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"The Highland onset or charge" Topic

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Warspite129 Oct 2023 5:30 p.m. PST

A new film from SandRhoman looks at the impact of the Highland charge or onset:

YouTube link

Starting in the English Civil War period (at least) and arguably ending at Culloden in 1746 (or even later in the AWI) the onset was intended to get Highlanders armed with melee weapons through the range of enemy musketeers. So that means crossing around 200 metres or yards of running at high speed.

Sadly Mel Gibson got hold of the idea and used it in Braveheart! Not very medieval.


takeda33330 Oct 2023 9:25 a.m. PST

Great post! Thank you!

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2023 10:17 a.m. PST

Yes, indeed a great post and video.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2023 10:40 a.m. PST

Excellent analysis. I hadn't seen the "Outlander" charge sequence before and it was very dramatic.

Korvessa30 Oct 2023 4:26 p.m. PST

Seems like I read some place (possibly here on TMP) that the main reason they started doing it was they didn't have the ammo to get involved in a pro-longed firefight, so it was really their only option.

colkitto31 Oct 2023 2:00 a.m. PST

"An Irish officer named Alasdair MacColla"?

Grrrr …

42flanker31 Oct 2023 2:27 a.m. PST

"An officer of Scots-Gael heritage who led Irish troops in both in Scotland, and in Ireland where he was killed in 1647….."?

colkitto31 Oct 2023 3:05 p.m. PST

Much better. Born and raised in Scotland too: "a Scottish officer"?

42flanker31 Oct 2023 3:27 p.m. PST

Yep, born and raised in Scotland…. yass. Served quite a bit and died in Ireland… fighting for the cause of King and the true faith…

Henry Martini31 Oct 2023 6:43 p.m. PST

It's not just good old Mel: nearly every cinematic hysterical drama that depicts a battle, from antiquity to WW2, has the all the troops in both opposing armies, of whatever period and nationalities it features, launching usually mutual, more or less simultaneous, 'onsets'. It's Hollywood's visual 'battle' template.

Warspite120 Nov 2023 9:55 a.m. PST

@Henry Martini:
Regretably yes.
In my new book I discuss battlefield dynamics and suggest that hundreds of men spread out fighting 1-2-1 duels is NOT how they would have fought. Instead the men would cluster with friends, family, people from the same village, same guild, same retinue and fight as groups. They would protect each other's backs in the same way that fighter pilots do in a dogfight. This is another reason for liveries stand with the men who wear your colours and another reason for standards and banners. You cluster around the flag pole with your men and face down the other side. As a group.


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