Medieval Europe 814-1350: Politics, Law, Military Research Article from World Eras

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Dominant Arm. As the individual most representative of medieval warfare, the mounted knight became the dominant arm on the battlefield, while the infantryman was held in contempt for his social inferiority. The infantry, armed mostly with sword, battle-ax, spear, javelin, and short bow, usually acted in a supportive role, while opposing cavalry clashed with sword, mace, and lance. The tactic of the day was to close with the enemy as quickly as possible and to decide the contest with hand-to-hand combat. Poorly equipped and organized, most medieval infantry could not withstand the shock of a full-scale cavalry charge, although at Bouvines in 1214, the infantry of Boulogne repelled several assaults made by French horsemen before succumbing. When geographic conditions dictated, knights would fight on foot, such as occurred at the Battle of Tinchebrai in 1106.

Armor. During this period most knights wore chainmail armor, with plate armor...

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This section contains 986 words
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Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1350: Politics, Law, Military Encyclopedia Article
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World Eras
Medieval Europe 814-1350: Politics, Law, Military from World Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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