Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Field of Glory II: Medieval

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Krevan
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Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

Hello. Let's start with the cavalry. I can prove that in Russia of the 13th century there were two types of mounted warriors-heavy cavalry for ramming blows (like knights), and light cavalry (imitated the steppe peoples with whom Russia fought and contacted for centuries).
Evidence: W. Воeheim. Handbuch der Waffenkunde. Leipzig, 1890, p. 197, 198. - "The spread of ramming with a spear caused in the chivalric West in the XII century the appearance of saddles with a deep seat and a chair-shaped curved front and back". http://ipic.su/img/img7/fs/1.1613131421.png
Miniature of a horse from the 13th century. From the book of the famous Russian archaeologist and medievalist A. N. Kirpichnikov.
"The existence of a chair—like structure in Russia is also confirmed by the stirrups with a flat, wide footrest and spurs of the pan - European types of the XII-XIII centuries," writes Kirpichnikov.
The contemporary Medieval historian K. Zhukov also says this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0PYTHLXAlk&t=988s - We include English subtitles. (Minute 14.12, 15.10, 15.27).
Judging by the report of the Galician-Volyn chronicle that the horses of the soldiers of Daniel of Galicia in the late 1240s were "masked and leather koyareh", horse armor was then available to the Russians.
The creators of the film about Alexander Nevsky knew about this. As you can see in the picture, they dressed Alexander's horse in an armor made of quilted fabric on cotton wool, which absorbs blows.
http://ipic.su/img/img7/fs/mif_ill_2.1613132453.jpg
I think all this proves the presence in Russia of heavy, armored horsemen who used ramming knight tactics.
Could you add such units? At least in small quantities
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by rbodleyscott »

Interesting.

It was difficult to follow the autotranslated subtitles, but I got some of the gist.

So, if some of the Russian cavalry used Knight-type tactics, what proportion? How heavy was their armour compared with 13th century Western knights? The same, or a bit lighter? When did they appear?

By "light cavalry", do you mean Polovtsy or Rus? if the latter, how would they be armed - like the cavalry in our current list, or differently?

What happened after the Mongol invasion? Our information is that most of the cavalry switched to bow, with some also using lance. What happens to the "knights" then - I was not clear what A. N. Kirpichnikov was saying about that?

I guess one might need to watch his next video, about the post-Mongol period.
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Krevan
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

rbodleyscott wrote: Interesting.
It was difficult to follow the autotranslated subtitles, but I got some of the gist.
So, if some of the Russian cavalry used Knight-type tactics, what proportion? How heavy was their armour compared with 13th century Western knights? The same, or a bit lighter? When did they appear?
The armor of heavy Russian horsemen had about the same weight as the knight's armor. For individual warriors, the weight difference may fluctuate slightly.
The average weight of chain mail and weapons is 20 kg. The mass of the horse - 400-450 kg. The data are taken from the articles of the medievalist K. Zhukov and the expert on Ancient Russia I. Danilevsky. https://tass.ru/spec/ledovoe
Most likely, the heavy riders, armed as knights and fighting as knights, were the majority. Only in the middle of the 15th century did Moscow Rus completely transform its heavy cavalry into light cavalry. However, I will try to find out more precisely what percentage of light cavalry might have been in the 13th century
rbodleyscott wrote:By "light cavalry", do you mean Polovtsy or Rus? if the latter, how would they be armed - like the cavalry in our current list, or differently?
Rus. The Polovtsians in Russia were mercenaries. There is also evidence of Hungarian mounted mercenaries in Russia. I will try to learn more about the armament and the total possible number of Russian light cavalry.
rbodleyscott wrote: What happened after the Mongol invasion? Our information is that most of the cavalry switched to bow, with some also using lance. What happens to the "knights" then - I was not clear what A. N. Kirpichnikov was saying about that?
I guess one might need to watch his next video, about the post-Mongol period.
The Medieval scholar Zhukov tells about the revolution (big changes in just 20-30 years) in the XV century, when the Russian cavalry (of the Moscow Kingdom) became light. That is, in fact, it became the cavalry of the Eastern type. It seems that this fact has already become common knowledge.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by rbodleyscott »

