what was the point of castles

you often hear people say the point of castles was so that when the attacking army comes marching through and starts capturing cities and land and whatnot, that they dont want to leave castles behind them because the soliders in the castle would be able to mess with their supply lines and conduct raids on them from behind, BUT i just learned that castles only held like 30 fricking dudes. what are 30 guys gonna do if you just fricking ignore them and march on by? So i ask again, why not just ignore enemy castles? even if you ignored 3 castles, thats 90 men, and if you have an army of 15,000 they cant do fricking shit, let alone re-capture cities and lands you now hold.

Im asking this because i've been trying to do research for an upcoming session where the party is going to take part in a siege, i thought the castle would have like 6,000 duded protecting it, but here i am, learning that castles had like 10-20 jabronis

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  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    15000 would be a very large host, and that would contain a substantial tail of camp followers. Most incursions would be much smaller raiding-type operations where 30 dudes could realistically frick with their supplies at night.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >30 dudes go out and do a raid
      >accidentally get caught by a contingent of several hundred horsemen scouts and get killed
      >free castle to take with no siege
      Something here seriously isn’t right.

      If you only had 30 dudes you wouldn’t risk them on moronic raids against a massive host of 20k men, especially when they have all sorts of mounted scout units

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        5 people is enough for a fairly large raid.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        In practice, those pickets are a lot more porous, especially when they aren't local and there's no Google Maps.

        And if the column has to slow down enough to stop the prostitutes and wagons from getting stolen by the defenders, the small garrison has basically done their job. And even a house with some wood walls, not even a good castle, is going to be a significant pain in the ass to take. Did you not bring ladders? good luck trying to climb a 10-foot fence while hungry and suffering from a bad case of the shits while someone is trying to stab you with a blade on a stick.

        The balance of power shits with the Italian Wars and that period, but that's a different story.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >several hundred horsemen scouts and get killed
        that's not really how scouts work. that's a raiding party and a pretty significant one.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        raids of 5-10 men ambush supply lines that are mostly just people carrying good with very few guards, they rarely ever encounter large military forces because they learn where these are and avoid them getting to the supplies before they reach their destination

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Supply lines like that didn’t exist though during the medieval era. There was a baggage train which was filled with THOUSANDS of people grouped together.

          Medieval armies didn’t have supply lines where they had people delivering supplies to them. If they ran out of supplies in their baggage train they’d go “forage” aka raid the frick out of whatever land they inhabit.

          There Would
          Be no opportunity for 30 men to ambush anything even agaisnt an army of 2000 lol

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      First like said, 15.000 men is not the normal number for your average campaign. This number is used to attack a city or fight the other army.
      Castles main reason were mostly toll and controll over the area, like police stations. And even if they had 90 men means partisan attacks or spying on your troop movements.
      So to avoid any interfering from your enemy and gain controll of that area, you take the castle.

      These videos might be for you.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      One would be lucky if the number of camp followers was just the same as the army. It could be 2 to 3 times greater. One of the reasons Alexander managed good strategic mobility was by making the followers as small and organized as possible, roughly 1:1 I think.

      Also correct me if I’m werong, but it seems like sieges of cities during, say the 1400’s, would indeed have up to tens of thousands of defenders sometimes, I read Constantinople had around 10k defending it, but it seems castles are maxed out at like 2k.

      Constantinople was a very unique case, where they needed more defenders to properly garrison the walls, but the city itself was partially empty and ruined.

      yes, they estimate up to 500000 based on herodotus's claims of two million. the persians had a long history of combined naval and land operations and were capable of maintaining those kinds of supply lines over sea

      I only ever found 100.000 in one battlefield, and likely limited by a couple days before the supply lines are overstretched. China managed more than that, but it was due to 1 or more whole river/channel fleets manned by about 2 to 3 times the number of fighting men. And rice being more calories-packed.

      >All the sources I can find say it was 100 to 150 thousand at its peak.
      Then your dumb as frick because the first result on google is this brittanica article
      https://www.britannica.com/biography/Xerxes-I
      And the same numbers also appear on wikipedia. If you had even a highschool level understanding of it you'd know the theory that herodotus mistranslated his sources and got some figures wrong, causing him to be off by a factor of 10. You'd also know that there are some fringe historians who believe it was possible to field 2 million or even more, but 500k best illustrates my point that size can be life in a battle but death in a campaign. An army you cant supply is not an army.

