Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > About Gendarmes Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Pedro Paulo Gaićo




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 3:02 pm    Post subject: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

I've been researching the Gendarmes and some of this information left me in doubt. I have relied on Article Burgundian Army of myArmoury and a few excerpts from Wikipedia on the subject.

Quote:
The French kings sought a solution to these problems by issuing ordinances (ordonnances) which established standing armies in which units were permanently embodied, based, and organized into formations of set size. Men in these units signed a contract which kept them in the service of the unit for periods of one year or longer. The first such French ordinance was issued by King Charles VII at the general parliament of Orléans in 1439, and was meant to raise a body of troops to crush the devastating incursions of the Armagnacs.

[...] In 1434, the pay for the members of the company was set as 120 livres for gendarmes, 60 for coutilliers, 48 for "archers", and 36 for the non-combatants.


I fought that the first Ordinance was in 1364, when the Kingdom of France tried to create an standing army of 6.000 men-at-arms, but only achieve 3.000. I mean, as they would be only have arisen in 1445, if there are already in pay records of 1434? And this led me to the question, it would be correct to say that Ordinances actually had Gendarmes? Towards an organization with very heavy cavalry/gendarmes (rider and horse in plate armour), "medium" cavalry and mounted archers? If they were, It makes sense to say that these gendarmes had a prominent role in the expulsion of the englishmen from France? I mean, the armor for the horse would probably protected it from most of the arrows of the english longbowmen, right?



Quote:
Charles in fact started with basically feudal forces, found, like the English and French before him, that they must be paid in order to be kept on foot for a lengthy campaign, and, in 1471, took the further step to a standing army, by forming Compagnies d'Ordonnance of 600 men-at-arms, on similar lines to the French. A lance consisted of the Gendarme or man-at-arms, fully-armoured and equipped with a heavy lance (Burgundian ones were supposed to have at least frontal armour for the horse and seem sometimes to have had shields); a coustillier—in this case armed with javelin and sword and thus perhaps intended to act as a light cavalryman; a page; and no less than three mounted archers: in Charles the Bold's army these were still mounted infantry, not the cavalrymen they afterwards became, even their secondary weapon—a two-handed sword—being unsuitable for mounted use. Many of them were English longbowmen. The archers operated separately from the men-at-arms, in their own 100 man companies, the lance in fact, in this army as others, being a sort of administrative hangover from the feudal noble and his followers.



What does this "mounted infantry"? It would be soldiers who only would use the horse to get around and when in battle they would fight on foot? What kind of sword is that? The Zweihander (as big as the soldier) or the common "Greatsword" (about 1.20-1.30 meters in total length)?

And finally, what kind of armour a heavy Gendarme would have beetween de late fourteenth century to middle sixteenth centuries? The full plate armour (with or without mail inside?) and a barding or "half-barding" for the horse? What's the purpuseof that "golden" rider? A commander?

View user's profile Send private message
Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 574

PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2015 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaićo wrote:
I've been researching the Gendarmes and some of this information left me in doubt. I have relied on Article Burgundian Army of myArmoury and a few excerpts from Wikipedia on the subject.

Quote:
The French kings sought a solution to these problems by issuing ordinances (ordonnances) which established standing armies in which units were permanently embodied, based, and organized into formations of set size. Men in these units signed a contract which kept them in the service of the unit for periods of one year or longer. The first such French ordinance was issued by King Charles VII at the general parliament of Orléans in 1439, and was meant to raise a body of troops to crush the devastating incursions of the Armagnacs.

[...] In 1434, the pay for the members of the company was set as 120 livres for gendarmes, 60 for coutilliers, 48 for "archers", and 36 for the non-combatants.


I fought that the first Ordinance was in 1364, when the Kingdom of France tried to create an standing army of 6.000 men-at-arms, but only achieve 3.000. I mean, as they would be only have arisen in 1445, if there are already in pay records of 1434? And this led me to the question, it would be correct to say that Ordinances actually had Gendarmes? Towards an organization with very heavy cavalry/gendarmes (rider and horse in plate armour), "medium" cavalry and mounted archers? If they were, It makes sense to say that these gendarmes had a prominent role in the expulsion of the englishmen from France? I mean, the armor for the horse would probably protected it from most of the arrows of the english longbowmen, right?



