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The equipment of a knight in the 15th century

In the 15th century, the heavy cavalry knight was covered from head to toe with an armour of forged iron plates, thus making the use of shields superfluous. Heavy armoury was also worn by the horses. The long pike remained as the primary weapon.

Local peculiarities

Already in the 15th century, the Livonian Order came to include marksmen units armed with harquebuses in their infantry of archers. Altogether eight firearm experts are known to have worked in Tallinn in the 15th century.

Fort cannon

In the first half of the 15th century it was still a frontloaded cannon placed on a clumsy gun carriage.

Chambered cannon

The breech-loading cannon was primarily used in fortresses and on ships. At first these were mainly made of forged iron bars and reinforced with outer rings, the loaded chamber was inserted into the open rear. The exchange of chambers increased the rate of fire. The calibre varied between 50-150 mm. However, as the chamber could not be attached hermetically to the gun, the cannon was generally considered unsafe. Also, the range of fire did not exceed 500 metres.


A light firearm with a matchlock. Calibre: 12 mm–16 mm Range of fire up to 50 m


A simple mechanism, first operated by springs, later by a lever system, used for igniting the gunpowder with a wick attached to the lock.