Medieval Military

Throughout the Medieval Period of roughly 1000 years there were numerous battles and the Military became more advanced as the period Progressed, the Medieval Military from the 6th century would have had absolutely no chance of beating the Medieval Military of the 13th and 14th Century for example as the weaponry had advanced so much.

Battles were very well planned out and orgainised affairs in later medieval times and you needed different Military Men for different jobs, longbowmen for example could almost win a battle on their own when used in large tightly packed formations and were dominant in several medieval Battles such as the battle of Crécy.


Cataphract Cavalry Soldier

Cataphract cavalry soldiers were commonly used as a heavy assault force, both the Cataphract soldier and his horse were covered in scale type plate armour similar to that of later medieval knights. Read more about the Cataphract >>

English longbowmen

English Longbowmen fire on French enemy

English longbowmen were in demand throughout Europe as they were highly effective soldiers. English Longbowmen could be highly paid mercenaries. Read more about the English longbowmen >>


Janissaries Soldiers in Uniform

The medieval Janissary were troops that protected the Turkish Sultan in the Ottoman Empire during medieval times Read more about the Janissary >>


Mamluk Cavalry Soldier

The Mamluks were owned slaves who were fearsome warriors, Mamluks were bought and imported by the Ayyubid Sultan Al Salih Ayyub. Mamluks were held in high esteem due to their fighting capabilities. Read more about the Mamluks >>

Medieval Archers

Medieval archer using longbow

Medieval Archers such as crossbowmen and longbowmen were an important element of medieval armies. Medieval archers were well trained and had a specific job do do during medieval battles and conflicts. Read more about the Medieval Archers >>

Medieval Cavalry

Mamluk Cavalry in combat

Medieval cavalry were well trained and armed mounted soldiers, medieval cavalry were not as heavily armoured as medieval knights but were an effective fighting force. Read more about the Medieval Cavalry >>

Medieval Crossbowmen

Medieval Crossbowmen

Medieval crossbows were much easier to use than longbows, medieval crossbowmen could be trained quickly and could load their weapons quickly Read more about the Medieval Crossbowmen >>

Medieval Foot Soldiers

Medieval foot soldiers were dominated by medieval knights, however this changed when their weapons improved and new fighting tactics were invented Read more about the Medieval Foot Soldiers >>

Medieval Housecarls

Medieval Housecarls in Battle

Medieval Housecarls were medieval bodyguards and servants to nobility and wealthy families in medieval times Read more about the Medieval Housecarls >>

Medieval Lancer

Cavalry Medieval Lancer Formations

Medieval lancers were popular Medieval soldiers, they were mounted cavalry and used long spear or pole type weapons to charge at enemy soldiers. A medieval lancer was an important part of any Medieval army. Read more about the Medieval Lancer >>

Medieval Longbowmen

Medieval Longbowmen Firing Arrows

Longbowmen were popular footsoldiers and were a devastating fighting force when large numbers were packed into tightly packed formations Read more about the Medieval Longbowmen >>

Medieval soldiers

Medieval Soldiers Pikemen

Medieval Soldiers of many types were needed in medieval times Longbowmen, archers, footsoldiers, crossbowmen and Halberdiers are just some of the medieval soldiers that made up the arsenal of a medieval army. Read more about the Medieval soldiers >>

Swiss Mercenaries

Swiss mercenaries Landsknecht soldiers

Medieval Swiss mercenaries were well paid and usually hired by French Kings to fight for their armies. Medieval Swiss mercenaries were well trained and in demand throughout Europe for their fighting skills. Read more about the Swiss Mercenaries >>

Landsknects Medieval Soldiers

Medieval Landsknects

Medieval Landsknects were colorful but formidable soldiers

The Landsknects were a pretty scary bunch, they often dressed in colourful outfits and were easy to spot. The Landsknect originated in Germany as mercenary soldiers and were individually and collectively a formidable fighting machine, armed with huge two handed swords that could easily cut a man half and Pikes which were very long sturdy spears, The Landsknect also had gun powder weapons called a arquebus.

The Landsknect were winning battles in Medieval times from around the end of the 15th century and the end of the medieval period to the end of 16th century, they were also known as Pikemen due to the long wooden Pikes that they used in different formations and were well versed in battle techniques such as square formations that were introduced by the Swiss military.

