The Alienage
All Things Relating to Trade, Shipping, and Commodities

Feudal Military Tactics

Feudal Tactics


  1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of feudalism.
  2. Of or relating to lands held in fee or to the holding of such lands.


In warfare, the art and science of fighting battles. It is concerned with the approach to combat, placement of troops, use made of weapons, vehicles, ships, or aircraft, and execution of movements for attack or defense. In general, tactics deal with the problems encountered in actual fighting. Tactical thinking attempts to coordinate personnel with the existing weapons technology and apply both to the terrain and enemy forces in a way that uses the fighting force to best advantage. Deployment involves placing each type of weapon where it can do the most damage to the enemy or provide the most protection to one's own forces. Timing and direction of attack are also important considerations. At sea, direction was especially crucial in the era of wind-powered warships. In recent wars, timing has been a crucial factor in mounting airborne strikes that take advantage of the element of surprise.

How feudal armies approached the art of war was vastly different from how eastern European and Asian forces fought and significantly different from the way armies of antiquity fought. The biggest change in tactics over this period being in the use of horse troops. Infantry forces operated much in the same manner as they had since the time of Charlemagne with some adaptations here and there to take into account the appearance of armored horse troops.

As I stated on the home page I will base my descriptions of medieval tactics on those of medieval Europe between 1066 and 1250.

To assist the reader in seeing how I came up with my descriptions and conclusions I have included the historical references I relied on; however, since the Hârnic material is very sparse on tactics I have not reference anything from these sources.