Tag Archives: military revolution

Mysteries of battle

Last 50 years of research help us see a much more vivid image of early modern warfare.  The concept of “military revolution” came to life after famous lecture of Michael Roberts in 1955, grew strong in works of Geoffrey Parker and finally was disemboweled by next generation of scholars. Numerous works advanced our knowledge of Renaissance wars far beyond former myths and misconceptions. But these studies also made clear that certain questions can’t be answered at all in conceivable future.

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Filed under Tactics

Not an unthinking cipher

A very good quote for understanding early modern soldier:

“The emergence of the modern European soldier, who was not required to know his reason why, but was required to obey without question the orders of his superiors is undoubtedly a significant phenomena. The Tudor soldier, perhaps, never quite reached that point; although with fewer and fewer soldiers raised on quasi-feudal lines there was an increased emphasis on obedience to orders as the underlying principle in the maintenance of discipline. The hungry, ragged, ill-paid, and ill-used soldier did not cease to grumble at his lot, to disappear when his captain’s back was turned, to organise and protest when his treatment became unbearable. In many respects, military indiscipline ran parallel to civilian popular protest. In both cases, the common man recognised that alongside power and privilege came responsibility and obligation, and he was swift to protest against those who failed in their duties. For all the insistence on obedience, the Tudor soldier was never reduced to an unthinking cipher”. (Gervase Phillips. To Cry “Home! Home!”: Mutiny, Morale, and Indiscipline in Tudor Armies // The Journal of Military History, Vol. 65, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), p.332)

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Filed under 16th century, England