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Kriegskunst im Mittelalter / Medieval Warfare

(for a larger view just click the embeded pictures)

 

Schlachtordnung / Deployment

 

Üblicherweise formierte sich eine mittelalterliche Armee in drei "Blöcken" (auch "Treffen" oder "Battalione" genannt).

Das erste Treffen (Vorhut) bestand aus Bogenschützen (oder Armbrustschützen) und Fußtruppen. Das zweite Treffen bildete die Hauptstreitmacht (Fußtruppen und "schwere" Kavallerie). Das dritte Treffen (Nachhut) bestand meist aus einer beweglicheren Kavallerie.

Diese Ordnung wurde meist beim Marsch benutzt. Große Streitkräfte betraten in dieser Aufstellung auch das Schlachtfeld, denn eine Umgruppierung einer solchen Truppenansammlung war zeitaufwendig oder schlicht logistisch nicht zu bewältigen.

 

Usually a medieval army was divided into three sections (called "Battle" or "Battalion").

The first section (first battle) or vanguard was composed of archers (or crossbowmen) and footwarriors. The second section (center) was composed of footwarriors and "heavy" cavalry, this section was built by the main troops. The third section (rearguard) consisted of "light" (more agile) cavalry.

This was the common formation for marching actions. Huge armies used to enter the battle field with this formation, cause to regroup this mass of men and horses was nearly impossible.

 

Kleinere Truppenkontingente formierten sich so, daß der rechte Flügel von der Vorhut gebildet wurde, die Mitte vom Haupttruppenkontingent und der linke Flügel von der Nachhut.

Smaller contingents of troops deployed on the battle field in this way:

right wing was formed by the vanguard, the second battalion formed the center and the rearguard built the left wing.

 

Mounted knights

 

The mounted troops were often the decisive factor of a medieval battle.

The most common way to a attack the enemies lines by mounted knights, was the "frontal attack". This attack should breaking the lines and split the enemies forces.

The bowmen were dangerous for the knights but they had only a very short time to aim the targets and to fire the bows. The time for them to attack the incoming knights was about 25 seconds!!!! A real short time to fire onto a moving target.

An attacking formation of mounted knights had a "shock" effect to the enemy. To face the closed formation of heavy armored knights, coming along with heavy noice and shaking earth (not only the knights were heavy weighted, their horses too!)! In this situation the morale of the troops was often broken, long before the knights reached the lines.

 

 

A second way to attack the enemy was the attack onto the flanks of the enemies lines. But this attack was not the usual way, because it wasn't as effective than the frontal attack. The frontal attack opened up the enemies formation for the final attack of the dismounted troops or broke the enemy and made him fleeing.

 

 


 


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