how exactly do castles hinder the movement of enemy troops?

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    • #216339
      Anonymous
      Guest

      how exactly do castles hinder the movement of enemy troops?

      let’s say I am marching through an enemy territory with my army, why not just go around the enemy castle and carry on towards our destination?

    • #216340
      Anonymous
      Guest

      They really don’t. It’s only if you’re dealing with a relatively small force that can’t scale the walls.
      A hundred people scaling a ladder is hard to stop, because they have the same problems you do, and castles sort of lose usefulness at a larger scale.

    • #216342
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Because they can just ride out, fuck up your supply lines, and haul ass back to the castle. It’s a position that they can harass you from, without being able to respond to them in kind.

      • #216345
        Anonymous
        Guest

        if they fuck up my supply lines I will torch all the villages we pass through unless they hand over their food

        • #216346
          Anonymous
          Guest

          Doesn’t matter, the castle has years of supplies stocked away. Go ahead and burn the countryside. See if they care.

          • #216348
            Anonymous
            Guest

            And so what ? They have food for siege anyway. Or they can go to your undefended lands and do the same to you

            I dont want the castle though I have passed it, now I am heading to lay siege to the capital

            • #216349
              Anonymous
              Guest

              Tough shit, your soldiers are starving due to a lack of supplies, tired due to being constantly on watch for another raid, and frankly now they have to deal with harassment from the capital’s defenders as well as watching their rear.

            • #216352
              Anonymous
              Guest

              So you will go to the middle of enemy territory, get surrounded and starve as soon as the forage runs out?

            • #216355
              Anonymous
              Guest

              With your supply lines cut off and your army harassed from all sides?

            • #216356
              Anonymous
              Guest

              a siege is not a short affair assuming the place is properly fortified
              additionaly in a feudal system you are not the supreme absolute commander, the nobles bellow you will have their own thoughts about the matter and probably wont like risking getting raided into starvation because they’re behind enemy lines

            • #216364
              Anonymous
              Guest

              >Invade enemy nation with no supply lines
              >Besiege capital
              >Army constantly harassed while laying siege
              >You finally capture the city after months
              >Sorry our king is in another castle
              >Have to march home with no supply lines and all the lands you marched through having been torched and depopulated
              >Get harried all the way home
              >Before you can get home find an army of well fed and rested soldiers standing opposite your fatigued and hungry army

              People wage war the way they do for a reason. Medieval warfare was primarily built around sieges and harassment of undefended villages because it was the most efficient and successful way to wage war, If you have the resources you methodically capture everything you can, if you lack the resources just burn shit and go home when campaigning season is coming to a close.

              • #216464
                Anonymous
                Guest

                Why didnt the romans fo that then?
                Probably coukd have helped against the germans and sassanids.
                Why didnt the saxons build castlws against Charlemagne?
                How could the moors take iberia in 7 years

                • #216465
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  The Romans did build forts, all along the borders of the empire.
                  The Saxons, Visigoths, and other tribal kingdoms didn’t build many castles because they didn’t have the administrative capacity to muster enough workers to build many castles.

                • #216466
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  Remember that antiquity was different. You’re talking about a more or less centralized, dominant state with a professional standing military in the hundreds of thousands of men. They actually could support a strong military logistics system. Medieval warfare was framed entirely differently. Kings didn’t have political and military authority in the same way as the emperor did at all. Financially they were more limited – they didn’t have their entire kingdoms resources at their disposal. They had their direct lands and whatever their vassals gave them. You can’t establish a logistics network to support an army of a hundred thousand men across the entire kingdom with that limited political control and financial standing. You can tell duke whoever to make sure resources are available as your army of ~4k men marches by his castle though.

                  Maybe you’re asking why Rome didn’t just make castles everywhere though. The answer is again, the roman situation was different. Rome was a massive empire with borders beyond borders and contended with armies – even in germany and the balkans – that dwarf the overwhelming majority of medieval army sizes easily. Rome had to be mobile to secure such a large border, and Rome couldn’t afford to let a tribe plunder 50 or 100 miles in on a raid and walk out. Rome had a lot of fortifications and had solid defensive lines. But even so, their size and the nature of their opponents dictated the warfare. A germanic tribe isn’t necessarily interested in taking territory. Maybe they just want some slaves or gold to take home. If some tribe wanted to settle in the balkans though, they’d have the numbers that relying on fixed defenses manned by a few hundred to a thousand people wouldn’t be enough. You’d be talking about maybe 50k maybe 100k fighting men on migration. Maybe more. They can afford to engage in sieges so long as they win the bigger pitched battles against the local legions.

