Thread: On The Square
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:55 PM   #128
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Arrow Infantry Squire

Historically an infantry square is a combat formation an infantry unit forms in close order usually when threatened with cavalry attack..With the development of modern firearms and the demise of cavalry this formation is now considered obsolete..The formation was described by Plutarch and used by the Romans, and was developed from an earlier circular formation.. In particular, a large infantry square was utilized by the Roman legions at the Battle of Carrhae against Parthia, whose armies contained a large proportion of cavalry.. This is not to be confused with the testudo formation, which also resembled a square, but was used for protection against ranged weapons such as arrows...

As used in the Napoleonic wars, the formation was constituted as a hollow square, or sometimes a rectangle, with each side composed of 2 or more ranks of soldiers armed with single-shot muskets or rifles with fixed bayonets.. Generally, a battalion (approx. 500 to 1,000 men) was the smallest force used to form a square.. The unit's colours and commander were positioned in the centre, along with a reserve force to reinforce any side of the square weakened by attacks. A square of 500 men in four ranks, such as those formed by Wellington's army at Waterloo, was a tight formation less than 20 metres in length upon any side..The square was revived in the 14th century as the schiltron, and later appeared as the pike square or tercio, and was widely used in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars..During the Anglo-Zulu War, after the Battle of Isandlwana where the Zulu nation's warriors overwhelmed the British colonial force's poorly fortified linear formation positioning, infantry squares were used in most major battles such as Gingindlovu and the climatic Battle of Ulundi to counter their enemy's massed charges...

The pike square (German: Gevierthaufen or Gewalthaufen, meaning crowd of force) was a military tactic developed by the Swiss Confederacy during the 15th century for use by its infantry..The pike square was used to devastating effect at the Battle of Nancy against Charles the Bold of Burgundy in 1477, when the Swiss defeated a smaller but more powerful armored cavalry force. The battle is generally seen as one of the turning points that established the infantry as the primary fighting arm in European warfare from the 16th century onwards...A pike square generally consisted of about 100 men in a 10×10 formation. While on the move, the pike would be carried vertically. However, the troops were drilled to be able to point their pikes in any direction while stationary, with the men in the front of the formation kneeling to allow the men in the center or back to point their pikes over their heads. While stationary, the staff of each pike could be butted against the ground, giving it resistance against attack. Squares could be joined together to form a battle line.. If surrounded, pikes could still be pointed in all directions. A well drilled square could change direction very quickly, making it difficult to outmaneuver on horseback.. sensed we had a long and difficult journey ahead of us.. Perhaps weeks of waiting for a ship that will Give us passage to England.. I will try to teach John some rudimentary manners and a greater understanding of the language..Like a father, I am resolved to empower to him all that I can. But never, not even for a moment, do I doubt that to take him back, is a perilous undertaking..Dinner is serving. No! Arrived, dinner has arrived is a slightly better translation...

Last edited by lightgiver; 06-05-2014 at 01:55 PM.
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