      360.000 men doesn't all of them are fighters. The whole army passing thoruhg a place will include camp followers. Check numbers of specific battlefields, and check the sources. Britannica doesn't list them, and while wikipedia does, it mixes several, one of which is a fricking Osprey book with a dead link, of all things. Osprey hires non-historian "experts" and constantly gets pre-modern things wrong. The other books I can't comment because I wasn't able to borrow them right now.

      >Why not just throw bodies at the castle and take like 2000 casualties to just btfo the defenders super quick
      >Have army of 30,000
      >Lose 2000 men taking a castle
      >Ten miles down the road bump into another castle and waste 2k men taking it
      >After advancing
      >After advancing 50 miles a third of your army is dead from combat alone

      It will take less than 50 miles, because a third will die of overshitting themselves on the way.

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >i just learned that castles only held like 30 fricking dudes
    This is false, they could garrison WAAAYYY more men than that.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The median castle was a big wooden house with a wooden wall. It probably rotted away..

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        You know there's MANY different kinds of castles, and there were more simple versions of such before more complex, larger ones.... the way almost every gods damned thing in the world works, right?

        RIGHT?

        Frick me, i bet you're a 5e player.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yes, but a lot of castle didn't survive. A lot of fiefs weren't huge. And a house with a wall does the job for a lot of scenarios.

          The big stone castles were the most likely to stand the test of time, but that was far from the most common fortification.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Got any examples for me? I want to believe.

      Most castles were actually quite small. Armies did go around castles but medieval armies tended to be so small that leaving a host of knights and a handful of men-at-arms to your rear could be a serious tactical blunder. The larger castles that took years to siege could hold hundreds of men.

      Even then, how would a few hundred men cause any damage to a host of say, 30 frickin thousand. And how would sieges take so long? Why not just throw bodies at the castle and take like 2000 casualties to just btfo the defenders super quick

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Why not just throw bodies at the castle and take like 2000 casualties to just btfo the defenders super quick
        Anon.. This isnt China..

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The Chinese numbers are more the result of logistics chains being counted as soldiers. In truth, you had a proportionately similar amount of actual fighting men, so say, a seemingly huge army of 30,000 might be 4000 cavalry and the thousands of men supporting and supplying them and their horses.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Its probably more that they rouse up the local peasants to help expel the invaders after they have passed by, so its a matter of the locals being mobilized against you in addition to a few armed men

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Even then, how would a few hundred men cause any damage to a host of say, 30 frickin thousand. And how would sieges take so long? Why not just throw bodies at the castle and take like 2000 casualties to just btfo the defenders super quick

        A motte-and-bailey with 50 armsmen isn't holding off the King of France's personal army of 3000 knights and 10000 men-at-arms, but it can be a big problem for the Count of Ou-le-Putain, his 10 knights, 20 men at arms, and 40 peasants.

        Little castles are good against little armies, big castles against big armies.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        What fricking armies are you talking about where you can march 30k fighting men AND they will remain loyal and effective after watching you waste 2k of them for nothing?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Jihadists promised the pleasures of Jannah

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Medieval European Armies consisting of 30,000 men are unicorns and were sub-divided rather than marching around as a big mob. Most people in the medieval period didn’t have the logistics necessary to support armies that large for any considerable period of time.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        In time of danger or war, the troops in these castles would be increased. In the summer of 1165 Henry II used Oswestry Castle as his base for a campaign against Owain Gwynedd (an unsuccessful campaign), and during this summer 200 soldiers were stationed at Oswestry and Knockyn Castles.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >how would a few hundred men cause any damage to a host of say, 30 frickin thousand. And how would sieges take so long?
        Well, to start. Sieges were not typically conducted by 30,000 men and were monstrously expensive to maintain. Where are you pulling these numbers from?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          No see just get 30000 men and run them head first at a 20m tall stone wall. A man is only about 20cm thick laying flat, but you only need about 1000 men up and 5 men wide to ramp up and capture the castle. A fortification that took 40 years to build is captured in hours and you still have 25000 men remaining

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Your 25000 remaining peasants have only seconds to comprehend that they are now surrounded within the castle walls by the local lord and his 10,000 men-at-arms in full plate before being cut down like the low born riff raff they are. Such arrogance!

