Hello all. I wished to broach this topic as a furthering of my research and to get the international view of reenactors. As I mentioned in a comment on a 1565 woodcut on this site today, I am having some difficulty in finding paintings/woodcuts/statuary of Landsknechte using zweihanders in combat. There are a few woodcuts of single landsknecht with the 'early' zweihander in pose. That is either the cruciform hilt greatsword with egg shaped pommel and leather ricasso, or in woodcuts around the 1520-1565 period showing dopplesoldner with the sword over the shoulder which features two large hoops or a figure 8, like huge katzbalgers. The sword that is popular with reenactors today, featuring langets past the ricasso, sometimes flamberge blades, and with complex hooked quillions on their hilts, does not seem to fit in a pike block, and is certainly underrepresented in art compared to katzbalgers. I am aware of the staggering number of extant swordsof this type in museums; it seems every european collection has to have a few, however they do not seem to have a place in documented warfare encounters. Does anyone have or has seen a woodcut depicting these weapons in battle, or in the hands of a dopplesoldner at all? It is curious that so many remain yet their practical use remains a mystery. Besides striking fear into the hearts of men, how useful would a five foot sword be in the age of shot and pike? Any thoughts or evidence to the contrary, or should we all ditch our zweihanders in preference for arquebus and halbreds?

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Indeed!

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