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Army Research / Re: PLAUSTRELLA- war carts, Communall Italian
« Last post by Martin Smith on November 22, 2017, 11:07:36 AM »
Thanks Duncan- I'd missed that post.
Very handy.

Martin
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Army Research / Re: PLAUSTRELLA- war carts, Communall Italian
« Last post by Duncan Head on November 22, 2017, 09:51:08 AM »
See Luke Ueda-Sarson's pictures of his plaustrella models at http://lukeuedasarson.com/CommunalWWgX.html - which I actually linked to only last week in response to a different question -  with a note on the original source.

For the text of the source, the Gesta Federici I imperatoris in Lombardia, see https://archive.org/stream/gestafedericiii00holdgoog#page/n44/mode/2up/search/plaustrella - it doesn't tell you any more than the summary on Luke's page, though.
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Army Research / PLAUSTRELLA- war carts, Communall Italian
« Last post by Martin Smith on November 22, 2017, 09:38:01 AM »
A friend is enquiring about the plaustrella war carts mentioned in the DBA  army lists for Communal Italians-
"  The plaustrella is a two wheeled hand cart covered in spears and scythes, similar to the Indian rathamasaula (see Museum Miniatures Indian section). I just wondered if anyone on the forum had any more info' about what it looked like, how it was crewed (probably crossbowmen?)"

Does anyone have ANY info relating to the plaustrella please, or, dare I ask, any pics??

Any help appreciated.

Cheers

Martin
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Army Research / Re: Figures for Sicilian Saracens
« Last post by Duncan Head on November 21, 2017, 08:36:13 PM »
The main problem with most of the 'muslim' ranges is that they insist upon giving their archers turbans or head scarves, whereas the Monreale and other pictures seem to show a bareheaded archer.

Not the Ravello and Trani archers discussed on the first page of this thread, though.
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Ancient & Medieval Battles / Re: Agincourt and the use of Stakes
« Last post by Patrick Waterson on November 21, 2017, 07:29:53 PM »
I suppose the question arises from some bright spark imagining that once a stake is in the ground, it is too firmly fixed to remove, and/or that putting stakes in is easier than getting them out.  In my experience with fence-posts, the opposite is true: unless they have settled in for years, more effort is needed to fix them in the ground than to remove them (a few blows with a hammer and a good wiggle generally persuades them out).  Whether this transfers to stakes emplaced on the battlefield I do not know, but suspect this may be the case.

As Anthony points out, at Agincourt stakes were an essential part of the English archers' system, and leaving them behind would not be a decision taken lightly, if at all.  Duncan's idea that the wings moved up (along with their stakes) and the centre did not has a certain appeal.
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Ancient and Medieval History / Re: The death of a medieval Danish warrior
« Last post by Patrick Waterson on November 21, 2017, 07:19:24 PM »
This sounds, at least to me, very like what may have happened.
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Army Research / Re: Figures for Sicilian Saracens
« Last post by NickHarbud on November 21, 2017, 06:38:36 PM »
Mirliton do make Muslim archers for the High Medieval period, but I don't think they're appropriate because they look more Middle Eastern than Andalusian and they're too heavily armoured.

The main problem with most of the 'muslim' ranges is that they insist upon giving their archers turbans or head scarves, whereas the Monreale and other pictures seem to show a bareheaded archer.  Looking through various ranges, you might be better with a contemporary Armenian figure such as this from Donnington New Era range.
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Ancient and Medieval History / Re: The death of a medieval Danish warrior
« Last post by Erpingham on November 21, 2017, 05:39:12 PM »
I've had another look at the report and also relooked at some notes on the Visby finds.  Visby is a bit unusual in that it has relatively high levels of post cranial trauma (this may be a sampling thing - its by a long way the biggest sample we have from a single battle).  But interpreters of the remains have suggested a lot of leg trauma isn't consciously aiming at the legs but swings at the upper body missing the aiming point or deflecting onto the legs (e.g. off the shield)*.  So our dead man may be defending himself face to face and is crippled by unlucky shots.  Also in the course of this action, his shield gives way and he takes a parry wound in his left arm.  He may be on his knees by this point, maybe lost his helmet.  The attacker gives him a well placed blow on his front left, followed by a second closely after.  Our casualty is now rapidly dying but to make sure his attacker keeps hacking at his head as he goes down face first.  The Visby report notes that massive penetrating head blows often came in groups, and reckons they represent that an attacker who is also defending can't go all out for the killer blow whereas, if his opponent is no longer defending himself effectively, he can hack away.  This may have been the fate of our casualty.



* Though there is one skeleton that has had both legs amputated by a single blow :o 
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Ancient & Medieval Battles / Re: Agincourt and the use of Stakes
« Last post by Erpingham on November 21, 2017, 11:35:27 AM »
Welcome to the world of Agincourt controversy :)

I'm on a train at the moment to no chance to check the sources but several sources say they did emplace stakes, then uproot them and re-emplace them.  Others only mention in one position or the other.

There has been considerable doubt cast be some authors on whether, once the stakes were in position, the English would be able to pull them up and reposition them.

Logically though, the stakes were needed for the English plan to work.  So they had to position them in the first position if they intended to fight there.  Likewise in the second position.  The preparation to move took some time.  Henry ordered his baggage to close on the rear of the English line -  a manoueuver not fully completed but signalling preparation time before the move.  The English advance was not fast - it had a pause to keep the line in order.  Having arrived in position, most of the archers could have been put on stake duty and a screen pushed out and down the flanking woods to harass the French, falling back when they showed signs of life.
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Ancient & Medieval Battles / Re: Agincourt and the use of Stakes
« Last post by Duncan Head on November 21, 2017, 11:27:02 AM »
We had a debate on Agincourt, movement, and stakes on the dbmmlist a decade or more ago, and my only clear memory is that one of the chronicle sources for the battle said that the English pulled up the stakes and moved them; and one source said that they were left behind in the original position. So, IIRC, the primary sources disagree on what happened.

Ah, here we go: a quote from Anne Curry (Agincourt: A New History, p. 204):

Quote
It is interesting, however, that the stakes are mentioned in relatively few accounts. ... Thus Titus Livius has the archers take up their stakes when they move towards the enemy. In his account, however, he has it that all of the English had initially fixed stakes in the ground as a shield against the advancing cavalry. The Pseudo-Elmham says rather that the archers left behind their stakes at the advance.

My own speculative synthesis at the time was that all the archers planted stakes in the first position, but by the time of the advance they knew that the only French cavalry were on the wings. So the archers on the wings pulled up and subsequently re-emplaced their stakes, but those in the centre didn't bother. Purely speculative, as I say.
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