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Fricks he gonna do? Im safe in the castle

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          > 120,000 (al-Mas'udi)
          >1,800 ships (Theophanes)
          >15,000 Byzantines
          Arab siege of Constantinople

          Ottoman siege of Constantinople is pic related

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Chuds in this thread be like
            >nooo you can’t waste 1,000 men to capture a super important castle

            Meanwhile irl the ottomans spent up to 50,000 to take Constantinople, and up to 18,000 in the first fricking day

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Constantinople is a walled city-state, the predecessor of the castle. Its traditional to throw thousands of men to their deaths for those

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                That’s not what people replying said. They implied that if you let a single man at arms in full harness die in a siege thay your army would turn agaisnt you and rape you to death, so that’s the reason kings would sit there for 4 years to besiege a fort of 14 men

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                I can't believe I even wasted time arguing with a disingenuous homosexual like you who is going to reframe everything to match your asinine worldview instead of actually reading.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >the predecessor of the castle
                Walled city states and castles/fortresses/fortified lordly residences continually existed alongside each other for roughly a thousand years, and then some.

                To simplify a bit, you would usually have villages in the countryside, and the local noble who ruled them lived in his castle and administered from there. Then you would have large walled cities that were the real heart of trade and government, which were ruled by kings and more influential nobles (such as dukes and princes).

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >nooo you can’t waste 1,000 men to capture a super important castle
              And if homosexual OP had said "super important castle" and not "castle containing like, 30 dudes", that would be an accurate description of the conversation and not a moronic strawman put forth by an actual moron.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            So, let's recap. Anon says:
            >Sieges were not typically conducted by 30,000 men
            and then you mentally replace
            >typically
            with
            >never
            and pretend that you can win by demonstrating that one of the largest sieges in history up to that point was bigger than the typical siege. Good job, much smart.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Dishonest homosexual. I give a specific hypothetical of a siege with 15k and you say
              >didn’t happen chud
              I prove it did, indeed happen
              >not typical chud
              Never claimed it was. Now do you have any rebuttle to the actual point, or are you going to be even more disingenuous

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                NTA also but

                >how would a few hundred men cause any damage to a host of say, 30 frickin thousand. And how would sieges take so long?
                Well, to start. Sieges were not typically conducted by 30,000 men and were monstrously expensive to maintain. Where are you pulling these numbers from?

                >typically
                Anon did start off saying sieges were typically not conducted by 30k troops. So your being a bit of disingenuous c**t.

                Got any examples for me? I want to believe.
                [...]
                Even then, how would a few hundred men cause any damage to a host of say, 30 frickin thousand. And how would sieges take so long? Why not just throw bodies at the castle and take like 2000 casualties to just btfo the defenders super quick

                To answer you here, generals who did have large hosts didn't waste time capturing every small fortification along the way unless it was strategically valuable (or they did if they had a specific agenda). A few days wasted knocking out a small wood fort with 50 dudes in it was a few days letting your enemy muster/maneuver their own forces against you. Castles were also designed to allow a much smaller force holding the castle to inflict a very high degree of casualties.

                > 120,000 (al-Mas'udi)
                >1,800 ships (Theophanes)
                >15,000 Byzantines
                Arab siege of Constantinople

                Ottoman siege of Constantinople is pic related

                >ummm let me cherrypick one of the largest sieges in history that's actually not even supportive of my point.
                These are two large forces pitted against one another so its not 30 dudes in a castle. Constantinople was the most well fortified city in the world and the heart of an empire, with multiple layers of massive walls. This wasn't a castle.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Also you literally asked where I’m pulling this numbers from, so I told you exactly where I’m pulling these numbers from, and I was actually incredibly conservative with my numbers relative to the multiple sieges of Constantinople

