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2/27/13 9:02 PM
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Odinson
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One on one the Vikings

Tatically probably romans Phone Post
2/27/13 10:37 PM
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MickColins
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"That's why the cream of European knighthood, the Knights Templar, the Teutonic Knights, and the Knights Hospitaler were mopped up by the Mongols in Poland."

 

There is more to it than that. Mongols had a unified command structure, for one. And the Mongol commander in Europe was Subotei and he is a top 10 all time general.  Secondly, the Mongol compound bow was a marvel of engineering and it took people hundreds of years to create bows as powerful and small. The Mongols had a huge advantage over knights in that  their bows could puncture plate armor. The only European bows that could do that were the huge Welsh-style longbows. You couldn't fire them from horseback. The Europeans had no idea what they were going up against.

 

Now, the statement that they'd have gone all the way west to the Atlantic is arguable since the Europeans did eventually adapt to Mongol/Tartar tactics. As they'd go west, they'd also have to deal with less flat and open land. The Middle East, China and Anatolia are nice spots for mounted ranged warfare. Lot harder when the land gets muddy, mountains and hills pop up and the winter gets real cold. Some Mongols tried to invade Hungary later and got repelled because their horses couldn't maneveur in the snow and slop. They got routed. I can't remember where, I think it was in a German principality, a European army engaged a Mongol army and lured them into a nasty mud field near a river. The Mongol horses got stuck and they got torn to pieces.There are theories that Subotei and other Mongol commanders knew the terrain was their eventual enemy and had no real intention of going further than modern Russia.

2/28/13 4:38 AM
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anthonyMI
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I disagree with saying the chivalric idea of personal combat separated them from barbarians. Personal combat was how most tribal societies handled things, and that always worked against them when facing against unified proto-professional armies that could fight better as a group. Phone Post
2/28/13 6:01 AM
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Lord Nitemare
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^^ Mick how do you know all this shit? Great post btw, voted up - and keep them coming.

2/28/13 7:47 AM
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KingD87
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How bout Ghengis Khan's crew, they did alright for themselves Phone Post
2/28/13 7:57 AM
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New School
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KingD87 -  How bout Ghengis Khan's crew, they did alright for themselves Phone Post

The answer to these kind of questions is always "it depends". The Mongols were great on open fields, but not so hot when it came to heavily forested areas or castle sieges. It's been claimed that was one of the primary reasons their invasion of Europe stopped outside of Germany.
2/28/13 8:01 AM
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KingD87
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New School -
KingD87 -  How bout Ghengis Khan's crew, they did alright for themselves Phone Post

The answer to these kind of questions is always "it depends". The Mongols were great on open fields, but not so hot when it came to heavily forested areas or castle sieges. It's been claimed that was one of the primary reasons their invasion of Europe stopped outside of Germany.
Cool thanks for the info I love this sort of stuff too lazy to research myself Phone Post
2/28/13 8:05 AM
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El_Varaco
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Ttt Phone Post
2/28/13 8:11 AM
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marquis_wu
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Mongols at the time werent matched by any other army. The level of organization, the strict discipline, the use of fear in conquering of others, the high skill of soldiers that were learning archery and riding a horse daily, the generals that were behind the lines giving commands instead of taking part in the battle.

Their only weakness was that each time their leader died, they went back to elect a new one, abandoning their conquests, which happened more than once.

Mongols hated sieges, but they adapted to them quite well. And you wouldnt like to be in a town that resisted them for too long as these usually ended in brutal slaughter. Most of the towns would just surrender.
2/28/13 10:22 AM
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Timothyk
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Watch "Seven Samurai" and tell me your opinion again.
2/28/13 10:57 AM
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anthonyMI
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Part of the point of Seven Samurai was that none of them were supposed to be particularly good fighters with the exception of Kyuzo. Kambei and Shichiroji lost every war they were in, Katsushiro is inexperienced, and Kikuchiyo isn't even a samurai.

On the other side, the bandits were starving and desperate.
2/28/13 11:02 AM
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Lord Nitemare
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^ anybody seen 13 assassins?

2/28/13 11:10 AM
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kanotoa
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Gurkas?

I like warriors that fight other warriors and don't slaughter innocent people, if there ever was such a thing. Phone Post
2/28/13 11:34 AM
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I Hate Wombats
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Does anyone know about the Shaolin? I don't know much at all but feel like they should get some mention. They hang weights from their balls and what not.
2/28/13 11:57 AM
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Lord Nitemare
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I Hate Wombats - Does anyone know about the Shaolin? I don't know much at all but feel like they should get some mention. They hang weights from their balls and what not.

