Medieval Warfare Tactics

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Warfare Tactics In Europe During The Middle Ages

The European middle ages refers to a time between 476 and 1500 AD. The people of Europe saw a whole new take on warfare tactics bringing about the use of fortresses or castles which led to the creation of siege weapons such as the catapult, the use of mounted knights leading to the creation of new armor and weapons, and by the end of the middle ages the use of gunpowder led to the creation and usage of the first cannons.

A medieval fortress is usually thought to simply be a castle, however, this is not the case. A fortress was anything that ranged from small towers and forts to fortified towns surrounded by walls to actual castles. The fate of a battle was usually decided over who has …show more content…

In response to the use of castles and fortresses, siege weapons were created. Siege weapons ranged from short range weapons such as the battering ram to longer range ones like the trebuchet or the ballista. The battering ram was usually a big shed with an armored roof and wheels to protect the men inside operating a thick beam with an iron head hung from the roof that was swung into enemy walls to bring them down. The siege tower, a wheeled tower filled with men that would be used to get over the walls, also saw its use during this time. The trebuchet was used for longer range, the missiles launched by the trebuchet ranged from using dead bodies of animals or people to spread disease, a primitive example of biological warfare, to using large boulders to take down fortress walls. In response …show more content…

Gunpowder was known of in China since the eleventh century, but it reached Europe in the mid-thirteenth century, however, it was not until the fourteenth century when gunpowder began to be used practically. Innovations such as the cannon were used widely throughout europe when attacking and defending from sieges. The timely process that was siege warfare was quickly cut down by the cannon by 1380. The defensive walls that had for so long defended fortresses crumbled quickly due to heavy cannon bombardment. The first response was to thicken defensive fortress walls, however, by the later fifteenth century the french began to use trenches. The effect of gunpowder on medieval warfare took a long time to actually become noticeable because of the many cons to using cannons. Cannons were very hard to move because of their weight and some of the earlier cannons had to be dangerously close to the target in order for the shot to reach, not only that, the reloading the cannons was a lengthy and unconventional process making the use of early cannons not so desirable for attacking armies. Early cannons were also the cause of a good number of accidents that mostly resulted in death such as when James II of Scotland was killed when the chamber of a cannon exploded. While gunpowder did affect medieval warfare, it was not until the very end of the middle ages when weapons that

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