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Scottish Wars of Independence 1296 ~ 1357


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Post #21 Guest_Spitfrnd_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 10:18 AM

Truly interesting stuff Harry.  Thanks much for continuing the story.  I can't wait to see your depictions of some of these events and the necessary supporting conversions.



Post #22 Guest_Harrytheheid_*

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 02:20 PM

Truly interesting stuff Harry.  Thanks much for continuing the story.  I can't wait to see your depictions of some of these events and the necessary supporting conversions.

Well, the English Archers from the FL Azincourt range are perfect with no need for conversion for the Battle of Homildon Hill, which was a disastrous defeat for the Scots due to unbelievable stupidity in the command group -- and those archers. Perhaps just a small scale scenario from both battles? I'll have a think about it, but with so many ideas and so little opportunity to see them through, both these will have to go on the back-burner until 2015.



Post #23 Guest_Harrytheheid_*

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 03:19 PM

11th September 1297 -- The Battle of Stirling Bridge

 

Motionless as a martyr's statue, Sir Andrew de Moray sat on his mount as the Men of Moray formed a schiltron square at the base of the slope of the Ochil hills a quarter mile from the foot of the bridge. All of them, every pikeman he had, all three thousand from the far North province of Moray, hurried into place, Sir Walter Cheyne shouting orders to hurry. Three squares they formed, one within another, pikes sharpened and glistening. Andrew smiled. Wallace's men were nowhere to be seen. All the better. At the top of the slope, Sir Robert Boyd waited with his hundred knights in reserve. Since early morning, the English camp had been aboil. Once the knights had thundered toward the bridge but trumpets had blown the retiral. Now the air was shrill with trumpets call screaming attack. Hundreds of horses snorted and neighed, and armor clattered as loud as church bells.

 

Mail draped the head and neck of Andrew's big bay. Blue silk draped his hindquarters. Donnchadh, his young standard bearer handed up his helm and his shield emblazoned with three six-pointed stars on a blue field. He walked his horse back and forth, as his men squatted in place. They would not tire themselves before times. When they were all in place, he turned to face them. "You won't hear me shout for King John Balliol. You won't hear my Moray battlecry! It is Scotland the English mean to own. It's our nation they sack, our goods they steal, our people they murder, our women they despoil. So for Scotland! Stand with me and destroy them!" Andrew stood in his stirrups and raised his sword over his head. "Scotland! Scotland!" His men took up the cry with thousands of voices. "Scotland! Scotland! Scotland!" He was deaf with the cacophony but who needs their hearing to kill?

 

"Raise Pikes", his lieutenant Pilchie shouted. The outer ring of pikesmen knelt, pikes angled up to rend horse's necks and bellies. Those within the two inner squares braced their steel in lower rings. "Unfurl the banner," Andrew said to Donnchadh and the lad shook loose the great silken White Saltire on Blue of St Andrew he had been commanded to carry on a lance. Today they fought only for Scotland. They rode knee to knee to the far side of the hedge of razor-sharp steel. Sir Walter took his place on Andrew's left side, sunlight glimmering off his armor, his shield bearing the stars of Moray strapped to his arm.

 

Onto the bridge rode the first two English knights in armor so bright Andrew winced from the flash. The cross of St George streamed crimson and white above their heads. Two more came behind them. Two more. Two more. An endless stream of lances moved towards the bridge. The hooves on the wood were a thousand drums. On the other side of the river, the shore was jammed with horses and men, stamping and trumpeting, impatient for battle as they jostled towards the bridge. Steel-clad knights rode off the bridge, forming a long scythe on the edge of the river, reeds and frothing water behind them. They stretched to the edge of the stands of oaks. The first line moved up. Another line behind. So many. So many. But not enough.

 

"Ready your trumpet," he said to Donnchadh. With one hand, the lad grasped the brass horn that hung from his saddlebow. Two by two, the English continued to ride across the trembling bridge. It creaked and groaned under the weight. A fat man in silver armor rode in the midst of the army on a coal-black destrier barded in white. His cloth-of-gold surcoat showed a cross. Cressingham, was Andrew's first thought, but he’s mine ran a close second. "Ready, lad," Andrew said. He stood in his stirrups. Cressingham's horse reached the near bank of the River Forth. "Now!"

 

Continued in next post....


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Post #24 Guest_Harrytheheid_*

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 02:54 AM

....Continued from previous post.