They're kind of like Russian Spetsnaz.

 

if you absolutely need someone to throw two hatchets whilst jumping through a hula hoop that's been lit on fire - you go them. But if you actually want to win a battle, you'd best leave them on the sidelines. 

 

On another note, deadliest warrior created a lot of misconceptions...SF would have whipped that ass (Spetsnaz), and Maori would have had eaten the fuck out of some shaolin.

2/28/13 12:04 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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Really? Really deadliest warrior?

 

2/28/13 12:42 PM
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Cherrycola
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Don't they have a show that decides this for us? Phone Post
2/28/13 12:59 PM
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I Hate Wombats
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Lord Nitemare -
I Hate Wombats - Does anyone know about the Shaolin? I don't know much at all but feel like they should get some mention. They hang weights from their balls and what not.

They're kind of like Russian Spetsnaz.

 

if you absolutely need someone to throw two hatchets whilst jumping through a hula hoop that's been lit on fire - you go them. But if you actually want to win a battle, you'd best leave them on the sidelines. 

 

On another note, deadliest warrior created a lot of misconceptions...SF would have whipped that ass (Spetsnaz), and Maori would have had eaten the fuck out of some shaolin.

Backflipping hatchet attacks are totes my fav. Phone Post
2/28/13 1:25 PM
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Takedown
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GladiatorGannon - 
Wahlau - I would put an equal number of gurkhas with their kukris against an equal number of any of the above mentioned groups

These little guys fuck shit up and are not intimidated by anything

Then they would lose a lot of battles. A lot of their opponents would just have such superior weapons and armor, not much else would matter.

To the contrary. The Anglo-Nepali War of 1814-16 saw the Highlandic Gurkhas defeat the British E. India Co.'s army seven shades of shit at the outset of the war, even with their superior weaponry & tactics. It wasn't until 1815 when Parliament sent Ochterlony in that the Gurkhas were defeated by his superior military acumen & heavy reinforcement.

Due to the heavy ass-kicking the British received by the Gurkhas at the outset of the war, the British conscripted them into the Indian Army. This eventually led to the creation & permanent inclusion of the Royal Gurkha Brigade in the British Army. They're also personally trained by the SAS, so there's no fucking around.

I did my senior research paper on the Gurkhas, it was pretty eye-opening to say the least. It's not only their fighting abilities over the past few hundred years that makes them stand out, but how their cultural borrowing of British & other Western civilizations led to a new class of retired Gurkha elites back in Nepal.

Cheers
2/28/13 1:30 PM
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MickColins
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Edited: 02/28/13 1:30 PM
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"Mick how do you know all this shit?"

 

History major in college. Had to write a 20 some page paper on the Mongols. My prof hated it though because he was a hippie and liked to focus on things like the treatment of prostitutes by the Mongolians or Yurt decorations. The Mongols were bad motherfuckers and they were much smarter than most Westerners(and Chinese) give them credit. Smart leaders like Subotei would know that they were designed to fight a certain way and terrain plays a huge role when your army is primarily(I don't know the exacts but I'm guessing most of the time 90% or more) cavalry. They purposefully picked the sites of most battles so the terrain would help them.

One advantage most people don't give European knights is that they were somewhat flexible in that they could dismount and were still good heavy infantry. A dismounted mongol was a good archer but would be in deep shit against medium to heavy infantry in good chain mail/plate armor. Their swords were designed to slash from horseback. We think of European Knights as being cumbersome and moving like robots but thats because most of the armor we see at museums and in movies is based off ceremonial armor. The practical battle armor was designed so they could move and, if knocked down, get up since being on the ground in medieval warfare meant you were either going to be a hostage or a corpse.

2/28/13 1:45 PM
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Lord Nitemare
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MickColins - 

"Mick how do you know all this shit?"

 

History major in college. Had to write a 20 some page paper on the Mongols. My prof hated it though because he was a hippie and liked to focus on things like the treatment of prostitutes by the Mongolians or Yurt decorations. The Mongols were bad motherfuckers and they were much smarter than most Westerners(and Chinese) give them credit. Smart leaders like Subotei would know that they were designed to fight a certain way and terrain plays a huge role when your army is primarily(I don't know the exacts but I'm guessing most of the time 90% or more) cavalry. They purposefully picked the sites of most battles so the terrain would help them.

