Landsknechte (another name: Lancknechte) is a formation of German mercenary infantry that was established in the 15th century, and gained its greatest fame in the 16th century. The father of the Lancknecht units is considered to be Emperor Maximilian I Habsburg, who formed the first unit of this type in 1487. At the beginning of the 16th century, the basic organizational unit of the Lancknechts was a regiment, consisting of 10 to 16 companies, approx. 400 men each. The vast majority of soldiers of this formation were armed with white weapons - a wheel and a slash. The equipment included, first of all, spades (up to 5.5 meters long), halberds and swords, both one-handed (e.g. katzbalger) and one-and-a-half and two-handed swords. Crossbows were used as additional weapons, and later arquebuses and muskets. Defensive armament includes various types of helmets and breastplates. Many of the soldiers of this formation did not carry defensive weapons. On the battlefield, the Lanckernechs most often took an offensive stance, striving to engage enemy units and disrupt their formation. The formation was famous on the one hand for good discipline on the battlefield and often bravery in combat, but also ruthlessness and large-scale robberies (for example, Sacco di Roma from May 1527). Lancknechts took a very active part, first of all, in the Italian wars (1495-1559), but also in the peasant war (1524-1525) in Germany and the First Northern War (1563-1570).