Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Zwiehander: effective vs cavalry? Reply to topic
This is a Spotlight Topic Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next 
Author Message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 5:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Black Mastro wrote:


Daniel,

Does this mean that Douglas Miller is incorrect in his description of the composition of a fahnlein? Miller gives a paper figure of 400 men--300 rank-and-file pikemen, and 100 doppelsoldner, who are in turn divided up into 50 arquebusiers, and 50 men with either halberds or 2-handers (with the former being more common).

Thanks,

David

Yes and no, the composition of a fahnlein would often be laid in the commision issued to a recruiter, the 1/8 shot, 1/8 halberd and 6/8 pikes composition seems to have been typical for imperial commisions during the Italian wars period. But later on you find the Spanish recruiting German companies with 1/2 shot and 1/2 pike while the French at the same time hire Germans armed with 1/3 shot, 2/3 pike.

Where Millier goes wrong is his attributing the specialized arms (arquebus and halberd) to the doppelsoldner, while some certainly used those weapons most doppelsoldners were employed as file leaders and file closers, positions where you needed veterans and were one earned the double pay the hard way.

The Landsknechts was one of the best Ospreys when it was release some 29 years ago but a lot of new research ahs been done in those years so it needs an update. The Warrior series book on the Landsknechts was very good on some areas but had only limited coverage of organization and tactics.
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,198

PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 5:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
We should also not forget that the Aztecs were largely defeated by rodeleros, as they were the most common troop type in Cortez's army.


Well yes, but they were rarely the decivise arm in the conflict. Good at forming what amounted to a human wall, but Cortez noted how ineffective they were at offensive action, due to how badly the Amerindians usually outnumbered them.

It's also interesting to note that they used pikes, albiet Amerindian made pikes, when they had to fight other Spaniards. And there was at least some use of pikes against Amerindian infantry.
View user's profile Send private message
David Black Mastro




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon,

Gordon Frye wrote:
David;

Glad that you are recuscitating this thread as I rather enjoyed it!


This was a killer thread, on an equally good site (a newb's enthusiasm perhaps, but that's how I feel thus far).

Quote:
I certainly won't disagree with you at all about the rodeleros continuing to be used for another century, albeit in fairly limited numbers for the most part. And I agree completely with you about their efficacy in regards to weapons other than Halberds, be they pikes, katanas or maquahuitl... or pistols, for that matter. On anything approaching one-on-one, such a defensive weapon is invaluable, especially in the hands of one who knows it's full employment! And I shall stand corrected as well on their significant use in such engagements as Lepanto, where such on-on-one tactics were the norm. Indeed, the Military Regulations of the Colony of Virginia make note of the necessity of using Targeteers armed with broadsword and pistol, and expecting that Sergeants and Officers too will carry Targets while in the field against Indians, rather than Halberds or Spears.


I think I read about that in Harold Peterson's classic book on Colonial Arms & Armor.

Quote:
One of the things I would note about Cortez's men was that a number of them (especially the one's who "reinforced" Cortez, who had landed under the command of Panfilio Narvaez to arrest him) were veterans of the Wars in Italy, and quite possibly of Ravenna. So their trust in the rodelo would be well placed, both in the field against Aztecan warriors armed with maquahuitl and shield, or in the siege of Tenochtitlan later.


Interesting.

Quote:
I too would be interested as to how much effect such troops had at Garigliano, where tight quarters and bad weather reduced the abilities of the French to effect their usual tactics. (One might ask a similar question, as to how effective would targeteers have been at Pavia, had the Spaniards continued to employ large numbers?)


The Garigliano seems tailor-made for such espadachins--ditto for Pavia (and, considering that the colunela was still the standard unit in the Spanish army at that time, perhaps more rodeleros were involved at Pavia than is generally supposed).

Quote:
Oh, and thanks for the info on Andrea Pessoa vs the Japanese... I had heard some mention of it, but not any specifics. I would enjoy hearing more on that one!


