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"West Frankish/Norman Breton Javelinmen" Topic

7 Posts

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589 hits since 12 Mar 2017
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Comments or corrections?

jeeves Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 8:44 a.m. PST

What do we know about these guys? I can't find anything online that indicates they were part of the Norman army at Hastings. What would they look like? Would many wear helmets? Would they just be something like Essex DGS9?

Jamesonsafari Inactive Member12 Mar 2017 9:19 a.m. PST

Well it's not like there were scales of issue and authorized kit.
Tunic, small shield. Coming from the lower classes probably not terribly well groomed either (so I'd not fuss on the Norman style haircut)

jeeves Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 9:26 a.m. PST

Thanks. DGS9 seems reasonable then.

Great War Ace Inactive Member12 Mar 2017 11:50 a.m. PST

I don't believe that there were dedicated javelinmen in Normandy, or NW France. Not like the bidets and Almughavars in Spain. Being of "Viking" descent, the "spear/javelin" was the most common weapon of infantry. It could be thrown. Carrying more than one was likely. Shields were "body shields", or typical "shield wall" size, not some smaller buckler.

jeeves Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 3:14 p.m. PST

Medieval Bretons were of Scandinavian descent?

Druzhina12 Mar 2017 10:36 p.m. PST
GurKhan13 Mar 2017 3:03 a.m. PST

I think that mentions of such javelinmen refer only to Bretons, or to Basques/Gascons in Aquitanian ("southern West Frankish") armies, and are largely hypothetical in this period: we know that Breton cavalry were javelin-throwers,at least in the 9th-10th centuries; and we know that 10th-11th century Breton armies had some infantry, but not much is known about them; and we know that there were some Breton bidower-style javelin infantry skirmishers in the 14th century; and therefore Breton infantry skirmishers with javelins in the 9th-10th centuries sound plausible. I'm not sure there has ever been any more solid evidence that that.

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