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            constantinople was not a castle. it was a city with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants. try again.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >sieges were not conducted with 15,000 men, where are you getting these number?
              We weren’t talking about castles in specific, try again and learn 2 read. People can talk about stuff not directly in the OP

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Hilarious how badly you've misquoted that in an attempt to support your own argument.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Why not just throw bodies at the castle and take like 2000 casualties to just btfo the defenders super quick
        >Have army of 30,000
        >Lose 2000 men taking a castle
        >Ten miles down the road bump into another castle and waste 2k men taking it
        >After advancing
        >After advancing 50 miles a third of your army is dead from combat alone

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Thats basically what JeanˋD Arc did.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          That’s a good point actually, that I didn’t consider. When you’re going to be taking a shit load of forts, you can’t really afford to burn off thousands of men each time.

          Still, were there no epic castle battles of thousands of defenders holding a castle (not a city)? Did castles really have just a few hundred max, or in exceptional cases like krak de chevaliers, 1200??

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            A castle's defence is a force multiplier, you don't need to be 1:1 to hold it, you can do so with a much smaller force. That's kind of the whole point.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              I understand that, but 30 vs thousands seems insane. Also if you know, how big typically were the sieging armies, of said the early to mid 15tj century

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Larger castles were recorded to have garrisons in the low hundreds, but with how dense castle construction was and the actual size of castles (most castles were actually pretty small) it didn’t make much sense to have 5000 men sitting in a castle under siege, eating up limited supplies and possibly shortening the siege when you could have them divided between 100 castles which can control far more territory and would require far more men to siege down.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Why didn't medieval rulers simply savescum until they won?

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          It was considered unchivalrous to play without Ironman.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Because Medieval European Nobility was rife with disloyalty and opportunism, and there was always the threat of sedition. The kind of ruler that sends a thousands of men to their deaths wont be a ruler for long, with a few notable exceptions to this rule. Even discounting revolt from the ruling class, the commoners can almost just walk away, Europe is big and you can't go running after every deserter AND fight the enemy army. Oh, you did remember that the enemy army is still out there, right? While you just spend 2000 men to kill 200 and advance up the road a few miles, the defending force has had that much more time to muster, maneuver, and take stock of the situation.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Yes they could garrison way more
      They also could be held by very small garrisons
      In the siege of Stirling castle in 1304 there were supposedly only 30 defenders against an army of thousands.
      Most fortifications would only be garrisoned by a skeleton crew 99% of the time.

      https://i.imgur.com/IHSiXpD.jpg

      you often hear people say the point of castles was so that when the attacking army comes marching through and starts capturing cities and land and whatnot, that they dont want to leave castles behind them because the soliders in the castle would be able to mess with their supply lines and conduct raids on them from behind, BUT i just learned that castles only held like 30 fricking dudes. what are 30 guys gonna do if you just fricking ignore them and march on by? So i ask again, why not just ignore enemy castles? even if you ignored 3 castles, thats 90 men, and if you have an army of 15,000 they cant do fricking shit, let alone re-capture cities and lands you now hold.

      Im asking this because i've been trying to do research for an upcoming session where the party is going to take part in a siege, i thought the castle would have like 6,000 duded protecting it, but here i am, learning that castles had like 10-20 jabronis

      So the threat of 30 dudes holding a castle that you decided to just march past isn't only the 30 dudes, it's the fact that enemy reinforcements have a safe place to gather, a supply hub, a command center (remember all communications are being carried by riders), et cetera.
      It probably overlooks some of the only maintained roads in the area if there are any. Same with river crossings.
      Plus if you don't have 30 dudes in a fortification then your town can be raided by a small band of brigands instead of taking at least hundreds.

      Supply lines like that didn’t exist though during the medieval era. There was a baggage train which was filled with THOUSANDS of people grouped together.

      Medieval armies didn’t have supply lines where they had people delivering supplies to them. If they ran out of supplies in their baggage train they’d go “forage” aka raid the frick out of whatever land they inhabit.