Quote:
Charles in fact started with basically feudal forces, found, like the English and French before him, that they must be paid in order to be kept on foot for a lengthy campaign, and, in 1471, took the further step to a standing army, by forming Compagnies d'Ordonnance of 600 men-at-arms, on similar lines to the French. A lance consisted of the Gendarme or man-at-arms, fully-armoured and equipped with a heavy lance (Burgundian ones were supposed to have at least frontal armour for the horse and seem sometimes to have had shields); a coustillier—in this case armed with javelin and sword and thus perhaps intended to act as a light cavalryman; a page; and no less than three mounted archers: in Charles the Bold's army these were still mounted infantry, not the cavalrymen they afterwards became, even their secondary weapon—a two-handed sword—being unsuitable for mounted use. Many of them were English longbowmen. The archers operated separately from the men-at-arms, in their own 100 man companies, the lance in fact, in this army as others, being a sort of administrative hangover from the feudal noble and his followers.



What does this "mounted infantry"? It would be soldiers who only would use the horse to get around and when in battle they would fight on foot? What kind of sword is that? The Zweihander (as big as the soldier) or the common "Greatsword" (about 1.20-1.30 meters in total length)?

And finally, what kind of armour a heavy Gendarme would have beetween de late fourteenth century to middle sixteenth centuries? The full plate armour (with or without mail inside?) and a barding or "half-barding" for the horse? What's the purpuseof that "golden" rider? A commander?



I can give a quick reply before I go to bed and I will come back tomorrow for a more comprehensive reply.

The first Ordinances were indeed before the 1450s but it was only then that a really permanent force was raised and stationed throughout France. Someone else might be able to give more extensive info on this.

Gendarmes or Gen D'armes (men-at-arms) formed the cornerstone of these lance based units to which other troops were added. That said the composition of the lance varied a lot with many troop type names changing meaning over time. I don't think we can say the gendarmes played an extremely prominent role in the expulsion of the English from France. In essence they were just men-at-arms like they had been around the time of Agincourt. France had something of a stoke of luck and good commanders that allowed them to successfully use cavalry in battle again. I am not even sure if the 100 years war Gendarmes were all required to have horse armor, in all their impact on the cavalry's effectiveness was probably minimal compared to other factors such as the terrain and the position of the enemy.


Mounted infantry is essentially infantry on a horse. They can indeed be used to tactically redeploy infantry during a battle or let them accompany real cavalry as support. I believe the main purpose of the horse was strategic mobility of infantry and not tactical mobility. An archer on a nag could cover double the distance infantry could cover which means they can go out and strike targets outside of the line of march and hit before news of the advancing army causes all people to flee with their food and riches. The sword the archers had has been commonly interpreted as a normal longsword.

The Gendarmes would've worn whatever armor was popular during the period they were around. The timespan you give is quite large so it's not really possible to make sweeping statements.
View user's profile Send private message
Pedro Paulo Gaićo




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
In essence they were just men-at-arms like they had been around the time of Agincourt. France had something of a stoke of luck and good commanders that allowed them to successfully use cavalry in battle again. I am not even sure if the 100 years war Gendarmes were all required to have horse armor, in all their impact on the cavalry's effectiveness was probably minimal compared to other factors such as the terrain and the position of the enemy.


In general, gendarmes are noble serving as heavy cavalry (hence the nickname "gentlemen" for Gendarme). I guess its most likely because they should afford their own equipment, something that a non-noble soldier couldn't afford. Given this stereotype of a noble horseman serving as a man-at-arms for an Ordinance of the French King, we could say that there were gendarmes at the Battle of Agincourt? Or there were only heavily armored knights and nobles fighting for feudal obligation and their own merit?

Quote:
The sword the archers had has been commonly interpreted as a normal longsword.


A longsword? I always thought it was something like a Falchion or even an arming sword, for retained archers. Even by a long sword is a much more complicated weapon to use than those

Quote:
The Gendarmes would've worn whatever armor was popular during the period they were around. The timespan you give is quite large so it's not really possible to make sweeping statements.


In fact, I would like to know at least until the Italian Wars, where the Gendarmes had some significant role. But I think after them, they probably dismissed the mail protection worn beneath the plates, which was quite common since Agincourt.

