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German History in Documents and Images
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Lansquenets on the March (1st Half of the 16th Century)
Lansquenets were foot soldiers who fought as mercenaries in the 15th and 16th centuries and whose characteristic weapon was a pike. Introduced by Emperor Maximilian I, lansquenets were initially recruited mainly for the Imperial Habsburg army, but they eventually fought for many other European princes as well. The lansquenets shown here are equipped with customary weaponry and outfitted in their typical flamboyant dress. Woodcut by Erhard Schoen (1491-1542), first half of the 16th century.