I want to know about fighting styles and equipment of fighting men roughly around 13th century in the Baltic/Slavic area of Europe. I'd particularly like to find out about cultures that were prominent in horsemanship. If anyone has links to pictures or anything that would be great.

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    My understanding is that there are a few provincial laws around in the Baltic states from the Viking Age to 13thC that require 'hundreds' to provide a number of men with certain armaments. They are probably mentioned in volumes such as the landskapslag or gragas law books. I'm not aware of any 'graphic' representation of military strength in Medieval Baltic states. – Alan Kael Ball Feb 28 '14 at 11:47
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    Various maps and other information in relation to the Deutschordensstaat (State of the Teutonic Order) (from 1230) should be relevant here. (See links into Wikipedia.) – Drux Feb 28 '14 at 13:09
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it lacks sufficient precision to be answerable. – Samuel Russell Mar 3 '14 at 0:13

More details on the short-lived Livonian Brethren referred to by Juan da Cruz is available in The Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Lesser Military Orders
Better known is the history of the Schwertzbrüder (Ensiferi, or Swordbearers) of Livonia, founded by Albert, first Bishop of Riga (1197), to propagate the Faith in the Baltic Provinces and to protect the new Christianity there against the pagan nations still numerous in that part of Europe.
Thrown open to all sorts of persons without distinction of birth, overrun by aimless adventurers whose excesses were calculated rather to exasperate the pagans than to convert them, it endured but a short time, having only two grand masters, the first of whom, Vinnon, was murdered by one of his fellows in 1209, while the second, Volquin, fell on the field of battle in 1236, with four hundred and eighty knights of the order. The survivors petitioned to be allowed to enter the Teutonic Order, of which the Knights of Livonia thenceforward formed one branch under a provincial master of their own (1238). ....
Military Organization
The military organization of the orders was uniform, explained by that law of war which compels the belligerent to maintain his military apparatus on a level with those of his adversary, on pain of defeat. The strength of an army was in its cavalry, and to this type the armament, mounting, and tactics of the military orders conformed. The knights-brethren were the heavy cavalry; the men-at-arms-brethren, the light cavalry. ....

And of course, no study of Eastern Europe in the 13th century is complete without acknowledging the Mongol mastery of European Cavalry through the second half of that century:

Terrible as the Mongol incursion into Poland was, it was merely a diversion to keep the Europeans from uniting to resist the conquest of the Mongols' primary objective–Hungary. Since 1236, a Mongol army of 150,000 had been consolidating the rule of Ogadei, Genghis Khan's son and chosen successor as khakan ('great khan), over the principalities of western Russia.


Both the European and Mongol armies depended upon the horse, but there the similarity ended. The knight was supported by a feudal lord, or by the king, for the purpose of fighting. He was trained for close contact with his enemy, and his chief weapons were the heavy lance and the broadsword. The lance was held with the hand and couched under the arm in order to transmit the weight and force of both horse and rider as they charged the enemy. Likewise, the heavy broadsword swung from the saddle could inflict awful cuts. To protect himself in hand-to-hand combat of this sort, the knight wore elaborate, heavy armor. A long-sleeved chain-mail coat, or hauberk, protected his body. The knight might also wear a mail coif or hood over his head, and he would certainly wear an iron helmet as well. He wore mail gloves and leggings and carried a shield on his left arm. The entire panoply might weigh 70 or more pounds, and the knight rode a horse specially bred to be strong enough to bear him and his armor. His weight was a weapon in itself–he hurtled through an enemy formation, then the foot soldiers ran up and dispatched those whom the knights had unhorsed, struck down, ridden over or brushed aside.

Mongol armies were made up entirely of cavalry, but the Mongol, in contrast to the European knight, depended primarily on his bow, and usually did not favor close-quarters combat on horseback. His protection lay in speed and maneuverability, not in armor, and he often wore no armor aside from an open metal helmet with a leather drop behind the neck and a silk shirt under his coat that followed an arrowhead into a wound and allowed it to be withdrawn without tearing the flesh. There were more heavily armored Mongols, but even those heavy cavalrymen generally wore relatively light and flexible lamellar armor, consisting of a multitude of overlapping leather or iron plates. The Mongol bow was a recurved composite bow, a lamination of wood, horn and sinew that could cast an arrow more than 300 yards. The Mongols shot their arrows with great accuracy while riding at a fast pace and could even shoot accurately backward at a pursuer. Each warrior carried 60 arrows of different weights for shooting different distances and often carried more than one bow

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The Livonian Order or Frates Militiae Christi was founded by Albert von Buxhoevden in 1202. The stronghold was around the area that today is Latvia and Estonia and have permission by Pope Innocentus III to defend the values of the church both earthly and divine.

They have some similarities with the Knights Templar and the Teutonic Order. The later absorbed after some years the Livonan Order into its organisation as an autonomous branch of the Teutonic Order.

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