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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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  #16  
Old 07 Apr 06, 20:52
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I would pick the various sieges of Constantinople. From the attempt by the Rus (came on boats, greek fire scattered the fleet, ran to the shore to get saved only to be met by heavy cavalry and be annihilated) till the final battle in 1453, with the last Grrek emperor fighting to the end (and shouting a few moments before his death "is'nt there any Christian around to take my head?")
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Old 17 Apr 06, 20:20
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there are just so many of them...

so as not to torment myself needlessly...

first of all, the war between the Byzantines and Bulgarians (ca976 - 1014) includes some of the most notable IMO battles with both sides fielding some brilliant military minds (that actually took part in the melee instead of putting up a tent in the rear). what can i say, Basil II Boulgaroctonos is a long time favourite...that old man changed drastically what the balkans could have been today by his (and his generals) actions...

another medieval event that stands in my mind, is the battle of bannockburn (1314) where scotland won against its age old rival england.

finally (but certainly not least) is the siege and fall of Constantinople in 29/5/1453...no need to talk about why i guess...


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Old 28 Jul 06, 15:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rixnakos
there are just so many of them...

so as not to torment myself needlessly...

first of all, the war between the Byzantines and Bulgarians (ca976 - 1014) includes some of the most notable IMO battles with both sides fielding some brilliant military minds (that actually took part in the melee instead of putting up a tent in the rear). what can i say, Basil II Boulgaroctonos is a long time favourite...that old man changed drastically what the balkans could have been today by his (and his generals) actions...

<snip>
Why Hollywood has not made a movie (or two or three) about Basil II is something which I cannot understand. You've got blood, lust (his mother Theophano), political intrigue, eunuchs, atrocities - all the good things of life!
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Old 07 Dec 06, 23:14
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Protecting their turf!