My expectation is that they would use the heaviest armor they could afford at their time, for the second half of the fourteenth century, probably mail armor, brigandine and armor pieces that were popular in France, but of course, they probably should not be as uniform in plate pieces, but judging by the restrictions that the Duke of Burgundy gave, they probably should have enough armor not only for them but also for their horses. For the later times after 1415-1450, they should not have had any significant changes. I think they even wore parts like greaves and sabatons until 1550
View user's profile Send private message
Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 574

PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2015 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaićo wrote:


In general, gendarmes are noble serving as heavy cavalry (hence the nickname "gentlemen" for Gendarme). I guess its most likely because they should afford their own equipment, something that a non-noble soldier couldn't afford. Given this stereotype of a noble horseman serving as a man-at-arms for an Ordinance of the French King, we could say that there were gendarmes at the Battle of Agincourt? Or there were only heavily armored knights and nobles fighting for feudal obligation and their own merit?


At Agincourt?

Well as you said the Gendarme companies weren't raised until later. Perhaps some paid man-at-arms fought there following their lord but they wouldn't be called Gendarmes in the sense of what we know know as Gendarmes.

Quote:
A longsword? I always thought it was something like a Falchion or even an arming sword, for retained archers. Even by a long sword is a much more complicated weapon to use than those


Yes a longsword, at least that's what I make of it. I don't see how it is that much more complicated to use than an arming sword really, in essence it's just a longer arming sword with a bigger hilt. Besides these retained ordinance archers didn't have to attend to farming duties during much of the year so that would've given them ample opportunity to spar a little with their sword after archery during the morning.



Quote:
In fact, I would like to know at least until the Italian Wars, where the Gendarmes had some significant role.But I think after them, they probably dismissed the mail protection worn beneath the plates, which was quite common since Agincourt.

My expectation is that they would use the heaviest armor they could afford at their time, for the second half of the fourteenth century, probably mail armor, brigandine and armor pieces that were popular in France, but of course, they probably should not be as uniform in plate pieces, but judging by the restrictions that the Duke of Burgundy gave, they probably should have enough armor not only for them but also for their horses. For the later times after 1415-1450, they should not have had any significant changes. I think they even wore parts like greaves and sabatons until 1550


I am not really sure where you are going with this. What do you want to know? [/quote]
View user's profile Send private message
Pedro Paulo Gaićo




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2015 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
At Agincourt?

Well as you said the Gendarme companies weren't raised until later. Perhaps some paid man-at-arms fought there following their lord but they wouldn't be called Gendarmes in the sense of what we know know as Gendarmes.


I said that the King of France had founded Ordinances already in 1364, but the amazing wikipedia tells of a specific ordinance in 1439 to protect the french king claim. Based on this, I would say the Ordinance 1439 would have established the Gendarmes, but as I said, this passage says:

"In 1434, the pay for the members of the company was set as 120 gendarmes for free, for 60 coutilliers, 48 for" archers, "and 36 for the non-combatants."

This confused me, because how could already be a record of payments for Gendarmes in 1434 was supposedly the Gendarmes were formed in 1439? Did they ever existed in those ordinances of the 1360s?

Quote:
Besides these retained ordinance archers didn't have to attend to farming duties during much of the year so that would've given them ample opportunity to spar a little with their sword after archery during the morning.


About retained archers, they were not "household" or were some sort type of soldiers who were paid in land ternure or coin? I do not quite understand the difference between a levie, a retainer and household troop, could you explain me


Quote:
I am not really sure where you are going with this. What do you want to know?


Just what kind of armour they would use. If they were raised only in mid 15th, they would use Plate armour, but they would wore mail under the plate? Even in 16th? Because I read that in the 16th century the armies discarted Mail hauberks, leggings and sleeves ...

ruled the mesh of most fighters
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,184

PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2015 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Raimond de Fourquevaux wrote the following in his 1548 military manual:

