Sunday, February 11, 2007

Charny's Questions on War, #31

Another question posed in the 1350s by the French knight Geoffroi de Charny:

31. Charny asks:

A captain of men at arms rides out in the field and orders some of his scouts to see the situation of his enemies who are in the field; and there are a sufficient number of these scouts. And at the approach of their enemies one party of their enemies pursues them faster than they can go; and the scouts retreat from their enemies and are able to retreat without loss. So there are some of the scouts who turn back and meet their enemies, and perform arms like good people should; and others retreat to their captain and make their report. Which of these are to be more valued and praised: those who went back to their lord or those who are captured?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was scout in the Swiss army and the orders were clear, like in every army: we had to turn back.
So, those who turned back are to be valued.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Ken Mondschein said...

Military discipline was essential, even in the Middle Ages (no matter what Oman says). If knights had to restrain themselves from breaking formation to charge Saracens, then scouts should report back to their commanders.

2:19 PM  

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