                  • #216487
                    Anonymous
                    Guest

                    Late Roman forts, especially in the Balkans were very large in order to protect from sieges. Useful but far to costly to make amass.

                • #216470
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  the moors pretty much wiped out the entire ruling class of the visigoths in one battle early on in the invasion. the conquest of a centralized country is a lot faster than taking piecemeal a divided one.
                  A centralized state will fall once beheaded. A fractured state will mean you have to take each and every local strong man in turn.
                  Feudal "doctrine" wasn’t offensive but defensive in nature.

                  • #216471
                    Anonymous
                    Guest

                    That’s a double-edged sword. Yes once you behead a centralized state you won but it’s much harder to behead a behemoth. A civilized state will have proper supply line infrastructure to support and navigate large armies, fortified structures with standardized builds, war machinery. Look at what Rome did to celts. Celts amassed 300 000 men against 50 000 romans, huge Arnolds and it was all for nothing. Romans were literally growing fortified fortresses like mushrooms every day and had the infrastructure to support their ranks + they had better lawyers and could bribe and legally rape individual tribes. Those 300 000 men had to disband because they didn’t have the benefit of a centralized state supporting the effort. And then they wheeled in the ballistas shooting 500 gram stones at the decentralized tribes. Each and every local strong Arnold didn’t stand a chance, they were raped so hard by the not-beheaded civilized behemoth.

                • #216507
                  Anonymous
                  Guest

                  >How could the moors take iberia in 7 years
                  Because a civil war was raging after the last king died and his 3 infant children were deposed by their mothers bf
                  >why didnt saxons
                  Because they weren’t actually unified, kingship was like electing an emergency dictator to them
                  >why didnt romans
                  They did, snd almost started a wsr after building a fortress 9n the sassanid border having just ceded the old main defensive fortress for that region

            • #216400
              Anonymous
              Guest

              There is no capital you dipshit. There may be some mayor citys, but there isnt one thats particularly important to rule the land. Back to /tg/ for your ebic medival fantasy.

            • #216419
              Anonymous
              Guest

              This is fun in paradox games because the capitol gives a high enough warscore to win, but it’s not realistic.

              • #216459
                Anonymous
                Guest

                It’s not even like that in CK
                The highest score possible is if you capture the ruler

            • #216421
              Anonymous
              Guest

              >He thinks that because he took the King’s house the war is over when he has done nothing but hurt the income and pride of every noble between him and his country and will need to either go back or get sieged in the same city he took.

            • #216439
              Anonymous
              Guest

              Paris was occupied for decades
              They still lost

            • #216447
              Anonymous
              Guest

              this is your brain on video games

        • #216347
          Anonymous
          Guest

          And so what ? They have food for siege anyway. Or they can go to your undefended lands and do the same to you

        • #216353
          Anonymous
          Guest

          what food? you are probably gonna attack during summer when your men are not busy tending fields and this is when thr villages have the least stored food, before harvest season.
          That being said, as long as you keep moving and ignoring castles they will keep ruining your supplies. you will starve before the castlemen will

        • #216372
          Anonymous
          Guest

          Villages have already been taxed for years and have supplied every castle with months, and more frequently years, of provisions with which to survive sieges. You won’t outlast the nation you’re invading without functioning supply lines from wherever you’re coming from.

        • #216382
          Anonymous
          Guest

          supply lines. Castles can become a staging point for the enemy army to cut off your supply lines and reinforcement

          or the enemy will torch the villages they have first. Scorched earth tactics is like a 1000 years old by medieval times.

          • #216386
            Anonymous
            Guest

            >medieval warfare relied on long supply lines coming from a home territory to the campaigning army
            like 300 years too early lmao

            This may have happened a few times, but realistically it would be more like ferrying all the cows, chickens, grains, etc into the castle if it had room. For one thing, it’s additional resources to rely on in a siege. For the other, the noble generally doesn’t benefit from purposefully destroying his revenue. Scorched earth tactics are not generally employed on your own territory, especially in the context of wars within christendom. Why would you? Noble whoever if they aren’t killed in the field won’t be killed as a prisoner (usually) so you need something to pay for your ransom or the ransom of your relatives. People itt don’t seem to understand medieval warfare as well as they think.

