The Role Of Cavalry In Medieval Warfare

Interesting article from the Swiss researcher Jack Gassman examining the role played by cavalry troops in Medieval warfare, using primary and secondary sources. It was originally published in Acta Periodica Duellatorum (APD), a journal dedicated to military history in Europe.

This article explores the role of cavalry in medieval warfare starting with it’s origins in the Carolingian age, examining how cavalry was used as a strategic asset within the context of the period on at an operational level, as well as the tactics they were likely to have employed. Due to my interest in both medieval warhorses and mounted combat research into the context and use of medieval cavalry was a natural by-product. Using primary resources such as first-hand accounts and period artwork as well as secondary literature, the article summarizes the findings of my research.

Most historians, despite the recognition that field-battles were not the heart and soul of medieval warfare, still judge medieval cavalry by their performance within them. My findings show a much greater concentration on small unit actions, both in armament and organization, with cavalry centred on chevauchées on raiding and subduing castles in swift commando type take and hold missions. The diversity of mounted forces are also examined in the context of the lance and the integration of mounted crossbowmen and bowmen for combined arms tactics.

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. What does this mean? The Polish cavalry saved Europe at 2nd Vienna, or is 1683 not medieval enough? I quess not, I’m sure it’s not, but why would, “The concentration and application of a unstoppable pulse of power on a strategic point on a strategic point” be known in the 20th century and not the 13th, 14th, 15th…..? Cavalry is the phyical embodiment of such a principle. Oh…..props to the Poles! You guys, rock!

  2. What does this mean? The Polish cavalry saved Europe at 2nd Vienna, or is 1683 not medieval enough? I quess not, I’m sure it’s not, but why would, “The concentration and application of a unstoppable pulse of power on a strategic point” be known in the 20th century and not the 13th, 14th, 15th…..? Cavalry is the physical embodiment of such a principle. Oh…..props to the Poles! You guys, rock!

  3. Cavalry warfare in he medieval period is listed as current affairs? I thought Northern Ireland was stuck in the 17th not the 12th Century?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s