- Symbol: Iron Cross
- Musical Theme: Ode to Joy (composed by Michael Curran, orchestrated by Geoff Knorr)
- Music Set: European
- Architecture: European
- Spy Names: Johann, Marlene, Wilhelm, Eva, Heinz, Horst, Carl, Viper, Albrecht, Anton
- Preferred Religion: Christianity () or Protestantism ()
- Preferred Ideology: Order
The Landsknecht is a German unique unit in vanilla Civilization V and Gods & Kings. In the Fall 2013 patch for Brave New World, it is replaced by the Hanse (the German unique building), but remains available to any civilization through the Mercenary Army social policy or allied militaristic city-states.
The Germans are one of the best civilizations in regards to military prowess. Their unique ability allows them to both maintain a larger army than normal, and to press-gang Barbarians into their army throughout the game. This is especially useful in the early game when there are plenty of Barbarian encampments around, and more so if Raging Barbarians is active. Units such as the Horseman and Swordsman - which normally require strategic resources such as Horses and Iron - do not require or use strategic resources when acquired from encampments, but will require the resource to be upgraded. Once the Germans have researched Optics, units recruited from Barbarian encampments will have the ability to embark when they are received, without needing to enter German territory.
Note that the Germans receive a flat 25 Gold for recruiting the defender of a Barbarian encampment, whereas the amount of Gold acquired when an encampment is captured is dependent on both the difficulty level and the game speed.
However, playing as Germany need not be about conquering. If a domination victory is not desired, good use can still be made of the Germans' unique ability by sending out two units together on a permanent mission to seek and destroy Barbarian encampments. This will produce an army strong enough to deter any warmongers while simultaneously leaving cities free to build civilian buildings and wonders. The Honor policy tree comes in handy, as it gives notifications about new Barbarian encampments as soon as they appear.
Germany's unique building, the Hanse, replaces the Bank and is a very nice way to bolster both Gold income and Production in the mid-game. Trading primarily with city-states maximizes this special ability.
The Panzer, mirroring the historic tank brigades of the Third Reich, is one of the most terrifying weapons of the late game, thanks to its enhanced speed and strength.
While various "Germanic" peoples have occupied northern-central Europe for thousands of years, the modern political entity known as "Germany" is extremely young, created almost singlehandedly by the brilliant Prussian politician Otto von Bismarck some 140 years ago. During its brief existence Germany has had a profound effect - for good and for bad - on human history.
Climate and Terrain
Germany encompasses a variety of terrains, from snow-covered mountains in the south to rolling hills in the west to the flatlands of the east. It is crossed by several major rivers which provide water for crops and transport for goods. Its hills and mountains are rich with natural resources and its plains are fertile. Germany has a temperate climate and abundant rainfall, ideal for European-style agriculture.
For centuries northern-central Europe has been occupied by Germanic people, roughly defined as people who speak Germanic languages (rather than say the Romantic languages of Italy, France and Spain). Evidence suggests that Germanic tribes lived in northern Germany as far back as the Bronze Age. It appears that during this period Southern Germany was originally populated by peoples of Celtic origin; they were however eventually "Germanized" as the Germanic tribes' influence spread south.
The first historical information on the Germanic tribes comes to us from about 50 BC, when the Roman general Julius Caesar encountered and fought various tribes while conquering the province of Gaul (an area roughly encompassing modern France). Caesar established the eastern border of Gaul at the Rhine River, beyond which most of the "barbaric" German tribes lived.
The Romans and Germanic people maintained an uneasy peace (punctuated by various raids and border skirmishes) for some forty years until approximately 10 BC, when the Roman armies invaded Germanic territory from two directions, crossing the Rhine to the west and the Danube to the east. This proved to be a catastrophic miscalculation: the barbarians were astonishingly tough opponents and a number of Roman legions were destroyed. The humiliated Romans retreated to the previous borders of the Danube and the Rhine, no further incursions were attempted for several centuries, and the two sides coexisted more or less peacefully until 350 AD.
During that period there was a good deal of commerce between the Romans and the Germans, with the Germans trading raw material in exchange for Roman manufactured and luxury goods. Over time the Germans learned pottery and advanced agricultural techniques from the Romans, and they even began using Roman money.