I would have to say that my favorite moments during the Medieval Era would be 1.) The famous Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn when roughly 7000 Scots spearmen (from both the Highlands and the Lowlands yet primarily the latter!), while under the inspirational, inspired and brilliant leadership of Robert the Bruce, out-fought and decisively routed something in the range of 20,000-30,000 professional English soldiers/knights who were armed mainly with these deadly and versatile, 8-foot bills that could hack off pike heads, though in that particular showdown it was to no avail! The Scots prevailed through superior leadership, better tactics, by launching this cavalry attack into the flanks of the Welsh archers, by maintaining this higher standard of morale and cohesion, and through the sheer ferocity, immeasurable courage and spectacular fighting elan of those that comprised their relentless, intrepid and vengeful schiltron formations/squares! There is virtually no doubt in my mind that even the finest Swiss/Landsknechte armies ever assembled could not match the fighting intensity, bravery and visceral, fierce determination that was deeply inherent within every Scot that made his presence known and painfully felt on the fields of Bannockburn that day, forming this fine army of schiltron squares that according to Churchill "feared nought, and once set in position had to be killed!". And although that final, savage collision and melee between pikes and bills, axes and swords, was carried on with this "undiluted fury" for roughly an hour those highly trained English billmen and knights on horseback were, despite their superior numbers, unable to overpower, out-fight and withstand that inexorable mass of enraged Scottish spearmen, formed into these tightly packed schiltrons, thrusting and jabbing and pushing forward with the ferocity of semi-disciplined, indefatigable madmen. I believe the final casualty tally to have been something like 4000 dead for the English, with many being slain in the final rout, while the Scots suffered around 300-400 dead. They were the finest shock troops in the World at the time, dispelling that once widely held belief that the English Army was invincible. The Scots also regained much of their freedom and self-respect because of their overcoming such formidable odds and thoroughly defeating, in the most manly and hard fought of ways, one of the most formidable armies ever assembled in history! Also, the fact that they were inspired by this grassroots notion of patriotism and national independence that carried on down through the ages, as their Scots-Irish American frontier descendants helped win the American Revolution by adhering to the same sublime creed, inspires me no end!
2.) The Battle of Clontarf, which was fought between the Irish Army of Brian Boru and his Viking/Irish allies and the Vikings of Dublin, the Orkneys, the Hebrides, England and their Leinster Irish allies in April of 1014, I believe on Good Friday. The Battle was long, bloody and hard fought by both sides, which numbered roughly 20,000 each, as they hacked and stabbed and slashed away at each other with swords and axes as every fighting man on each side entirely immersed himself in this giant, undulating and exceedingly ferocious maelstrom between quite possibly the most dexterous and fearsome warriors in Europe at that time. It was quite the battle, and it lasted all day until Brian Boru's Army of mainly Irishmen from Munster and Connaught, though with some Norse and Scottish allies joining in, prevailed! And the predominantly Norse Army was by far the better armed and armored of the two, as it was supplied with superior weapons, yet even their advantage in that respect was not enough to overcome the indomitable fighting spirit and outstanding, expert and proficient swordsmanship and relentless ax-hacking displayed by the majority of that superbly disciplined Irish Army. In terms of ability, perseverence and courage the Irish contingent was superior despite their deficiencies in body armor, and the Vikings, after fighting like madmen for the duration of the day, broke and ran for their lives. The battle itself was basically this Viking/Norse rebellion against the overlordship of Boru (who was killed at the very end of the battle in his own tent by this Norse assassin!) yet what the Irish victory accomplished was this major and decisive weakening of Viking power and influence within the British Isles, it essentially shattered any dreams of this Norse empire and proved once and for all that the average Viking warrior was not invincible. So the Viking threat was essentially contained and diminished to the point that it would never again prove as formidable and terrifying as it once had. And the Irish became renowned and feared as these hardy, well-conditioned, vicious, tough and highly adept swordsmen!
3.) The Battle of Morgarten in 1315. It finally introduced to the World the unmatched fighting qualities, well-coordinated efficiency, morale and exceptional fierceness of those warriors who hailed from the Swiss mountain Cantons, and who came screaming and charging out of these wooded slopes at this narrow pass (which was flanked on one side by this mountain and on the other by this lake), while armed with halberds, to brutally decimate and mercilessly chop to pieces this invading Austrian cavalry corps/Army that was totally taken by surprise. The Swiss defenders had strategically hid themselves within the dense thicket of trees, quietly observed the disciplined procession of the Austrian ranks, waited until the right moment, then sprang into fast action with these unearthly, savage war-cries, ran down hill, furiously plunged into the flanks of the enemy cavalry and then viciously cut them to pieces with their 8-foot halberds! Those who found themselves in the rear, or closest to the lake, of that gory slaughter/ferocious ambush were so terrified, shocked and awed and panic-stricken that they chose instead to toss down their weapons, turn tail and run straight into the lake where they all opted to drown instead of facing the relentless, bloody and devastating halberds of their bloodthirsty, highly trained, Swiss foes! And what a gruesome slaughter/massacre Morgarten was, as the Swiss gave no quarter nor showed any mercy to those who had the arrogance and gall to invade their turf in order to establish their own set of laws and impose their own culture upon the Swiss Cantons. So the Swiss responded with the utmost ferocity as they cleverly tracked, then fiercely ambushed, that hapless Austrian Army in this manner that has gone down in history as quite possibly the most terrifying, bloodiest, one-sided, remorseless, fearsome and successful ambushes unleashed by any group of warriors! 150 years later, at the Battle of Morat, which I believe was on this open plain, the Swiss cemented their reputation as being the World's finest infantrymen as they smashed into this French Army comprised mostly of cavalry, while they were by then armed with both pikes and halberds, and in the ensuing slaughter they cut down and butchered over 18,000 Frenchmen, while losing just 500 of their own men. And that's just one example! So the battle of Morgarten became the genesis everything that the Swiss accomplished on the battlefields of Europe! And what a spectacular victory/massacre it was!
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Old 08 Dec 06, 08:48
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Intriguing, to say the least!

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  #21  
Old 09 Dec 06, 18:16
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For the love of Freedom!

