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Scots weapons "too big" says boffin

#2
...
James IV, known as the “Renaissance King”, equipped his army at the last minute with 18ft pikes, normally found in continental Europe. They would have been unfamiliar to the Scots and Dr Pollard said the men would have had little practice with them. “These are complicated weapons and it’s a complicated drill – there can be little doubt that the Scots didn’t have enough practice to operate them effectively,” he said.
...
Bit of slick arms dealing there.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#3
Not new.

James IV had decided his troops would use pikes in the Swiss manner. However Swiss used them protected by swordsmen and musketeers(early guns anywaym can't remember exact name)

He abandoned the high ground as the Socts lost the artillery battle, the English had smaller guns which could faster than the siege pieces James had brought. Scots were on high ground so English fired up hill, balls richoted off hard ground into Scots. Scots fired downhill, balls went straight into softer wetter ground.

When Scots pikes advanced, cross a burn which lost their cohesion. The whole ethos of pike schillons was to attack en masse.

The English were using bills, 10-12foot long, which they used to removed head of pike leaving Scots with 8-10 foot of stick to face more attack from bills.
 
#4
“Even on the relatively shallow slope we used, we were getting them veering off in another direction. It’s practically impossible to maintain the cohesion of the unit – the spearheads were all over the place.”



Wouldn't this have been counter-acted by the 8 pints of Buckie for breakfast?
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#6
Not new.

James IV had decided his troops would use pikes in the Swiss manner. However Swiss used them protected by swordsmen and musketeers(early guns anywaym can't remember exact name)

He abandoned the high ground as the Socts lost the artillery battle, the English had smaller guns which could faster than the siege pieces James had brought. Scots were on high ground so English fired up hill, balls richoted off hard ground into Scots. Scots fired downhill, balls went straight into softer wetter ground.

When Scots pikes advanced, cross a burn which lost their cohesion. The whole ethos of pike schillons was to attack en masse.

The English were using bills, 10-12foot long, which they used to removed head of pike leaving Scots with 8-10 foot of stick to face more attack from bills.
So, what you're saying is that we fucked up then?
 
#8
Usual bollocks we normally see about THAT Rifle or the 5.56mm/L85A2/SA-80 by someone who has no idea what he's talking about after picking the thing up for 5 minutes.

A quick test with 20 blokes to represent 20,000 men who'd moblised 3 months before the battle ? Very insightful. James IV f**ked up, pure and simple and no amount of bleating can cover that up....
 
#13
Alexander's men probably practised with their weapons before they went into battle. Unlike the Jocks, as the article says.
Unlikely. The Greeks/Macedonians would have spent all their time getting as far inside the colon of the nearest 7yr old boy. The only reason they got as far as they did was because their fear of Greek women was so strong. When they got to Afghanistan they realised the women there has as much facial hair as back home and they gave up.
 
#15
“Even on the relatively shallow slope we used, we were getting them veering off in another direction. It’s practically impossible to maintain the cohesion of the unit – the spearheads were all over the place.”



Wouldn't this have been counter-acted by the 8 pints of Buckie for breakfast?
How would you know? You've only just started eating solids.
 
#16
Alexander's men probably practised with their weapons before they went into battle. Unlike the Jocks, as the article says.




Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
Alexander's sarissa armed phalanx operated as but one element of a combined arms team. They went into battle with skirmishers, more mobile infantry to guard the flanks and cavalry. Used like that, and used only when circumstances favoured that force mix - like Alexander did - they were unstoppable. Just like the effective medieval pike formations did, funnily enough.

Fast forward a while and the Macedonians forgot about the combined arms bit and fielded increasingly phalanx heavy armies. Unsurprisingly, the Romans took them apart as a result, particularly on rough ground. Ditto the Scottish in this instance.

Indeed, it's a good example of how domination of your Army by a single capbadge results in ignominious defeat, whereas engendering a single identity at the combined arms level results in victory.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
The phalanx worked best on flat ground - James IV tried to fight a battle on sloping boggy ground totally unsuited for the tactic. Rather than blame the pike, why not blame the Scottish King's piss poor tactical skills?

Wordsmith
 
#18
Hordes of porridge wogs had been fighting as mercenaries with the Frogs and Dagoes for years before Flodden, both of whose armies were well aware of the drills needed for pikes of that length - and it was normal to grade the lengths from about 12ft up to 18ft to form a solid wall. Only the strongest would carry the 18ft jobbies in the fourth and fifth ranks back. The Swiss had also used them and, IIRC, there are a few hills in their part of the world. It was normal to sit a small square of arquebusiers and/or swordsmen at each corner to fight off the opposing infantry, the pikes being there to fight cavalry and opposing pikemen.

The lead-heads had used pikes often enough to give their formation a name - a shiltron - so the idea of complete novelty is unlikely.

Anyway, better and more handguns and lighter field artillery did for the entire thing not long after.

As noted before, Flodden was probably lost with the fourth pint of eighty shilling needed to wash down the couple of deep fried Mars bars for brekkers that morning.
 
#19
I think you'll find the battle was on the Monday after one of the early T in the parks so all our lads were still pretty shitfaced.

Which is odd because we usually fight better with a drink in us......maybe coordinating a phalanx is more like driving.


Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
 
#20
Reading an account of the battle (and not in Wikipedia or Google) I cannot see any mention of other than English on Howard's side - but at least 5,000 French on James's. Apart from men from the English fleet, the rest were mustered in Newcastle which I don't THINK had then a significant Irish, German or renegade Scots population. So apologise to Dingerr AT ONCE before you get a skelpit erse
 

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