Unfortunately, what I mentioned is all I have, in terms of "specifics". Refer to Giles Milton's entertaining Samurai William for a description of the entire incident involving Pessoa's ship.

Quote:
But I would suggest that the primary reason for the decline of the mass use of Targetteers/Rodeleros was their inability to stand against Heavy Horse of the French variety.


That is what I suggested on the other thread regarding short sword use, though I tied it in specifically with the increased use of the gun as well.

Quote:
They did magnificently in the Reconquista against the Moors, and the siege fighting that often was so prevalent in the Italian Wars, and perhaps against light cavalry of the Jinete variety, but against French Heavy Horse and Swiss Halberds (with Pikes as well, obviously) in the open field, they tended to fair more poorly (not that they couldn't manage to kill Gaston de Foix and his entourage at Ravenna!)


Hah! Happy

Well, aside from Seminara in 1495, they never seem to have had trouble with Swiss or landsknecht infantry. It was really a matter of having support from friendly pikemen, I think. Cordoba was leant 2,000 landsknechte by Maximilian after the Seminara disaster, and they gave the Spanish a much-needed pike element. After that, the rodeleros were able to close with enemy pikemen and thus become "mortal" to them, as at Barletta.

As for halberds vs. sword-and-target, I don't really know. Certainly, George Silver lists the halberd as having the "advantage" against the sword-and-target. Other experts felt differently. Cesare d'Evoli, writing in 1583, preferred sword-and-target to various polearms like halberds and bills. This may reflect cultural preferences, since the spada e rotella was a traditional method of fencing in Italy, just as it was in Spain.

Quote:
Again, thanks for the information!

Cheers,

Gordon


Always a pleasure.

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
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,198

PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 7:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Cesare d'Evoli, writing in 1583, preferred sword-and-target to various polearms like halberds and bills.


For battle or for single fighting (or for both)?

Silver never said that 100 hundred halberds would beat 100 swords-and-targets. He approved of both halberds and swords & targets for the field.
View user's profile Send private message
David Black Mastro




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Quote:
Cesare d'Evoli, writing in 1583, preferred sword-and-target to various polearms like halberds and bills.


For battle or for single fighting (or for both)?


For battle.

Quote:
Silver never said that 100 hundred halberds would beat 100 swords-and-targets. He approved of both halberds and swords & targets for the field.


Indeed, he says that both are good for battles, but I'm still not entirely clear on his feelings regarding the one vs. the other. All he says is:

The Battel-axe, the Halbard, the Blacke-bill, or such like weapons of weight, appertaining unto guard or battell, are all one in fight, and have the advantage against the two hand Sword, the Sword and Buckler, the Sword and Target, the Sword & Dagger, or the Rapier and Poniard.

"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
View user's profile Send private message
David Black Mastro




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2005 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Quote:
We should also not forget that the Aztecs were largely defeated by rodeleros, as they were the most common troop type in Cortez's army.


Well yes, but they were rarely the decivise arm in the conflict.


How do you figure that?

Quote:
Good at forming what amounted to a human wall, but Cortez noted how ineffective they were at offensive action, due to how badly the Amerindians usually outnumbered them.


And thus the rodeleros maintained their formation, and were able to engage Indians from there. Don't forget about all those "miracles of swordplay" that Bernal Diaz spoke of.

Quote:
It's also interesting to note that they used pikes, albiet Amerindian made pikes, when they had to fight other Spaniards. And there was at least some use of pikes against Amerindian infantry.


I was always under the impression that the pike was regarded as useless against the Indians, but please post any info you have on this.

After the Conquest, there was a huge shift towards the use of the arquebus, though some of the arquebusiers still fought as rodeleros. Pikes were kept in armories, to be used against European foes.

