Monday 29 April 2013

Lincoln's strategic importance

Lincoln castle was a large and strong one that could hold its own against the most modern of siege weapons and house a considerable garrison. A force based in Lincoln castle would be comparatively safe from attack, yet could ride out to attack and raid enemy forces in the area. It was also a strategically placed transport centre. The River Witham ran inland from the Wash at Boston to Lincoln and although there were a few fording places there were no bridges. For individual travellers or merchants with pack horses the fords were good enough, but a sizeable army would have trouble crossing a large river by a ford. The wagons carrying the supplies, heavy armour and dismantled siege engines could not cope with bad road surfaces and muddy fords were quite impassable. Smaller forces could make do with whatever roads were available, but a royal army needed a bridge or a stone-built ford. Effectively the Witham between Lincoln and Boston was impassable to an army. Lincoln was the lowest crossing point on the river.

from "The Battle of Lincoln 1141" by Rupert Matthews.

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Book Description

9 May 2013 Bretwalda Battles No 4
A book dedicated to the Siege of Lincoln that marked a turning point in the Wars of Anarchy during the reign of King Stephen. A civil war between King Stephen and his rival Empress Matilda broke out in 1136. By 1141 England had fallen in to near anarchy with nobles using the unrest to pursue local feuds, slaughter rivals and pillage each other's land. In 1141 Stephen moved to capture Lincoln Castle and put down one such recalcitrant nobleman. While there he was surprised and attacked by a larger army led by Matilda. The ensuing battle was complex and confused, but it ended with Stephen utterly defeated - for now. This book follows the standard pattern set by others in the Bretwalda Battles series. The reasons for and course of the war in question are outlined, then detailed analyses of weapons, tactics and strategies are given with particular reference to this battle. The course of the battleis then followed, with comment on what there is to see at the site today. Short biographies of the commanders are also given. The aftermath of the battle, its effects and importance to the progress of the war are then described. The "Bretwalda Battles" series has been running with increasing success as ebooks for some time. Now the first books in the series are being published in print format.

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