 

The trumpet blared, once, twice, thrice -- and The Wallace, appearing as if out of the ground, waved his huge sword and bellowed a command as he pelted towards Stirling Bridge. A thousand voices joined him. Others ran from the other side, flanking the English from both sides. The enemy knights charged Andrew's schiltrom. Horses reared and screamed as they tried to avoid the pikes. The mob of knights spread, turning, circling, shouting. A wave of knights wheeled their horses and set them to a canter, racing towards Andrew and the banner that flew over his head as he lifted his sword and shouted , "Scotland!" Other voices took up the cry. Hooves pounded. A blade screamed against his. A lance thudded against his shield. Walter reared his horse beside him, slashing down at the foe. Andrew rode down an unhorsed knight, opened another from armpit to crotch and glanced a blow off a helm. He moved his head from left to right and back again to see through the slit of his helm. No sign of Cressingham. He spurred his horse, trotting over a scatter of corpses. His mount leapt a dead horse.

 

"Scotland!" his men shouted raggedly. The pike's square held. Knights died, sharp steel ripping through their bellies. A splintered crash rang across the battlefield. One side of the bridge went down.

"Scotland ! Scotland!" a voice shouted over the others. “Wallace is bringing down the bridge” thought Andrew as he laughed. Parts of the bridge were sinking. A groaning filled the air like the death cry of a giant. A knight rode at him and hacked at his shield. Someone thrust a pike up under the knight's arm, lifting him from the saddle. There was a crack as loud as thunder. The bridge broke apart. Men thrashed and screamed as they were thrown in the river. No more could cross. The rest would watch half of their army die.

“We have them”, Andrew shouted! Men came at him. He swung at them, killed them, wounded them, rode over them. Cressingham. Where was the villain? He found more to kill. He lost his sword, jerked from his hand in a dead man's chest. He grabbed another as its owner fell. He swung it, scything, shouting a curse. Men ran from him and he rode them down. Time slowed and blurred and stopped. There was nothing but now. A blade to swing. Only his blade and the foe. This man. And this man. And this man. He laughed as he hewed. A knight grabbed his reins and thrust a sword in his face. He knocked the blade aside and buried his in the man's throat. His arm was red to the elbow now, dripping gore.

Someone shouted his name through the din of battle. Sir Walter was lost in the chaos. The ground was sodden with blood. His charger leapt over a corpse, splattering muck. He rode past a banner of Saint George planted in the mire and hacked it down with a swing. A man crawled from the river, coughing up a gush of water. Andrew rode him down.

 

There, on his black warhorse, was Cressingham, ponderous in his gleaming armor, beyond was a score of knights, boiling around him, hacking to get free. Cressingham jerked his horse in a circle, plunged into the edge of the water. The horse balked and reared. He wheeled. "To me!" he screamed. "To me!"

To him, indeed. Andrew grinned beneath his blood-splattered helm. Mine! He sped to a canter. A knight thrust at his chest. Andrew lashed out, knocking the sword aside. He was surrounded by three mounted Englishmen, but only reaching Cressingham mattered. He lopped the head off the first lance that came at him and raked his sword across a face on the backslash. Reared his horse and its hooves crushed a chest. The third, tall and spare, met him sword in hand. Steel rang upon steel. His slash was blocked. Hard and fast his cuts came. Another man swung. Andrew dodged to the side. The tall man grinned as he closed in. Andrew lunged and struck, quick as a snake. He buried his sword in the man's head. As he jerked his sword free, Cressingham's voice rang out, "Die!" A blade speared into his belly -- cut through steel and gut. A blaze of pain. If he went down, he would be dead and Cressingham would live.

 

His mouth filled with blood. St. Andrew, aid me. He gripped his sword, clutched it like a drowning man. There was nothing else. His sword. His foe. He kicked his horse. His blade plowed into Cressingham's jowls. Andrew gave a rasping scream as he stood in his stirrups and clove his enemy down to the breastbone. Blood rushed out in a hot crimson gush. Cressingham collapsed, Andrew's sword still in him as toppled face forward.

Andrew grabbed for his horse's mane as the animal trampled Cressingham's body under its hooves. He was falling. He slammed onto the ground so hard the world shuddered. His body was numb, his hands empty. He tried to roll to the side. He could not get up, not even stir. Men and horses loomed around him, immense then strangely smaller. His vision blurred, and pain hammered his belly. He coughed, choked. The copper taste of blood filled his mouth. It grew quiet. Had the battle ended? All he could see was the sun blazing overhead, a ball of molten gold. A satire fluttered beside it. Then a young face was over him. "My lord," Donnchadh said, "don't try to move. You are sore hurt."

