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What We Do


The German Landsknechts were originally formed by Maximillian of Austria in the late 1400's, and these troops developed into highly trained, well-disciplined units that changed the face of warfare forever. Using the pike drill developed by the Roman Legions years before, they added halberd (polearm), zwiehander (two handed sword), and arquebus (matchlock and wheel-lock muzzle loaders) drill. The Landsknechts dominated the battlefield until the advent of concentrated artillery barrages.
Unlike in days of old, when war was fought by knights of great renown charging boldly for personal honor and glory, we are mostly of peasant stock, common men who fight on foot. While a Knight must be trained practically from birth, a peasant pike unit may be raised and trained in a matter of weeks or months. It may not be as glorious or heroic, but five hundred (or more) of us in a square, with 18' pikes, can break a cavalry charge, and knock a company of knights on their noble backsides! Knights who actually manage to convince their horses to charge our pike line (not easy, since the horse is smarter!) rarely do so twice. Our block formations are very maneuverable, and just as effective when we flank to face other infantry.
But life on the march isn't all fighting. Our camps bustle like small cities, with our wives and children along to cook, clean, sew, heal, and otherwise look after us. They have as much to say about army life as any of us soldiers! Life is brief, but merry; hard, but rich! We earn more money in a month than a peasant-farmer will see in a year. That is, when we get paid. Sometimes there's shortages, and we may go hungry, but it's still better than life on the farm! Why, even the poorest of us can dress like kings, in velvets, silks, and furs, since we wear whatever we plunder from towns or the battlefield. Yes, it's a good life, even if a short one!
We are a non-profit living history organization, specializing in first person interpretation. Das TeufelsAlpdrücken Fähnleîn has performed at military reenactments and renaissance festivals throughout Maryland and Virginia. We are available for historical reenactments and showcases, school programs, civic events, and renaissance festivals. Come learn about the past, and discover!