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Old June 5th, 2018, 10:51 PM   #21

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To be fair at stamford bridge they broke a truce and attacked a small segment of the viking army followed it into camp. and his force march and no sleep for two days also included a week's rest in london.
Godwinson spent two, perhaps three days at most in London before leaving. On the 100 km trek from London to Hastings, there was no forced march until the last night. The rest of the journey seems to have been fairly leisurely.

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Old June 6th, 2018, 06:19 AM   #22

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How do the Spartans deal with the Norman cavalry?

It seems to me the Normans could simply hold the Spartans in place with arrow fire or skirmishing infantry while their cavalry smash the outmaneuvered Greeks flanks and rear.

Um, just like what actually happened between the Normans and the Saxons? Why should one army of guys with round shields and spears be so much less competent than another army of guys with round shields and spears? One could even argue that the percentage of armored men in a Greek army was rather higher than in Harold's army.


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Old June 6th, 2018, 06:24 AM   #23
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Um, just like what actually happened between the Normans and the Saxons? Why should one army of guys with round shields and spears be so much less competent than another army of guys with round shields and spears? One could even argue that the percentage of armored men in a Greek army was rather higher than in Harold's army.

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Could the method of holding the shields have a hindering effect? A center grip round shield is much more maneuverable than one requiring a porpax.
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Old June 6th, 2018, 10:34 AM   #24

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How do the Spartans deal with the Norman cavalry?

It seems to me the Normans could simply hold the Spartans in place with arrow fire or skirmishing infantry while their cavalry smash the outmaneuvered Greeks flanks and rear.
I think they deal with it better than the Saxons did.

Spears are always a great option against cavalry, and Greek phalanxes require more tight-nit fighting and cohesion than the Saxon shieldwall. Remember, the Saxons repelled the Norman cavalry; it was only when they broke ranks and charged down after them that they were compromised.

I believe the Greeks, especially the ones that faced the Persians at the Hot Gates, were more disciplined and would hold ranks unlike the Saxons. If some Greeks did sally out, it would be individual phalanxes pushing out, not just random men running down willy-nilly, which would be hard for the Normans to counterattack like they did at Hastings.

As for the arrows, I'm not sure. I've read that the Persian arrows bounced off of Greek shields, but I've also heard that the Persian arrows were made of very week wood. I also don't know the difference between Persian bows and Norman bows, and Persian archers and Norman archers. I do remember from the last discussion that there were some crossbows in the Norman army, which I believe would have no problem with Greek shields or armor. However, the Persians if I remember correctly had far more archers and ammunition than the Normans did, so they could keep up the fire a lot longer and in greater volume.
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Old June 6th, 2018, 10:49 AM   #25

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Old June 6th, 2018, 10:49 AM   #26

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Could the method of holding the shields have a hindering effect? A center grip round shield is much more maneuverable than one requiring a porpax.

I don't see why it would have been a problem. How much maneuvering can you do in a formation that dense? And how much do you need to do, anyway? I can move my aspis up or down with almost no effort, and I can rest it on my shoulder between actions in a way that you can't do with a center-grip shield.



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Old June 6th, 2018, 10:56 AM   #27

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I think they deal with it better than the Saxons did.

Spears are always a great option against cavalry, and Greek phalanxes require more tight-nit fighting and cohesion than the Saxon shieldwall. Remember, the Saxons repelled the Norman cavalry; it was only when they broke ranks and charged down after them that they were compromised.

I believe the Greeks, especially the ones that faced the Persians at the Hot Gates, were more disciplined and would hold ranks unlike the Saxons. If some Greeks did sally out, it would be individual phalanxes pushing out, not just random men running down willy-nilly, which would be hard for the Normans to counterattack like they did at Hastings.

It's really hard to say, either way. I agree that the phalanx was all about staying in line, but we do know of phalanxes that charged when pestered by arrows, such as the Tegeans at Plataea. And we also know that a charging phalanx did not always keep a nice line, but would break up. So it's possible that that part of the battle wouldn't be a lot different!


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As for the arrows, I'm not sure. I've read that the Persian arrows bounced off of Greek shields, but I've also heard that the Persian arrows were made of very week wood.

Poplar and willow, same kind of woods used right through the middle ages. Facings of linen or thin bronze are known, and possibly leather or hide, in other words no worse than Saxon-era shields.



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I also don't know the difference between Persian bows and Norman bows, and Persian archers and Norman archers. I do remember from the last discussion that there were some crossbows in the Norman army, which I believe would have no problem with Greek shields or armor. However, the Persians if I remember correctly had far more archers and ammunition than the Normans did, so they could keep up the fire a lot longer and in greater volume.

Yeah, archers were an important part of the Norman army, but the Persians were REALLY archer-heavy. I don't think Norman crossbows were really armor-piercers at that point, just a different missile-weapon. The later cranequins and windlasses for cocking the bow had yet to develop.


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Old June 6th, 2018, 10:56 AM   #28
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I don't see why it would have been a problem. How much maneuvering can you do in a formation that dense? And how much do you need to do, anyway? I can move my aspis up or down with almost no effort, and I can rest it on my shoulder between actions in a way that you can't do with a center-grip shield.

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Just something I read about in a recent historical paper discussing the use of the scutum/thureos was that it was easier to use to defend against missiles coming down from above.
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Old June 6th, 2018, 11:26 AM   #29

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Just something I read about in a recent historical paper discussing the use of the scutum/thureos was that it was easier to use to defend against missiles coming down from above.

Oh, I agree that a center-grip shield is far more maneuverable and versatile overall. But the aspis was pretty much designed for a close shield-wall, which is exactly what Harold had at Hastings.


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Old June 6th, 2018, 11:34 AM   #30

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As for the arrows, I'm not sure. I've read that the Persian arrows bounced off of Greek shields, but I've also heard that the Persian arrows were made of very week wood. I also don't know the difference between Persian bows and Norman bows, and Persian archers and Norman archers. I do remember from the last discussion that there were some crossbows in the Norman army, which I believe would have no problem with Greek shields or armor. However, the Persians if I remember correctly had far more archers and ammunition than the Normans did, so they could keep up the fire a lot longer and in greater volume.
A lot of Persian arrows were made of reed; Phragmites or Arundo Donax. Their bows were usually of palm wood, iirc; not the best materials.
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