            • #216424
              Anonymous
              Guest

              […]

              maybe youre right, maybe medieval warfare doesnt really depend on supply lines as much, and maybe scorched earth tactics arent that common, because youre right they arent.

              but you brought up an interesting point.: Nobles
              its not what you can do with the castles, but whats in the castles: professional soldiers, engineers, noblemen.
              if you go straight to the capital, those same nobles can rally an army to relieve the siege or to face you in a pitched battle.
              Losing a pitched battle for the defenders doesnt mean as much since they can retreat to the same castles and cities mentioned and regroup. losing a pitched battle as an invader when you havent taken any castles to use as a staging point means that you have to march all the way back to your territory, and chances are youre probably going to get wiped out. This is one reason why hannibal was considered such a good general: because he did the things he did without besieging cities (not that he could or wanted to anyways) in a conventional invasion manner.

            • #216428
              Anonymous
              Guest

              >supply lines
              Not as prominent in medieval warfare as it would be later, but they remain of supreme importance, especially for high-intensity warfare. You need a way for men, horses, arrows, and other supplies you can’t just loot to get to you, be it from your home territory or from conquered land. You also need to have safe lines of communication back to your territory, or else your military AND political enemies can do whatever the hell they want.
              >Scorched earth tactics
              What is chevauchee? Admittedly, you’re scorching the enemy’s earth, not your own, but as seen in the Hundred Year’s War occupied friendly territory is a completely valid target.

        • #216384
          Anonymous
          Guest

          Because it leaves you open from behind. The garrison would sally out to attack you from behind, it gives the enemy a place to retreat to and a place to muster and attack you from all sides. By leaving a castle untouched whoever is commanding the castle is just going to sally out and harass you.

          Most armies without lengthy supply trains were small and did not have the ability to siege or make serious damage to their enemy outside of raiding. The Roman army was exceptional in that they put the burden of supplies and such on the soldier instead of supply trains but even than larger armies needed them to effectively muster a large force, carry siege or have a long campaign.

          It was already expected you would sack villages along the way. That’s why villagers bought their livestock into fortifications and sometimes they even preemptively poisoned wells and burnt their own fields so the enemy couldn’t use them.

        • #216448
          Anonymous
          Guest

          That’s why it’s called a supply LINE. You can’t keep marching while being fully dependent on looting as you go; the further into the enemy territory you get the more casualties you take. And what are you going to do if you have to retreat, since you’ve already looted everything behind you?

          • #216455
            Anonymous
            Guest

            Long supply lines ferrying in food and war material are, for most of the medieval period, absent from warfare. At least in western/central europe.
            >You can’t keep marching while being fully dependent on looting as you go
            This is exactly what most medieval armies did.
            >the further into the enemy territory you get the more casualties you take.
            Yes. Starvation, combat, desertion.
            >And what are you going to do if you have to retreat, since you’ve already looted everything behind you
            A baggage train for the army isn’t the same as a supply line ferrying resources from a home territory to the field.

        • #216467
          Anonymous
          Guest

          Your army disintegrates by the next month, good job Joffrey.

        • #216472
          Anonymous
          Guest

          Now you have both the enemy troops and the peasants against you.

          You will lose in the long run no matter how much you win in the short-term when all you do is make enemies of the people. Unless you kill ’em all and if you do that, now the land is worthless.

      • #216354
        Anonymous
        Guest

        This tbh castles were as offensive as defensive. Your position in an area will simply not be safe unless they are taken.

        if they fuck up my supply lines I will torch all the villages we pass through unless they hand over their food

        I think you’re underestimating the dangers posed by castles and their garrisons. Walking around one is one thing but you need to realize campaigns often resulted in capturing dozens of them. You simply can’t control a region without all of them.

    • #216343
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Cool map.

      • #216344
        Anonymous
        Guest

        This, I wonder if I can buy it anywhere
        The only site I can find anything related is all in French

      • #216380
        Anonymous
        Guest
        • #216390
          Anonymous
          Guest

          ?

          • #216401
            Anonymous
            Guest

            The map I posted shows the actual locations of medieval castles and thus the most fortified areas of France. It’s practically the opposite of OP’s map, which puts an emphasize on impressive palatial chateaux and ignores smaller castles.

            • #216414
              Anonymous
              Guest

              Why so many castles in Massif Central?

        • #216418
          Anonymous
          Guest

          That map is bullshit, it implies no castles were built in the county of Nice and parts of Provence.

      • #216443
        Anonymous
        Guest

        Makes me wanna VGH…

        Wish it had Mont Saint Michel though. I know it’s not really a castle but come on, just look at it.