Quote:
First of all the men of armes shall be armed with soulleretz, whole grefues, cuisses, curets with tasses, gor|get, pouldrons, vambraces, gauntlets, helmet with beuer, gossets, & great pieces: all which I haue specified perticularly, be|cause of the men of armes at this present, who will be called men of armes, and notwithstanding are armed and furnished but like vnto light horssemen: and you knowe that a man that is armed light, shall neuer do the effect that a man may do that is well ar|med, who can not be hurt by hand-strokes, where as the light horsseman is subiect vnto blowes vpon many parts of his body, because that his harnesse is not so heauie, nor so sure as the men of armes ought for to be, and not without cause, for the paines that a light horsseman and other light armed ought to take, there is no man able to indure with a complet harnesse, nor horsse able to carry him: but as for the men of armes, who are appointed to abide firmely the assaults of their enemies, and not to runne from the one side to the other, may be laden with heauie harnesse; and to carry sutch a waight, they ought to haue strong and great horsses, for besides this, the horsses must be  barbed.


He specified sabatons (soulleretz) and mail gussets among the various other elements of a complete harness. I'm unsure what "great pieces" refers to here.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Pedro Paulo Gaićo




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Fri 22 May, 2015 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Then they wore mail at least to cover the armpit in the end of middle-16th, that's interesting. By the way: "man of arms" means in a general sense in France, Gendarmes?

But a question I'd never noticed before, the picture that I showed shows Gendarmes with exposed and blackened plate harness. But I recently read that they used all kinds of feathers and colorful "surcoats" (maybe heraldry?). But I also saw some pictures, most of the sixteenth century, showing them without those clothes over the armor, by chance it went out of fashion, or maybe it was optional?


By the way, I still don't understand why this Gendarme wears golden armour ...
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,652

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaićo wrote:
I fought that the first Ordinance was in 1364,


Do you mean 1464? 1364 was quite early in the Hundred Years' War and there were no Ordonnances that old.


Quote:
I mean, as they would be only have arisen in 1445, if there are already in pay records of 1434?


They didn't "arise" in 1445. The Ordonnance didn't create the hommes d'armes (literally, men-at-arms) -- it only codified the men-at-arms' equipment and pay and rights and responsibilities in the new companies of the standing army established in 1445. The men-at-arms already existed long before 1445; they already formed companies before 1445; what the 1445 Ordonnances did was not to recruit and train and equip and organise them out of whole cloth, but to impose a more uniform standard of equipment and organisation upon the heterogeneous companies then serving for/under the French crown.

It's also worth noting that the French Ordonnances weren't the first military ordinances of their kind -- there were already prior models in the less extensive Ordonnances issued by one of the French duchies (Brittany, maybe?) in the 1430s or so.


Quote:
If they were, It makes sense to say that these gendarmes had a prominent role in the expulsion of the englishmen from France? I mean, the armor for the horse would probably protected it from most of the arrows of the english longbowmen, right?


Not really. For one thing, they were established quite late, when the French were already winning the war against the English and were mostly just mopping up the crumbling English resistance. For another, men-at-arms with horse armour was nothing new on the Hundred Years' War battlefield. The French already had some at Verneuil (1424), and these troops actually broke one wing of the English longbowmen. Unfortunately they got carried away with the pursuit rather than capitalising on the advantage to flank and rout the rest of the English army, so the English won in the end. Another major factor was that the French mostly fought on foot when they encountered the English in open battle anyway, so horse armour woudln't have made such a huge difference.



Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
What does this "mounted infantry"? It would be soldiers who only would use the horse to get around and when in battle they would fight on foot? What kind of sword is that? The Zweihander (as big as the soldier) or the common "Greatsword" (about 1.20-1.30 meters in total length)?


The sword the archers had has been commonly interpreted as a normal longsword.


A longsword? I always thought it was something like a Falchion or even an arming sword, for retained archers. Even by a long sword is a much more complicated weapon to use than those


The Ordonnance "mounted archers" were an attempt to imitate the English longbowmen, but right from the start they weren't a perfect copy. In this case the longsword could have been intended to convey a higher degree of prestige. After all, these "archers" gradually lost their mounted infantry role and eventually became lance- and sword-armed light cavalry in the Italian Wars. In hindsight the French might have intended them to have a somewhat more cavalry-oriented role than the English archers. But then they might not. We just don't know.


Quote:
What's the purpuseof that "golden" rider? A commander?



