All the while, everyone must take care to avoiding bunching up, and the fighters must arrange themselves to support each other spears with shieldmen, etc. When reinforcing outside groups under attack, groups should stick together, and not only head for the point of attack but move to extend your line and if possible wrap around the enemy flank. Similarly, when your parallel columns run into a small group blocking the way, the outside groups should automatically head around the enemy flanks to catch them from behind while the center group attacks or screens.
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After attacks the survivors need to quickly reform into their groups, and the leader may have to reorganize the subunits to compensate for casualties. Large groups should also be drilled for many other situations, such as deploying for attack to the right or left, left or right wheel turns, one group breaking off to screen, etc.
Just as each fighter needs to be trained to use the woods to his advantage, leaders need to learn how to spot and use the opportunities that the woods provide.
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The best teacher is experience, and leadings squads in small unit melees is an excellent place to start learning. A good leader will keep in mind the objective of the melee, terrain, the condition, skill, and weapons of his fighters, and the quality of the enemy.
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Large unit commanders will also have to keep track of where his subunits are, and how to keep in touch with them. For Calontir to improve its woods battle performance in the future, we need to develop a training program which will improve the skills of individuals, small groups, large groups, and leaders. I hope that local groups will experiment with drills and let others especially me or other members of the War College know what works best.
Note: Though there are Archery Huscarls The Boga-Hirth , I have not had much interaction with members of the Order and have also heard less of their opinions on what they think a Huscarl is. This article mainly refers to the fighting order as that is where my experience and point of reference comes from. Any Boga-Hirth or anyone else for that matter that feels compelled to submit an addendum to this article is more that welcome to do so! When I wrote What is a Fyrdman of Calontir?
I had been a Fyrdman for some time and thought I had an idea of how to answer that question, so I tried but its worth mentioning that even since then some of my views have changed on that subject;. Anyway, I have less experience as a Huscarl but I will try to answer the question to the best of my knowledge. This time around I will be using more points made by others than the last time thought.
Over the months that I have been a Huscarl I have tried to listen very carefully to the message when this subject is brought up. From various emails and personal conversations I hope to convey the things that I gained from those interactions. Lets get the easy stuff out of the way first. When asked this question most folks fall back to Kingdom Law. Kingdom law states:. There shall exist within the Kingdom of Calontir a system by which recognition is given to fighters and archers through titles that reflect their skill as fighters or archers, and as representatives of Calontir.
The higher rank is that of Huscarl of the Hirth of Calontir.
An individual may qualify and be granted membership by the Crown in both branches of the Hirth. Any such elevation shall be proclaimed by the Crown to the populace at an official Court of the Kingdom of Calontir or upon the field of honor. Elevation to the Hirth shall confer upon the recipient a Grant of Arms and shall entitle such individual to all rights, privileges, and ensigns, attendant thereto. Membership in the Hirth shall assure the recipient, according to seniority, of a position in the Calontir Order of Precedence before those Grants of Arms not given with any Order, but after the Kingdom Great Officers.
The Hirth may adopt, by approval of the Crown and by mutual consent, such rules for its internal governance as the Hirth may find useful, such bylaws not being in conflict with the Laws and Traditions of Calontir. The fighter must also have demonstrated support for the Calontir army during inter kingdom-level conflicts. Other qualifications considered shall include leadership, activity level and teaching.
Said individual must also always display unquestionable honor both on and off the field. Huscarls of the Iren-Hirth may bear the badge of the Iren-Hirth, emblazoned: Per chevron embattled sable and argent, two battle-axes in saltire argent and a Cross of Calatrava purpure. The archer must also have demonstrated support for the Calontir army during inter kingdom-level conflicts.
Perhaps we could look to the origins of the Order to see if that helps.
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Alrighty then, now that we got the law and our origins out of the way, lets look at some of the more common stereo types that Huscarls get labeled with:. I have personally have always hated that damn bar fight thing but I understand the comparison. I believe that there is a certain attitude that a Huscarl is not only permitted to cop, but should be expected to have. A Huscarl should stride the land in size 22 boots with the attitude of dangerous greatness — and it should not necessarily be expected to see high culture or civility in them though they should be expected to possess chivalry, most definitely.
These, after all, are not the graceful masters of the deadly dance, they are more like the Bradley armored vehicle of the medieval army — style to hell, but gets the job done every time without need for concern. While this belief is great an expresses how many of us feel, there surely has to be more and while I am more than willing to accept any of the above monikers I am also wanting to dig deeper for a connection to our Historical counterparts. Some may not need to do so but I have a desire to do so and I know others do too.
As with the Historical Fyrd, the historical Huscarls evolved as time passed, so I guess the biggest hurdle to overcome is to determine whether we are talking about the Old Norse meaning of the word or the meaning as applied to how it was used by the English Military thanks to Cnut, who introduced them to England. My idea of what a Huscarl is embodies a little of both with a dash of a few extra things throw in there;. It is from its Old English meaning that we gets the vision of the grizzled seasoned veteran serving his liege lord.
