The pikemen belonged to the land forces from the 15th to the 17th century as heavy infantry and were in response to the increasingly occurring Franconian armored riders to fight these and other mounted units effectively.
The standard equipment included a pike whose length exceeded that of ordinary cavalry and knights. So it was to be ensured in a close formation that the attacking riders hit the skewers head-on before they could reach the pikemen.
As further weapons for close combat, the soldiers were equipped with swords, swords or daggers. These weapons were necessary if the enemy managed to break the formation and break into the battle formation. When mating with other Pikemen units, close combat was seldom inevitable.
In the 17th century, the pikemen also introduced breasts and armored carapaces. In addition, they were equipped with an open helmet.
The pikemen's tactic was similar to that of the Greek phalanx. As a result, several rows of pikers lined up in a row, the pikes were rammed into the ground to cushion the impact of an impact. The pikes were used with the tip at the level of the horse chest or higher, to cause the greatest possible damage or injury.
Essentially two factors played an important role in the decline of the pikemen as a branch of service, and these came to the fore in the 30-year war.
On the one hand, with the advent of firearms, the attack tactics of the cavalry changed. So the riders no longer attacked the enemy line head-on, but attacked in several waves one behind the other. In each wave, the riders fired their salvos and then turned around, so there was no direct contact between the riders and the Pikern.
On the other hand, the pikemen had nothing to oppose the emergence of musket gunners in terms of reach. So the musket gunners fired their salvos without coming in contact with the Pikern.
Thus, it inevitably meant that France dissolved its last units of pikemen 1703, England 1704 and the Netherlands 1708.