By David Nicolle
After the autumn of the Western Roman Empire there has been a decline in 'professional' cavalry forces, and infantry ruled within the Germanic successor 'barbarian' kingdoms. within the Carolingian and Norman classes from the ninth to the eleventh centuries, the cavalry arm progressively elevated from the small ultimate aristocratic elite. however, the supposedly whole dominance of the 'knight' within the twelfth and thirteenth centuries is grossly exaggerated, as built-in cavalry and infantry strategies have been almost always the main to good fortune. it is a two-part therapy of medieval strategies. during the interval there has been a gradual evolution of educating in either person and unit abilities, of armour and guns, and therefore of strategies at the battlefield. This ebook covers Hastings in 1066 to Legnano in 1176. It additionally information the 2 key set piece battles of Bouvines in 1214 and Pelagonia in 1259, the previous an instance of abject failure of cavalry strategies and the latter a beautiful luck.
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Extra resources for European Medieval Tactics (1) The Fall and Rise of Cavalry 450-1260 (Elite, 185)
The Borders remained a relatively quiet area during the 12th and 13th centuries, with little raiding by local people. The only major disruptions seem to have been caused by the royal armies of each kingdom either trying to move the frontier to their own king's advantage, or when passing through the Borders on their way to attack the enemy's major centres to the north or south. Even when larger campaigns took place there seem to have been few attempts by small local castle garrisons to attack the enemy's extended lines of communication.
B A T T L E OF B R E M U L E , 1119 In this small-scale but decisive battle, most of an outnumbered force of knights dismounted to fight in a defensive line, and defeated two attacks by mounted knights. The axis of the battle was an old Roman road (A), which passed between thick woods (B) close to the stockaded farmstead of Bremule (C). Here a small army of Norman and Anglo-Norman knights, under King Henry I of England and his candidate as duke of Normandy, William Adelin, awaited a larger French force commanded by King Louis VI and his candidate for the dukedom, Guillaume Clito.
As a result the rearguard rather than the vanguard was generally regarded as a place of honour in traditional Celtic Irish warfare. During the 12th and 13th centuries the main preoccupation of Welsh warfare was defence against English aggression, which resulted in the sort of prolonged guerrilla conflict that was otherwise rare in the Middle Ages. Welsh forces would attempt to harass and ambush the Anglo-Norman supply trains, particularly in wooded, marshy or mountainous terrain, but they rarely attempted to meet more heavily armed enemies in open battle.