Arms and the Man: how the Scots who bled with Wallace fought in Braveheart and in History

Gwynne F. T. Jones


Scotland's war of independence was, like most wars, decided militarily i.e. by the military success of Scots armies. The ability to raise armies to drive out the English was therefore crucial. In feudal times in most of Europe armies were normally raised and centred on the feudal landholding nobility. In Scotland in the abnormal period of Wallace's career many or most of the nobility were not strongly, if at all, committed to the cause that Wallace championed. This fact greatly affected the composition and armament of the Scots forces in Wallace's battles. In consequence two things were necessary-popular support and making do without the normal contingent of mounted nobles, often the most important and sometimes even the largest part of a medieval army.

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