Admiral, thank you very much! I made this slight grammatical error near the end when I should have wrote "the genesis of everything that the Swiss accomplished" instead of just "the genesis everything". My bad! Also, I'm real sorry if I've been going on for way too long, I'll really try to keep any additional posts in the future from being as protracted and wordy. I'm sorry. Tell me this, do you think that those terrifying and spectacular ambush tactics displayed by the Swiss on the wooded slopes of Morgarten, if applied elsewhere within the Alps, would have been effective at defeating any major Mongol incursion into that area? For I think that the Mongols would have encountered the greatest and most ferocious resistance from both the Swiss and the Scottish Highlanders had they been able to penetrate to well within Central and Western Europe mainly because of the various mountain redoubts, the hostile, very rugged and dangerous terrain of the Swiss Alps and the Highlands with their narrow passes, extremely tough climbs, and many defensive-friendly positions, and by the Swiss/Scottish deployment of such devastating guerilla tactics. Maybe they would have avoided those two areas all together? Though if such an encounter ever took place what a battle it would have been! For my money I'd go with the Swiss and the Scots basically because they would have this major, nearly insurmountable, advantage of launching these quick raids and and brutal ambushes on this less than vigilant Mongol cavalry. Though you be the judge. Also, speaking of Scottish ambushes, I forgot to mention the pivotal battle of Stirling in 1297, where William Wallace used superior tactics, mobility, positioning and timing as he led his fellow Scots Lowlanders in this utterly ferocious and unstoppable downhill charge into the somewhat disorderly and surprised ranks of English knights and other foot soldiers. The English were viciously slaughtered after Wallace waited for the right moment and opportunity to launch his attack at just the right time before the English buildup of strength on the other side of the Stirling Bridge facing the Scots became too great to overcome, as he signaled with his horn for the Scots, who were mostly armed with these 12 foot spears, to spring into action from behind this jumble of rocks and collectively charge downhill straight into their foes as furiously and fiercely as possible, which they did. And the result was complete carnage and this utter humiliation for an army that had previously regarded itself as invincible and unbeatable, especially when matched up to any rag-tag gang of outlaws who they believed would never face them in open battle. It was very similar to the Swiss ambush at Morgarten (though the Swiss were better trained and drilled soldiers than the Scots, who relied more upon the impetuosity and savagery of their attacks to carry them through to victory more so than the rigors of highly organized, disciplined mass assaults!) and William Wallace was knighted and proclaimed High protector and guardian of Scotland soon after. For like Bannockburn in 1314 the Battle at Stirling Bridge proved that the English could be defeated and routed, and Scottish morale and confidence also increased by these leaps and bounds. While Morgarten was the bloody genesis of the legendary and feared Swiss warrior the ambush at Stirling and the pitched/open terrain battle of Bannockburn became the genesis of the modern day American fighting man, mainly because this large percentage of Washington's Army and those who served in his cause were of Scottish descent, albeit Scotch-Irishmen, and they drew much of their inspiration, reasoning and motives from the victories of their ancestors in those far-off battlefields, victories which have resonated throughout history and in the mind of many an American soldier. For in those victories, as during the American Revolution, the very freedoms and liberties of those Celtic rebels were at stake, yet it was the success of those Scots at Stirling and Bannockburn that actually laid the true- spiritual/philosophical/Scottish/peasant fighting elan-foundation for their American descendants to follow and emulate. For the American rebels, much like those late 13th-early 14th century Scots, were this grass-roots, rag-tag army of citizen soldiers who fought for the same ideals and principles of this uniquely Democratic form of freedom that was born up in the Scottish glens, transported to the USA by millions of Scotch-Irishmen destined to form the sturdy backbone of the Continental and Confederate rebel Armies, and finally spread amongst all those other American nationalities destined to embrace the very same spirit and warrior ethos springing from that fiery notion of Celtic independence. The same type of Celtic independence that inspired those grass-roots, citizen soldier rebels on the fields of Bannockburn! So in many ways Bannockburn paved the way to the fight for American independence, establishing the very purpose, necessity and structural makeup of the modern day army of citizen soldiers.
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Old 20 Feb 07, 14:00
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Battle of Posada, 1330

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Posada

Battle of Baia, 1467

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Baia

Battle of Vaslui, 1475

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Vaslui

Vlad's campaigns

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_Attack
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Old 20 Feb 07, 21:43
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Vlad Tepes, maybe for so many of the legends surrounding his life (and death), but also because he was a good commander in his time and innovative. Something is just interesting about someone who fights by becoming a type of devil. It's also a fascination with horror films and stuff since childhood that causes me to like him.
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Old 01 Mar 07, 00:55
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Personal Favorite Medieval Era Moments tend to be related around the Mongol Horde's amazing victories and defeats.

