News update 30 June 2014

This is our news update of Monday 30 June. Today, 1221 years ago, the Duke of Milan nearly defeated a force of Swiss halberdiers, chasing them of the battlefield. The battle saw the Duke trying to overcome the halberd squares with his cavalry, but to no avail. But when he decided to dismount his men and attack on foot, the Swiss halberd proved no match for the longer pikes of the Milanese troops. For the Swiss, it was a wake-up call that the halberd, while effective against certain cavalry, certainly had its weaknesses. It would not take long for them to incorporate the pike as the main weapon in their squares, though alongside the halberd, which remained in use for quite some time. Read more about the battle in Medieval Warfare II-3. Moreover, Swiss units, tactics and victories will feature prominently in our upcoming issue Medieval Warfare IV-4, which will be out around the end of July.

Also of interest:

- A study a while back has determined that as much as 0.5 per cent of the World’s population might be related to the infamous Mongol war leader Genghis Khan. This was due to the fact that high-ranking Mongols were allowed to pick their share of women to rape. With so many local men having been killed, it is likely that quite a lot of people living in the former Mongol empire have some genetic ties to either Genghis, or another high-ranking Mongol. For more information, see this page. We do have one man living here in the Netherlands who claims to be a direct descendant, but even if true, this claim might not be as impressive as it may seem. 

- Tomorrow, 1 July, marks the 1462-year anniversary of the Battle of Taginae, during which the Byzantines under commander Narses defeated the Ostrogoth in Italy, mortally wounding King Totila in the process. He battle marked a short revival of Byzantine rule, but not soon thereafter, the Lombards would start a long war, which ended with most of Italy in their hands. One of our upcoming issues, Medieval Warfare IV-6 will focus on these Byzantine-Lombard Wars.

On a different note:

The people here at Zutphen, the city where Medieval Warfare has its office, have their own translation of floating fortress. You cannot deny them creativity, even if a hardcore historian cannot look at it without shaking his head.

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