        • #216494
          Anonymous
          Guest

          >Wish it had Mont Saint Michel though. I know it’s not really a castle but come on, just look at it.
          Anon, what are you smoking? Its right there on the map and even as one of the most realistic depictions in fact.

    • #216350
      Anonymous
      Guest

      It’s generally not a good idea to leave a garrison of enemy troops behind you

      • #216370
        Anonymous
        Guest

        starve the fuckers out

        • #216376
          Anonymous
          Guest

          >starve them out
          >sit around for months doing nothing while thr enemy waits in their castle and the other armies across the land begin marching towards you to relieve the castle
          Congrats. You get surrounded and die.

    • #216351
      Anonymous
      Guest

      A fort is a base of operations for any army. They can safely rest in here, organize and train, storage supplies, and dominate the countryside.

    • #216368
      Anonymous
      Guest

      >why not just go around the enemy castle and carry on towards our destination?

      Medieval armies needed supply lines for troops, arrows, weapons, and food. You could have an army of 20,000 and march past a fortified castle with 100-300 fighting men on horse, but once they see you left and they start noticing convoys and wagons with food and herds of sheep being moved, they’ll ride out and fuck them up. Setting up heavily guarded convoys is expensive, inefficient, and bleeds men that would be better off doing other things.

      Raiding the local farms for food is alright, but it would make the local population hate you and if you’re trying to conquer the area or try to press your claim for the land you’re invading, you’ve got a population that simply won’t respect you and will probably rebel once you disband your army for the harvest or when the campaign is over. And if you’re a Christian monarch, you’d be condemned by your enemies and probably the Pope for being an poopyhole. And they’d definitely shit on you if you massacre innocent Christians and massacres back then was physically demanding work. Your soldiers are better off conserving their calories for marches instead of hunting down villagers and swinging their swords to execute them.

      Not to mention the crop yields are so meagre anyways that it probably won’t sustain your army for more than a few days. It wouldn’t be until Napoleon that the living off the land mantra was feasible.

    • #216374
      Anonymous
      Guest

      castles are strategic structures. They are only useful if you place them in the right spots, they can store tons of rations for troops and defend those rations. If castle walls are big enough you can also have the nearby towns evacuate and enter and provide for many people, therefore the people feel safer and are more likely to pay taxes for safety.

    • #216388
      Anonymous
      Guest

      >why not just go around the enemy castle and carry on towards our destination?
      Because the castle IS your destination. Fortifications are built to protect things… supplies, cities, lords and their families, the things one has to capture or destroy to win a war. If you ignore these things, you usually can’t win. That’s why the fortifications are there to begin with. You can’t enter a city and sack it without overcoming its walls. You can’t hold the duke’s son hostage if he’s inside his keep. You can’t flood France with armored forces if the Maginot Line is in the way… well, at some point in history this breaks down.

    • #216402
      Anonymous
      Guest

      real life is not totalwar

    • #216417
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Lmao at Belgians kangz in their mudhuts at the top right of the map

      • #216420
        Anonymous
        Guest

        belgium has the highest number of castles by square mile in Europe and the world

        • #216446
          Anonymous
          Guest

          >belgium has the highest number of castles by square mile in Europe and the world
          Do you have a source or a map for this? I am starting a game of historical simulation and we’re requested to do our research on the presence of historical fortifications.

          • #216452
            Anonymous
            Guest

            From Google.
            >There are approximately 3000 castles, farm-castles, citadels, manors or palaces in Belgium. Belgium has one of the highest density of castles per square km in the world, if not simply the highest. Some regions (eg. the Condroz, Hesbaye, Brabant…) have an average two castles per village. Belgium has over 400 castles that are open to the public, either for sightseeing, receptions, seminars, events or as hotels, restaurants or holiday centres
            Seems like a lot of these are more manor houses than true castles, and a lot are post-medieval. There are also about the same number in Ireland, pic related, but these are mostly small tower-houses from the 15th-16th centuries.

            • #216456
              Anonymous
              Guest

              >and a lot are post-medieval.
              All good, we are starting more or less at the beginning of the 17th century. I’ll do some more research, thank you for the input though

      • #216468
        Anonymous
        Guest

        We had few true castles in Flanders because we had some of the most powerful and wealthy cities in all of Europe.
        In the early mediaval period we supplied over a third of William the conquors force.
        In the mid mediaval period we fought the kings of france to a stand still.
        And during the high medieval period a single city would often raise armies ov over 10000 men just to fight an other city.
        We do have the best preserved castel tough in Gent. The Gravensteen wasn’t a defensive work tough it was the seat of the counts local deputy and ment to keep the city in check because well we kind of revolted a lot like every 20 to 30 odd years wam bam we want less takes and will revolt now mam. At least until we pissed off Charles IV because as the city of his birth we should have been exempted from certain taxes but he had other ideas. Tore down the walls revoked the cities privileges, beheaded the ring leaders and made the rest of the city elders and prominents parade around the demolished city wall wearing a nose around their necks. A nose that is still a symbol of the city and its citizens.

