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Celtic Revolt 1298AD

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  • Celtic Revolt 1298AD

    As Edward 1 you are in big trouble? What do you do?

    No Stirling Bridge 1297?

    In 1297 England was on the verge of civil war. Edward 1 was taxing the nation excessively to pay for his Welsh, Scottish and French campaigns. He also wishes to crusade again. What if Stirling Bridge does not happen?

    Edward 1 had been upsetting everyone by 1297. The Welsh had been trampled on, the Scots invaded and the settlers in Ireland taxed harshly. He had few friends. Worse was that England was about to go the route of the rest and rebel.

    Stirling Bridge galvinised English nationalism enough to allow Edward 1 to raise a tax to re invade Scotland. What if Mr Wallace had to wait a year before his chance to use an army?

    While England is on the verge of civil war Wallace strikes south in 1298AD. He takes York. Seizing their chance, the Welsh rebel, and Wallace decides to join forces, as do many Irish.

    The Rebels are strong in several areas.

    Their main infantry force would consist of Scottish schiltron flanked by Welsh longbowmen (as with the Scots set up at Falkirk 1298AD, but obviously with more archers).

    They have several strong peltast type of troops ( Irish kerns and Welsh spearmen and Scots Clansmen) capable of ambushing, skirmishing, or causing a retreat into a route (Bannockburn 1314).

    The Celts have few elite troops, but the few they have are pretty decent. Welsh Princes, Scottish Lords and Irish Gallowglass are reletively few in number, but could easily turn a flank, plug a gap or charge a unsupported archer unit.

    Advantages
    As Edward 1 and with this threat you have been granted, effectively, an unlimited money supply (within reason). Further, every Knight in England and the Welsh Marches has joined your cause for glory (and the promise of land).

    Man for man few in the Celt alliance could defeat your knights.

    Your foot is not that good. Man for man the current Celt is better than the current Saxon in melee. Since 1066, the English peasants have not been allowed to practise, or carry arms, except bows. In previous campaigns these foot have deserted at the first opportunity. However, you can conscript double the enemy number in foot alone.

    Mercenaries are willing to flock to your banner. You have money, and as a former Crusader, the Pope likes you, and the best will be willing to serve.

    Spies and castles. Logistics is not a problem and you can determine where you fight. The enemy chooses where they fight on any battlesite you choose.

    One Big Problem
    To save face due to almost civil war circumstances, you must defeat them on the battlefield, and not by any other means.

    What do you do?
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  • #2
    No ideas anyone because if the English are not careful they will have a battle like Crecy on their hands but be on the losing side.
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    • #3
      It's not the Celts/Gaels who Edward has to worry about, it's his Barons. As long as they remain on side then he can continue his aggressive policies unhindered. After all, much as the Scots like to obscure the fact, Robert the Bruce was as much (if not more) an English Baron as he was a Scottish patriot.
      Signing out.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
        It's not the Celts/Gaels who Edward has to worry about, it's his Barons. As long as they remain on side then he can continue his aggressive policies unhindered. After all, much as the Scots like to obscure the fact, Robert the Bruce was as much (if not more) an English Baron as he was a Scottish patriot.
        Yes in part, and that is why he needs a victory on the battlefield. The second element is the justification for the funds received. Nothing but a crushing victory will do or he may find himself in the same position as his son after Bannockburn.
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        • #5
          Wallace needs help; he just doesn't have the numbers. Could he have sought assistance from outside, like the Danes, maybe? Would France have considered assisting in any way? Wallace needs to be able to threaten an overwhelming victory to bring Edward to the negotiating table.

          As long as the barons think Edward will win, they will continue to support him. However, if there is a hint that he might lose big, they would certainly have forced him to make peace. What Wallace had to do was find a way to create a sufficiently large enough threat to make the barons (and Edward) think twice. He couldn't do that with the even the most optimistic forces available to him.

          On the other hand, if he could have somehow captured Edward, he could have forced Edward to grant terms.

          Those are the only options I see available to him.

          But suppose Wallace DOES win a negotiated peace from a position of strength; what happens to Britain going forward? The biggest enemy the Scots had was themselves! If Wallace wins, but the clans go back to fighting among themselves the victory will be short-lived and this would be just a short detour in the normal British history. However, if the Scots can maintain their independence lots of opportunities for variations emerge!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bubblehead View Post
            However, if the Scots can maintain their independence lots of opportunities for variations emerge!
            Hmmm, given the economic and demographic advantages the English possess any variations are going to be minor. The attitude towards Scotland between Bannockburn and Culloden seems to have been one of strained tolerance, allowing the occasional piece of sabre rattling or the odd foray onto English soil (usually crushed pretty quickly) because subduing the Clans was too costly and in any case they were as likely to be fighting each other as the English.
            Signing out.

