The theme of knights and Middle Ages, perhaps, remains one of the most popular in the film industry. Anyone who is a historian or at least interested in the past will immediately say that the image of medieval reality in films and TV series is such that leads to the idea that the writers have not penetrated at all into the era about which they wrote. This is especially true for the image of warfare: on the battlefield, a duel suddenly takes place, and the European fighters fight with Asian weapons.
Team “Fire!” before the start of the battle
Although the archers sometimes fired fire, they have never heard the famous team.
Though the archers sometimes fired fire, they have never heard the famous command.
One of the strangest gadflies that historians note in medieval battle movies is the “Fire!” team, which was addressed to the archers’ squads. There is no logic in this exclamation, because the only adequate condition under which it is appropriate is the use of firearms. In addition, with the appearance of the last bow was almost immediately pushed out of the battlefield, and before that “Fire!” no one, of course, did not shout.
Mongolian Bows at the European Archers
How does a Scandinavian cartoon princess have Mongolian onions?
Many people pay attention to this inaccuracy, but the reason for it remains unclear to most of us. Thus, in movies and soap operas you can often see a medieval knight or just archers, who dashingly shoot at… curved Mongolian bows.
In fairness it should be clarified that in the same gaffe with the wrong weapons can be found another one: the real European knights were very cool to the bow, and it was not used everywhere. As for the choice of Mongolian onions instead of the straight one, which is historically correct, the aesthetic side plays a decisive role. Asian nomads’ bows are simply prettier than their Western counterparts, and, besides, they are not so cumbersome and long, and therefore look better in the frame.
The duels between the warriors during the battle scenes
A duel in the heat of battle between armies is not the best solution.
Almost always in the movie battle scenes you can see the characters as if on command they are paired and fight as if it were not a large-scale battle between the huge troops, but a chamber duel in the field. This scenario and director’s move is quite understandable – it is better to focus on individual characters or certain events that occur in the heat of battle.
But the medieval commanders, if they saw a modern film about their time, would categorically not accept such tactics, because in real life it would be devastating, and in principle unlikely. In fact, a thousand years ago during the offensive, the most important rule was to keep the line and prevent the enemy from breaking through. Given the peculiarities of military affairs and weapons development, at that time such tactics were the most effective, in contrast to a series of duels.
Archer vs. swordsman
The medieval warrior was well versed in one type of weapon, not sprayed on many.
Sometimes in the movies about medieval events you can find a very original scene, when the knights face the larvae, and the latter dashingly pull out swords and tie up. long beautiful battle. In reality, such a development would be simply impossible: the fact that an experienced swordsman in close combat will hit the archer for several strikes, and archers – professionals in shooting, and the former knight with a sword of due selection simply can not give.
Weapons are not of the age
From the historical point of view, there should not be a two-handed sword in most films at all.
Another typical gaffe from cinematographers is the use of weapons that do not belong to the period of history in which the plot develops. A vivid example of such a discrepancy is the two-handed sword – you can see it in most films about medieval wars or just events of that time. Of course, the directors can be understood, because this weapon impresses the viewer with its size, power and beauty.
Only in reality, most of the plots would do without it: the fact is that the two-handed sword became very popular only in the late Middle Ages, that is, in the 14th century. And this possibility was given not because of its convenience, but because the gunsmiths needed something to respond to the armor reinforcement.
Shooting with fire arrows
Fire arrows in life were used much less often than in the movies.
In many movies, fire arrows are used in almost every battle. And they are fired at both infantrymen and horsemen. But in reality, such tactics simply do not make sense.
Any military historian will say that the fire arrows have a rather narrow specialization – they set fire to wooden structures or the fleet, as well as siege weapons. Against the cavalry, and even more so, the infantry, they will be absolutely useless.
Unbelievably fleeting siege
It is painfully fast in the movies to take the siege of the fortress.
In the film, the siege of the medieval fortification is strikingly fast, as is the assault after. In fact, the images of this process requires rather a need for an impressive picture and limited timekeeping of the picture.
In the Middle Ages, the siege of the fortress was a common course during the war. But most often it lasted for months and sometimes even years. If you try to use “cinematic” tactics, the attackers will not only not take the fortress, but also lose a huge number of people.
Battle to the last soldier
300 Spartans are almost the only example of the appropriate use of this technique.
In all serious and decisive battles in the movies, the troops are fighting to the last of their soldiers. This is how the plot is filled with pathos and drama. But in reality, the warlords were guided by pragmatic considerations, so such tactics would never be used.
It is important to understand that the fight, which is called before the victory, especially with the threat to lose the entire army – is the top of ill-conceived and irresponsible. In reality, the commander-in-chief will never allow his army to be exterminated just to win one battle. Therefore, often such battles ended in retreat or the surrender of fortifications, and no more than half of the army was killed.