Friday, October 22, 2010

Armies, battles and weaponry of the 100 years wars. (English side)

Forces were raised principally by voluntary recruitment and organised by aristocratic leaders who contracted to serve the crown with a stated number of men-at-arms (knights and esquires) and archers. The terms, recorded in a written indenture, stipulated wages and an agreed length of service, such as six months or a year, with the possibility of extension. These aristocratic leaders contracted in their turn with those that they recruited into their companies. This method of raising an army ensured an effective command structure much superior to that of the hastily assembled French armies. The longbow played an important part in the English victories in the field. Its special qualities were its accuracy and penetrating power over a long range (approximately 200 metres) and the ease of rapid discharge, which was much faster than the rate of fire of French crossbowmen. The fire of well-positioned longbowmen was decisive against charging French cavalry at Crecy, and at Agincourt against both cavalry in the first attacking wave and the dismounted men-at-arms in the second wave. The longbow did not make the English invincible. Archers were always very vulnerable if they could be taken in the flank. Archers also played an important part in naval warfare. The longbow’s range and rapid rate of fire could be of great advantage as ships were closing to grapple. The English armies of the Hundred Years War were small by modern standards.

Written by Nico D. Period 8


Brian said...

This article does a good job of illustrating how organization and proper weapon choice are crucial in any war to a swift and overwhelming victory. The English apparently knew this well and employed it with systematically for a victory on the battleground.

Kaylyn B. said...

That is incredible that a chariot racer from Rome in the 200s could accumulate more money than any professional, high-paid athelete approximately 1800 years later. Gaius Appuleius Diocles is truly a name to be envied by athletes today. Their contracts and income amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, however, Diocles earned about 15 BILLION simply because he used tactics in choosing races. Because his win to total races ratio was 1462 to 4257, it is not surprising that he is not remembered for the highest number of wins, but the highest total amount of prize money collected. Diocles won the most races with the greatest prize sums, therefore earning more than any other chariot racer. It is fantastic to think that many atheletes are perfectly content with their pay, without the knowledge that a man from the 200s made what was equal to 15 billion dollars.