Enter the Huns
As the fourth century progressed, the Germanic tribes began to come under increased pressure from "Hunnish" tribes migrating into Germanic territory from further east. This pushed the Germanic people into Roman territory. Over the next fifty-odd years parts of Rome were overrun by the Visigoths, Suebi and Vandals. The city of Rome itself was sacked several times, and several Roman emperors died fighting the invaders. The Romans eventually came to terms with some of the invaders, granting them territory and some measure of protection from the advancing Huns.
With the death of Attila in 453 the Hun Empire collapsed, and the Germanic tribes no longer needed Rome's protection. A number of tribes declared their independence from Rome, and within a short period a Visigoth kingdom was established in southwest Gaul, a Burgundian kingdom was declared in southeast Gaul, a Frankish kingdom was established in the north, and the Lombard kingdom was created on the Danube - and the Western Roman Empire ceased to exist.
Once established in north-western Gaul, the "Franks" (the Germanic peoples in Roman Gaul) began to expand eastward across the Rhine and back into non-Romanized Germanic territory, where the non-Romanized Germanic tribes remained as stubbornly independent as ever. The subjugation of the tribes spanned three centuries of war, conquest, rebellion, treachery, punishment, and more war. Religion was one of the great impediments to peace: the Franks had become Christian and they sought to spread the gospel into the barbarian lands. The Germanic tribes were pagans and did not want to abandon their religion. Christianity would emerge victorious, eventually, but it was a long and difficult (and often bloody) process.
The Franks themselves were not a unified monolithic entity: they spent as much time fighting themselves as they did battling external foes. The earliest line of rulers, the Merovingians, remained in power until the middle of the seventh century, when they were overthrown by the Carolingians, a rival faction from the north. The Carolingians were blessed with a series of extremely able kings who, allied with the Catholic Church, extended Frankish power across much of central Europe.
Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire
The greatest of the Carolingians, Charlemagne (742-814) was a brilliant military leader and a canny politician. He continued his father's and grandfather's subjugation of the Germanic tribes, and he extended his empire into southern France and then Italy. In exchange for protecting Rome from the Saracens and the Byzantines, the Pope crowned him Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Today Charlemagne is considered to be one of the founders of France and of Germany, not to mention the first man to unite Western Europe since the Romans.
Upon Charlemagne's death, his only son Louis I (Louis the Pious) assumed the throne. Louis had more than one son, and when he died the Empire was divided between them. Many years would pass before any single person would again rule so large a portion of Europe.
The Rise of Germany (Part I)
Louis the Pious' son, Louis the German, inherited the eastern portion of the Holy Roman Empire, which included the Kingdom of Bavaria and other territories in what would become Medieval Germany. Much of his reign was spent fighting the Slavs, the Vikings and his brothers, inheritors of the middle and western portions of Charlemagne's empire (the areas which would later become France and the Benelux countries). Louis the German ruled for some 50 years (ca. 825-876), providing political stability to his war-torn kingdom. When not engaged in battle with his neighbors, Louis was an early patron of German letters who promoted the creation of monasteries in his kingdom.
The Middle Ages
In the two centuries following Louis' reign, external pressure from Danes, Saracens and Magyars, weakened the central government, and as it proved incompetent to protect its citizens from attack, power devolved to local authorities, resulting in a patchwork of smaller mostly independent duchies who became independent political units in everything but name. Following the death of the last Carolingian German king, the German dukes elected first a Frankish duke to be king, but when he proved incompetent the title went to a Saxon duke.
The Saxons remained in power for some centuries. They successfully held off the attacks of the eastern barbarians (though an attempt to expand German power east proved disastrous). By the late 10th century Otto I had invaded and conquered much of Italy. Pope John XII crowned him Emperor, beginning a powerful alliance between the German state and the Church that lasted over a century.
This alliance was not permanent, however. Eventually, the popes grew to resent the German kings' increasing power over the Church's property and personnel. Reformers within the Church decried the corruption of bishops and abbots who purchased their positions from kings and duchies (the sin of "simony"), claiming that only the pope should make such appointments. Matters reached a peak in 1075, when King Henry IV demanded that Pope Gregory VII abdicate; Gregory responded by excommunicating Henry. Facing a civil war, Henry was forced to beg the pope for forgiveness. The pope gave it, but Henry was badly weakened and was unable to quash the rebellion, which dragged on for some 20 years. Although Henry IV survived, the German monarchy was permanently weakened by the struggle.
