hail from and serve in armies of many Northern Kingdoms. According to Lambert, one of the Witcher fighting styles known as the strong style was devised by them.
Warfare[edit | edit source]
In the Temerian Army, they form elite infantry units, famous across the Continent. In contrast to other countries, where mostly commoners serve as foot soldiers, a number of noblemen can be found in the ranks of these regiments. They are organized in regiments under the command of captains appointed by the King. They rarely use armors, and if so, then only soldiers at the front with breastplates and helmets.
Landsknechts fight in the serried squares. Maintaining the rigid discipline is required. Each soldier is obliged to kill his comrade-in-arms if he sees him breaking out of formation. The Temerians move as one body striking by hundreds, or sometimes even by thousands, at once. The first ranks attack with 16-foot-long pikes. They are followed by the halberdiers, while the center of a square (where the commander and the banner are) is secured by warriors equipped with two-handed swords. The crossbowmen protect the sides of the formation.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Landsknechts were European, most often German, mercenary pikemen and supporting foot soldiers from the late 15th to the late 16th century, and achieved the reputation for being the universal mercenary of the European Renaissance.