Dragev_ t1_j1hswvh wrote

An interesting thing of the first phases of the Hundred Years War to take into account is also the difference between the army organisation of France and England; Edward III had almost a standing army composed mainly of veteran footmen/archers and did many short incursions through France with a fast-moving force (1339-1340, 1342, 1345 and -36). On the other side, the French had to assemble the army (l'ost) by calling up the nobles which could take weeks and sometimes could not catch the English and force them to battle - the English had already returned home by the time the ost was ready.

This also led to economic problems which are a bit involved - simply put, every time a special war tax had to be levied, sometimes for months or years after the English had passed and for paying an army that had not been able to defend anything at all.


Dragev_ t1_j1hpqqh wrote

I have been in small spear formations for sparring bouts (viking era skirmishing but a spear is a spear) and they are indeed very efficient even with little to no training. The same goes for one-on-one btw, a spearman with little experience can still beat a seasoned swordsman quite often.

Edit; to clarify, I mean a swordsman with a longsword or a viking-type sword and round shield. I presume the big roman shield that covers almost the entire body would be much more advantageous.


Dragev_ t1_j0rzi2b wrote

I'm not sure the link the author makes between the mensur and Nazis is justified; The mensur was practiced at least as early as the 18th century and was fashionable long before the 1930's - I'd even say it was more of a WWI thing than a WWII thing; when the officers were almost exclusively from the upper class. Skorzeny seems a special case and I'm sure both his face and actions were the inspirations for several villains (I'm pretty sure Blofeld is partly based on him) - however I never saw or heard that mensur was very widespread in nazi circles.