      There Would
      Be no opportunity for 30 men to ambush anything even agaisnt an army of 2000 lol

      Pre-modern baggage trains were an absolute mess and were always targets of harassment by small groups of skirmishers. Armies were spread out over kilometers, there's a billion things you need to do that require sending people away from the main troop body. A secure and cohesive troop formation is the exception.

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    https://acoup.blog/2021/12/10/collections-fortification-part-iii-castling/

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    You garrison the castle when you get word an enemy army is invading. It was hard to sneak up on anybody with a massive army trudging on foot across the wilderness. They certainly couldn't outrun a messenger on a horse.

    Also, the king and all the important government officials live in the castle. Nobody will believe you're the new king until you off those guys. Castles also served as a place for the surrounding villagers/farmers to hide in while the enemy was pillaging their land.

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Most castles were actually quite small. Armies did go around castles but medieval armies tended to be so small that leaving a host of knights and a handful of men-at-arms to your rear could be a serious tactical blunder. The larger castles that took years to siege could hold hundreds of men.

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Also correct me if I’m werong, but it seems like sieges of cities during, say the 1400’s, would indeed have up to tens of thousands of defenders sometimes, I read Constantinople had around 10k defending it, but it seems castles are maxed out at like 2k.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      The same goes for castles. There would be big battles in front of the castle between armies. But obviously OP is moronic and decent medieval castles held way more than 30 guys. He probably read they would have 30 men garrisoned there in perpetuity, then the castle would be reinforced if it was sieged.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Then where the frick does the reinforcement come from if they're surrounded by 20k men if they can only house 100 men in the castle? Underground tunnels? doubt Europeans had that technology yet.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I don't think any medieval sieges actually involved 20,000 soldiers. Maybe towards the renaissance, but by then castles were increasingly irrelevant. The siege of Chateau Gaillard, one of the biggest, had an attacking army of 6500-8500, a garrison force of ~100, and the defenders sent a relieving force of 8000-10000.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I specifically mentioned the 15tj century, I am talking about that time. So I was right and castles are useless ?

            Medieval European Armies consisting of 30,000 men are unicorns and were sub-divided rather than marching around as a big mob. Most people in the medieval period didn’t have the logistics necessary to support armies that large for any considerable period of time.

            It wasn’t very rare during the later stages of the 100 years war and the ottomans sieged Constantinople with that many people lol

            >how would a few hundred men cause any damage to a host of say, 30 frickin thousand. And how would sieges take so long?
            Well, to start. Sieges were not typically conducted by 30,000 men and were monstrously expensive to maintain. Where are you pulling these numbers from?

            See my previous two points broski

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              > 120,000 (al-Mas'udi)
              >1,800 ships (Theophanes)
              >15,000 Byzantines
              Arab siege of Constantinople

              Ottoman siege of Constantinople is pic related

              Anon, are you actually trying to compare the siege of one of the largest cities on the planet, in a part of the world where the traditions and infrastructure of the Roman Empire never fully disappeared as remotely indicative of typically Western European warfare?

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >I specifically mentioned the 15tj century, I am talking about that time So I was right and castles are useless ?
              Yes, castles were made obsolete by the invention of cannons, you moron mongoloid.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Were they? Looking how urban warfare went as late as WWII, even howitzers that are in service today had one hell of a time breaching them while the defenders were able to use the machine gun to make castles rain even more death on the attackers.
                Look up the Battle of Castle Itter.

                I think the true death knell of the castle was precision bombing from the air.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                They weren’t at all. Star forts were a big fricking deal, and the napoleonic wars had epic fort battles, and thats when cannons were getting GOOD

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Castles were still defensible hardpoints, but they weren't *economically* viable to make any more of for the cost it took to destroy them, when much cheaper (and uglier, less comfy) fortifications like bunkers and trenches could be mustered for comparable result.

                That one crusader castle, Krak des Chevaliers, that one's been used as a refuge for armies even today.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >100 guys in a castle
            Wtf are they going to do to an army of 8,000 if the army of 8,000 simply ignores them and marches on to an important city
            Oh nooooo 100 men are attacking us from behind !!!!!