For all we know, he might have been shown in gold only to add some visual interest or variety to the painting. Try not to read too much into such depictions unless you're really familiar with the symbology.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,652

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaićo wrote:
In general, gendarmes are noble serving as heavy cavalry (hence the nickname "gentlemen" for Gendarme). I guess its most likely because they should afford their own equipment, something that a non-noble soldier couldn't afford.


"Noble" and "gentle" aren't the same thing. The nobility was (and is) a smaller and more exclusive class than the gentry. Don't conflate the two.


Quote:
Given this stereotype of a noble horseman serving as a man-at-arms for an Ordinance of the French King, we could say that there were gendarmes at the Battle of Agincourt?


Yes and no. There were French men-at-arms at Agincourt -- thousands of them. But there were no Ordonnance men-at-arms. Remember, the main difference between the Ordonnance companies and previous French armies isn't some magical dividing line or something -- the Ordonnance army was just more uniformly equipped and organised.


Quote:
Or there were only heavily armored knights and nobles fighting for feudal obligation and their own merit?


This isn't an easy question to answer in either case. At Agincourt, there were both professionals and feudal men-at-arms on the French side (and also many, many people who fell into the big fuzzy grey area in between). And there were still feudal levy troops under the Ordonnance -- the regulations included how many troops and what type should be raised by feudal lords when summoned. Of course, the fact that the Ordonnance companies gave France a regular standing army meant that feudal summons would have been far less common, and perhaps much more likely to be commuted into scutage payments if called.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,652

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 6:40 pm    Post subject: Re: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaićo wrote:
I said that the King of France had founded Ordinances already in 1364,


Uh, no. Charles V* reorganised the French armies in 1364, and he might have done so by means of an ordonnance, but this isn't the Ordonnance. Remember that "ordonnance" in general is just the term for a legislation. The 1445 ordonnance (also known as the ordonnance of Louppy-le-Chātel) differed from the others in that its wholesale reorganisation of French forces basically created the Companies of Ordonnance, which formed the basis for the standing army that served France throughout the rest of the monarchy -- and, eventually, to this day.


Quote:
but the amazing wikipedia tells of a specific ordinance in 1439 to protect the french king claim. Based on this, I would say the Ordinance 1439 would have established the Gendarmes, but as I said, this passage says:


No, no, no. Men-at-arms had been around all along. The 1445 Ordonnance didn't "establish" them. It just imposed a more regular and uniform standard of organisation upon them, and formed them up into a standing army that didn't have to be disbanded at the end of every war and raised back into existence at the beginning of the next.


Quote:
"In 1434, the pay for the members of the company was set as 120 gendarmes for free, for 60 coutilliers, 48 for" archers, "and 36 for the non-combatants."

This confused me, because how could already be a record of payments for Gendarmes in 1434 was supposedly the Gendarmes were formed in 1439? Did they ever existed in those ordinances of the 1360s?


The 1434 record was referring to men-at-arms in general, not the specific definition of the homme d'armes laid out in the 1445 Ordonnance. So did any other ordonnances or laws about military affairs from all the way back in the 1360s.


Quote:
About retained archers, they were not "household" or were some sort type of soldiers who were paid in land ternure or coin? I do not quite understand the difference between a levie, a retainer and household troop, could you explain me


"Retained" is an unnecessarily ambiguous way to explain the Ordonnance archers' situation. A more accurate word would be "professional" or "full-time." The main point of the 1445 Ordonnance was to establish a standing army. Its soldiers (including the archers) didn't have to take any other jobs and didn't have to disband at the end of every war. They were paid to be full-time professional soldiers much in the same way as the professional soldiers in modern standing armies.


*) Ignore the link. it leads to an article about the armours of Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire, who lived some century and a half after Charles V of France.
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,184

PostPosted: Thu 18 Jun, 2015 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's some evidence that French mounted archers continued to carry and shoot bows/crossbows - including from the saddle - into the early sixteenth century, such as at Marignano 1515. Royal enactments from as late as 1526 indicate use of bows/crossbows while mounted.
Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,652

PostPosted: Fri 19 Jun, 2015 2:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes they did, and that's a perfect illustration of just how complicated the evolution of the Ordonnance companies (and their descendants) was.
View user's profile Send private message
Vasilly T





Joined: 02 Dec 2014

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's an interesting topic. However, will I be right to assume that gendarms weren't really effective as a military unit? At least the battles that I've studied in which they were present, gave me such an impression, I'll admit though that I've never studied the topic deep enough to make any solid conclusions.
View user's profile Send private message
Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 574

PostPosted: Sat 27 Jun, 2015 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vasilly T wrote:
That's an interesting topic. However, will I be right to assume that gendarms weren't really effective as a military unit? At least the battles that I've studied in which they were present, gave me such an impression, I'll admit though that I've never studied the topic deep enough to make any solid conclusions.