"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
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,198

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Indeed, he says that both are good for battles, but I'm still not entirely clear on his feelings regarding the one vs. the other. All he says is:


Yes, but that's for individual combat in the open, not for mass actions in the field. The short staff has advantage against any other weapon in a duel, but is considered to be far inferior to halberd in battle. From this we can see that advantage in one situation doesn't mean advantage in another. Silver might have thought the halberd more useful in battle, but if so he didn't tell us. All we know is that he said both the halberd and the sword and target have a place on the field.

Quote:
How do you figure that?


Cortez said so: "For the soldiers with bucklers can do very little alone, as the enemy are so numerous and have such great and strong cities and fortresses." Because of his, he was asking for guns, crossbows and horses. That's on page 157 in Letters from Mexico, translated and edited by Anthony Pagden, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.

Quote:
And thus the rodeleros maintained their formation, and were able to engage Indians from there. Don't forget about all those "miracles of swordplay" that Bernal Diaz spoke of.


Certainly they were important, but they rarely if ever broke enemy formations alone. I'll agree that Diaz gives them more respect than Cortez, though, for obvious reasons.

Quote:
I was always under the impression that the pike was regarded as useless against the Indians, but please post any info you have on this.


Here's Cortez again: "In addition to this all the Spaniards carried pikes which I had ordered to be made after our defeat, and these proved most advantageous" (Letters, 254). That was describing a bit of fighting in TenochtitlŠn. He also mentions pikes on page 132.

Of course, against an numerous enemy that makes great use of relatively low powered ranged weapons, I suspect a shield was a nice thing to have most of the time.
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi David,


David Black Mastro wrote:
The Garigliano seems tailor-made for such espadachins--ditto for Pavia (and, considering that the colunela was still the standard unit in the Spanish army at that time, perhaps more rodeleros were involved at Pavia than is generally supposed).


I agree on Garigliano, 'nimble' soldiers like the rodeleros would have been quite usefull in a surpsie atatck rpovided they had ample support by horse and pike if the enemy managed to form up. At the battle of Axtorna Swedish arquebusiers and rondachiers were caught unsupported in the open by Danish and german cavalry and quite roughly handled.

I'm not sure why Pavia would have been tailor made for rodeleros? The victory "in the north" was only achived thanks to the presence of the large force of Landsknechts and the Frenchs armys failures in command & control. The spanish infantry had to run for their lives in order to not be overrun by the victorious French Gendarmes. Adn this depsite possesing a large and well trained force of pikemen unlike in 1495. Without the Landknecht regiments of Bourbon and Frundsberg the imperial infantry would probably have been lost or forced to withdraw out of the park as the French and German foot came up in support of the Gendarmes.

I've not encountered rodeleros in any of the eywitness accounts from Pavia which i've read but given the fog and the high level of confusion this isn't surprising. Some were certainly present but how many will probably never be determined, I'd suspect less than the 20% demanded in reuglations but the sources lack the detials necessary for clear cut conclusions.

There is of course one place were the rodeleros could have have done sterling service, the sortie from Pavia. I must admitt that they would have been perfect to spearhead the intial assault on the siegeworks if supported by shot. No nasty French horse present nor good groudn for employing large, well ordered formations of pikes.

David Black Mastro wrote:
Well, aside from Seminara in 1495, they never seem to have had trouble with Swiss or landsknecht infantry. It was really a matter of having support from friendly pikemen, I think. Cordoba was leant 2,000 landsknechte by Maximilian after the Seminara disaster, and they gave the Spanish a much-needed pike element. After that, the rodeleros were able to close with enemy pikemen and thus become "mortal" to them, as at Barletta.


But the rodeleros were never again exposed to a significant force of formed cavalry or pikes in the open as long as El Gran Captian was in command. He very carefully chose to fight from behind fortifications or to use suprise attacks. As benefitting one of the truly great commanders of the 16th Century he knew both himself and the enemy very well indeed, Sun Tzu would have certainly have approved of him on that count. A truly skilled commander only fights battles in which his troops has all the advantages and Gonzalo de Cordoba was a master of this.
Even after Ravenna the Spanish continued to fight from behind fortifications and avoided set-piece battles in the open against the French. Even with a significant force of Spanish infantry and Landsknechts present at La Bicocca they still chose to entrench themselves rather than fight in the open.

