Edward IV fighting style and leadership

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Allan Harley
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Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Allan Harley »

Can anyone help

I remember reading (somewhere) that one of the reasons Edward was sucha successfull battle commander is because he used to have his new recruits/fresh troops lead the advance and be committed first with his veterans in reserve

Is this true? If so where are the sources?
Looking through my books but there are a number and its taking forever

Additional to that, why do people think he was so successfull in battle? or was it luck?
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Marcus Woodhouse
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

I don't know about Edward but the Swiss certainly did.
The men at the front were unmarried youths "eager for warre", then came older men who were not married but had "hard(ened) through battle" and then men who were older still, mostly married and "sad with knowledge of battles".
Frederico, Duke of Urbino also allowed his "young men untried in battle the honour of leading the charge that they might outbid each other in feats of arms and thus rouse their elders to prove themselves the better."
The Duke of Ubino was admitted into the Order of the Garter and was considered one of the finest soldiers of his day. He may have met and played host to Lord Rivers when he made the pilgrimage to Rome.
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behanner
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by behanner »

I've never heard that one.
I've heard that part of the reason for his successes was his willingness to seek battle but it is hard to determine what of that is him vs the situation of a civil war.
I will say this in his favor. Those who supported Richard of York and Edward IV were much more dedicated to the cause then those that tended to support the other side. And that is also greatly magnified by the fact that Edward was on the battlefield in person, which is a factor that is incalcuable.
Richard III lacked broad support and his small group of dedicated followers were matched by those dedicated to Henry Tudor and Elizabeth of York.

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Allan Harley
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Allan Harley »

Thanks for the answers - will carry on looking through my books to see if I can find it.

Just want to get as right as possible - if true would alter the way we should be on the field
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Zachos
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Zachos »

I heard once that once he saw the resolve of the enemy side begin to crumble he climbed onto his horse and shouted that his army should slay the nobles and spare the commons. I would imagine once word got out amongst his enemies that was what happened the common soldiers would be more willing to give up in future.
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Colin Middleton
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Colin Middleton »

I think that a lot of it was down to his charisma. If people are willing to follow you and beleive in you, they'll fight harder than those who don't. If you've got more of those than the other guy, you've got a good chance of winning. Add to that, he was obviously quite a capable fighter, tall and powerful, which means that his men can see him doing well on the field. I do think that the moral of the troops had far more impact than we take account of.

As for the putting new recruits at the front, I've heard it from re-enactors, but I don't know where it comes from.
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Allan Harley
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Allan Harley »

Wondering if its related to the supposed love of all things Roman

early Italian/Roman armies were divided up into Hastati, Princeps and Triarii

With Hastati being the young (hasty) men and theh Triari being the veterans? An attempt to update and emulate perhaps
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

I don't know, in the cantons it is more economic as you have to pay out more compensation to older men with wives and families (and trades) if they got killed whilst serving in the armies.
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Colin Middleton
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Colin Middleton »

Speaking from personal experience, there is some wisdom to that arrangement. I'm often pushed out of the bill line by youngsters more eager to get to grips with the foe. On the other hand, I can then lurk at the back and use my experience to spot points of weakness, or deliver a nasty shock to anyone who starts to penetrate the line.
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Now when I lurk at the back to offer support and wisdom I'm called a chicken.

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Colin Middleton
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Colin Middleton »

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:Now when I lurk at the back to offer support and wisdom I'm called a chicken.

Oh, cruel life!
You need to shout more. That's how I get away with it! :wink:
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Shout more, scream less. Okay I get it.
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Allan Harley
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Allan Harley »

And not look like an explosion in an Italian ice-cream factory :angel:
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Ben Rodgers »

It was the French Chronicler Phillip de Commines that mentions the spare the commons and kill the nobles, its only later on in his campaign that he get pissy and desides to kill all who opose him, when Warwick and Clarence double cross him one two many times.
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Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Post by Tomsk »

Having the veterans at the back makes sense,they can hold the line and stop retreats.Im sure I have read somewhere about having the new recruits at/near the front because as they were unaware of the horrors of war "at first hand",they were less cautious and more eager to pile in when the lines met.
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