One advantage most people don't give European knights is that they were somewhat flexible in that they could dismount and were still good heavy infantry. A dismounted mongol was a good archer but would be in deep shit against medium to heavy infantry in good chain mail/plate armor. Their swords were designed to slash from horseback. We think of European Knights as being cumbersome and moving like robots but thats because most of the armor we see at museums and in movies is based off ceremonial armor. The practical battle armor was designed so they could move and, if knocked down, get up since being on the ground in medieval warfare meant you were either going to be a hostage or a corpse.


Fascinating shit dude...

when it comes to typical armor for say a Norman Knight, what would it typically consist of? And in your opinion, which group of knights was considered to be the most elite - Hospitaller, Templar, Norman?

2/28/13 1:51 PM
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LittleKang
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anthonyMI - Part of the point of Seven Samurai was that none of them were supposed to be particularly good fighters with the exception of Kyuzo. Kambei and Shichiroji lost every war they were in, Katsushiro is inexperienced, and Kikuchiyo isn't even a samurai.

On the other side, the bandits were starving and desperate.
Didnt the ninja destroy the samurias by using sneak tactics? Phone Post
2/28/13 1:57 PM
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henkusbabal
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The British grenadiers Phone Post
2/28/13 6:12 PM
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MickColins
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"when it comes to typical armor for say a Norman Knight, what would it typically consist of?"

 

Well, the first thing a Knight had going for them was that they could afford well made armor. Well made armor was designed for the individual and would distribute the weight as evely as possible. For a Knight around 1066, their entire armor kit would be like 35-50 pounds and the helm would be 6 pounds. It'd be designed for them and they'd practice wearing it so they wouldn't be immobile like they look on most movies and tv shows. There are stories of athletic knights able to dismount and remount during battle just by jumping. As ranged weapons became more popular, the plate got heavier and, before the gunpowder age, probably was around 70+ pounds. To think about it in modern terms, the average British or US soldier in the US or Afghanistan carried as much or more weight.

What they wear would depend on the area and period. A Norman Knight during the invasion of England would have worn a chain mail haurbek and not plate armor. Later, they'd combine mail and plate. It usually is seen as going from helmet +all chain mail to helmet + breastplate plus mail to also later adding plate on the shoulders, arms and legs. Some areas never went to the full plate field armor like the Germans,French and Italians. Actual battle armor was usually refered to as field armor. Those huge plate armor sets you see in museums were usually just for parades,ceremonies or jousting. Jousting armor was designed to protect the wearer and play the sport so it had things on it like a rest for the lance around the armpit. One thing also people get wrong is that only rich people could afford armor. That' bullshit. Blacksmiths had to eat,too. If they made a piece of armor that wasn't quality of which a rich guy would pay for it, they'd sell it for what they could. So there was a lot of cheap armor floating around. 

As to the Hospitallers, Templars and a Norman, the Templars and Hospitallers were the closest thing to medieval special forces. Normans would have been good but not on their level. Between the two, i'd vote for hospitallers since they survived the crusades and took part in some massive battles that shaped Europe. Templars get all the pub since freemasons adopted them in the 19th century as their larping ancestors.

2/28/13 9:03 PM
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5 o clock shadow
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Takedown,

I'd love to hear more about the Gurkhas. Can you tell us a bit more about their fighting tactics and the kukris? There are all kinds of insane stories about what the Gurkhas could do with their blades, but I'd like to separate fact from fiction.

Mick Collins,

Great post! LMFAO at your hippy prof who was more interested in yurt decorations!

I never read about the Mongols getting defeated in Europe by being lured into muddy terrain. That sounds like a dirty Mongol tactic! LOL at the Mongols getting out-Mongoled!

I have also heard arguments about European terrain being an impediment to the Mongol advance in Europe. I remember reading that the central forests and mountainous regions of Spain would pose some big obstacles. However, I think that the Mongols track record in temperate forests and mountains is pretty solid, and I don't think that European armies could have adapted to Mongol tactics quickly enough to repel them.

I also read that the Mongols were actually planning a full-scale invasion of Europe. IIRC, they were going to use the Hungarian plains as a nursery for the horses needed to invade Europe.

Lord Nitemare,

Great thread. I have really enjoyed reading your posts throughout.


fos

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