Size of a medieval army

Nov 2010
258
Herzliya, Israel
#1
What was the common size for a heir-leaded Western-european army in a big campaign? Around the period of the hunderd-years war, let's say.

Thank you very much, Clendor.

BTW- How far and how fast can such an army march?
 
Apr 2010
16,748
Slovakia
#2
size: 10-20 000

range varied based on composition of army, if it had lot of train or even siege equipment attached and in what kind of terrain it was operating. It could have been anywhere between 10-30 km per day.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#5
In Europe an army of 8-10,000 was considered enormous. In the Middle East and most of Asia, armies in the tens of thousands were common; and hundreds of thousands, rare but not unheard of.
 

Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
♪♬ ♫♪♩
#6
One problem (for European armies of the time) only the numbers of nobles (knights) would often be counted. The common numbers were greater, but are less heard of.
 
Feb 2011
13,513
Perambulating in St James' Park
#7
^ This is rather true of the Crusades, the chronicles depict the valour of the knights but the peasants are rarely mentioned and the tarfurs hardly get any merit at all.

About 10k is accurate for 100 Years War though, there were about that many English at Agincourt I think.

EoR
 
Mar 2011
5,047
Brazil
#8
One problem (for European armies of the time) only the numbers of nobles (knights) would often be counted. The common numbers were greater, but are less heard of.
Actually no, the number of knights in a battle usually numbered 1,000. There weren't many nobles in each small european kingdom.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#9
One problem (for European armies of the time) only the numbers of nobles (knights) would often be counted. The common numbers were greater, but are less heard of.
The common soldier may have been glossed over in terms of publicity, but I highly doubt that when a medieval chronicler says that an army consists of 8,000 men, all of them were knights.
 

Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
♪♬ ♫♪♩
#10
Actually no, the number of knights in a battle usually numbered 1,000. There weren't many nobles in each small european kingdom.
I don't understand what you mean here...
Was there a "usual" number? I've read about groups of knights that only had a few dozen or a few hundreds of knights.

At the time of the Flemish rebellion against Phillippe le Bel around 1300AD, Phillipe gathered a monster army of about 2700 mounted warriors (knights + their squires), 500-1000 crossbowmen and 5000 foot soldiers. France being the greatest military force in Western Europe, at the time.

The forces that stood up against them, near Kortrijk (Courtrai) in 1302, and beat them, counted about 8000-10000 men of whom only 350 mounted knights.

Just to say, numbers could vary...
 
Last edited:

Similar History Discussions