Home Forums Medieval How often did melee troops actually close to melee? Reply To: How often did melee troops actually close to melee?


Cool. Thanks for the links. That gives me more reading to do if I can find an accessible copy of the book. Sadly it’s not in our library here. I’ll have to see if I can get it by ILL.

With regard to your comment about getting hit from behind, I wonder how unstructured and freewheeling melees really were. If a bloke gets behind you while you are trying to kill his mate, what were your mates doing letting him get there? If he’s there on his own, then how long will he last among your second and third rank mates? Also, if the lines have broken up that much, does it mean that the battle has reached a crisis point? I’m fairly sure that the sort of freewheeling melees we see in Vikings or The Last Kingdom are not even close to the reality of battles in this period.

On your comment about killing people taking time and being tiring, that’s why I wonder if there were not significant pauses in battles. I’m really only thinking about medieval battles, where there do not seem to have been systems in place for relieving the lines, and where breaking through the enemy line probably signalled the start of the end of the battle.

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