News update 19 June 2014

This is our news update of Thursday 19 June. Of special interest for me this week – aside from the crushing (but fortunately fairly peaceful) Dutch victory against Spain during the FIFA World Cup – is the fact that today marks the anniversary of the Battle of Methven, during which the Earl of Pembroke defeated the Robert the Bruce’s army. It was Robert’s first major defeat, and it would be its last for many years to come. In the following years, up until the Battle of Bannockburn, he would use guerilla tactics and a strategy of slowly razing castles held by the English to steadily (re)conquer the lands in the north, culminating in his major victory in 1314. Though the Battle of Methven is only mentioned a few times, you can read the current issue MW IV-3 for more information on the First War of Scottish independence.

Also of interest this past week:

- In 1215, 15 June, John Lackland puts his seal on the Magna Carta, thus giving the English nobles a large boost in power. John’s would almost completely disregard the document soon after, leading to the First Barons’ War. 

- During the second half of the fifteenth century, in 1462, Vlad III the Impaler tries to assassinate the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II during the famous Night Attack on 17 June. The Ottomans suffered thousands of losses, but Mehmed managed to escape, leaving Wallachia for the time being. In the long run, Vlad would be defeated by the political maneuvering of his brother. Mehmed’s campaign in Wallachia was one of his many campaigns after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to submit most of the Balkans and Greece, during which he even managed to invade Italy. His death put an end to Ottoman attacks for several years. Read our Medieval Warfare 2014 Special, about the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks.

- On 18 June, 1053, the Norman Count Humphrey and his army defeats the troops of Pope Leo IX at the Battle of Civitate. In the end, Leo’s mercenaries were no match for the three thousand horsemen of Humphrey and Robert Guiscard, even though especially the Swabian mercanaries managed to put up a good fight. For more information, MW I-4 focuses on the Normans in the Mediterranean, with a main article on the battle itself.

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