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The Landsknecht mercenaries were renowned for their flamboyance. Their outrageous appearance extended from their colourful attire to their weapons. This good looking forged dagger is a perfect example of their extravagant sense of style in a very effective back-up fighting knife. The Landsknecht Dagger features steel parts and wood and leather wrapped grip to highlight the hand forged deadly blade. Includes scabbard. Overall Length 16 1/4" Blade 11" long, 1 1/8" wide, 3/16" thick Wt.-12 oz.
The shape of this dagger’s writhen pommel is in the Italian Renaissance style. It closely corresponds to the contemporary kalzbalgers, hand-and-a-half swords and two-handed swords. The writhen ornament is also characteristic of almost all period items of everyday use including costume and body armour. This is based on a museum original.
The 14th and 15th centuries saw a rise in plate armor on the battlefield, and it is commonly known that swords began to change to adapt to such armor. The thrust became paramount to get between the joints of the armor, where a plate covering would restrict movement. While the sword is well known for changing with the rise of plate, an often-overlooked aspect of fighting against an armored opponent, however, is the dagger.
One critical aspect to what the Germans called harnisfechten, or armored combat, was knowing how to fight when the engagement was too close for swords. Often times the sword had to quickly be discarded, or was even lost in the heat of battle.
While this dagger was used against armor, it was also commonly used for unarmored fighting, such as in the case of the judicial duel. Many period manuals by masters, such as those by Hans Talhoffer or Filippo Vadi, detail advanced knife fighting techniques utilizing grappling, throws, and an understanding in body mechanics that would work just as well in plate as without.
Message from client regarding this dagger: "Every one who has seen this dagger likes it. I've shown this and other weapons to various people, including my martial arts class, over the years but this has had more positive response than any other. This Landsknecht I bought as a gift for my master who was particularly taken with it - he descibed it as the "ideal size" for a weapon that can be used outside or indoors with great effectiveness. This is not advocacy by the way, just his observation :-) Cheers, Don."
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