During this period German power continued to grow in Central Europe, as German kings and duchies conquered and colonized non-German territory to the east and west. King Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa), who reigned from 1152-1190, campaigned to reconquer Lombardy and Italy. Although unsuccessful against the Lombards, he (and his heirs) did make substantial gains in Italy. Frederick died in 1190, while leading the ill-fated Third Crusade towards the Holy Land. According to legend he drowned while bathing.
The Fall of Germany (Part I)
Frederick's heirs were unable to unify the increasingly fragmented Germany, and when Frederick II, Barbarossa's grandson, died in 1250, the crown was left vacant for some time. Although others would eventually claim the crown, none would again wield true monarchical power.
By the late 14th century the dissolution of Germany was all but complete.
The Rise of Germany (Part II)
Germany would remain divided for some five long centuries. By the 18th century Austria (under the Habsburgs) and the kingdom of Prussia were the two dominant powers; at the beginning of the 19th Century both were engaged in the desperate struggles of the Napoleonic wars that convulsed Europe. In the Congress of Vienna in 1814 which followed Napoleon's defeat, many of the states which comprised the old German empire were joined together in the German Confederation. Austria and Prussia both sought to dominate the Confederation; their incessant squabbling and jockeying for position left the new state weak and divided.
In 1861 King William I of Prussia appointed Otto von Bismarck Prime Minister of Prussia. Three short years later Bismarck led his country into war with Denmark, adding that country to the growing Prussian empire. In 1866 Prussia went to war against Austria, after Bismarck's cunning machinations left the Habsburg Empire isolated and vulnerable. Prussia easily defeated its once mighty competitor, driving Austria from the Confederation.
In 1870 Prussia went to war with France, utilizing its incomparable railroad network to launch a lightning assault that the French were totally unprepared for. The French were crushed and the Prussians claimed the disputed territories of Alsace-Lorraine. Having decisively beaten the only two land powers who might have stopped them, Bismarck and the Prussians announced the formation of the German Empire, the direct ancestor of modern Germany. Germany would dominate central Europe for the next 50 years.
The Fall of Germany (Part II)
The story of World War I is well known. At heart, that war was a horrible failure of diplomacy as lesser men tried to emulate Bismarck's tactics. In the years leading up to that cataclysmic event, the Great Powers of Europe found themselves almost helplessly falling into two armed camps, each side linked together by a labyrinthine of diplomatic agreements which left little room for actual diplomacy. Country A was treaty-bound to Country B, who had promised to come to Country C's aid if it went to war with Country D, who was similarly allied to Countries E, F, and G.
In 1914 the entire house of cards came tumbling down following a blatant attempt to engulf Serbia by Austria-Hungary. Using the assassination of an Austro-Hungarian nobleman by a Serbian anarchist as an excuse, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Russia honored its treaty with Serbia and declared war on Austria-Hungary, and Austria-Hungary's ally Germany mobilized its forces to attack Russia, which caused France (still smarting from the loss of Alsace-Lorraine 40 years earlier) to mobilize against Germany. England, France and Russia's ally, had little choice but to also declare war on Germany and Austria-Hungary.
Although it enjoyed great initial success early in the war, crippling Russia and overrunning half of France, Germany and its allies were unable to deliver the final killing blow to its enemies, and the war degenerated into a hideous stalemate which lasted for four horrible years of trench warfare. Britain's command of the seas and the United States' entry into the war finally broke Germany's will to resist. Sick of war, under pressure on all fronts and seeing no chance of victory, the German people revolted. The Kaiser fled to the Netherlands; the Germans declared a Republic, and on November 11 1918 they signed an Armistice agreement. By war's end some 15 million people had been killed and much of Europe was a stinking wasteland of mud, corpses and unexploded ordnance.
The victors were not overly kind to Germany following the war. France took back the disputed territories of Alsace-Lorraine, and the allies imposed huge war reparations on the already-destitute country, which was forbidden to maintain a significant military. (Austria-Hungary fared no better: the empire was dismembered on ethnic lines into Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, and the Ottoman Empire was similarly hacked into pieces.)
Germany was prostrate, bankrupt, and under threat of occupation if it did not pay huge sums of money to its neighbors (who it should be noted in fairness were not in much better shape themselves and who desperately needed the money to rebuild). Many wondered if Germany would ever be able to recover from the catastrophe of World War I.
