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Martial history of the Great Duchy of Lithuania (LGD) in the 13-17th centuries

2011-06-08
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Development of soldiership in GDL in the 13-17th centuries is presented in the GDL Soldiership History Hall. Exhibits evidence that the quality of weapons Lithuanian warriors used was equal to that of neighbouring areas' warriors. From the13th to the beginning of the 16th century they used imported or local craftsmen-made sabers, combat knives, axes, spears and lances, arrows, bows and crossbows. As early as in the beginning of the 14th century gunpowder-based weapons - bombards - were used. In the part of the exposition for the 16-17th centuries the effect of foreign lands on the GDL martial development is illustrated. Mercenaries from Western Europe served in the LGD forces as early as the beginning of 16th century (heavy infantry), hussars came from Central Europe, the Petihora forces - from the foot of the Caucasus, Cassocks - from the steppes of Ukraine. Their best qualities and weaponry were intercepted, adjusted to local conditions, improved, and turned into the national cultural own. It is proved by the uncovered remains of arms, weapons and equipment. The exposition also includes engravings of famous war leaders (hetmans), battles, historical GDL maps. Walls of the hall are decorated with battle-pieces reflecting the most essential victories of the GDL forces of the period (the Battle of Tannenberg - 1410, the Battle of Orsha - 1514, the Battle of Kircholm - 1605). Viewers will also have an opportunity to see several reconstructions: a model of a Crusader assault on the Castle of Kaunas in 1361 and warriors of the beginning of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century (full posture, in arms and weaponry typical to that period).

 

Photos - patches of exposition

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