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Largest Battle in Britain and Ireland - Marston Moor

Discussion in 'Military History' started by scipio, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Brian Groughan

    Brian Groughan Member

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    I have just learned that a direct ancestor who fought and died at the battle on July 2 and held the rank of Colonel with the Royalists. So I am delving into it as I have no knowledge of the events surrounding the battles of the time. Thanks for your post I will be able to get my head around things with it.
    Brian
     
  2. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Brian Groughan and The_Historian like this.
  3. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    A great organisation. Badly needed too, since I've just watched some retard argue with the local archaeologist on the FB history page that the Battle of Bannockburn "never happened", since no-one can pinpoint its exact location.
    Sadly, idiots will always be with us.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Do you think he really believed that or was just trying to "wind up" the archeologist?

    *** edit for ***
    A good counter to that sort of post would be to suggest:
    By similar logic since they haven't found admiral Tovey's body he must still be alive.
     
  5. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    Hoping and praying it was a wind-up. Surely nobody's that thick?
     
  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    No body - no crime.
     
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Surely Towton is the largest battle within 'Britain & Ireland'.
    Maybe 20,000 more participants than Marston Moor.

    The English Civil Wars do not get the coverage they deserve. Marvellous period. Sadly there is another current push on to refer to it as 'The English Revolution' & other such Christopher Hill nonsense. Even saw it as the title of a recent school textbook.:shifty:

    I do wonder how much ECW reenacting (in which I have taken part) is to blame for the relative atrophy of the wars' historiography.
    One of the earliest forms, and sometimes slightly embarrassing to the subject rather than a complement.
    Eg. The Newark Civil War Centre.
    Very reenactory - no real content.
    A massive disappointment after very high hopes.

    Fingers crossed for this new endeavour:
    Civil War Petitions
     
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  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    [​IMG]
    The old Endeavour
    [​IMG]
    "The new Endeavour" - Bit of a stretch I know... : )
    (Captain Cook's little lass)
     
  9. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

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    A lot of people refer to it simply as "the civil war(s)" these days, as it's long been recognised they weren't just fought in England.
    My own personal hate is "The War of the Three Kingdoms"; surely it should be "three kingdoms and a Principality", if we're getting all PC?
     
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    I'd argue its neither.

    The claim for Towton as the largest battle was made by a local publican hundreds of years later. It was problably the largest of the Wars of the Roses. There is a more plausible claim for the battle of the Medway AD 43 with C 45,000 Romans against 100k+ Britons. There may be doubts about the location but four legions and auxiliaries took on the Ancient Brits
    Battle of the Medway - Wikipedia
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    They've always been the English Civil Wars, plural, among people that follow them.
    3 Kingdoms has a certain logic, given the different nature of the Covenanter & Irish stuff.
    Anyway, a string of conflicts close enough together & fought to resolve certain core issues. (Most of said issues remaining unresolved, or shakily so.)

    Hard to deny that Towton dwarfs most ECW battles, though.
    fairly well-substantiated casualties alone number more than the average large UK encounter in the C17th (Not that some continental specialists of my acquaintance don't laugh at the size/intensity of our C17th 'skirmishes'. They can usually be converted though, as the back-story & personalities are always so interesting.)

    Some things I like about the English Civil Wars:
    I have witnessed several punch-ups over them, nearly 400 years later. (Other punchy historical wars are available.)
    Fairfax. Stone cold one of the most sensible soldiers these islands ever produced.
    Goring. Raised money from both sides, eventually turned up with an army representing maybe a third of the raised cash - his 'come back when I'm less hungover' surrender of Portsmouth also a fine thing.
    Jacob Astley, Edmund Verney (& their wider ilk). The honourable man, the complex colour-defending maniac. etc. Pretty bog standard gentry that showed some real flashes of strength & class under pressure.
    The eventual high-to low disruption caused.
    Our bloodiest wars by percentage. (Not that failed harvests & locust-like army starvation probably involved much blood.)
    Montrose's Charges. Yeah, I'd probably have legged it too.
    All Pike & shot stuff interests me. Not unlike Interwar tanks, that 'lets try this' thing going on. The Gun becoming firmly part & parcel of warfare despite having been around for a long time, and the continuing ambiguity of pike-fighting itself - from crude untrained blocks to surprisingly sophisticated veterans fighting individually while remaining part of the whole.
    The eventual tip-toeing return of Charles 2. Not a fan of the watery-eyed Stuarts, but have to give him his due for a delicately played political game with the bare minimum of corpse desecration.

    And... CV Wedgewood's books.
    Love a bit of Gardiner, & the old man has an early C18th Clarendon that's fun to read once you tune out the F/S thing, then the Russells, Gentles etc. taking things more seriously and putting the fun biases aside, but... despite it's sometimes old-fashioned viewpoints, it's preferences & flaws; I still rate her books as one of the best general coverages of any period, ever. So readable that they're probably the history titles I've gone back to the most, my own teen-acquired copies now dog-eared and loose leaf,

    5960462.jpg
    That, right there, is an old dear who could really write history.
     
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  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The Romans like the Greeks tended to inflate the numbers of their opponents significantly. There was a book that came out in the 70's, can't recall the title right now, that looked at the logistics of the time to figure out the maximum size of the opposing forces in a number of battles. They came to the conclusion that the only battle for instance where Caesar was outnumbered was Alesia and that by just a bit. Some of his other battles make a lot more sense if the Romans had the numbers as well.
     
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