Single combats between commanders of armies

Jun 2017
133
maine
#11
there is definitely some merit in having the heads of state going toes to toes
just think of the TV ratings
Probably rather unfair. One side's head of state might be a small, frail woman while the other's might be a huge, thug-like man. If you have to resort to violence to settle a dispute, it might be more equitable to fall back on the mediaeval practice of appointing champions.
 
Likes: Niobe
Dec 2014
1,491
autobahn
#13
Shivaji vs Afzal Khan. Shivagi dug a dagger deep into Afzal Khan's gut as Afzal Khan tried to smother him to death. Afzal khan was the size of a giant gorilla, a shivaji a man of short stature.
 

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,696
#14
Richard III appears to have been attempting this against Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. Before he was cut down by Henry's troops, Richard killed Henry's standard bearer, William Brandon, and unhorsed John Cheyne, a jousting champion.
 

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,696
#15
In 321 BC, at the Battle of the Hellespont, commander Eumenes of Cardia is supposed to have won a single combat against Neoptolemus, commander of the enemy left wing.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,130
Sydney
#16
outraged by Francis I of France alliance with the Ottoman Suleiman the magnificent
the Emperor Charles Quint send him a Herald calling him out in single combat
that was wildly optimistic ,Francis was a big man and a confirmed fighter
but Charles was ever a knight and was truly outraged
Francis declined
 
Feb 2019
259
California
#17
outraged by Francis I of France alliance with the Ottoman Suleiman the magnificent
the Emperor Charles Quint send him a Herald calling him out in single combat
that was wildly optimistic ,Francis was a big man and a confirmed fighter
but Charles was ever a knight and was truly outraged
Francis declined

I have read this as well (though the detail that Francis declined was unknown).

Why would Francis decline? He would have have put CV down easily......
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,673
Blachernai
#19
At the Battle of Ninevah 12 December 627 Emperor Heraclius allegedly killed two or three Persian officers in personal combat, including the Persian commander Rhahzadh.
A rather suspicious story. Our main account from Theophanes seems to be using imperial victory dispatches (ie: propaganda). It's also curious that it deliberately avoids saying "Herakleios killed Rhazates" but mentions that Rhazates was killed, and that Herakleios had fought the Persian commander.

"Upon arriving there, Razates also drew up his army in three dense formations and advanced on the emperor. Battle was given on Saturday, 12 December." The emperor sallied forward in front of everyone and met the commander of the Persians, and, by God's might and the help of the Theotokos, threw him down; and those who had sallied forth with him were routed. Then the emperor met another Persian in combat and cast him down also. Yet a third assailed him and struck him with a spear, wounding his lip; but the emperor slew him, too. And when the' trumpets had sounded, the two sides attacked each other and, as a violent battle was being waged, the emperor's tawny horse called Dorkon.s was wounded in the thigh by some infantryman who struck it with a spear. It also received several blows of the sword on the face, but, wearing as it did a cataphract made of sinew, it was not hurt, nor were the blows effective. Razates fell in battle, as did the three divisional commanders of the Persians, nearly all of their officers, and the greater part of their army. As for the Romans, fifty were killed and a considerable number wounded, but they did not die, save for another ten." - Trans. Mango and Scott, (Oxford, 1997), 449.
 
Mar 2016
756
Antalya
#20
It was a common way of resolving a battle in Russia. They called it bash na bash (one on one). If the two enemy leaders fought before combat commenced then the victor would be declared the winner of the entire battle and the rest of the army never had to fight. The most famous example is the above-mentioned fight in 1022 between Prince Mstislav of Tmutarakan and the Kasog Prince Rededia.
I wonder if bash na bash has anything to do with the phares “basha bash” in Turkish, literally meaning head to head or can be interpreted as one to one, close and personal struggle.