Kublai Khan's Mongol armies invaded Vietnam three times during the 13th century. They sacked the Vietnamese capital each time and the Vietnamese lost many battles. The most important part is Vietnam never lost the last battle and repulsed the Mongol armies each time. The third time around the Vietnamese was able to trap and sinked the entire Mongol naval invasion fleet. Kublai was preparing a 4th invasion army, but the Vietnamese emperor found a way for Kublai to save face by becoming a vassal and avoid another war.
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Old 08 Mar 07, 18:46
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Robert Bruce at Bannockburn, defeating an English knight in man to man combat.

The Black Prince, Edward at Poitiers. A great and total victory, capturing the French King John and his son, and many leading French nobles, after routing a vastly superior Frnech army. If the Black Prince does not die prematurely to illness, his weak son Richard II does not come to the throne at the age of 10 and John of Gaunt's (The Black Prince's younger brother) son, Henry Bolingbrook, does not depose the young King, begining the Lancaster dynasty, and then maybe no War of the Roses and no York dynasty, no Victoria.

The entire story of Joan of Arc. Among the most amazing stories in recorded history.

The battle of Hattin. How did those Crusaders blind themselves into marching into this disaster?
You might notice my lst name is Bruce. Any thing that has to do with the Scott or Irish I am always insterested in. Argincourt is another one. The saxons are always interesting. Also just a note I have studied the Penninsular wars more from the Britts side of it.
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Old 08 Mar 07, 20:27
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Right.

Any other favorite moments?

How 'bout Henry VIII? The Fall of Constantinople? The Battle on the Ice? Invasions of England in 1066? Sterling Bridge? Discovery of Vinland or Greenland by the Vikings?
1066, thats me! I find that the most interesting currently. William the Conqueror, Vikings, that year has it all! Id go with the Viking Age as my favorite. I do think its cool all that happened in 1066. William's conquest was blessed by the Pope, does that make it a Crusade?
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Old 13 Mar 07, 21:29
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Smile More Medieval upheaval!!!

Swampwolf, Vlad Tepes is an excellent and intriguing choice, and I'm glad that you thought to include him in this thread. Moreover, although he's this relative enigma in my eyes, the legend and mystique that surrounds him and his famous exploits never ceases to arouse my curiosity and interest. Also, from what I can remember reading he was this exceptionally fearsome warrior possessed of superhuman strength and much combat prowess (and I believe that such amazing physical attributes and battlefield skills/leadership abilities that have come to define and enhance his legend are rather accurate and drawn from fact, and eye-witness accounts!). Right on dude!!! Actually, I'm also this major fan of the various aspects of Eastern European warfare yet I know so little about it. Hopefully that will change with time!!!

Bui, maybe Prez. Lyndon Johnson (though not to take away from his mainly effective, humane and far-reaching Domestic Agenda!), the American Military High Command and their immediate sub-ordinates (three Star Generals) could have learned at least something from those three defeats suffered by the Mongol armies while under the leadership of Kublai Khan, and altogether avoided Vietnam for the terrible consequences that followed the escalation and steady inflow of American troops during that tragic and divisive conflict that raged in SE Asia (though I have to say this, the American troops that fought through those sweltering and deadly jungles were some of the finest and most proficient fighting men of all time, and they invariably executed their various duties with the utmost professionalism, courage and tenacity!). Great post though, and very interesting to say the least!!!

Here's another major and decisive Battle that is often over-looked by many Military historians, yet it led to the rough formation of Scotland, finally diminished the serious threat that was being posed by the encroaching Germanic Anglians (or Northumbrians), and eventually inspired and forced the gradual consolidation of the various tribes of Picts and Scots that made up most of that Kingdom into this one united tribe.
The Battle of Nechtansmere, fought on May 20, 685, has often been considered Scotland's greatest victory, and its ripple-effects were undeniably far-reaching, powerful and thoroughly symbolic. For uniting as they did in the face of this common and formidable threat both the Picts and the Scots, two separate Celtic tribes who had been mutual adversaries prior to this Battle, were able to "function as a race" for the first time, as they turned back the ferocious and rapacious tide of Anglian encroachment into Scotland.