Pikes were bought on a large scale by the Spanish after Seminara and used to rearm the crossbowmen who were rapidly considered to be obsolete for European warfare, of course a number of ex-crossbowmen were re-armed with the arquebus instead.

Regards
Daniel
View user's profile Send private message
Gordon Frye




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin and Daniel, great stuff! Good to read such learned posts. I didn't think that ANYONE else had read Cortez's letters to Charles Vth! Please note the similarity with them to Caesar's Letters from Gaul... Big Grin

Per fights in the open, vs. suckering in the French to attack an intrenched position (which got harder to do), it seems as though the only major battle of the later Italian Wars that was fought in the open was Ceresole, and the Imperialists were sorely beaten in that one (thanks be to a rather suicidal charge by Des Thermes' light horsemen against the Italian pike column.) I don't think that you can find any author of the period who would discount the use of a good shield, especially if proof, in the siege operations normal during that day and age.

(Speaking of which, it seems as though Marechal Blaise de Montluc was carrying a wooden target while leading his French foot troops in an assault against the English, since he mentions having several arrows sticking in it from the English archers who were still a major component of English Shotte at the time...such arrows would be unlikely to stick into a proof steel target, I would think)

Again, wonderful discussion!

Cheers,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,198

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
of course a number of ex-crossbowmen were re-armed with the arquebus instead.


Yes, and that is what was really key in Spanish success over Swiss and German pikes.

Quote:
I don't think that you can find any author of the period who would discount the use of a good shield, especially if proof, in the siege operations normal during that day and age.


Actually, Sir Roger Williams wasn't very fond of targets of proof. He wanted only 200 of them in a company of 10,000 armed men, and suggested that lighter shields were more useful.
View user's profile Send private message
Gordon Frye




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:

Actually, Sir Roger Williams wasn't very fond of targets of proof. He wanted only 200 of them in a company of 10,000 armed men, and suggested that lighter shields were more useful.


I hadn't made note of that comment by Sir Roger, thanks for pointing it out.

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
David Black Mastro




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin,

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Yes, but that's for individual combat in the open, not for mass actions in the field. The short staff has advantage against any other weapon in a duel, but is considered to be far inferior to halberd in battle. From this we can see that advantage in one situation doesn't mean advantage in another.


Obviously.

Quote:
Silver might have thought the halberd more useful in battle, but if so he didn't tell us. All we know is that he said both the halberd and the sword and target have a place on the field.


That's precisely my point--aside from saying that the halberd had the advantage in single combat, and that both were useful in battle, he doesn't comment any further. Because of this, I still think it's an open issue.

Quote:
Cortez said so: "For the soldiers with bucklers can do very little alone, as the enemy are so numerous and have such great and strong cities and fortresses." Because of his, he was asking for guns, crossbows and horses. That's on page 157 in Letters from Mexico, translated and edited by Anthony Pagden, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.


That doesn't mean that rodeleros weren't "decisive", it simply means that they had to work in conjunction with other troop types.

Quote:
Quote:
And thus the rodeleros maintained their formation, and were able to engage Indians from there. Don't forget about all those "miracles of swordplay" that Bernal Diaz spoke of.


Certainly they were important, but they rarely if ever broke enemy formations alone. I'll agree that Diaz gives them more respect than Cortez, though, for obvious reasons.


Yeah, leave it to a rodelero to give credit to rodeleros. Wink

Quote:
Here's Cortez again: "In addition to this all the Spaniards carried pikes which I had ordered to be made after our defeat, and these proved most advantageous" (Letters, 254). That was describing a bit of fighting in TenochtitlŠn. He also mentions pikes on page 132.


Interesting. I need to add this book to my collection.

