Saturday, December 19, 2009

Early Italian Wars: Ratio of Espingarderos to Ballesteros

Above: 10mm Conquistador Arquebusiers from Obelisk Miniatures These are suitable for the Italian Wars.

One of my projects this winter is to work-up scenarios for several battles of the Italian Wars and part of that is to return to the age-old question of the composition of the armies, particularly those of the Early Italian Wars and the campaigns in Naples.

An early, somewhat thorny problem is the ratio of espingarderos (hand-gunners and arquebusiers) to ballesteros (crossbowmen) in the Spanish expeditionary armies. Thorny because, while most of the time the Spanish tell us how many arquebusiers were part of a particular force, the crossbowmen were counted among the pikemen.

Working from several standard sources, I was able to determine the following ratios:

The ratio of firearms to crossbows in an Imperial force organized to fight the Hussites in 1431 was 1:1

The Emperor Maximilian eliminated the crossbow in the Imperial armies in 1507.

The ratio of espingarderos to ballesteros in some later armies of the Spanish Reconquest

1483 1:6 (handguns:crossbows)
1489 1:4

This data is quite interesting when compared to the ratio in Italy a few years later. In the space of a decade, the ratio is reversed. These were the first Spanish expeditionary armies organized on the new model.

1500: 4:1
1501: 3:1

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.