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          You aren't instantly surrounded. A runner went out on a horse when the enemy army crossed into your borders and you garrisoned the castle. It took weeks to march an army on foot across Europe.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Then where the frick does the reinforcement come from if they're surrounded by 20k men if they can only house 100 men in the castle? Underground tunnels? doubt Europeans had that technology yet
          lol
          Reinforcements came from outside the castle. The number of dudes permanently stationed in castles was relatively low, the number of dudes who could be called to arms in a 2-week period from your allies and vassals was relatively a lot higher, that's what made it a good defensive model.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Well now you're holding an army 20000 strong in place with 100 dudes, that's good news for the king while he's marching his own main force around

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          And how do you propose to gather 20k men and march them to that castle WITHOUT word getting to the castle weeks in advance causing it being fully garrisoned by the time you get there some months later?

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Once you realize the majority of ancient combat was just a couple hundred dudes beating eachother to death in a field after carpooling for 6 months to get there it makes it more simple as to why they would 100% want to stop and take over every castle. Plus castles usually have women and food inside

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    remember that castles developed after the western world largely abandoned the large army model. the persians bringing half a million soldiers all the way from asia minor to frick you up wasnt as realistic a concern. also remember that the persians lost that war not at thermopylae against the spartans but at salamis, a naval battle where the greeks destroyed the huge fleet delivering the persian army's supplies of food (among other things).

    if you have only 30 dudes in a castle, thats 30 dudes who can chuck a torch into the back of a wagon and deny you uncountable tonnes of grain.

    you should also consider that the small castles were from a time when the monolithic roman empire had only recently collapsed, and old roman villas had to convert to fortifiable structures before some barbarian lord rolled in and decided your lands were his lands now. he doesnt need more than 30 dudes to pull that off either, just to show up, kill you and subdue the populace. better to have yourself and your 30 dudes safe from pre-emptive attack AND retaliation if you decide to make a grab. its also somewhere you can consolidate resources like grain in the case of famines or sieges where you'd need to host most of your pesants too.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >the persians bringing half a million soldiers all the way from asia minor to frick you up wasnt as realistic a concern
      Many modern historians seriously doubt the army numbers cited by ancient historians. Ancient historians were known to lie and flat-out make shit up, and mobilizing, arming, and feeding that many people on the move, on foot, to wage war is virtually impossible given the historical circumstances.
      Archeological evidence doesn't seem to support it either.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        yes, they estimate up to 500000 based on herodotus's claims of two million. the persians had a long history of combined naval and land operations and were capable of maintaining those kinds of supply lines over sea

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >they estimate up to 500000
          Who's "they?" All the sources I can find say it was 100 to 150 thousand at its peak.
          The entire Roman legion was just 400k, and that was spread out over the whole empire, with far better agriculture and infrastructure.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >All the sources I can find say it was 100 to 150 thousand at its peak.
            Then your dumb as frick because the first result on google is this brittanica article
            https://www.britannica.com/biography/Xerxes-I
            And the same numbers also appear on wikipedia. If you had even a highschool level understanding of it you'd know the theory that herodotus mistranslated his sources and got some figures wrong, causing him to be off by a factor of 10. You'd also know that there are some fringe historians who believe it was possible to field 2 million or even more, but 500k best illustrates my point that size can be life in a battle but death in a campaign. An army you cant supply is not an army.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              That says 360k, not 500k.
              And Wikipedia?
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae
              Says 120k to 300k, not 500k. Other sources all lean towards 100-200k.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Persian_invasion_of_Greece
                Consider that the entire persian army was not simultaneously at one battle when the entire strategy revolved around a second, different battle somewhere else
                But even if we pretend they were, 360k is more than double your

                >they estimate up to 500000
                Who's "they?" All the sources I can find say it was 100 to 150 thousand at its peak.
                The entire Roman legion was just 400k, and that was spread out over the whole empire, with far better agriculture and infrastructure.

                claim of 150k peak, so...

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >more than double.. claim of 150k peak
                Fair.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        This irks me a lot with ancient history in particular. People make up stuff today where we can still verify it. How much of ancient history is blatant fiction really. How do we know the battle of Thermopylae wasn't a literal slaughter, and then Sparta made shit up to save face after the war.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Well we do have multiple sources for that. Athenians weren't the biggest fans of Sparta, but they admitted Sparta played a vital role.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Athenians weren't the biggest fans of Sparta, but they admitted Sparta played a vital role.

