Changes of Weaponry and Warfare during the Middle Ages

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Changes of Weaponry and Warfare during the Middle Ages During the Middle Ages, or also known as the Medieval Ages, change was a major part of that period. Europe was watching war become much different. In the older times, a few thousands of troops were considered a large army. Nowadays, nobody has ever seen such size of an army with such variety in weapons including guns, munitions, and artillery that were all developed during that period. Besides, it was obvious that the face of warfare was changing by the end of the fifteenth century. Two of the most significant developments were the maintaining of a fair amount of troops on a permanent basis at the ready, and the rising need of gunpowder weapons and munitions. In essence The Middle Ages was a period of change that significantly reconstructed warfare and weaponry as technology advanced, such as the gunpowder, the famous recipe that revolutionized and redefined war to a whole new meaning. Since thousands of years ago, weaponry and warfare had basically stayed the same only with a few minor changes, until the Middle Ages. For example, records of the sword can be found up to 3,000 years back (Hilliam 15). Swords underwent many changes, mostly in designs, but the big change is the material used to make the swords. Ancient swords were made of bronze, and bronze is soft, but later when iron was used, the swords became the opposite. They were harder and easy to break which meant that soldiers’ swords would break during combat (Hilliam 15). However, swords were the most commonly used weapon and therefore efforts to improve it were progressing. By the Middle Ages, pattern-wielding had been developed that made swords even harder, yet not brittle, but longer lasting also. Besides the... ... middle of paper ... ... when the Ordinance of Valladolid of 1496 imposed that one man out of twelve, between the ages of twenty and forty-five were required to serve in the army as loyal subjects (Keen 286). Moreover, there were also some slight changes in war tactics. Swiss soldiers would advance in a tight mass and to fight and march as a single group they established a drum beat. This single marching group is able to defeat charging knights and later their tactics were copied (Chrisp 41). Another change that was merciless, was the decision to give up taking prisoners of war, instead, they focused on defeating the enemy believing prisoners were a distraction (Chrisp 45). And with all these extreme changes and adjustments of warfare and weaponry, “casualties, among all classes, had grown in number” (Keen 290). These developments, just like Chrisp says, “War had become a science” (45).

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