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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare Through the Ages > The Medieval Era

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The Medieval Era Discussions on Knights and Crusaders, and all things medieval!

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  #1  
Old 01 Sep 17, 11:06
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Medieval battles up close

I just turned on the TV and saw the end of Excalibur which brought back my often thought about question:
what were those battles really like --up close? specifically the hand to hand, foot battles--not cavalry/horse
--I've read about Agincourt, and some others--but not much
...obviously not all battles were the same
I would think the strongest/bravest would be up front....the armies would close in....one group or groups would make dents into the other army
...sometimes these dents/advantages would be made quickly [ minutes? ] or sometimes take a long time [ half hour to hours ] ...with the strongest creating these dents/wedges
the strongest/bravest would be the points fighting, while others would support their flanks without much fighting...a ''lot'' would not do much fighting--at first or at all
the battle would seesaw and was fluid--but sometimes not
does this sound realistic/true?
thanks all replies

Last edited by Moulin; 01 Sep 17 at 11:15..
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  #2  
Old 01 Sep 17, 12:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
I just turned on the TV and saw the end of Excalibur which brought back my often thought about question:
what were those battles really like --up close? specifically the hand to hand, foot battles--not cavalry/horse
--I've read about Agincourt, and some others--but not much
...obviously not all battles were the same
I would think the strongest/bravest would be up front....the armies would close in....one group or groups would make dents into the other army
...sometimes these dents/advantages would be made quickly [ minutes? ] or sometimes take a long time [ half hour to hours ] ...with the strongest creating these dents/wedges
the strongest/bravest would be the points fighting, while others would support their flanks without much fighting...a ''lot'' would not do much fighting--at first or at all
the battle would seesaw and was fluid--but sometimes not
does this sound realistic/true?
thanks all replies
In short.....awful; just examples.

Towton

https://www.google.com/search?q=batt...=1504283555882

Legnano

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  #3  
Old 01 Sep 17, 13:06
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The medieval period covers a very large span both in time and geography and warfare varied enormously depending upon when and where (and whom). However I would not put too much trust in later paintings, especially Victorian era ones which often owe more to the artist's imagination than knowledge.
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Old 01 Sep 17, 19:16
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thanks for replies
of course it was hell, horrible,unimaginable, etc
I do like paintings -- of the Old West, wars, battles,
...but sometimes the paintings seem so ''clustered'', and no motion of course, as in Bass's--
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Old 01 Sep 17, 21:29
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I don't know if you can watch this in the States, but here is an excellent documentary.



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Old 02 Sep 17, 05:13
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The local battle quite near where I live

https://britishheritage.com/the-batt...itage-feature/
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Old 02 Sep 17, 09:00
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The attached is worth a read - dispels some of the myths that arose in Victorian times about medieval warfare
http://deremilitari.org/2013/06/the-...ieval-warfare/
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Old 02 Sep 17, 09:02
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thanks
the links are a good getaway from the many ''circles'' on the forum
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Old 02 Sep 17, 11:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
I don't know if you can watch this in the States, but here is an excellent documentary.



Paul
perfect...right on target of my OP...
thanks
so many aspects to consider--the weather for one
the code of honor/chivalry is nice to think about--but men fighting and hacking/killing/etc will bring out a blood lust/savagery that is hard to stop...mob style killing

Last edited by Moulin; 02 Sep 17 at 11:48..
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Old 02 Sep 17, 11:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
The attached is worth a read - dispels some of the myths that arose in Victorian times about medieval warfare
http://deremilitari.org/2013/06/the-...ieval-warfare/
I think we can see the same aspect of leaders today.....men that are confident--with a presence......the link does illustrate the ''human-ess'' of the times back then--not the fairy tale/fantasy/ etc that a lot of movies portray
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Old 02 Sep 17, 15:18
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o I forgot to ask--I thought they said the battle lasted 10 hours? but that would not be the actual fighting, correct?
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Old 02 Sep 17, 15:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
The local battle quite near where I live

https://britishheritage.com/the-batt...itage-feature/
I live in St' Albans, where we had two battles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Battle_of_St_Albans

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second...e_of_St_Albans

Paul
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Old 02 Sep 17, 16:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
perfect...right on target of my OP...
thanks
so many aspects to consider--the weather for one
the code of honor/chivalry is nice to think about--but men fighting and hacking/killing/etc will bring out a blood lust/savagery that is hard to stop...mob style killing
Oh yeah. One thing I often wonder about is how many trample deaths there were. If you have two large groups of warriors that are jammed together in mosh pit proximity, scared out of their minds as any sane person would be, and being urged to push forward by their commanders, I have to wonder how many friendlies who were wounded or just tripped might wind up simply getting trampled to death by the momentum of their own guys trying to break a line.
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Old 02 Sep 17, 17:13
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Sandhurst used to use the opening battle from Gladiator as part of infantry tactical training, fixing the enemy and then hitting them with a flank attack. Not that I have experienced a battlefield but I thought the battle around the fort in The Eagle was very good, as were some of those used in Game of Thrones.
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Old 02 Sep 17, 17:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
Yes when I was first married we lived in St Albans. There is also the Battle of Barnet not far away and of course there was a St Albans battle along Devils Dike in the Roman invasion and Boudicca's forces massacred the inhabitants of Verulamium during her revolt. Bloody place St Albans
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