 

Sir Andrew de Moray's astonishing feat of raising the North of Scotland against the omnipresent occupying army of King Edward I of England and then joining with the Southern based forces of William Wallace to win victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge has long been ignored. One of the few good sources for information on this extraordinary Hero in Scotland’s long story is Evan MacLeod Barron's “The Scottish War of Independence”, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in the long series of Wars that finally shaped a Nation.

 

Andrew de Moray lingered in great pain and finally succumbed to his wounds three months after the battle.

His as yet unborn son, another Andrew, third of that name accompanied Robert the Bruce during his campaigns in Ireland and was also present during the Black Douglas’s final battle at Teba in Spain. Returning to Scotland he took his place as one of the main supporters of the infant King David II during the Second War of Scottish Independence. As Guardian of Scotland, he died at the disastrous Battle of Dupplin Moor in 1332.


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Post #25 arnhemjim

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 03:54 PM

Harry,

Many thanks for your abridged history of early Scotland. Even though of Scottish ancestry, my knowledge of this specific era is severely wanting, if not close to devoid. A bit of trivia you may or may not be aware of, Princeton University (Alumnus Class of 1958) was founded in 1746, same year as the Battle of Colloden. Am both appreciative and duly impressed. Sincere Thanksgiving Greetings and Best Merry Christmas wishes to you and all of the Forum members!

Slàinte don Bhànrigh! Slàinte Mhòr! Slàinte! (Gaelic for "Good Health to the Queen! Great Good Health! Health!" - Partial Regimental Toast of the 92nd Regiment of Foot (The Gordon Highlanders).

Arnhem Jim

Arizona Territory



Post #26 Guest_Harrytheheid_*

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 11:01 AM

Harry,

Many thanks for your abridged history of early Scotland. Even though of Scottish ancestry, my knowledge of this specific era is severely wanting, if not close to devoid. A bit of trivia you may or may not be aware of, Princeton University (Alumnus Class of 1958) was founded in 1746, same year as the Battle of Colloden. Am both appreciative and duly impressed. Sincere Thanksgiving Greetings and Best Merry Christmas wishes to you and all of the Forum members!

Slàinte don Bhànrigh! Slàinte Mhòr! Slàinte! (Gaelic for "Good Health to the Queen! Great Good Health! Health!" - Partial Regimental Toast of the 92nd Regiment of Foot (The Gordon Highlanders).

Arnhem Jim

Arizona Territory

 

I'm glad you enjoy it Jim.

Cheers

H



Post #27 Guest_Spitfrnd_*

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 01:02 PM

Great story Harry.  Funny I was just reading about Stirling Bridge as an example of how Scottish Pikemen were effective against mounted armored knights.



Post #28 Larry_B

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 04:04 PM

Do I even need to say how much I enjoyed this? Is it piling on at this point?

 

Still, I love getting the story from Moray's vantage point. The individual PoV perspective is awesome and got my hot Scots blood a boiling! Scotland the Brave!


Larry
 
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Post #29 Guest_Harrytheheid_*

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 03:06 AM

Great story Harry.  Funny I was just reading about Stirling Bridge as an example of how Scottish Pikemen were effective against mounted armored knights.

 

Wallace's main problem was he had very little experience of leading an army in set piece battle. His schiltroms were extremely effective in the opening stages of the Battle of Falkirk the following year after the victory at Stirling Bridge. Trouble was, he deployed the schiltoms in static defensive formations and once the archers of Edward I were brought into play, the schiltroms collapsed, allowing the English heavy horse to fulfill their role -- resulting pretty much in a massacre of the fleeing Scots infantry -- the few Scots cavalry of the Comyn's having already decided to split for home.

 

The Flemings showed how to do it during the Battle of Coutrai in 1302 when they defeated the forces of Philip the Fair of France by employing their pikemen in mobile columns. Thus preempting the Scots victory at Bannockburn by 12 years when they used similar tactics by using the schiltroms in the offensive mode.

 

Do I even need to say how much I enjoyed this? Is it piling on at this point?

 

Still, I love getting the story from Moray's vantage point. The individual PoV perspective is awesome and got my hot Scots blood a boiling! Scotland the Brave!

 

I know, oh I know, yes I know....

When will the First Legionnaire finally give in to my ceaseless lobbying and "give me" my Scottish Wars of Independence range at long last..!!

:huh:

Cheers

H


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