Also, in turning back that fearsome Northumbrian invasion force, which was deemed near invincible by their contemporaries, the Celtic Picts, Irish Scots and the Britons of Strathclyde (another Celtic tribe from the SW of Scotland!) put up this unbelievably savage and vicious fight after they suddenly sprang into action, taking the Northumbrian host that was lumbering into view by complete surprise!!!

The loose-confederation of Scottish Celts, or warbands, opened the Battle by pouring this storm of missiles from the hills into the invading Anglian host, inflicting these massive casualties in the process as dozens upon dozens of unarmoured Northumbrian levies were struck dead, with most of em giving up the ghost while the others slowly perished.

Then, with the unbridled, animal ferocity and sheer blood-lust that has become synonymous with Celtic warriors, the Picts, Scots and their small contingent of allied Britons, sprang into action and ferociously, even blindly, charged into their stunned foes, who, because of the speed and fierceness of the attack (and because of the deadly missile ambush that just took place!), were unable to properly deploy into their usual battle formations, otherwise known as the shield wall.

I believe that both sides initially boasted an equal number of men under arms, maybe something like 5000-6000 each, yet once the bloodthirsty and viscerally indignant Scots-Pictish warriors sprang into action and began their furious, viscerally inspired onslaught, many of the invading Northumbrian levies became terrified, broke off from the main force, and ran for their lives, thus giving those being invaded this slim advantage in terms of men.

The loss of their levies was no doubt this terrible blow, yet the highly disciplined, superbly drilled and thoroughly trained Northumbrian host stood their ground and put up this splendid, if ultimately futile, fight. Though eventually those stout, tough Germanic invaders were overwhelmed, and those onrushing waves of enraged Celts, right after crashing and smashing into the shocked elite of their Northumbrian foes, fought like men inspired as they hacked and slashed and stabbed and jabbed with this spectacular ferocity, terrifying intensity and fearless determination that won the field (although it is very safe to surmise that those Scottish defenders enjoyed every second of that savage maelstrom, and they probably all fought with smiles on their faces!)!!!


So, according to that famed and brilliant Scottish historian, John Sadler, the Battle of Nechtansmere was a complete success for the Picts and the Scots, and "the victory was total." "The threat of Anglian dominance declined and the country moved a definite step towards nationhood." For, according to John Sadler, "the defeat of the Angles put an end to their systematic inroads onto Scottish soil which had threatened to turn the Pictish kingdom into a mere Northumbrian province." Also, "it was hailed as the most decisive battle in Scottish history."

So by placing aside their petty differences to face a common threat, the Picts and the Scots not only defeated that cruel, encroaching threat (in this manner that was quite decisive, vicious and thorough!), they also laid the groundwork essential to building this new nation, and a new type of people, soon to merge and coalesce around this unifying standard, began to develop and take shape, this people who would, at least in my mind, someday go on to prove themselves in battle after battle as perhaps the toughest, bravest and finest of warriors that this planet has ever seen!!!

Also, the unrivalled military exertions and awesome fighting prowess of those who were descended from that impressive admixture of Picts and Scots, and Britons and Scots, would prove to be primarily responsible for not only winning the American Revolution, through their combat abilities, but also in helping to carve out this great swath of pristine wilderness in order to establish these permanant "Scots-Irish" settlements within the previously untamed American frontier and backcountry during the decades that followed that momentous conflict. So in many ways it would be alright to state that those indomitable Picts and Scots who fought and bled at the Battle of Nechtansmere back in May of 685 were quite possibly the original American fighting men, and their magnificent battlefield deeds and exploits have powerfully resonated through the ages!!!

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Old 13 Mar 07, 23:45
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Taylor, you never cease to amaze me.

