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Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed, David, Welcome! And thank you again for sharing your knowledge with us in these forums!

Cheers,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I believe it was intended to show that against Infantry that was unprepared for Cavalry either mentally or materially, it is decisive.


Reading Jared's first post on the subject I get the opposite idea. I agree with everything you've just said on the subject, though as I said the whole thing still doesn't feel right to me. I need to do more research on the matter.

Quote:
More likely it's just a case of differing martial cultures. One can expect an Italian or Spaniard of that time to prefer sword-and-target. Ditto for a German backing the halberd, or an Englishman championing the bill (black, brown, or forest).


Perhaps, but I think you may be inventing more disagreement than actually existed. Unless of course d'Evoli also wrote on the halberd against sword-&-target in a duel...

By the way, Silver championed the short sword more than anything else, despite the fact that he ranked it very low on his hierarchy of weapons for dueling. And as much he may have liked the short staff and forrest bill, he didn't consider them worthy of being taking to the field of battle.

I "champion" the staff even though I know full well that the handgun has odds against it in almost any situation. Happy
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David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Reading list: 20 books

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin,

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Perhaps, but I think you may be inventing more disagreement than actually existed. Unless of course d'Evoli also wrote on the halberd against sword-&-target in a duel...


"Inventing"? Confused

In any case, d'Evoli was critical of the use of halberds, bills, and two-handed swords in battle against pikes.

Quote:
By the way, Silver championed the short sword more than anything else, despite the fact that he ranked it very low on his hierarchy of weapons for dueling.


That's only because his book was a reaction to the spread of the rapier and the Italian school of fence.

Best,

David

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
Joined: 06 Sep 2005
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 9:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon Frye wrote:
Indeed, David, Welcome! And thank you again for sharing your knowledge with us in these forums!

Cheers,

Gordon



Much obliged, sir! Big Grin

Best,

David

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Reading list: 15 books

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin;

I guess that part of the problem is that I tend to be of two minds on this myself. There are situations in which Cavalry can be decisive because the Infantry wasn't prepared mentally (such as the Aztecs, who weren't prepared theologicaly for it either: it was too far outside of their conception of the world to fit into their tactical doctrine how to deal with it) or tactically (such as the 41st Foot at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, who were in skirmish order when the Kentucky Mounted Riflemen burst out of the woods in a roaring tomahawk charge on them and scattered them like nine-pins). Then you have some (such as Axtorna as noted by Daniel above) where the Infantry was mentally and to some degree even tactically prepared, but not physically (they had their pike support taken from them) and it led to disaster.

Then again there are examples of Cavalry managing the impossible against an entreched and expecting enemy (Bersheeba in 1917) when by rights they should end up like so much Alpo. Or the far more common, as our correspondent David is so fond of, the example of Ravenna, where the French Gendarmerie beat itself to dust against the Rock of Spanish Infantry.

It seems though, that for the most part (with huge exceptions for classical Greeks, Romans and Swiss), Horse was about the only Arm that commanders routinely had at their disposal that they could use aggressively as an offensive weapon. And sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't!

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

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Posts: 1,192

PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
In any case, d'Evoli was critical of the use of halberds, bills, and two-handed swords in battle against pikes.


Well in that they do appear to disagree, though Silver doesn't say exactly how he thought pikes should be opposed in battle.

Quote:
That's only because his book was a reaction to the spread of the rapier and the Italian school of fence.


That's a major reason, but he obviously thought the single sword had its place, regardless of the superiority of the short staff in a duel.
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Tim Shuteran





Joined: 04 Jul 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 28 Oct, 2006 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sadly, many of the published masters deal so infrequently with field tactics and strategy. Such is not their purpose. For that, we have to turn to historical accounts, which rather frequently tout the effectiveness of artillery at dispersing the pike bloc, and cavalry hemming them in. Especially interesting is the account of Somerset's victory at Pinkie Cleugh. Somerset lost a large portion of his cavalry in a delaying tactic, allowing for the arrrival and deployment of his field artillery, naval guns, and a contingent of mounted Spanish arquebusiers. After they wre fully deployed, he attacked from three sides with guns, scattering the Scots and sending the cavalry back in.
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