Krevan wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:52 pm The Medieval scholar Zhukov tells about the revolution (big changes in just 20-30 years) in the XV century, when the Russian cavalry (of the Moscow Kingdom) became light. That is, in fact, it became the cavalry of the Eastern type. It seems that this fact has already become common knowledge.
Except that our previous sources in English suggest it happened in the later 13th century, after the Mongol conquest, rather than in the 15th century.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by rbodleyscott »

Most likely, the heavy riders, armed as knights and fighting as knights, were the majority
That would be a real pity, as it would make the Rus armies very similar to Polish and Hungarian and even Teutonic Order, whereas currently they have their own unique identity.
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Krevan
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

Interesting fact. The Livonian rhymed chronicle (verse 2110), reporting on the battle of Lake Peipus (1242), says that there were many foot archers in the Russian army. Apparently, Prince Alexander Nevsky had high hopes for them. So they were good foot shooters. I have the text of this chronicle in English. I can send it over.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

rbodleyscott wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:58 pm
Krevan wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:52 pm The Medieval scholar Zhukov tells about the revolution (big changes in just 20-30 years) in the XV century, when the Russian cavalry (of the Moscow Kingdom) became light. That is, in fact, it became the cavalry of the Eastern type. It seems that this fact has already become common knowledge.
Except that our previous sources in English suggest it happened in the later 13th century, after the Mongol conquest, rather than in the 15th century.
Even if we assume that this is the end of the 13th century, then the entire 13th century, including the Battle of Kalka and the Battle of Lake Peipsi - this "revolution" in the tactics of horse combat has not yet happened.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by rbodleyscott »

Krevan wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:04 pm
rbodleyscott wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:58 pm
Krevan wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:52 pm The Medieval scholar Zhukov tells about the revolution (big changes in just 20-30 years) in the XV century, when the Russian cavalry (of the Moscow Kingdom) became light. That is, in fact, it became the cavalry of the Eastern type. It seems that this fact has already become common knowledge.
Except that our previous sources in English suggest it happened in the later 13th century, after the Mongol conquest, rather than in the 15th century.
Even if we assume that this is the end of the 13th century, then the entire 13th century, including the Battle of Kalka and the Battle of Lake Peipsi - this "revolution" in the tactics of horse combat has not yet happened.
Obviously, but we will need the later army lists for later DLCs.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

rbodleyscott wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:00 pm
Most likely, the heavy riders, armed as knights and fighting as knights, were the majority
That would be a real pity, as it would make the Rus armies very similar to Polish and Hungarian and even Teutonic Order, whereas currently they have their own unique identity.
Rus was then part of Europe. When the Mongol yoke came, the situation changed. Rus is beginning to be strongly influenced by the East. Speaking of Hungarians. They were originally nomads and used light cavalry armed with bows. Only after the battle of the Lech River (955), when the emperor Otto inflicted a terrible defeat on them, did the Hungarians begin to adopt European values, including Christianity and military traditions.
Last edited by Krevan on Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

rbodleyscott post wrote: Obviously, but we will need the later army lists for later DLCs.
Very good! I would also like to discuss infantry and archers)
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by rbodleyscott »

Of course the presence of saddles with high backs and fronts does not necessarily mean knight-style tactical doctrine. Even the Mongols used high back and front saddles.

Nor does the fact that a Mongol prince was once killed, whether or not he was at the back of the army.

I appreciate that I could barely understand the autotranslated subtitles in that video, but what other evidence was given?

I don't want to completely overturn our previous understanding of Russian Medieval warfare without a lot more evidence than that, and from more than one historian. (And of course Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky is not evidence at all, any more than a Hollywood film would be).

The current representation of Russian cavalry is as a heavy charging cavalry type - against suitable opponents. But also allows feigned retreats, which of course knights cannot perform. It also gives them a greater chance of chasing down Cuman-Kipchak cavalry than heavily armoured knights would have. There would be a reason for Russians not to have adopted knight-style fighting, because of their nomad opponents.

Of course another possibility is that some Russian heavy cavalry adopted knight-style fighting techniques, but others did not.

As I say, I want to see a lot more evidence before completely overturning the current representation.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

rbodleyscott wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:32 am Of course the presence of saddles with high backs and fronts does not necessarily mean knight-style tactical doctrine. Even the Mongols used high back and front saddles.