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            • #7
              The thread is about Edward 1 and what he should do to defeat the rebels as he would see them. Almost certainly he would have to defeat them in battle to save face.
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              • #8
                Surely giving battle is what the rebels don't want to do. The English are just far too powerful and Edward a commander of considerable. The smart tactic is to hit and run thus wearing down the English forces and/or their will to fight. For Edward it's a matter of establishing strongholds and building castles which will be controlled by his most trusted fiefs. As long as the barons have income and status they will remain loyal and if they can maintain order in their fiefdoms they will get what they want. Edward I was far too clever a strategist to play it any other way. A coordinated (although how this could be achieved is questionable) series of guerilla-style strikes by the Celts might give him a headache but if Edward is true to form he, together with his barons, will just cut a bloody swathe through the rebellious regions. It's telling that Edward II's downfall can be directly attributed to his preference to spending money on his foppish favourites rather than supporting the barons who held down the marginal regions. A few key defections and a catastrophic (but predictable) loss of authority later, the English were defeated at Bannockburn and Edward set for a painful encounter with a red hot poker!
                Signing out.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                  Surely giving battle is what the rebels don't want to do. The English are just far too powerful and Edward a commander of considerable. The smart tactic is to hit and run thus wearing down the English forces and/or their will to fight. For Edward it's a matter of establishing strongholds and building castles which will be controlled by his most trusted fiefs. As long as the barons have income and status they will remain loyal and if they can maintain order in their fiefdoms they will get what they want. Edward I was far too clever a strategist to play it any other way. A coordinated (although how this could be achieved is questionable) series of guerilla-style strikes by the Celts might give him a headache but if Edward is true to form he, together with his barons, will just cut a bloody swathe through the rebellious regions. It's telling that Edward II's downfall can be directly attributed to his preference to spending money on his foppish favourites rather than supporting the barons who held down the marginal regions. A few key defections and a catastrophic (but predictable) loss of authority later, the English were defeated at Bannockburn and Edward set for a painful encounter with a red hot poker!
                  Probably not imo . In this scenario England was on the verge of a hot civil war with no Stirling Bridge in 1297. Edwards attempts at acquiring monies by any means to prove himself the rightful king had almost brought rebellion amongst almost every landowner in England in that year. With a disjointed England on the verge of war with itself it is not too difficult to imagine a charismatic leader such as Wallace galvinising his men to destroy one more English army. And Edwards forces would be uncannily like the French forces at Crecy, as he used mercenary crossbowmen to compensate for the poor quality of his foot.

                  So that is what this thread is about. The enemy has say 15000 troops, of which 5000 are Scots spears, 5000 Welsh longbows, 4000 lighter warband and skirmisher types and 1000 extremely decent knights and heavy foot.

                  Edward is likely to be able to bring double that amount in infantry alone, albeit of very poor quality, plus 5000 or so crossbowmen and around 2500 Knights or more.

                  You need to fight. Money means intel (ie turncoats and spies) is yours and can likely choose the type battleground, although as the enemy is generally more mobile they will choose where to locate themselves on that battlefield.

                  I am now a believer Edward 2 died of natural causes .
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                  • #10
                    I just don't see it frankly. Welsh resistance has been crushed, apart from the odd bunch of close-harmony singers and a few creatures that might be men or might be sheep (yes I know, a cheap shot with a bit of Blackadder thrown in for good measure. But Baaaaaaa as Lord Melchett might say). The last rebellion was 1294-5 and it was ruthlessly put down by Edward in person. Which leaves us with the situation more or less as it was historically but without the minor reverse that was Stirling Bridge.
                    Signing out.

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                    • #11
                      Welsh resistance was not crushed, and continued to rebel well into the 14th century. They were also able to field hundreds of longbowmen for Edward 1 in 1298. Having plenty of Welsh longbowmen supporting Scottish spearmen providing there is a charismatic leader is perfectly feasible. A Wallace being delayed by only 1 year certainly makes it a possible what if .
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                      • #12
                        Not one possibilty ? The French could have won at Crecy, you could win here .
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