The Rise of Germany (Part III)
Again, the events leading up to World War II are well-known. Trading upon the anger and humiliation felt by the German people, Adolf Hitler and his fascist Nazi (National-Socialist) party gained control of the German government. The Germans rebuilt their country, economy and military with astonishing rapidity, while Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies and other minorities were persecuted with increasing ferocity.
While Germany's former enemies watched supinely, Hitler united Germany with Austria, then gobbled up Czechoslovakia. Isolated by France, England and the US, Stalin's Communist Russia helped Germany dismember helpless Poland. This caused France and England to declare war against Germany, but neither country had the military power to launch an offensive war against Hitler's growing army.
In 1940 Germany invaded France via the Netherlands, Belgium and the Low Countries. France's defenses were outflanked, and the German tanks made short work of the inferior French and British armaments. In a little over a month France had surrendered and the British had been driven off of the continent.
In 1941 Germany turned its attention to the East. The mighty German war machine carved a bloody swath into the belly of the Soviet Union, destroying entire Soviet armies hurled into its path to stem the assault. By late 1941 Germany seemed on the verge of destroying Soviet Russia and achieving undisputed mastery of continental Europe.
The Fall of Germany (Part III)
Despite its early astonishing successes, Germany was unable to destroy the Soviet Union. Crippled by Stalin's purge of the officer's corps some years before and ill-equipped and ill-trained, the Soviet army fought heroically to stem the German advance. Though it cost them huge, terrible casualties to do so, the Red Army halted the Germans before they could capture Leningrad or Moscow, buying Stalin time to train and equip a huge military force with which to launch his counter-offensive.
In the Western Front, things were looking no better for Germany The United States had entered the war (following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), and American and British forces began to undermine German power first in Africa and then Italy. As the Russian forces ground their way west against extraordinary German resistance, the Americans and British invaded France, opening up another front against Hitler's forces. Bled white and unable to defend fronts, the German army finally collapsed. Hitler committed suicide, and in May 7-8 1945 Germany surrendered.
Germany paid heavily for its transgressions. Millions of Germans died in the war, including a staggering number of German Jews who were murdered by their Germany countrymen. The Soviet Union (which itself suffered tens of millions of casualties) expanded its borders westward into Polish territory and Poland was in turn awarded German eastern territory, including all of Prussia, where fifteen million Germans were driven from their homes into what remained of Germany. Germany herself was divided and occupied by the Allies, Russia occupying Eastern Germany while France, the United Kingdom and the United States occupied Western Germany and half of Berlin.
The Rise of Germany (Part IV)
In the years after World War II Germany has made yet another remarkable comeback. Following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, East and West Germany have reunited, becoming once again an economic powerhouse unrivaled in Europe. Germany has become an enthusiastic member of the European Union, and perhaps most astonishingly, a close friend and ally of France. The German people seem to accept responsibility for their nation's horrible crimes in World War II and seem determined to make sure that they never reoccur. In short, Germany has become a powerful force for world peace and unity in the twenty-first century.
The German Autobahn is the oldest motorway network in the world - it has no enforced speed limit and only a maximum advisory speed of 80 mph.
The world's oldest savings bank was established in Oldenburg in 1786.
There are over 1,300 beer breweries in Germany, making almost 5,000 different kinds of beer. The Germans consume the 3rd largest amount of beer per year, after the Irish and the Czechs, roughly 31 gallons per person per year.
The Ulm Cathedral is the tallest church in the world - its main spire measures 530 ft in height.
Gummi Bears were invented by a German confectionist, Hans Riegel, in 1922.
List of Cities
- Main article: German cities (Civ5)
- Germany's unique ability is a Latin phrase used to describe the aggressiveness of the German tribes, particularly the Teuton tribe.
Blood and Iron
Beat the game on any difficulty setting as Bismarck.
|Civilization V Civilizations |
|American • Arabian • Assyrian • Austrian • Aztec • Babylonian1 • Brazilian • Byzantine • Carthaginian • Celtic • Chinese • Danish1 • Dutch • Egyptian • English • Ethiopian • French • German • Greek • Hunnic • Incan1 • Indian • Indonesian • Iroquois • Japanese • Korean1 • Mayan • Mongolian1 • Moroccan • Ottoman • Persian • Polish • Polynesian1 • Portuguese • Roman • Russian • Shoshone • Siamese • Songhai • Spanish1 • Swedish • Venetian • Zulu|
|1 Requires a DLC|