Essay about Medieval Warfare

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The Medieval period was a time of noblemen who fought for love, honor, and country under a code of chivalry. "Chivalry comes from the French word cheval, chivalry means someone who fights from horseback. The term also meant "knighthood".(Matthews, Platt, Thomas p.234-235)." In this period the nobility used war as a way to show their power and hold their status by being professional soldiers. There were also lots of soldiers from the lower classes who were led into battle under nobles. These soldiers fought for the nobleman to maintain their safety and land. The soldiers rode into battle on their horses in full armor with weapons drawn ready to defeat their enemies one by one. They laid siege castles for weeks and months at a time until the…show more content…
There were also larger weapons used to do damage to buildings and walls called siege weapons. "Among these weapons were trebuchets which were throwing machines and springalds which would launch large projectiles at fortified walls (Prestwich p. 287)". Now that we know what weapons were being used, it is time to look at the tactics that were involved. The archers, foot soldiers, and cavalry all had to work together in order to make the battle go right. "The army would be broken down into three formations of which cavalry, foot soldiers, and archers were separated to attack at different times (Verbruggen p.209)". Each of these ranks of soldiers have their own job in the battle. The archers would usually start the battle and try to cause a break in the enemy's infantry formation. Once there was a break in formation the infantry men would attack the lines of the enemy until the breaks in formation got larger. Finally the cavalry men would come in on horses and wreak havoc on the enemy's infantry. The battle must be fought like this because if the infantry was to advance first they would meet the other infantry, and if the archers then fired they would be more likely to injure their own troops. Or if the Cavalry was to charge first they would be met by the opposing infantry's poleaxes and Halberds, thus killing their horses. A quick retreat was also a cause for lots of deaths in medieval battles, because while the winning sides infantry was still attacking their cavalry
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