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Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:38 pm
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?

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:59 pm
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.

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:06 pm
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.

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:29 pm
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

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:30 pm
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.

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:48 pm
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.

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:49 pm
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

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:41 pm
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.

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:55 pm
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.

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:30 am
by Marcus Woodhouse
Now when I lurk at the back to offer support and wisdom I'm called a chicken.

Oh, cruel life!

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:24 pm
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:

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:39 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
Shout more, scream less. Okay I get it.

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:21 am
by Allan Harley
And not look like an explosion in an Italian ice-cream factory :angel:

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:36 am
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.

Re: Edward IV fighting style and leadership

Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:23 pm
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.