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snowcat
01-21-2012, 11:40 PM
I posted this question on the Yahoo Group but there wasn't much response:

III/51 West Frankish or Norman

In the 2.2 army list, Kn comprise a minimum 50% of the army, with an additional 16.67% either Kn, Cv or LH.

In the Aug 13 3.0 draft, Kn comprise a minimum 58.34% of the army, with an
additional 8.34% either Kn or LH.

I believe there was a more recent draft, but I missed it.

What I'm wondering is: how accurate is this high proportion of Kn/mounted in
Norman armies? Taking the Battle of Hastings (for which sources conflict) most agree that the mounted comprise at most 25% of the army, and as little as 10%, the bulk being comprised of the infantry foot soldiers and archers - usually 50% and 25% respectively (although some put the figures as more equal). And at Hastings, William drew his army up in 3 lines: archers, foot soldiers, knights, one behind the other.

In the above army list(s), the foot soldiers (Sp) and archers (Bw or Ps) number 16.67% each. A massive difference.

I may be erring in taking one battle as my example - so to those with more
knowledge about this army and period, are the high proportions of Kn/mounted accurate for these armies? Or just way off for one famous battle in particular?

Cheers
Paul

kontos
01-22-2012, 12:11 AM
I posted this question on the Yahoo Group but there wasn't much response:

III/51 West Frankish or Norman

In the 2.2 army list, Kn comprise a minimum 50% of the army, with an additional 16.67% either Kn, Cv or LH.

In the Aug 13 3.0 draft, Kn comprise a minimum 58.34% of the army, with an
additional 8.34% either Kn or LH.

I believe there was a more recent draft, but I missed it.

What I'm wondering is: how accurate is this high proportion of Kn/mounted in
Norman armies? Taking the Battle of Hastings (for which sources conflict) most agree that the mounted comprise at most 25% of the army, and as little as 10%, the bulk being comprised of the infantry foot soldiers and archers - usually 50% and 25% respectively (although some put the figures as more equal). And at Hastings, William drew his army up in 3 lines: archers, foot soldiers, knights, one behind the other.

In the above army list(s), the foot soldiers (Sp) and archers (Bw or Ps) number 16.67% each. A massive difference.

I may be erring in taking one battle as my example - so to those with more
knowledge about this army and period, are the high proportions of Kn/mounted accurate for these armies? Or just way off for one famous battle in particular?

Cheers
Paul

I think running a percentage by element bases is misleading, Paul. An infantry element represents many more troops than a mounted element. I don't have the rules in front of me but you can double check. Calculate your percentages from the troop scale per element and I believe you'll be a lot closer to the historical numbers.

snowcat
01-22-2012, 12:31 AM
Hi Frank

Yes, Andreas on Yahoo pointed this out to me, but if that means when looking down on the army assembled, you see 2/3 of the army being Knights, the remaining 1/3 divided between Spear and Bw/Ps - I think we have a problem, as it means 2/3 of what I'm able to push around the battlefield is Kn. The absolute most I should be able to do this with is 1/3, as that would represent the 3rd line (Kn) at Hastings.

No?

beagle1
01-22-2012, 02:11 AM
Didn't Normans used really small sub-divisions of mounted knights, like around 25 men?
That would mean lots of small groups of mounted knights.
Cheers B1

Cromwell
01-22-2012, 04:50 AM
I may be off beam here but was it not the case that at Hastings William brought slightly few mounted troops due to space on the ships. Horses at that time were difficult to transport by sea and take alot of space. William needed man power and for his intial attack wanted men. After he had achieved a bridgehead, as it were, he could ferry over more mounted troops.

Haardrada
01-22-2012, 06:12 AM
With respect you basing your proportions of the army from one battle.Hastings is the only Norman battle wre infantry are recorded as playing a major role. The Normans also fought at Mortemer 1054 & Varaville 1057 defeating 2 French armies, although I don't have the numbers of the army composition but would have had more mounted as accounts of 1066 all agree that the Normans had less horses available than usual.The Norman did use cavalry units of 25 men.

The Normans in Italy used a large proportion of mounted and sometimes fought without infantry (prefering to leave them out at Civitate 1053). So a high proportion of the army would be mounted. This may not of all been knights as Italio Norman armies also consisted of Franks and other european troops and after the invasion of Sicily in 1061 had access to Muslim cavalry.

The last version of the list maybe reflected this if I remember correctly:
1 x Kn (gen), 2x Kn, 3 x Kn (or Bd dismounted Kn at hastings),1xKn or Cav or LH, 1x Kn or Cav,2x Sp, (2x Aux Scilian greeks) or 1x Sp +1x Bw or Ps.

I did suggest splitting the list into three parts e.g. a)Normans in 1066., b)Normans & Western Franks and c)Normans inSicily but like Snowcat I got no response.But the above list I consider a fair representation.

Bob Santamaria
01-22-2012, 06:33 AM
Questions of scale are so difficult and really meaningless if one is fighting in open comps where Normans might fight Old Kingdom Egyptians.

The sense of the army is what matters - that sense should be historically informed, but nonetheless, the sense of lots of tactical strike in the form of lots of Kn elements for the Normans does not bother me, whatever the numbers at Hastings.

snowcat
01-22-2012, 06:50 AM
Thanks guys. Like I said, I only know stats for Hastings (such as they are), and it does sound like mostly-mounted or all-mounted Norman armies may have existed (judging by Haardrada's excellent post). And I do get the 'sense of the army' being what matters - it just seemed to me that waaaaaaaaaaaay too many knights were available; now less so.

Cheers.