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
View user's profile Send private message
David Black Mastro




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel,

Daniel Staberg wrote:
Hi David,
I agree on Garigliano, 'nimble' soldiers like the rodeleros would have been quite usefull in a surpsie atatck rpovided they had ample support by horse and pike if the enemy managed to form up.


Definitely.

Quote:
At the battle of Axtorna Swedish arquebusiers and rondachiers were caught unsupported in the open by Danish and german cavalry and quite roughly handled.


When was this battle?

Quote:
I'm not sure why Pavia would have been tailor made for rodeleros? The victory "in the north" was only achived thanks to the presence of the large force of Landsknechts and the Frenchs armys failures in command & control. The spanish infantry had to run for their lives in order to not be overrun by the victorious French Gendarmes. Adn this depsite possesing a large and well trained force of pikemen unlike in 1495. Without the Landknecht regiments of Bourbon and Frundsberg the imperial infantry would probably have been lost or forced to withdraw out of the park as the French and German foot came up in support of the Gendarmes.

I've not encountered rodeleros in any of the eywitness accounts from Pavia which i've read but given the fog and the high level of confusion this isn't surprising. Some were certainly present but how many will probably never be determined, I'd suspect less than the 20% demanded in reuglations but the sources lack the detials necessary for clear cut conclusions.


Interesting.

Quote:
There is of course one place were the rodeleros could have have done sterling service, the sortie from Pavia. I must admitt that they would have been perfect to spearhead the intial assault on the siegeworks if supported by shot. No nasty French horse present nor good groudn for employing large, well ordered formations of pikes.


I was thinking in terms of that, as well as the assault and capture of the Mirabello lodge, and the final action against the gendarmes.

Quote:
But the rodeleros were never again exposed to a significant force of formed cavalry or pikes in the open as long as El Gran Captian was in command. He very carefully chose to fight from behind fortifications or to use suprise attacks. As benefitting one of the truly great commanders of the 16th Century he knew both himself and the enemy very well indeed, Sun Tzu would have certainly have approved of him on that count. A truly skilled commander only fights battles in which his troops has all the advantages and Gonzalo de Cordoba was a master of this.


Wholeheartedly agreed. An expert wrestler isn't going to stand and trade punches with an expert pugilist.

Quote:
Even after Ravenna the Spanish continued to fight from behind fortifications and avoided set-piece battles in the open against the French. Even with a significant force of Spanish infantry and Landsknechts present at La Bicocca they still chose to entrench themselves rather than fight in the open.


Yes--and look at the results.

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
View user's profile Send private message
Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 21 pages
Reading list: 231 books

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 9,180

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting discussion, guys.

When posting, though, please be careful that you're only quoting things meaningful to your response. There are several posts where the poster has included a total of 4 or 5 sentences, but quoted much more, not all of it directly related to their reply. For instance, David's last post contained 7 sentences of his own writing, most of them short. There are 18 quoted sentences int he same post.

Also, try to avoid quotes within your quotes. To scroll through 1/2 a page of quoted text that is presented in its entirety right above is not always necessary.

Thanks!

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,198

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Because of this, I still think it's an open issue.


Certainly. He doesn't say one way or the other. I guess he does disagree with Cesare d'Evoli by believing both halberdiers and sword-and-target men were usefu, though. Of course, Silver might also disagree with him simply because he's an Italian.

By the way, is there an English translation of Cesare's works available anywhere? I barely even find anything when I Google his name.

Now on to the topic of the Amerindians vs. Spanish calvary (sorry, I just noticed those posts). No offense intended, but that's the worst possible example of the ability of infantry to resist cavalry that I can think of. The vast majority of the time, Spanish horse rode through Amerindian armies if they weren't even there. Considering the numbers involved, especially the numbers of arrows, darts and stones shot at them, it's just astonishing. I've looked into the issue a bit but I still don't understand it. Fifteen horses? A handful of 10th century Byzantine soldiers would have laughed at them, as would have almost any moderate sized group of Old World infantry. I don't get it...
View user's profile Send private message
Gordon Frye




