Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Infantry at the Battle of Chesterfield
The figure on which this man is based is described as a Londoner in the manuscript where he appears, but he is typical of the sort of man who would be recruited by any medieval army in large numbers. He is equipped with a metal helmet, padded inside with wool and leather and with a kite-shaped shield that covers him from shoulder to knee. His main weapon is a short thrusting spear and he would have had a heavy knife or small hatchet tucked into his belt as a reserve weapon. In action these men formed up shoulder to shoulder with their shields overlapping to form a solid wall of shields facing the enemy. Spears were usually held overarm and thrust forward and down over the shield at the enemy. Whether a unit of such men would be able to carry out any of the more sophisticated battle tactics of this period would depend on their level of training. As a rule town militia were better trained than rural militia, but not so good as mercenaries.
from "The Battle of Chesterfield" by Rupert Matthews.
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