Pikes were also used to provide tactical assistance to other Pike-men who were using other weapons, one of their main skills was in bringing down Knights on horse back who could not penetrate their Pike formations, and this made the Knights ineffective in battle as they were unable to get at the enemy.

Musketeers Military arrived in 1368 – Medieval Times

Many films have been made about Musketeers such as the three musketeers and they are very well known military men, These films were mainly about the French Musketeers of King Louis who were not around until 1622 however Medieval Musketeers were around as early as 1368 in the Medieval period. Muskets were invented in China and were popular in Medieval Europe, changing the way battles were fought and giving armies a huge advantage in the field of battle.

Medieval Soldier loading a Crossbow

Medieval Crossbowmen Loading up a crossbow

Crossbowmen important military men

Crossbowmen were very important medieval soldiers and part of the infantry force, the crossbow was an important invention just like the gun that replaced it and they were widely used in Medieval battles.

There are records of crossbowmen up to around the 15th century in the Battle of Hastings. Where hand bows took years of strength training crossbowmen could be trained in weeks, not only this but crossbows were quicker and had more power as they could release more kinetic energy, as a result crossbowmen could fire arrows quickly that could penetrate body Armour.

Crossbowmen were very important to an army and the rank of commanding officer of the crossbowmen was a high ranking position. Medieval Knights really did have problems if they came up against the combined forces of Pikemen and Crossbowmen, the pikemen formations would stop horses in their tracks and the crossbow men could then fire their armour penetrating shots in rapid succession.

Longbowmen a decisive military weapon

Even more effective than crossbowmen were Longbowmen who could win a war against all odds such was their destructive force, you could think of longbowmen as the machine gunner of the Medieval Times, longbows allowed Longbow men to fire armour penetrating bodkin arrows over massive distances, over half a mile in properly trained hands, and they had the power to knock a heavy Knight off his horse.

The longbowmen needed to be very strong as 200lbs of force was created when the weapon was loaded, it was probably one of the best inventions of the 1300’s and helped to change history. An experienced longbowman could let off around 20 shots a minute. The Longbow really came into it’s own in the battle of Crécy where it helped a small army of 12,000 English troops (half were Longbowmen) defeat the French who had a force of around 40,000. It is believed that the longbowmen killed over 12000 crossbowmen alone in that Medieval battle.

Lancers – Bring on the Military Cavalry

In Medieval Times A lancer was a well trained and heavily armoured cavalryman who used a lance, they were similar to medieval knights, years of fighting helped them develop their skill and their armour was adapted to be more flexible and advanced. Just like early Medieval Knights they were fearsome foes and fearless in battle.

A Medieval army attacks

A well armed medieval army with infantry and longbowmen


Like Lancers Dragoons were also members of the Calvary. They were highly trained and skilful on a horse, the name Dragoon means mounted infantry. In Medieval Times Spanish Dragoons were fearless fighters that would ride into battle, but unlike many Medieval fighters on horseback they also carried light and easy to handle muskets which gave them awesome fighting capabilities.

Calvary Archers

Calvary Archers were well trained and able to shoot an arrow with amazing accuracy whilst riding a horse at the same time.


Was a Medieval officer who was in charge of the army or garrison, the constable also was in charge of the army in the Kings absence so this was a very demanding and important role.


Man in charge of twenty infantry in medieval England, these twenty would have been freeman not knights and were drafted into the army.

Man-at-Arms (also Yeoman)

A soldier who provided military service in return for land, A Yeoman most often owned land but could have been attendants or guards for example

Foot Soldiers

Foot soldiers were soldiers that fought on foot and were not mounted. There were different types of foot soldier as described above, a footsoldier was usually a person of military skill or experience who fought for a reward usually money for the medieval Lord.


A sergeant would have been a loyal servant to the Lord and would go into battle for him, but was considered to be of a lower status than most trained and professional fighters and they would often be used as light Calvary, they often did menial jobs as well such as serving wine and making bow and arrows. As we can see there was a wide range of Medieval Military men needed to be successful in battle, some would have been more important than others, but the most important thing was that all these different military men played their part and made the army as a whole an effective fighting force. The Medieval Military was an important tool for the King of the day and helped him to conquer other lands and to protect his own kingdom.

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