Though my family name is Welsh, another portion of my heritage is Scots-Irish. Fully half my heritage - aside from being American born & bred - hails from that island of such great history & many cultures. Both aspects converging in me from differing fraternal/maternal branches. My maternal grandmother died before my birth, but here husband - my grandfather - was able to tell me of this event in very limited detail as a small child. He knew the adversaries & also a rough idea of when this battle occurred & what it meant to my Grandmother. I believe she would likely have concurred with you as she seems to have believed that the Scots-Irish were a strong fiber in early American history. But that would be another story & era.

Interesting opinion, my friend!

Sadly, I know not enough of it to opine beyond that...

Something I'm now more inclined to change, my thanks to you!

Wes
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  #29  
Old 14 Mar 07, 05:28
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Golden Spurs Battle of Courtrai

In the year 1302 the Flemish burgers from mainly Ghent and Bruges were able to defeat a French army of knights on horseback which the French King had sent north to Flanders in order to subdue them.
The Flemish were able to chose the battlefield and made good use of terrain features typical of the Low Countries (a marshy meadow crossed by two brooks, making a head-on cavalry charge against them an impossibility). In spite of this the French knights, dismissive of the rabble facing them insisted on their favorite tactic: the frontal charge, unsurprisingly they got bogged down in the marsh and the brooks.
Unencumbered by armour and armed with their famous 'goedendags' (approx. baseball bats with a spike on top) the burghers were able to move in swiftly and finish off the stuck plate armoured knights who had charged far ahead of their supporting infantry.
When the remainder of the French army saw that the shock force of knights on horseback was annihilated, they considered the battle lost and withdrew. They were however pursued by the burghers who, contrary to expectations, didn't plunder the battlefield and take the the knights prisoners for ransom, but instead killed all in front of them and continued to go after the French army. The French withdrawal turned into a rout and a massacre.

After the battle the burghers went home with the golden spurs they had taken off the bodies of the French knights. These golden spurs gave the battle its name.

A chronicler recorded the battle as a sheer impossibility and consequences of the victory of 'democratic' infantry over 'aristocratic' cavalry were noticed throughout Europe. They were not only military: it had happened before that infantry (Frisians, Scots, Swiss, see Taylor's posts ) had defeated knight-heavy armies;
this battle's outcome also had far reaching political consequences as commoners got a far bigger say in the way they were governed. In that regard the battle can be seen as another starting point of the long democratic tradition in the Low Countries.
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Old 22 Mar 07, 23:26
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More savage brawls with pikes, halberds and swords!!!

Admiral, thank you very much for the kind compliments, for I really appreciate that, and I'm very happy that you enjoyed my post! For the American Scots-Irish, those tough and rugged descendants of the ferocious Medieval Picts and Scots, are no doubt some of the finest and most highly dedicated fighting men of all time. If you really wish to learn more on this fascinating subject than I would suggest you go buy Senator James Webb's brilliant, utterly readable, vibrant, superbly written, evocative and well detailed masterpiece on historical non-fiction called "Born Fighting", "How the Scots-Irish Shaped America." Trust me, you'll love every page of it!!!

Captainsennef, you never disappoint. For your wonderful post on the fighting prowess, cohesion and amazing courage of those early 14th century Flemish grassroots "burghers" was extremely well-written and fun to read. Very intriguing to say the least (your English is better than mine!)!!!

Here's another post you guys just might enjoy.

The Battle of Dysert O'Dea, fought in Co. Clare on May 10th, 1318, between the forces of this powerful Norman knight known as Richard de Clare, and the O'Briens and the O'Deas (along with some others as well!). And what a severely ferocious, very desperate and costly battle it turned out to be, especially during the hand-to-hand phase when the battle became this exceedingly vicious melee, as the Irish became "engulfed in a surging, hacking mass as the Normans redoubled their efforts to overrun them," once the Irish left the "shelter of the trees" to cease their light skirmishing to force this pitched encounter out in the open.

