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"The Hospitallers Knights…" Topic

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1,373 hits since 3 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP03 Nov 2017 9:57 a.m. PST

Hello to all

You have noticed that nobody really has any problem to know at all times, the military organization, the outfits and the numbers, at least theoretically, of the Teutonic Knights …

As well as to know what exist in 25 / 30mm figures for these Teutonic Knights…

In my opinion it's not the same for the Hospitallers Knights…

My question is simple, which can enlighten me on the military organization, the outfits and the numbers, at least theoretically, of the Hospitallers Knights without me having to read masses of books …

And what is there like 25 / 30mm figurines specifically for the Hospitallers Knights for the 12th century…

Thank you in advance.

RudyNelson03 Nov 2017 10:41 a.m. PST

Check Fireforge. They have Teutonic and Templars which can be Hospitalers.

olicana03 Nov 2017 10:57 a.m. PST

Perry do some nice early Hospitallers.


It's generally thought that there were about 300 brothers in the Middle East at any one time. At La Forbie they lost were 325 with only 28 escaping alive. This virtually wiped them out.

They employed non brethren knights, sergeants and turcopoles to bring up their numbers. They promised 500 knights and 500 turcopoles for the invasion of Egypt in 1169 but the knights were probably not all brethren.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP04 Nov 2017 12:01 p.m. PST

What were the proportions between the brethren knights and the mounted sergeants /

What was the outfits of the mounted sergeants ?

There was not a specific infantry of order sergeants?

The fighters specifically of the order were the knights, mounted sergeants and turcopoles?

The serving brethren are the mounted sergeants ?

Johannes Brust Supporting Member of TMP05 Nov 2017 1:52 p.m. PST

For gaming purposes I would model 1 sergeant, 1 brother, 1 turcopole.
Osprey has a book on their uniforms..which changed from black to red.
Serving brethren are not sergeants.
Hope this helps

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2017 3:00 p.m. PST

Yes and for the uniforms of their sergeants ?

Druzhina09 Nov 2017 10:34 p.m. PST

A few extracts from the organisation section of Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291 by Ian Heath

p11, The Hospitallers:
The brethren-at-arms of the Order consisted of knights and sergeants (the latter outnumbered by the former), though the distinction only first appears in documents in 1206. At this date each brother knight was accompanied by 4 horses and probably 2 esquires, while each brother sergeant had only 2 horses and a single esquire (in all the Military Orders the esquires were drawn from amongst the serving brethren).

Footnote on p12:
* Some indication of the proportions may possibly be given by the Templar garrison of Safed, recorded c. 1243 to have consisted of 50 brother knights, 50 brother sergeants, 50 Turcopoles, 300 crossbowmen, 820 esquires, workmen and others (largely natives) and 400 slaves.

p13, The Templars:
Likewise in addition to brethren their forces included Turcopoles, vassals, mercenaries and allies …
The proportion of Turcopoles would appear to have been similar to those of the Hospitallers, basically on a level with the number of brethren; for example at La Forbie in 1244, where the Templars may have lost as many as 312 brethren, they also lost 324 Turcopoles.

Brethren again consisted of knights and sergeants (the latter existing at least as early as 1147). The distinction between them was almost inevitably more noticeable than amongst the less militaristic Hospitallers, and by 1250 an initiate seeking entry into the Order as a brother knight had first to prove he was the son or descendant of a knight, a qualification likewise requested by the Hospitallers and the Spanish Orders within the next two decades.

2th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2017 10:54 a.m. PST

Thank you all

The knights and sergeants, I see what it is, but for the outfits of the sergeants, it is not that of the knights?

So how were they dressed?

The esquires were drawn from among the serving brethren ?

Esquires in ordinary chivalry, I see what it is, but in knights of Christ?

So how were they dressed?

What is serving brethren?

So how were they dressed?

The infantry of this order was dressed how ?

She wore a particular outfit?

Thank you

Great War Ace Inactive Member19 Nov 2017 1:46 p.m. PST

Early Hospitallers evidently did not dress their sergeants/Turcopoles differently from the Knights. Lay brother knights wore the same surcoat or habit as the monks. But in battle they did not dispense with the habit or cappa clausa. So very little of their armor would actually be visible!