    • #216422
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Furthermore anon, to actually answer the question, because if you don’t control the Castles, you don’t control the land. If you are the invader, well then by not taking the Castles (which in most cases costs more time than men as the average castle is a small irrelevant noble or knight in a small fort that doubles as a house with his family and a dozen to a few dozen men to defend it) you are incapable of actually controlling the land you want to take, and no King is going to give up land that he still has loyal vassals and strong places in. If you’re on the defensive side of the war, then by leaving the enemy’s strong places on the border intact, you are risking everything on galavanting after a decisive battle, which could just be denied to you so that your army gets whittled down by disease and other typical causes so that when they launch their next invasion next year, using those same castles you left in tact, the amount of men you have to respond to them with is considerably less then the previous year.

    • #216427
      Anonymous
      Guest

      at some point you gonna want to capture a city and castles are mostly near cities

    • #216429
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Why is Lyon a fuckhuge city and all of northern France/Flanders just empty wasteland?

      • #216435
        Anonymous
        Guest

        It’s not Lyon but the Palais des Papes of Avignon.

    • #216430
      Anonymous
      Guest

      You can use them as a starting point for harassment raids.

    • #216431
      Anonymous
      Guest

      >why not just go around the enemy castle and carry on towards our destination?
      of course you can. BUT when you arrive tobthe destination, there will be also some castle
      >all cattle in the castle
      >all crops in the castle
      >all animal fodder in the castle
      >all other food in the castle
      >all peasants
      >all gold in the castle
      >all other potential loot in the castle
      ok, now what?

    • #216437
      Anonymous
      Guest

      Why do scrotebrains here keep thinking that they are somehow smarter than military leaders from long long ago?

    • #216469
      Anonymous
      Guest

      >how exactly do castles hinder the movement of enemy troops
      who are you quoting?

    • #216479
      Anonymous
      Guest

      The first thing to keep in mind is that maps were rare. Your knowledge of the layout of lands other then your own, your next door neighbors, stuff on the few major road, and the place that royal courts were held at would be rather limited.

      Second the roads and bridges were few in number.

      Third if you move past a castle you need to go well past or keep a holding force to prevent the defenders from lauhing raids on your supply lines.

      Now take a look at my pic. Over the course of two years during the viking era 17 wooden castles were built to protect it from said vikings. By the 1340s the County of Maine as a title came with 63 stone castles in direct ownership, all inside the red area.

    • #216486
      Anonymous
      Guest

      People really freaking missunderstand what a hassle logistics are, even today with motorized transports.

    • #216497
      Anonymous
      Guest

      ITT: Castles have obviously worked for thousands of years, but I’m too dumb to understand how they work therefore they didn’t work

      The effects of american education system at work

      • #216499
        Anonymous
        Guest

        That a thing works and why that thing works are two different things. It’s not an unreasonable thing to question.

    • #216503
      Anonymous
      Guest

      A fortification is an offensive weapon, not a defensive one, as it allows an army to project power safely from there.

    • #216505
      Anonymous
      Guest

      They were good enough to protect the local noble from local peasants and foreign invaders alike.

    • #216509
      Anonymous
      Guest

      They are safe retreats for small harassing parties.

      The lord of the castle(which by itself may be no more than a fortified household with a small palisade around it) comes out with a few retainers and kills a foraging party nearby, then goes back to his stronghold. Then he intercepts a messenger. You would think you can ignore these kinds of petty warlords, nah, you’re strong, you’re going for the kill, but then you’re deep into enemy territory, surrounded by a network of castles – big and small. Foraging becomes impossible, you’re running on hard tack and other foods that don’t perish easily, hoping you’ll capture some, but then you pass village after village and all of them empty – the people have ran away – maybe you’ll find some mouldy bread here and there, but maybe you won’t. If instead you decide to start taking them one by one, it’ll take lots of time and make you spread out your forces, which means the defender can defeat you in detail.

      It’s honestly fairly boring reason and once you realise what’s happening on a strategic level this just becomes defence in depth with medieval technology.

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