Landsknecht Weapons for Reenactors


The Landsknecht were Mercenary soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire, famed for their bravery and the resplendence of their fashion. In addition to their iconic attire they carried a distinctive arsenal of weapons from the early to mid-16th century. The wielded halberds, large two-handed swords called Zweihanders, and iconic one-handed swords known as Katzbalgers.  Here at Arms and Armor we've been making various versions of these weapons for decades, making sure that modern day Landsknecht are as well armed as their Renaissance forebears.  

durer landsknecht

Engraving by Albrecht Durer, Death and a Landsknecht


Landsknecht and Kampfraus of the Bristol Renaissance Festival



Recruited by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian the First, they represented the cutting edge of military capacity in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and famously ran roughshod over the conventional militias of the time.  Below you can check out some examples of Landsknecht arms that we have made, some of which were custom orders, others are standard catalogue items.  

Custom fancy Zweihander
Fancy Custom Zweihander

Durer The Returning Landsknecht

 A well armed Landsknecht in an engraving by Urs Graf

One of the most exciting things about building a Landsknecht persona for reenactment is the wide array of iconic weapons that they bore, and how well these are documented in period art.
Custom Zweihander
Modern Landsknecht armed with an Arms and Armor Calliano Sword, and a Katzbalger
two handed katzbalger
Custom two-handed Katzbalger
Arms and Armor Katzbalger 
Lovely kampfrau Karen with our Serenissima Rapier
katzbalger dagger
Katzbalger Dagger
Custom Halberd
In addition to the famous weapons they wielded, the Landsknecht wore outlandish, brightly colored and slashed clothing that they legendarily sewed from fabric scavenged from their dead foes.  This pretty much makes them total badasses.  
Three landsknechts and Ed
3 Landsknecht and Ed at the Western Martial Arts Workshop, 2019
sneak attack
Landsknecht sneak attack with a rondel dagger.

divider swords

Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography.  He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985

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