Retraining the Fyrd

From: darvall <>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000 10:06:14 +1100

Michael Hitchens : Re: Training the Fyrd
>>However,they do get some one-on-one tution in a fairly haphazard manner.

>That's just the point - the fyrd doesn't train. It's individual members
>might, to greater or lesser degrees, but they don't train as a unit. And
>cattle raids don't give any experience in such things - they're too

Military historians have a specialist word for disorganised raids, disasters. 'Obey Chosen Leaders' isn't in there just for laughs. IMO a cattle raid against a capable foe (& they are capable. the hazards of O/i life got the incompetents generations ago) must be organised or it will fail. No the RSM won't be out there shouting Eyes Right, it will be organisation apropriate to the culture requiring training apropriate to the culture.To achive organisation amongst the fyrd they train as a unit, or more likely sub-units.

>Which means one on one they miught be quite good. But put
>them up against an organised fighting force and they're in trouble.

DOTTS. Depends On The Tactical Situation. See your example below.

>I've always thought that Kallyr's initial victory was not a million miles
>from the loss of three Roman legions to the Germans <snip>
> the Romans were unprepared, in terrain totally unsuited to formed
>unit tactics
> they were strung out, trying to move their baggage through a muddy
> they were surprised and never had a chance to form anyway
> Most of the combats appear to have been one on one or small groups
>So if the 1300 Lunars <snip> Same scenario. Had the fight been between
>>formed units on an open field of battle, the outcome may have been very

Thats called 'tactics'. A great part of military training & effort in the field goes into getting the enemy to fight on your terms & ground not his. Why would a body of warriors trained to fight an Orlanthi battle choose to fight a Lunar one? Hit the column when its in trouble & can't form otherwise you're fighting in someone else's specialty & will have your arse deservedly kicked.(as they do later)
Just because the German tactics don't look like Roman tactics don't mean they're not tactics. The Orlanthi have the decided advantage (over both Lunars & Germans) of dispersed power. Taking the cities will not destroy it as the power centers in places of worship as much or more (they have a pretty immanent pantheon) than in places of business.

> The Anglo-Saxon fyrd (I'm assuming the same term means some
>relationship) was poorly disciplined - look at what at Hastings.

Once again their dicipline is not the Birkenhead Drill. Different dicipline for different times & technologies. And Hastings was as much a victory of superior & new (to the A/S anyway) technology as of 'dicipline'. They were fighting in an enemy outside their experience. The enemy against whom they had experience ( & so tactics & 'dicipline') were defeated earlier after which they did a forced march south re-recruiting as they went. Norman 'dicipline' persisted long enough to be tested at Agincourt, where it was found wanting.

>It also
>had a bad time with desertion.

So did Nelson's navy. Trafalgar.

guy jobbins
>how many heortling clans have a fyrd that can stand in
>a shield wall? ... if your clan fyrd doesn't fight in a wall then
>>training is a moot point - people show up, run at the enemy and
>jump up and down on them in a melee of one on one combats.

Even if if your clan is not into walls your average baby is not born knowing spear & shield combat. Someone's gotta teach them. Then they practice ('Cause it *is* fun), probably with their mates, cause thats more fun. They they get together with some *experienced blokes leading them* & go duffing, in the course of which they are told what to do (tactics) & probably get more spear practice. A great deal of this is training, even if we as 20C, urban, basicly safe & non-violent, individuals don't see it as such. As late as 1970 the Oz army had factions arguing against letting single soldiers live off base as constant exposure to more experienced men was considered an essential part of their training. My point being that informal training *is* training.

>From quiet homes & first beginnings

Out to the undicovered ends
Theres nothing worth the wear of winning But laughter & the love of friends.
Hilare Belloc

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