Nor does the fact that a Mongol prince was once killed, whether or not he was at the back of the army.

I appreciate that I could barely understand the autotranslated subtitles in that video, but what other evidence was given?

I don't want to completely overturn our previous understanding of Russian Medieval warfare without a lot more evidence than that, and from more than one historian. (And of course Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky is not evidence at all, any more than a Hollywood film would be).

The current representation of Russian cavalry is as a heavy charging cavalry type - against suitable opponents. But also allows feigned retreats, which of course knights cannot perform. It also gives them a greater chance of chasing down Cuman-Kipchak cavalry than heavily armoured knights would have. There would be a reason for Russians not to have adopted knight-style fighting, because of their nomad opponents.

Of course another possibility is that some Russian heavy cavalry adopted knight-style fighting techniques, but others did not.

As I say, I want to see a lot more evidence before completely overturning the current representation.
Of course! It is right. Doubts have always moved science forward and the truth was born in discussions.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

Hello. Do you read German?
The book by a German author - Brix, Heinrich Otto Richard - "History of the old Russian army institutions".
https://dlib.rsl.ru/viewer/01004560536#?page=1
I will quote its Russian version.
Although his book is more of a commentary on an English author, his name is Denison George Taylor.
So, page 50 - https://dlib.rsl.ru/viewer/01004438926#?page=61
The author says that in the period 1054-1243 the main weapon of the Rus cavalry was the pike. The pike is a long spear, and it is not a light weapon. This page also talks about swords and swordsmen.
(So, I think, if the squad dismounts, it is not necessarily heavy spearmen, but also warriors with swords).
Also on this page it is said that the Russian cavalry adopted many traditions from the Polovtsians and Hungarians. The author does not explain what he means, perhaps he means the light cavalry. (It is known that Alexander Nevsky had special light cavalrymen, which he used for reconnaissance. They were Russian cavalrymen, not mercenaries).
This page also tells about the typical weapons of Rus cavalry - "long swords", "long spears", "throwing spears".
The author also says that the Russian squad was of two types - princely and boyar.
I think in any case in the game you need to make two types of cavalry for Rus. And if the cavalry dismounts, it can be either heavy spearmen in chain mail or swordsmen.
It is also worth adding in addition to the Polovtsian mercenaries, mercenaries from Hungary and Scandinavia.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by rbodleyscott »

Krevan wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:57 pm Hello. Do you read German?
Sadly not. But really we should not be looking to update late 20th century research by using 19th century books.
The author says that in the period 1054-1243 the main weapon of the Rus cavalry was the pike. The pike is a long spear, and it is not a light weapon. This page also talks about swords and swordsmen.
(So, I think, if the squad dismounts, it is not necessarily heavy spearmen, but also warriors with swords).
Firstly that was a misuse of the work pike. A pike is an infantry weapon, 5 metres or more in length, and wielded with both hands. He means a long lance/spear. Secondly we do not suggest that they did not use long lances. The "light spear" classification in the game, despite the name, is not about the lightness or length of the spear, but about the style of fighting. If a lance is used sometimes to thrust and sometimes to throw, it is classified as a light spear, however long it might be.
Also on this page it is said that the Russian cavalry adopted many traditions from the Polovtsians and Hungarians. The author does not explain what he means, perhaps he means the light cavalry. (It is known that Alexander Nevsky had special light cavalrymen, which he used for reconnaissance. They were Russian cavalrymen, not mercenaries).
Yes, that suggests skirmishing tactics rather than knights. The majority of Hungarian and Polovsty cavalry were light horse archers. The Polovtsy certainly had no knights. That statement is in favour of the current classification, not changing the cavalry to knights.
The author also says that the Russian squad was of two types - princely and boyar.
This might be a justification for a list adjustment with most of the cavalry being classified as they currently are, but some (princely ones) being classified as knights.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Paul59 »

rbodleyscott wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:29 pm
This might be a justification for a list adjustment with most of the cavalry being classified as they currently are, but some (princely ones) being classified as knights.
Or Armoured Noble Lancers (ie: Light Lancers capability). I am very dubious about classifying Russian cavalry as Knights until we see some period accounts that demonstrate how effective their charge was. If we gave Knight capabilities solely on the basis of the archaeological record, many more nations/factions would have them.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by rbodleyscott »

Paul59 wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:40 pm
rbodleyscott wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:29 pm
This might be a justification for a list adjustment with most of the cavalry being classified as they currently are, but some (princely ones) being classified as knights.
Or Armoured Noble Lancers (ie: Light Lancers capability). I am very dubious about classifying Russian cavalry as Knights until we see some period accounts that demonstrate how effective their charge was. If we gave Knight capabilities solely on the basis of the archaeological record, many more nations/factions would have them.
True. And demonstrate how effective their charge was vs knights, not other Rus or nomad cavalry!

