Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Caracole

There are few contemporary descriptions of the caracole. One, by the Englishman Digges, describing reiters attacking infantry methodically, is exceptionally clear:

“I well like the manner of the Germans, who keep always their main troop standing, and cause only one rank from the front to charge, and the same being repulsed to retire to the tail of the standing troop, and then another to charge and retire to the tail of the former, whereby they maintain the whole troop in full strength till they see the footmen sway or break, and that the horsemen enter. Then presently they back them with another rank, and those again with another, till they see cause either to follow with the whole troop or stay. And this is the surest and most orderly form of charging of all others.”

Digges wrote ca. 1579.

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