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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:53 am 
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As gory then as it is now eh.. You had to be fit even then to hump some of that stuff about.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:30 am 
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Hi Chuck,

Interestingly probably not as gory as you would expect.

At Rathconnell in 1643, one of the few battles we have a good account of, the English and Irish engaged in a two hour firefight but the English suffered only three dead and twenty wounded. Many of the wounded were very slight wounds too, where spent or low power shot caused bruising or was stopped by armour. The effect of the shot seems to have been largely psychological with musketeers "driven back" from defensive lines without suffering any casualties.

Even the 'push of pike' was usually not the bloody mess you would expect. The clashes were often brief or tentative with both sides 'foyning' at full extent of their pike rather than aggressively pushing on. At Edgehill in 1642 after an initial class the two sides voluntarily withdrew a few paces and proceeded to blast away at short range. The young prince James, later James II, described this as something that would be unbelievable had not so many men seen it with their own eyes. The Parliamentarians eventually won this firefight but possibly simply because they were deployed eight deep to the Royalists' six meaning that their ammunition lasted longer. Fire was usually by rank.

The battles were not bloodless affairs though. A broken enemy could be mercilessly pursued and this is when the worst casualties occurred. The Irish at Rathconnell losing over 200 men once a troop of English horse had forced their way into the Irish position. Fighting a battle might be less dangerous than expected but losing one wasn't.

It's a fascinating period of history both militarily, socially and politically. There are some marvellous quotes and stories too. My favourite is that of the Royalist officer George Lisle who when facing a New Model Army firing squad asked them if they wanted to come closer. The New Model commander replied they could hit him from where they were, to which he replied they had missed him from that range before. :)



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:40 pm 
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That's interesting Alberto, thanks.

I read an account at Bannockburn about folks being chased down and axed in the head. :o :o

I suppose swinging any weapon around for any time would tire you out: some TV progs reckon you could only do that for a few minutes...Must have been scary stuff though, all that hand to hand stuff....and getting wounded in any manner could be a death sentence through infection and lack of care.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:08 am 
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Thankfully I've never been anywhere near a real battle. Those I know who have weren't keen to relive the experience of being under fire.

You're right about the weight and energy required. Modern theories now think that there were extended periods of stalemate where the two sides mostly remained a short distance apart shouting and jeering rather than clashing swords. These gaps would be punctuated by occasional burst of violence. They simply didn't have the strength or ammunition to fight for the hours the battles lasted.




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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:47 pm 
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Quote:
Modern theories now think that there were extended periods of stalemate where the two sides mostly remained a short distance apart shouting and jeering rather than clashing swords.


Yep, hence the old two finger wave.. psychological warfare eh..BTW: Is that posing or posturing?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:52 am 
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I think it depends who writes the history :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:16 pm 
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Up until recently that was the "winners" by all accounts, now it's demented libturds.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:21 pm 
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Chuck wrote:
That's interesting Alberto, thanks.

I read an account at Bannockburn about folks being chased down and axed in the head. :o :o

I suppose swinging any weapon around for any time would tire you out: some TV progs reckon you could only do that for a few minutes...Must have been scary stuff though, all that hand to hand stuff....and getting wounded in any manner could be a death sentence through infection and lack of care.


I've often wondered this point, when you hear historian XYZ talking about a battle that went on for 6 hours. I've not been able to comprehend how that could happen without people taking a rest. I imagine swinging an axe or a sword is very tiring, dynamic and expends a lot of energy so surely these affairs couldn't have being a 6 hour long fight? If you look at professional athletes (take rugby players for example as it involves various types of movement, impact etc) after the 80mins these guys are tiring and they've got modern science and 7 days a week training behind them. I'm also sure if you speak with any person that has been in a fire fight they'll tell you how draining and tiring the experience is.

So we think people went in, had a hack for 15mins and came out?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:20 pm 
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Generally, oomanses, battles were drawn out affairs with the two sides manoeuvring for advantage and with lots of local skirmishes that lasted 20 to 30 minutes or so, often not inflicting huge casualties in each until a formation broke. Most of these skirmishes were inclonclusive as too much was at stake to press home to the full: once a formation broke it could start a rout as the winners committed follow on forces and the defeated committed reserves. Eventually the two sides would either disengage, or one would break and then the rout would begin. Many studies exist that show it's quite difficult to face a man and axe/ knife or bludgeon him but the ooman pysche changes once he turns to flee: most have no qualms about chasing a quarry and stabbing them in the back. Archeological and historical records support this. The greatest casualties always seemed to occur when a unit broke and ran. Those units that managed to disengage from contact and maintain a degree of cohesion were generally left alone - there were easier pickings elsewhere.

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