We would be doing them no favours, however, by classifying them as Cavalry lancers, because then they would be equally outmatched against knights, but be unable to evade them.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

Paul59 wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:40 pm
rbodleyscott wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:29 pm
This might be a justification for a list adjustment with most of the cavalry being classified as they currently are, but some (princely ones) being classified as knights.
Or Armoured Noble Lancers (ie: Light Lancers capability). I am very dubious about classifying Russian cavalry as Knights until we see some period accounts that demonstrate how effective their charge was. If we gave Knight capabilities solely on the basis of the archaeological record, many more nations/factions would have them.
Maybe so. The search for truth is always a difficult path. The data of the chronicles is really modest. For example, the Galician-Volyn chronicle says that horse armor was used in Russia, but not all modern authors agree with this. Perhaps the horse armor was characteristic only of the elite of the Galician land - the westernmost Russian land, which was undoubtedly closer to the rest of Europe.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

rbodleyscott wrote:Firstly that was a misuse of the work pike. A pike is an infantry weapon, 5 metres or more in length, and wielded with both hands. He means a long lance/spear. Secondly we do not suggest that they did not use long lances. The "light spear" classification in the game, despite the name, is not about the lightness or length of the spear, but about the style of fighting. If a lance is used sometimes to thrust and sometimes to throw, it is classified as a light spear, however long it might be.
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Yes, that suggests skirmishing tactics rather than knights. The majority of Hungarian and Polovsty cavalry were light horse archers. The Polovtsy certainly had no knights. That statement is in favour of the current classification, not changing the cavalry to knights.
Does this mean that Russian light riders need to add bows?
This might be a justification for a list adjustment with most of the cavalry being classified as they currently are, but some (princely ones) being classified as knights
Yes, many researchers write that the Russian horsemen of this time were of two types. It is difficult for us to determine in what proportion.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by Krevan »

rbodleyscott wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:53 pm
Paul59 wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:40 pm
rbodleyscott wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:29 pm
This might be a justification for a list adjustment with most of the cavalry being classified as they currently are, but some (princely ones) being classified as knights.
Or Armoured Noble Lancers (ie: Light Lancers capability). I am very dubious about classifying Russian cavalry as Knights until we see some period accounts that demonstrate how effective their charge was. If we gave Knight capabilities solely on the basis of the archaeological record, many more nations/factions would have them.
True. And demonstrate how effective their charge was vs knights, not other Rus or nomad cavalry!

We would be doing them no favours, however, by classifying them as Cavalry lancers, because then they would be equally outmatched against knights, but be unable to evade them.
The Russians of the 13th century almost did not fight with the knights. The battle of Lake Peipus is one of the few exceptions. Some scholars dispute its size, saying it was more of a minor border skirmish. But we know that Nevsky was on the defensive and even hid his cavalry, so he was afraid of the knights ' attack on it. We also know that he had less cavalry than the enemy. We also know that he had light cavalry from the Russians, not from mercenaries. This light cavalry was used in reconnaissance, it was called "watchmen", I do not know what English word is suitable here.
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Re: Suggestions for revision of Russian army lists

Post by rbodleyscott »

Krevan wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 2:12 pm
Yes, that suggests skirmishing tactics rather than knights. The majority of Hungarian and Polovsty cavalry were light horse archers. The Polovtsy certainly had no knights. That statement is in favour of the current classification, not changing the cavalry to knights.
Does this mean that Russian light riders need to add bows?
Not necessarily. They may have skirmished with their lances, which we know could be thrown.

Obviously you have not yet seen to later Russian army lists, but in their current form we assume that the bulk of the Russian cavalry switched to the bow after the Mongol conquest, some also using lances.
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