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Battle (formation)

A battle or battaile was a division of a medieval army. The word may be rendered as "battalion", but Abels and Bachrach et al. say this is not accurate because the bataille was a completely ad hoc formation. In late medieval warfare, field armies were often drawn up into three main battles, also called guards: the vanguard (avant-garde), the middle guard, and the rearguard (arrière-garde), often abbreviated to simply the van, middle, and rear. These terms imply, correctly, that the van preceded the middle, which in turn preceded the rear, into battle if the battles were arranged sequentially as a column. If arranged abreast, the van was on the right and the rear the left.

References [ edit ]

  • (1992) 122 The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal 324 at footnote 2 (West of England Press) Google Books
  • Stephen Friar. "Captain" in The Sutton Companion to Castles. Sutton. 2003. ISBN 9780750927444. Page 46. Google Books
  • Jim Bradbury. "Battle" in Routledge Companion to Medieval Warfare. Routledge. 2004. Page 273.
  • Brian Todd Carey. Warfare in the Medieval World. Pen & Sword Military. 2005. Pen & Sword Digital. 2011. ISBN 9781848846326. Chapter 5 at page 80, and "bataille" in glossary at page 133.
  • Kelly DeVries (ed). Medieval Warfare 1300–1450. Routledge. 2017. (International Library of Essays on Military History). ISBN 9781351918435. Page 130.
  • Gary E Sanders. "Through Trial and Error: Learning and Adaptation in the English Tactical System from Bannockburn to Poitiers". Defense Technical Information Center. 2014.
  • J F Verbruggen. The Art of Warfare in Western Europe During the Middle Ages: From the Eighth Century to 1340. The Boydell Press. Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged, in English. Woodbridge. 1997. ISBN 0851156304. (Warfare in History, volume 3). Pages 75 and 76.
  • Richard Philip Abels and Bernard S Bachrach (eds). The Normans and Their Adversaries at War: Essays in Memory of C Warren Hollister. Boydell & Brewer. Revised edition. 2001. ISBN 9780851158471. (Warfare in History, ISSN 1358-779X, volume 12). Page 181.



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