Well they rarely caught infantry undeployed or off guard. Charging a fully intact pike formation tended to result in a lot of dead guys on the French side (battle of cerisoles, Enghien's charge). They were best used as part of a combined arms attack with pike blocks pinning each other down while the cavalry charged the rear or flanks, which also happened successfully in the battle of cerisoles (see Boutičres charge). Against infantry they were rarely effective on their own without infantry and artillery support. However they were still among the best (and heaviest) cavalry of the day and tended to wipe the floor with whatever cavalry opposition they faced. It wasn't really until pistol armed 'heavy' cavalry came along that they were no longer the best cavalry on the battlefield. While this pistol cavalry could defeat gendarmes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Coutras) and were a lot cheaper they were usually unable to make much of an impression of infantry of the day.



http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_lancepistol.html


I hope this answers your question to a certain degree.
View user's profile Send private message
Pedro Paulo Gaićo




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 255

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jun, 2015 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: About Gendarmes         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
For another, men-at-arms with horse armour was nothing new on the Hundred Years' War battlefield. The French already had some at Verneuil (1424), and these troops actually broke one wing of the English longbowmen. Unfortunately they got carried away with the pursuit rather than capitalising on the advantage to flank and rout the rest of the English army, so the English won in the end. Another major factor was that the French mostly fought on foot when they encountered the English in open battle anyway, so horse armour woudln't have made such a huge difference.


At Verneuil (1424), they had plate barding? Does it seem that already by Agincourt (1415) was a kind of "Full Plate Armour" worned by the french (I don't know if the english had widespread plate tecnologies in their armies or if they had a good amont of the latest armours in theirs). It is possible that plate bardings already were been worn? Or it was basically mail, leather boiled and gamberson bardings?

The reason about why french men at aems dismount had anything to do with the English archers?

Quote:
"Noble" and "gentle" aren't the same thing. The nobility was (and is) a smaller and more exclusive class than the gentry. Don't conflate the two.


So, what would be the gentry?



Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Pedro Paulo Gaićo wrote:
I said that the King of France had founded Ordinances already in 1364,


Uh, no. Charles V* reorganised the French armies in 1364, and he might have done so by means of an ordonnance, but this isn't the Ordonnance. Remember that "ordonnance" in general is just the term for a legislation. The 1445 ordonnance (also known as the ordonnance of Louppy-le-Chātel) differed from the others in that its wholesale reorganisation of French forces basically created the Companies of Ordonnance, which formed the basis for the standing army that served France throughout the rest of the monarchy -- and, eventually, to this day.



Not exactly, in 1363 * they really tried to create a company of 6,000 men in arms, but only managed half. What became of her after that is a mystery. More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-at-arms#In_France

Why Ordonnance of Louppy-le-Chāte? It was the first city keep of the first series of Companies? These companies used to be stationed at some castle or keep? They lived camps as the Janissaries or anything of the sort?


Quote:
No, no, no. Men-at-arms had been around all along. The 1445 Ordonnance didn't "establish" them. It just imposed a more regular and uniform standard of organisation upon them, and formed them up into a standing army that didn't have to be disbanded at the end of every war and raised back into existence at the beginning of the next.



Besides the organization with archers, gendarmes, pages and so, what kind of organization and uniformity was established at that time? I read the link below that they used to wear tunics (but not in their own arms), why they abandoned this practice in 16th, simply for fashion?
http://xenophongroup.com/EMW/article002.htm

Also, wikipedia mentions that "Men in these units signed a contract which kept them in the service of the unit for periods of one year or longer.". Even so, only a "cadre" was permanently embodied, more other companies would be formed only in times of need. That seems more a transitional stage to make them a permanent army than a completed process of fact[/quote]
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,184

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jun, 2015 5:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing gendarmes and other heavy or medium cavalry were good it is checking or at least slowing down opposing pike formations. Marignano 1515 constitutes an outstanding example of this. Charges from French men-at-arms, though unable to break Swiss pikers on their own, did force Swiss units to slow down, halt, or retreat at various points during the battle, allowing other French units to deploy more effectively.
Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,652

PostPosted: Thu 23 Jul, 2015 6:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaićo wrote:
At Verneuil (1424), they had plate barding?