They were the ones who carried unpopular edicts or messages to or collected taxes from the population. They were supposed to be courteous and protective towards loyal subjects but ruthless towards his enemies.
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In war their function was as bodyguards, but given the Norse tradition of leading from the front, they, and the King, would be first into action and last to leave it. These are the professional soldiers that we so easily identify with today and as said before it is Cnut that we owe thanks to this visage. No matter what visage of Huscarl either ON or OE the common over-riding quality seems to have been loyalty. On a whimsical note, some people have even suggested that the Huscarls were organized in a similar manner as the Jomsvikings. Add these things to their treatment of women as non-equals and you see that nothing is gained by comparing the Order to them!
OK, back on topic, we have determine that the Historical Huscarls were known for their loyalty, I think this aspect is also a key factor in the Huscarls of Calontir also so we do gain from comparing the two. I personally see the Order as a combination of the two ON and OE but with a few extras to boot, more on that later.
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So I guess we are getting closer to an answer but I think we are still needing more to round this picture out. So in the interest of comparisons I have heard and been part of several conversation which compared Huscarls with Knights. Vernadsky, The Mongols and Russia: p. In the prince's cabinet in the Mongol period were boyar heads of the administrative departments of the princely domains and other major boyars.
Prior to this, the dvoriane were not part of the council. The boyars included both service and non-service aristocracy and made up the Boyar Duma that advised the sovereign.
The dvoriane were the gentry, educated commoners, central treasury secretaries diaki whose functions evolved as the central bureaucracy grew into separate administrative boards, prikazy or izby and came to be members of the Duma only later in the Muscovite period as the dumnye dvoriane. In the Kievan Period, the boyars were entitled to sit on the prince's council, unlike the junior druzhina who were only invited in special circumstances. Similarly, in Mongol and Muscovite period the boyars were members of the "Boyar Duma" boiarskaia duma , while the dvoriane were only allowed in towards the end of Muscovite period.
This is similar to the position of the Peers in the SCA who are explicitly expected to counsel the Crown, while our lower nobility perform that function to a more limited extent. Soloviev states during the period of , the Kievan period, that "Into the composition of the druzhina entered also the personal servants of the prince… the so-called otroki, detskie, and pasynki [literally, adolescents, children, stepsons, respectively], who naturally were divided again into senior and junior, or lesser.
Thus the druzhina consisted of three parts: boyars, grid'by, and pasynki The third division of the druzhina, the sluzhna, princely servants living with him in his home, in the north began to have the name dvora, dvorianin. Soloviev states regarding the period of , the Mongol period, that "The junior druzhina… in general carried the names of slug [servant] and dvoriane: but in the majority of the records the component parts of the junior druzhina are separated, and the first place here, second after the boyars, is occupied by the deti boiarskie [literally, boyars children]….
The second division of the junior druzhina was made up of the so-called slugi [servants], slugi volnye [free-will servants], liudi dvernye [door people] The lowest level of this group was the beekeepers, gardeners, hound keepers, beaver catchers, etc. The lesser gentry was being further developed out of petty landowners and princely servitors, some of whom were called deti boyarskie and others, dvoriane.
In the Kievan period as in the Muscovite period, the boyars of the senior druzhina were protected by up to five times the fine of the junior nobles. These fines indicate the significant divide between the senior druzhina and the junior druzhina, i. My sources indicate that they were appointed for the most part from the boyar class, and so I would propose that they, along with the Bestowed Peers, be allowed to use the title of boiarin.
They were advisors of the prince and occupied the highest military and civil posts - posadnik, tysiatski, voevoda. According to Vernadsky in Kievan Russia, p. These were plum assignments esp.
The princes and boyars also had to participate in campaigns when ordered and expected to receive command posts, i. As recognized in the November LoAR, the title boiarin is clearly superior to dvorianin. From the above, it is clear that through the three main periods of medieval Russian history, the boyars are an upper level of society with various inferior noble ranks between them and the dvoriane. Unlike the dvoriane, the boyars could freely switch allegiance to a different ruler, much as our Peers can move to any kingdom and retain full participation in their orders.
The boyars, unlike the dvoriane, served as the close advisors of the Russian sovereign, while in the SCA, the Peerage orders are charged with advising the Crown more explicitly than our lower orders of nobility. The holders of the baronial titles of posadnik and voevoda in period Russia were members of the boyarstvo, only rarely from the dvorianstvo. Feminine form of Boiarin. The form is also attested in Lomonosov. It is also attested in Lomonosov. It was affirmed in the November LoAR as a period title superior to Dvorianina, without committing to the question of whether it should be reserved for the Peerage and Baronetcy.
See discussion under Item 4: Knight. It was affirmed in the November LoAR as a period title superior to Dvorianin, without committing on the question of whether it should be reserved for the Peerage and Baronetcy. Their original service to the grand prince was military and included administrative functions in times of peace. As stated by Kovalevsky, the boiare made up the "knightly class" of medieval Russia. Through the three main periods of medieval Russian history, the boyars are an upper level of society with various inferior noble ranks between them and the dvoriane.
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