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Thu 08 Sep, 2005 9:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:

Now on to the topic of the Amerindians vs. Spanish calvary (sorry, I just noticed those posts). No offense intended, but that's the worst possible example of the ability of infantry to resist cavalry that I can think of. The vast majority of the time, Spanish horse rode through Amerindian armies if they weren't even there. Considering the numbers involved, especially the numbers of arrows, darts and stones shot at them, it's just astonishing. I've looked into the issue a bit but I still don't understand it. Fifteen horses? A handful of 10th century Byzantine soldiers would have laughed at them, as would have almost any moderate sized group of Old World infantry. I don't get it...


Please explain in what way this is the "worst possible example of the ability of infantry to resist cavalry"? I believe it was intended to show that against Infantry that was unprepared for Cavalry either mentally or materially, it is decisive. True enough that Infantry with steady moral and proper weapons can stand a far greater impact of Horse (Courtrai, ad infinitum, ad nauseum). However, the Aztecs stood artillery fire, so they didn't lack courage. They lacked the tools (mental and emotional) to deal with Cavalry, thus ridiculously small numbers had an effect far out of proportion to their size.

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
David Black Mastro




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 3:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
Of course, Silver might also disagree with him simply because he's an Italian.


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).

Quote:
By the way, is there an English translation of Cesare's works available anywhere? I barely even find anything when I Google his name.


No English translation that I'm aware of, unfortunately. What little I know about the man and his ideas comes from Anglo's Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe.

"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
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
When was this battle?

Axtorna was fought on october 20th 1565, a Swedish fšnika (company) of 525 men divided into two parts in battle, a "battalion" with 90 shot and 225 pike/halberd and a "forlorn hope" with 126 shot, 20 pike, 22 halberd and 42 rondachiers. In addtion to sword and "rundel" the rondachiers alos had a wheellock pistol each. At Axtorna the "forlorn hopes" had to give up their pikemen and halberdiers to fill out gaps in the "battalions" and they were thus missing the men inteded to provide anit-cavalry support.

Combining arquebusiers and sword-and-target men with pistols seems to have been quite effcient as the Swedish "forlorn hopes" consistently had the upper hand when fighting their Danish and Landsknecht counterparts.
Getting caught in the open by cavalry without any pikemen was a diffrent matter though.

Quote:
Wholeheartedly agreed. An expert wrestler isn't going to stand and trade punches with an expert pugilist.

A very good description of the diffrences between the two armies. The French and Swiss certainly belived in geting stuck in and trading punches untill they (supposedly) came out on top. Of course not without some thinking and tactics behidn the action but they seem to have focused mor eon out fightign the enemy while the Spanish (espcially uwhen led by Gonzalo de Cordoba) focused mroe on out thinkign the enemy.

Regards
Daniel
View user's profile Send private message
Michael G. Myers




Location: El Paso, Texas
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 8:25 am    Post subject: Paradigm         Reply with quote

An interesting discussion, indeed!

My personal thanks to all of the participants for taking the time to share their respective knowledge and thoughts. This single thread offers a generous reading list all of its own. Bravo.



And, David Black Mastro...welcome to the forum, brother.



Michael

"In the fight between you and the world, back the world." - Kafka

"Neither flesh, nor fowl, nor good red-herring..."
View user's profile Send private message
David Black Mastro




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Fri 09 Sep, 2005 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Paradigm         Reply with quote

Michael G. Myers wrote:
An interesting discussion, indeed!

My personal thanks to all of the participants for taking the time to share their respective knowledge and thoughts. This single thread offers a generous reading list all of its own. Bravo.


I likewise thank everyone who has contributed to this supremely interesting thread.


Quote:
And, David Black Mastro...welcome to the forum, brother.



Michael


Thanks, Michael--I haven't even been here for that long, and already it's a blast! Happy

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
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Zwiehander: effective vs cavalry?
Page 4 of 5 Reply to topic
Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next 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 2003-2019 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum