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to discover solutions to the considerable practical problems which the process of re-learning Classical drill and tactics involved. The Dutch also had the necessary funds to keep an army in being long enough to train it in these new theories.

There were two key areas of change: the drill used to make units more responsive and manoeuvrable, and the more complex tactics which could be used by an army as a result. The new drill was taken particularly from the writings of Claudius Aelianus and used a standard system for five important aspects of drill: Distance, Facings, Doublings, Countermarches and Wheelings. The introduction of Countermarches was especially important in the development of firepower as it allowed the introduction of a system whereby each rank of musketeers fired in succession before retiring to the rear of the unit to reload. It would be wrong to suggest that the Dutch were alone in making military experiments; the Spanish, for example, had certainly been making some in volley firing. The advantage of Maurice's reforms, however, was the introduction of a complete integrated drill system for the Dutch army, something none of its contemporaries possessed.

The tactical styles introduced by Prince Maurice radically changed the face of the Dutch army with a re-organisation into smaller units termed 'bat-talians'. These were drawn up in a much shallower battle formation, ten ranks deep rather than the 40 or more found in the Tercios of their Spanish opponents. Perhaps the most far-reaching change was the tactical formation introduced for the army as a whole. Instead of the massive blocks of men used by the Spanish, Prince Maurice introduced a far more flexible system of triple battle lines based on the model of the Republican Roman triplex acies.

These reforms made the Dutch army a potentially more effective force. They certainly needed the advantage, since although the tactical style of the Tercios was basic in comparison with the Dutch battalions, the Spanish soldiers were veterans, and successful veterans at that. Prince Maurice was by no means a rash commander, and preferred manoeuvre and siegecraft to the risks of a pitched battle. The only major confrontation took place at Nieuport, the result of his reluctant but successful effort to rctieve the siege of Ostend in 1600; but this battle was fought in such unusual conditions that his success proved little for or against his new tactical style. It did show, however, that the new level of training and discipline Prince Maurice introduced had improved the standard of his soldiers.

Although there was no battlefield success to support his new theories, Prince Maurice's reforms caused contemporaries to reconsider the whole basis of their military thinking. The new Dutch practice was widely adopted in Protestant Europe, and the German princes sent representatives to John of Nassau's new military academy at Siegen. There was, perhaps, an excess of enthusiasm for the minutiae of the new drill; but the style of training inevitably produced more responsive soldiers and more manoeuvrable tactical units.

Catholic Europe remained unconvinced of the value of the new Dutch theories, particularly since the German princes who adopted them still fared dismally against the Tercios. Even so, Spanish military theorists saw the value of smaller units and by 1630 they had introduced shallower formations—although still not as shallow as the Dutch. The Tercios retained strongly offensive tactics but even in their reduced size their deep formations were still wasteful of manpower and lacked manoeuvrability. The Dutch style, on the other hand, made belter use of firepower but was essentially defensive. The offensive quality of the

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Maurice Nassau

The new military styles introduced by the Dutch leader Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange were inspired by his extensive reading of Classical Roman and Greek texts. The illustrations here show the Roman Triplex Acies from a 17th century translation of Caesar's Gallic Wars (left); and a contemporary view of the Battle of Nieuport (right). This shows the Dutch 'Princes Battel1 drawn up in the new style, and the Spanish Army in more massive but less manouevrable Tercios. (Author's collection, as are all other illustrations not otherwise credited.)

The new military styles introduced by the Dutch leader Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange were inspired by his extensive reading of Classical Roman and Greek texts. The illustrations here show the Roman Triplex Acies from a 17th century translation of Caesar's Gallic Wars (left); and a contemporary view of the Battle of Nieuport (right). This shows the Dutch 'Princes Battel1 drawn up in the new style, and the Spanish Army in more massive but less manouevrable Tercios. (Author's collection, as are all other illustrations not otherwise credited.)

cavalry of both sides had deteriorated with their use of the pistol rather than the sword as a primary weapon.

The controversy remained undecided until the Protestant champion Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, intervened to support the cause of the Protestant princes against the Catholic Habsburg emperor. Gustavus led an army whose organisation and tactics were based upon the new Dutch style, but which had been considerably developed by his own innovative ideas and his campagn experience in Eastern Europe. Gustavus introduced a new formation, the 'Swedish Brigade', a battle group of three or four mutually supporting squadrons. This formation required a still higher ratio of officers (both commissioned and non-commissioned) to men, higher levels of organisation and continuous training; but it was effective both offensively and defensively.

The chief tactical aim of the Swedish system was the combination of mobility, firepower and offensive action. The depth of infantry formations was reduced to six ranks, and these could be reduced still further for musketeers by bringing the rear three ranks alongside the front three and firing all together in a single great 'salvee'. This massive volley would be accompanied by the fire of the light artillery pieces Gustavus introduced, and would be immediately followed by an attack intended to destroy an opponent reeling from the shock.

Swedish cavalry were trained according to the same three principles. Most West European cavalry

A diagram from William Barrifle's manual Military Discipline or the Young Artilleryman. This shows a Company of Foot practising continuous fire; once the front line has fired it retires to the rear to reload, allowing the next rank to fire in its turn.

Front of Pikes. The Horn.battel.

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VU /l rg l he Fr ml mmj relied on their pistols as a primary weapon and used the 'caracole' whereby each rank fired, then retired to reload. The Swedish charged home using their swords as the primary weapon and the pistol as secondary. This return to strongly offensive action was the result of Gustavus' campaign experience fighting Polish cavalry, and gave him a strong advantage until his opponents copicd it. This advantage was increased by another innovation: the Swedish practice of mixing detached bodies of musketeers with cavalry squadrons to give fire support immediately before they charged.

Drill Masters and Drill Books

The English were introduced to the new Dutch style through their involvement as mercenaries or allies of the Dutch in their war of independence against Spain. One of the earliest works in this style to be printed in English was John Bingham's The Tactiks of Aelian in 1616. Bingham's comment in his introduction expressed the English view of the time: 'The practice of Aelian's precepts have long lien wrapped up in darkness, and buried (as it were) in the ruins of time, until it was revived, and restored to light not long since in the United Provinces of the Low-Countries, which Countries this day are the Schoole of war, whither the most Martiall spirits of Europe resort to lay down the apprenticeship of their service in Armes, and it was revived by the direction of that Heroicall Prince Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange'.

As an Appendix to his work Bingham added a copy of Prince Maurice's basic infantry instructions, The Exercise of the English in the service of the high and mighty Lords, the Lords of the Estates of the United Provinces in the Low Countries. This Dutch drill, indeed this actual manual, formed the basis of English drill from this time until the outbreak of the Civil War. It was used in 1623 as part of the new drill manual intended to turn the Trained Bands into a new and better 'Exact Militia' and can be found printed nearly verbatim in a manual printed for general

A closer view of Dutch infantry drawn up in three supporting lines. The Dutch military styles dominated English military thought at the outbreak of the Civil War.

publication in 1641 (The Exercise of the Militia in the Kingdome of England), as well as pamphlets printed for the King's Army in 1642 and 1643.

Several other English writers improved on Bingham's work with thorough guides to the new drill, Gervase Markham, Thomas Fisher, Henry Hexham and William Barriffe being the best known. These drill masters attempted to provide their readers with everything they needed to know about the military arts; and with the Thirty Years War spreading throughout Europe there was considerable interest in, and a considerable market for, their works. Some, such as William Barriffe, mentioned the new Swedish style, but English drill and military theory remained essentially Dutch. Most Englishmen seeking military service did so in the Dutch army or those of the Protestant German princes who followed Dutch styles.

Apart from military theory and the drilling of bodies of troops, the Dutch introduced one other important innovation: the illustrated guide to the 'Postures' used to handle musket, caliver and pike, fostered by John of Nassau but engraved and printed by Jacob de Gheyn. This was a very superior work of engraving in itself, which added to its impact; but it also served as the first standard system of small arms drill, and was soon copied across the whole of Western Europe.

The London Voluntary Associations

Military enthusiasm declined in London, as in the rest of the country, during the early years of the pacific James I, but was revived in 1610 as enthusiasts revitalised the voluntary 'Society of the Artillery Garden'. This was an association of some of the wealthier London citizens who met to practise weapon-handling and drill, sometimes with hired professional tuition. Although the citizens saw the intricate drill as much as a social accomplishment as military training, and some of their assemblies were distinctly theatrical, they were at least encouraged to practise. As the Society traditionally provided officers for the London Trained Bands, something of their enthusiasm was passed on to their men. The adjoining suburbs shared this enthusiasm for things military and formed rival associations—the 'Military Company' in the City of Westminster and the 'Martial Yard' in Southwark.

Some officers took this even further and formed

Aelian Tactics Engraving


Frontispiece from John Bingham's Tactiks of Aelian (1616). This shows Alexander the Great handing over his sword, and by implication, his military genius and pre-eminence, to Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange.

small groups dedicated to practising additional drill, examples being the 'Loving Gentlemen of Town-Ditch' and the 'Gentlemen of the Private and Loving Society of Cripplegate'. Captains Edward Ditchfield and Henry Saunders, who formed the group in Cripplegate, took this to extremes by summoning the men in their companies to drill every morning in summer at 6 o'clock: the captains claimed this provided 'no hindrance to men's more necessary callings, but rather calls them earlier to their business affairs'. Their soldiers 'neither beat drumme displaye Ensigne, nor discharge Musket: but only exercise their Postures, Motions and formes of Battel!, with false fire in their pannes' at these early morning meetings—a concession their neighbours must have appreciated at that hour.

Where the Privy Council's efforts failed to revitalise the Militia, fashion succeeded, and many country gentlemen came to London to practise with the voluntary associations, particularly the Society of the Artillery Garden. Sometimes these county enthusiasts formed associations in emulation of the London societies, examples being those formed in Colchester (1621), Bury St. Edmunds (1622), Bristol (1625), Great Yarmouth (1626), Ipswich (1629) and Nottingham (1629). Some prospered, such as the 'Artillery Yard' at Great Yarmouth, while others declined; but all looked to London for their inspiration. In the absence of an army it was the voluntary associations in London who were at the forefront of military theory in England, encouraging a wide market for works on military theory and providing a forum for discussion and experiment.

The Trained Bands

In the absence of any permanent units, other than a few garrison companies, the only military force in England was the Trained Bands. These Militia soldiers had their origins in the reign of Queen Elizabeth when the Crown realised that recent advances in military technology made it impossible for each man to own useful weapons. Apart from their expense, the new weapons required a higher degree of individual and unit training, and it was inconceivable that every man in the country could be trained in this way. The Trained Band soldiers were intended for national defence in time of war and to maintain civil order in peacetime, especially in towns and cities. For the latter duties in particular it was considered important that those enrolled 'must be men sufficient, of able and active bodies; none of the meaner sort, nor servants; but only such as be of the Gentrie, Free-holders, and good Farmers, or their sonnes, that are like to be resident'. The objective was to keep arms and military training in the hands of those with some stake in the country and away from the 'meaner

A page from the manual Directions for Musters (1638). This contains illustrations for the 'postures' of the musket (48) and the pike (36) together with elementary instructions for company training. The soldiers' costumes are copied partly from de Gheyn's original and partly from an English manual of 1623, so are not typical of the Civil War

Directions Musters 1638Elizabeth Trained Bands

sort' who might turn their weapons on the wrong people.

As to the arming of these soldiers, 'every Captain is to charge Armes in his respective hundred or precinct, equally and impartially, according to the value of each man's lands or means, whether the owners be there resident or not. And no Armes are to be allowed of but compleat ones, and of the best modern fashion'. The Crown required a certain number of men from the county; the Lord Lieutenant of the county gave the task to one of his Deputy Lieutenants who would divide the responsibility within the county; and local officials finally made a fair assessment. This was a theory open to a good deal of abuse where friends were favoured with lower assessments and enemies or those who offered too small a bribe found themselves over-assessed.

Command of the Trained Bands was given to men of local influence and the position carried considerable prestige. This had advantages when it

Above: Trained Band officers. These sketches are from engravings c.1635 on the brass clasps of the Great Vellum Book of the Honourable Artillery Company. The upper two are commision officers, the lower pair, a sergeant and an ensign.

The Places of Dignity in Rank and File. These places of dignity or positions of seniority in the file were important in a tactical sense, with experienced men in key positions, and the less experienced between them. With the exception of the two flanking soldiers—usually corporals—the places of dignity in rank were less important. The chart shows the seniority for files ten, eight or six deep.

1 he Places of Dignity oho. in <%ank iTrazrtuttt8 I > i r

The PlJcei nfvigiity ef 8. in Rank. ^

PUces of dignity of 6 in Rank.


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