Medieval Warfare

During the Middle Ages, warfare evolved rapidly in Europe. The materials used for building weapons, the type of weapons used and the role of the cavalry and infantry also changed significantly during this period.

Castles came to be used as a central element of fortifications during wars and different techniques to lay down sieges were invented. With the development of new weapons, new methods of defence were also created. For instance, with the invention of sharp iron blades that could pierce chain mail, armour were used which could ricochet away the blade's blow.

This led to the replacement of swords with axes and other weapons to effectively tackle the new improved Armour. In this way, weapons used in attack and methods used in defence both evolved side by side.

Anglo Saxon Warfare

The Anglo Saxons were great warriors which helped them conquer many kingdoms, they liked to fight on the ground and used a shield wall formation in battle Read more about the Anglo Saxon Warfare >>

Byzantine Warfare

The Byzantine army was a highly effective and efficient fighting force that trained specialised units to perform specific fighting tasks which was highly effective Read more about the Byzantine Warfare >>

Carolingian Warfare

The Carolingian army was a well armed and structured unit that had it's golden years in the under the great leadership of Charlemagne in the Age of Charlemagne Read more about the Carolingian Warfare >>

Destrier War Horse


The Destrier was a specific type of horse used in medieval times. It was typically used as a warhorse and during jousting competitions. Read more about the Destrier War Horse >>

Famous Castle Sieges

Most medieval castle sieges were prolonged and could take up many months to reach a decisive turn Read more about the Famous Castle Sieges >>

Knights Warfare

The Medieval knight began to ascend as the most important military body around the end of the early medieval period. Read more about the Knights Warfare >>

Medieval Navy

The navy was an important force especially in later medieval periods, the Arabs, Venetian, French, English and others had powerful navy fleets Read more about the Medieval Navy >>

Overcoming a Castle Moat

A Castle Moat was one of the best defenses and it was very hard to overcome this formidable obstacle Read more about the Overcoming a Castle Moat >>

Tudor Warfare

Henry VIII was a great military man, under his guidance Tudor Warfare became very advanced, he established a well trained and equipped army Read more about the Tudor Warfare >>

Under Siege – Purpose of a Castle Moat

Medieval Warfare and the 'Castle Moat' Why a Castle moat was needed in Medieval Warfare! Read more about the Under Siege – Purpose of a Castle Moat >>

Medieval Warfare History

The Medieval era was marked by wars throughout Europe. As a result, the art of warfare significantly evolved during this time. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, wars primarily depended on well-armed knights who were mounted on horses bred specifically for the battlefield.

In later Middle Ages, wars came to be heavily dependent on the infantry (foot-soldiers) with a smaller number of knights backing it.

This happened as a result of the rising costs of war. Similarly, fortifications during the medieval era became better and stronger as a defense against the improving art of siege warfare. This was one of the factors which led to the construction of stronger castles in different parts of medieval Europe.

Medieval Warfare Battles Batalla de rocroi por Augusto Ferrer Dalmau


Medieval Warfare Infantry

During the early period of the Middle Ages, infantry did not have an important role during actual battle. Wars primarily depended on horse-riding warriors and later, knights. These knights typically came from the aristocracy who made use of expensive equipment which they used to participate in battles and wars. Over time, this mode of warfare became too expensive to be affordable.

The need for a greater number of men led to the use of infantry (foot-soldiers) which comprised of peasants and common men. These foot-soldiers were clad lightly and made use of cheaper weapons. The trend caught on from the 14th century onwards and grew further as a result of the Black Death which resulted in a shortage of manpower. Crusades also encouraged the use of infantry since battles fought during the Crusades required a greater number of men to match the enemies armies.

Medieval Warfare – Knights

Knighthood in the medieval era began with Emperor Charlemagne. Mounted warriors of the 11th and 12th century proved very fruitful during wars. By the 12th century, knights were already a social class and formed the backbone of the warfare of that age. They usually served as vassals to a particular lord and bore his banner.

Knights were typically clad in Armour, equipped with expensive and well-made weapons and mounted on well-bred horses. In later Middle Ages, knighthood also came to be identified with chivalry and bravery. Crusades led to the creation of different Knight Orders which served Christianity and amassed significant powers.


Medieval Warfare – The Battle of Crecy Froissart

Medieval Warfare weapons

Different weapons were used in warfare during different eras of the Middle Ages. Usually, an army carried three types of weapons. One of them were wielded by the lords, nobles and knights who fought on horseback. The second type was used by the foot soldiers and archers. The third type of weaponry was used to lay siege to a city or a fort.

Among the weapons used during the era were the battle Axe, sword, war hammer, crossbow, halberd, pole Axe, spear, mace, bill-hook, long bow and jousting lance. The weapons used for laying siege included catapults, Ballista, battering ram, Mangonel, siege tower and Trebuchet. Knights usually limited themselves to the use of lances, swords and daggers. And the foot soldiers made use of most of the other weapons listed above.

Medieval Warfare Sieges

A number of siege techniques were used during medieval era to affect the collapse of a besieged enemy city or fortification. These included the mini