So in other words the Irish Gaels, the O'Deas, the O'Connors and the O'Hehirs started off by ambushing the invading Normans in the woods by this stream (and who had roughly twice the number of men as the Irish did, something like 1500), for the Normans were seeking the overlordship of Thomond in Co. Clare, and they were competing with the O'Briens of that region to gain control of that territory. So for the first few minutes the fight was this typical Irish "running battle", or this hit-and-run affair featuring various guerilla tactics, hide-and-seek and other forms of skirmishing, though the Normans were relentless in their pursuit of the Irish. So before long the now assailed Irish decided to stand their ground and fight it out face-to-face as "the character of the fighting changed."

Furiously beset by the larger Norman force, which was comprised of many knights and not a few members of the famed Knights Templar, the Irish, who for the first time had finally donned some protective body armour, and right after becoming completely encircled, "cut their way through their attackers to join these reinforcements outside the wood. The united force formed in the strongest position they could find and the battle bacame a melee." It was also during that incredibly savage and bloody melee that reinforcements for each side began arriving on the scene by the dozens, precipitating this unbelievably ferocious maelstrom where "the Gall (Normans) and the Gael, mowed down and mishandled each other, so that of either set many gentlemen and fine warriors were destroyed."

It was also true that the O'Deas and their Irish allies were terribly out-numbered (yet they held their own remarkably well!!!), forcing them "to form themselves into a fast, impenetrable phalanx that their enemies should not break through them." Moreover, it was there that the most intense fighting took place, where individual champions stood out and "the new armour of the Irish must have served them well." One can only imagine the sheer ferocity and brutality of this gruesome battle, especially after the renowned Norman leader Richard de Clare and his young son were killed in combat, cut down by Irish swords. Yet the fearsome Norman "battle-hedge" became more tightly-packed as they continued to shoot and cut down the besieged, yet fiercely stubborn, Irish, who were fighting like madmen seemingly gripped by this inspired battle lust, in order to protect their turf and their Gaelic culture from those encroaching, rapacious Norman soldiers/Knights Templar. Amazingly the O'Briens had yet to make their presence felt, though the O'Deas, O'Connors and the O'Hehirs fought on, much like the Swiss would, against the odds.

The better armed Normans might have won that battle, and in the event Thomond too, had not the O'Briens came to the rescue, for it was their intervention that proved decisive! After seeing their beloved countryside plundered and in flames, thanks to the Normans (terror tactics?) Murtough O'Brien and his men became enraged, as they "rushed forward so impetuously to join in the fray that they arrived in disorder, and that they were at first mistaken by the Irish for further reinforcements of their foes (basically because they too were wearing body armour similar to the Normans so it became somewhat difficult to distinguish between the two races)." Now the Normans were totally ****ed!!!

So, "pounded between the O'Briens and the O'Deas" the Normans were not only mercilessly butchered and cut to pieces by the Irish swords, they were pretty much annihilated in the process for "so dour the hand-to-hand work was, that neither noble nor commander of them left the ground, but the far greater part fell where they stood!" Quite the bloodfest indeed!!!

So "as far as the de Clare power in Thomond was concerned, the result was decisive, as "the victorious O'Briens (along with their allies!) preserved that part of the old Thomond which lay north of the Shannon for the Gaelic order until the sixteenth century." Also, for only the 2nd time in roughly two centuries Gaelic warriors, while heavily armed, were "willing to accept casualties and determined to fight it out" as they made this "stubborn stand" out in the open against an enemy who previously believed himself to be invincible in that type of combat. For despite that ambush and light skirmishing in the woods by the stream at the beginning, which were by then "well-tried tactics", the O'Briens, O'Deas and the others had finally beaten, while out-numbered, the tough Normans, and their formidable Knight Templar buddies, at their own game in this open "plain melee" where the strongest did indeed survive and prevail!!!

Furthermore, it was not only this hit-and-run affair, or this running battle featuring various guerilla tactics (just in the woods!), that many Medieval writers have "regarded as typical" Irish warfare during those dark days, it was proof that the Irish, while dressed in body armour, were more than a match for the most highly trained and toughest of professional soldiers of that time when fighting out in the open up close and personal!!!

I mean to actually defeat and even rout the Knights Templar under such circumstances was this major feat of arms to be very proud of!!!

Last edited by Taylor Ahern; 22 Mar 07 at 23:31..
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