            It's widely believed by historians that the Athenians played up the Spartans' military prowess so that the Athenians seemed less shitty when they lost to Sparta and more impressive when they won.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Yeah, they did beat the Spartans a whole lot, for such allegedly amazing warriors.

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Protecting your townsfolk and the farmers from the countryside is literally the first thing on your list of duties as a noble, and a castle was how you did that. When northmen, rival nobles, or whatever other danger came marauding, your people would seek shelter inside your castle walls. If you couldn't protect them, you weren't really a lord. That's why a noble almost always had a castle, a keep, a fort, or some other fortification.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It's a place to keep your shit. Ikea copied this from castles and storage ears copied ikea.

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >be landowning noble with peasants renting and working your fields
    >no phones, so if an enemy invades they might literally just show up on the horizon with no warning

    therefore
    >you decide to live in a big stone house where you can invite all your servants and friends inside and then shut the door while the enemy scampers around outside

    >but here i am, learning that castles had like 10-20 jabronis
    that's the garrison - just security guards in peace time.
    during a siege, ALL the men inside a castle can take a weapon from the armory and fight, or huck rocks off the battlements to keep the enemy from fricking with the walls.

    The people inside a castle during a siege may also include a lord's knights and locals who have been occasionally drilled for combat and therefore qualify as soldiers.

  12. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    This thread could have saved a lot of time if OP started with 'obviously, HBO's understanding of medieval warfare is completely correct, and I went through public school so have no idea how numbers work'

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Imagine them as safe houses for your extralegal tax collectors in a society where everybody can do their taxes in their heads.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Tax was in labour, you work for the lord a few days a week on the lord's fields. You also paid some things yearly that were generally fixed sums (a goose at christmas for example), and you got some fixed allowances in return (an ammount of cloth per person, ect). Anything else is on a per use basis (bridge tolls, mills, ect)

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Inflation was real, so landowners eventually started charging extra taxes or taking in people who went around charging "extra taxes", which they in turn paid to the landowner as a sort of rent.
        Second and third sons coming together in England to act as bandits within their parent's fiefs wasn't just young men horsing around.

  14. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >i just learned that castles only held like 30 fricking dudes.
    continue learning, you arent there yet

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Can’t find any numbers about that castle anywhere. I’d love to know how many defenders were at the 1423 siege but I can’t find shit

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        start counting

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous
        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          That’s not a valid source, and even then I see less then 100 people

  15. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Castles are supply hubs. It is a place where you can safely accumulate the rations and weapons of your army. Building a castle can be seen as an hostile intens for this reason because you are facilitating an invasion.

  16. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    > all castles look one way! They have a set amount of people!

    > It has nothing to do with available resources and labour, the size of the standing army of a region, the size of the town or city, it's influence and wealth and power, the time period, defensible terrain, upkeep, culture's historic architectural style...

    >No, it has nothing to do with any of that shit, it's just this one way, because OP did the base, rank minimum effort of research on one castle form one time period in one place.

    You can't begin to understand how much I hope you choke on a dick. I'm envisioning the gross glugging sound you make as you fight for air but inevitably fail and froth around the veiny shaft.

  17. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    just to confuse the OP, this is a castle too

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      That toilet is a huge security risk.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Toilets are often a weak spot in the defense, yeah.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Take the goblinpill, hoard your feces on the roof, boil it if you see enemies coming.

  18. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    During the age of castles 15,000 man armies basically didn't exist outside of major subcontinent sized empires that had mustered together all their forces and they couldn't march the army very far from rivers because it would be a logistical nightmare to keep it supplied otherwise so castles were able to easily dominate the necessary routes armies had to take.

    Whenever you have a stupid question about history, stop and remind yourself that people in the past were not dumber than people today - and in fact in many regards they were much smarter. They didn't do things for stupid or illogical reasons, and you not understanding why they did things the way they did means you're the dumb one, not them.

