An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2
by Ian Heath


The arms and appearance of Western European foot-soldiers of the 14th and 15th centuries has already been covered in detail in volume 1 and it is not intended that the subject should be covered again here. The next 4 figures are therefore merely a selection of such German infantry as are likely to have been found in armies fighting in Central and Eastern Europe. The two specific figures depicted here are from sculptures of c.1345-50 at Strasbourg and c.1350-55 at Haguenau respectively. There is nothing particularly remarkable about their equipment, though 114's open-fronted surcoat with its deep arm-holes gives us another view of a coat-of-plates such as that worn by figure 106. Though mail chausses had generally disappeared elsewhere by c.1350, they remained in occasional use in Germany right up until very late in the 14th century. In the original, 115 is shown cocking his crossbow by the cord-and-pulley method, in which a cord with a hook at one end was attached to a ring on the belt, an eye at the other end then being located on the hook visible below the crossbow tiller; the crossbow string was hooked to a pulley attached to the cord, the stirrup then being used in the usual way.

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