In 1248 they replaced the habit in battle with a black surcoat. And in 1259 this was changed to a red surcoat with a broad white cross of "Greek" style bleeding off the edges of the garment (and presumably the shield also). From 1278 the sergeants got to wear a red surcoat like the Knights. So for a period of time the sergeants would have looked different, wearing black while the Knights wore red.

Esquires were drawn from the serving brethren and were not fighters. Infantry would be like for the Templars, being mostly mercenaries.

The Hospitallers seem not to have had a cross device on their shields until quite late, but this is from lack of mention/evidence. I prefer to assume that a white cross of the Latin style was present from the beginning. And later the broad Greek cross takes over. The Maltese or eight pointed cross of romantic legend probably wasn't a battle device. But I like it. And my Hospitallers all have a huge Maltese cross on their shields.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2017 8:27 a.m. PST

Congratulations for these clarifications.

You write:"In 1248 they replaced the cappa clausa in battle with a black surcoat." it's a sleeveless surcoat, like the one worn by the Templars in the middle of the 12th century?

Me too I think their knights wore a white cross on their shields, but none on their cappa clausa unlike the Templars who carried red crosses on their surcoats…

And their sergeants,they wore a white cross on their shields ?

In the 12th century (period that interests me) the sergeants were indistinguishable from the knights – their armor was still not lighter – but their Turcopoles were, it is obliged, because they did not wear the cappa clausa …

And how was the mercenary infantry of the order dressed?

Without distinctive signs?

Like any Frankish infantry in the Holy Land at the time?

How did she show her provisional belonging to the order?

No cross ?

What are the figurines on the link?

Is not it Old Glory who offers the most realistic 28mm Hospitallers Knights / Sergeants figurines for the 12th century?

Great War Ace Inactive Member22 Nov 2017 1:48 p.m. PST

Yes, a surcoat is generally sleeveless, but not always. Even a sleeved surcoat would be considerably less restricting in battle than the voluminous sleeves of a monk's habit.

We don't know if crosses were on shields as general practice. And we don't know if a cross was not on the breast of the cappa clausa either.

As I said, we don't know how the infantry fielded by any of the Orders appeared vis-a-vis distinctive insignia or colors. My guess is that it was variable. An established garrison that included mercenary infantry would be more likely to have surcoats and shields sporting the colors and crosses of the Order. But mercenaries hired with short warning would most likely look "plain". If not, this would mean that the Order kept jupons, surcoats and painted shields on hand for future needs. We don't have any evidence for this.

I believe that Old Glory Hospitallers are second to none.

My old Hospitallers are true 25s, "ancient" McEwan Miniatures from the 70s.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2017 9:58 a.m. PST

The "cappa clausa" of their sergeants are therefore brown like those of monks in a monastery? It's hideous!

You write: "An established garrison that included mercenary infantry would be more likely to have surcoats and shields sporting the colors and crosses of the Order."

Templars and Hospitallers had established infantry?

I believe that Old Glory Hospitallers are second to none and the only ones that are historic with Minifigs 25 mm figures because they come straight out of the WRG books!

And the Minifigs Crusaders and Templars 25 mm figures and the rest, What do you think of them?

For Saracens, unfortunately they do not give the nationalities …

I love the old 25mm figurines of the 70s, but see the crusade range of minifigs, alas it is not complete …

You know guys selling McEwan Miniatures from the 70s.

Druzhina24 Nov 2017 8:30 p.m. PST

Templars and Hospitallers had established infantry?

The Templar garrison of Safed, recorded c. 1243, included 300 crossbowmen (probably mercenaries).

25 & 26. KNIGHTS HOSPITALLER in Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291 by Ian Heath may also be of interest.

Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2017 11:31 a.m. PST

Thank you once more Druzhina, if the infantry of the two great

orders is made of mercenary what kind of uniformity could they

have in their outfits, I think of the shields and the pavois

that could be in the colors of their employers …

This would be possible?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2017 12:39 a.m. PST

I bought all the ospreys on the Military orders, as I shall see.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2017 11:44 a.m. PST

The sergeants of that order wore the "cappa clausa" ?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP27 Feb 2018 12:17 a.m. PST

By dint of searching I have found, I know now that the sergeants of that order wore the "cappa clausa", but they were not black like those of the knights, but very dark brown, and of course their hauberks were less complete…

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