  19. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    A castle allows you to permanently station men in an area you want to keep.
    If an army goes through without taking your castle, you still have men maintaining your authority and get to keep the area.
    If however they want to take the area off you, they have to take your castle. Luckily for you, besieging a castle is incredibly expensive.

  20. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    [...]

    I mean, it wouldn't be the only time.
    There's a letter that recounts a battle where Thomas-Alexandre Dumas got a whole line of Prussians to drop their loaded rifles and surrender just by charging at them. 10+ based german ubermensch couldn't stand the sight of one black man charging at them with a saber and woodcutter's axe in hands and decided to give up.
    The man also turned around one of the biggest military blunder France got itself into (les Colonnes Infernales)... I mean, amongst many others.

  21. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The most moronic thread up on /tg/ right now.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      It is, but sadly no one has even been able to answer the OP.

  22. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    My home town was a castle.
    Lady Christabella Wyndham of the castle heard that Cromwells army had arrived and that Cromwell himself was outside the gate. She marched herself up to the battlements, exposed her breast to the parlimentarian forces and swore that the breast that gave suck to the young king would never bow to parlimentarians. She seized a gun from one of her men and took a shot at Cromwell. She missed him by a few feet, killing Robert Fairfaxes son, who was Cromwells aide de camp. She then wrote a letter to Robert Fairfax telling him that the shot that killed his son was a gift and that a gentlemen would return the favour, or roughly translated "Come at me bro."

    Cromwell was a little b***h boy and had the castle dismantled.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      assuming you mean Bridgewater and Thomas Fairfax not Robert, most of that story is full or crap

      But Cromwell did slight many castles and the ECW is another great period of actual Early Modern armies really struggling with sieges. see: Basing, Corfe and quite a few others

  23. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The real point of castles was to give barons the power to do whatever they wanted. Sure the king could muster an army to storm it or siege it down, but it was a costly pain in the ass.

  24. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Harfleur

    >lost 50% of their men after a month
    >had to use another 30% of the remainder to secure the garrison
    >this was considered a victory

    yes they went on to win agincourt and the french are shit but shows how even in the early renaissance sieges were fricked, and this is post-cannons they had a whole siege train with them

    earlier would have been even more terrible

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >the french are shit
      lol way to out yourself for a miltary lorelet

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        only in terms of that specific campaign and completely fricking it at Agincourt

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Everyone fricked at least one campaign beyond saving point, if not many. Everyone. The French generally terrorized Europe. Spaniards in particular thought Frenchmen were the most violent and warlike race out there.

  25. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    SO-

    Remember there's no such thing as a centralized army in the middle ages. Kingdoms are poor, and they don't have the bureaucracy to effectively tax shit. So the way to get around, say, the vikings going around and taking your shit was to have the wealthy families pay for their own arms and armor to go fight the bad guys (knights).

    But remember- these aren't professional soldiers. These are wealthy aristocrats who are the only guys to afford their own armor. They aren't garrisoning the castle, they LIVE there. It's THEIR land they are defending, and THEIR home that'll be looted by the enemy (say vikings). Castles weren't built necessarily to achieve military goals (though that did happen) they were built because the family wanted to build walls to protect their own homes during wars.

    Secondly- while a castle might have only had about thirty men on average to defend the walls, the attackers only had so many men too. And it's easier to defend than attack, especially if you built the castles right. You can just keep throwing arrows or whatever other shit you have on hand at where the army has camped while they have a hard time shooting back at you thanks to the castle walls. Really the only avenue of attack would be the main gatehouse, and that's if you get past the moat or drawbridge, and the gatehouse is therefore the most well defended part of the castle. Plus- many castles had multiple layers of defence, meaning they would have to assault the walls not just once, but several times.
    (cont.)

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Lastly; It should be noted assaults were very rare for these reasons. But so were protracted sieges. Most sieges actually ended in negotiation, because he attackers didn't want to attack, and the defenders didn't want to starve to death over the next several months (which was much easier than assaulting the castle directly). Usually in exchange for letting everyone go free you'd just hand the castle over to the enemy, the exceptions tended to be when for strategic purposes it had to be held, or the defenders expected relief to come soon.

  26. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    this one looks like it holds way more than 30 guys

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