Wednesday, May 14, 2008

[blàr chùil lodair)] let's reenact it, shall we?

The Quiet Man does some interesting things and one of them is:

I've just been to see a re-enactment of the Battle of Olney Bridge, a battle in the English Civil War.

Well that's lovely, TAOQM but that got me thinking - if you, dear reader, were to re-enact a classic battle, which one would it be? For me it would be Culloden, not through any dislike for the Scots, mind but because I once saw Billy Connolly re-enact the Highland Charge all by himself and thought that was worthy of an accolade.

Overview of the battle

The weather was very poor with a gale driving sleety rain into the faces of the Jacobites. The Duke's forces arrived around mid day and initially deployed in three lines. Upon observing the ground and rebel dispositions, the Duke thinned his army to two lines.

It began with an artillery barrage and the Jacobites were under heavy fire. Although the marshy terrain minimized casualties, the morale of the Jacobites began to suffer. Several clan leaders, angry at the lack of action, pressured Charles to issue the order to charge.

They did eventually do this and even reached British forces and then in a total of about 60 minutes the Duke was victorious.

The Highland Charge

One of the most fearsome aspects of the Scots was this all out charge and:

The government troops had finally worked out bayonet tactics to challenge the dreaded Highland charge, [supposedly learnt from the Blackwatch, the original Highland Regiment in the British Army], and broadsword. The Jacobites lost momentum, wavered, then fled.

It was done this way - as a row of Scots would reach the government troops, each of the loyalists would thrust his shield out front to counter his immediate man but would jab 45 degrees to the right, behind the shield into the Scot diagonally opposite.

It was surprisingly effective.

So what's your battle you're thinking of re-enacting?


Ginro said...

Tough question actually.

We just want to be able to go back in time and witness those events really don't we?

Hastings would be an obvious one, but in reality the wrong side won and we can't change that, so it would be tinged with sadness.

Waterloo: the charge of the Scots Greys, the square formations used in defence against the French cuirassier (have I spelt that right?), the Old Guard's last stand.

The charges of the Light Brigade and Heavy Brigade in the Crimean War.

It's funny watching these re-enactments sometimes though, lol, as you can always tell which ones have never been in combat before.

Ginro said...

And further to re-enacting battles, notice how careful and diplomatic I was to leave out references to my ex-wife, lol.

Can I have a gold star for that?

Lil Jimmy said...

Gold star on the way.

Gracchi said...

Can I see three battle reenactments- my three would be the seige of Harfleur, the Battle of Agincourt and the battle of Bosworth?

Ok James- here is the question and you'll have to go to my blog for an answer- what connects those three battles and some others (mostly from the wars of the Roses but also the civil war of the Roman first century BC), and which reenactment would I want to see?

Grendel said...

Cannae - Probably the greatest tactical battle of all time.

sally in norfolk said...

The battle of the Bulge.... :-)

CherryPie said...

*chukles* to Sally's comment.

Napoleonic Battles are contested on my living room floor too many times...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Oh, well, just to make you happy tonight, James, I'll reenact the one for equal pay for equal work in Britain - OK?

oestrebunny said...

I think I'd go for the battle of stirling bridge myself.

If anything, it'd prove to the yanks that Braveheart is not historically correct.

How can you have the battle of stirling bridge, if there's no bridge?

The clue's in the name.

jmb said...

I'll give the battle thing a miss if you don't mind.

dreadnought said...

The first day of the battle of the Somme. If only...

Lil Jimmy said...

Oh yes, the Somme - that's a good one. Battle of the Bulge - hee hee.
The other battles and JMB's spoilsport pacifism :).

All good stuff.

Tiberius - I'll get over on the weekend and try to solve it.

dearieme said...

TYhe arrival of the Scots cavalry at Dover in 1216.

Lil Jimmy said...

Gee there's some good stuff here. No sooner do I brush up on Cannae but dearieme gives us the Scots at Dover. :)

jams o donnell said...

So many James - Naseby (not as a Royalist) Cochrane's cruises in HMS Speedy especially the taking the El Gamo, The Etreux rearguard action 25 August 1914 (where my grandfather was taken prisoner) and so on and so forth.