I have no idea. What we do know from the primary sources is that the "Lombards" in French service had some sort of horse armour and that this armour was sufficiently effective against English arrows to let them break one wing of the English army.


Quote:
Does it seem that already by Agincourt (1415) was a kind of "Full Plate Armour" worned by the french (I don't know if the english had widespread plate tecnologies in their armies or if they had a good amont of the latest armours in theirs). It is possible that plate bardings already were been worn? Or it was basically mail, leather boiled and gamberson bardings?


Full plate harnesses for people already existed by that time, although they would have been rather uncommon except among the wealthiest monarchs and lords. The English even had their own style of plate armour optimised for fighting on foot -- just look at Toby Capwell's book on it ( http://www.thomasdelmar.com/books/englishknight/index.html ).

I'm not so familiar with the state of horse armour around that time but I don't think plate defences for horses had become common just yet. The one item of plate armour that one might expect to see in significant numbers among the horses of men-at-arms in the early 15th century was the chanfron.


Quote:
The reason about why french men at aems dismount had anything to do with the English archers?


We don't know for sure, but that's what the evidence seems to suggest.


Quote:
So, what would be the gentry?


The lower landowning class -- the knightly class, to put it simply. Whose members aren't quite common but aren't quite noble either. Note that in English law today, knights are regarded as commoners rather than peers!


Quote:
Not exactly, in 1363 * they really tried to create a company of 6,000 men in arms, but only managed half. What became of her after that is a mystery. More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-at-arms#In_France


This is exactly why we cannot regard the 1364 army as a direct ancestor of the standing army established by the 1445 Ordonnance (of Louppy-le-Chātel). The 1445 ordinances owed much more to the similar ordinances promulgated in the 1430s and 40s by prominent French nobles for use in their own lands.


Quote:
Why Ordonnance of Louppy-le-Chāte?


Because the ordinance was issued while the King was at Louppy-le-Chātel. Remember what I said about "Ordonnance" being a general French term for all sorts of regulations and legal instruments. French communes and city administrations today still issue ordinances over such mundane matters as parking zones, road traffic, and littering prohibitions. And since the medieval French royal administration hadn't yet adopted a numerical ordering system for its laws, the laws (i.e. ordinances) were usually named according to the place they were issued or some important event that took place around the time of their promulgation.


Quote:
These companies used to be stationed at some castle or keep? They lived camps as the Janissaries or anything of the sort?


What little evidence we have shows that the companies were usually billeted in cities and towns in peacetime. The exact mechanism of billeting is not clear and probably varied from place to place.


Quote:
Besides the organization with archers, gendarmes, pages and so, what kind of organization and uniformity was established at that time? I read the link below that they used to wear tunics (but not in their own arms), why they abandoned this practice in 16th, simply for fashion?
http://xenophongroup.com/EMW/article002.htm


They didn't. Some men-at-arms continued to wear armorial overgarments well into the 16th century -- at least until the end of the Wars of Religion. As a matter of fact, some Huguenot cuirassiers in the later decades didn't even have any cuirasses at all, being "protected" only by a helmet and a white cassock/tabard over their civilian clothes.


Quote:
Also, wikipedia mentions that "Men in these units signed a contract which kept them in the service of the unit for periods of one year or longer.". Even so, only a "cadre" was permanently embodied, more other companies would be formed only in times of need. That seems more a transitional stage to make them a permanent army than a completed process of fact


I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say by this. Of course the 1445 Ordonnance didn't instantly create a modern army overnight, and that there was still a long way to go before the French army became the modern establishment as it is understood from the reign of Louis XIV onwards. On the other hand, what's so unusual about having only some of the companies permanently embodied while the rest were kept in reserve? Nearly all modern states with standing armies have substantial reserve components too, in many cases larger than the active-duty army.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > About Gendarmes
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum