Military Review

Battle of Marston-Mur: round-headed defeat gentlemen

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“Now go and smite Amalik (and Yerima) and consume all that he has (take not yourselves anything from them, but destroy and cast the curse on all that he has); And do not give him any mercy, but bring death from husband to wife, from child to infant, from ox to sheep, from camel to ass. ”
(The first book of Kingdoms 15: 3).



Everything has its beginning and end, the Bible says, and if the battle of Nesbi or Neysbi (as the British call it) decided the outcome of the war between parliament and the king that began in 1642, then the battle of Marston-Moor 2 July 1644 was the first victory, won by the army of parliament during this war. The marshland called Marston-Moore and located 11 km west of York was the scene of the battle. The size of the parliamentary army was 27 000 people (including the Scots allies), but in the army of Prince Rupert, sent by King Charles I to assist the besieged city of York, only 17 000.

It all started with the fact that General William Cavendish (Marquis of Newcastle), who commanded the royal corps, was blocked in York in the northern part of England by an army of parliament led by Lords Fairfax and Manchester. The king was well aware that if York fell, he would lose not only the royalist forces surrounded there, but also that the parliamentary forces besieging the city would be freed and join other parliamentary forces. As a result, such a large parliamentary army could appear that the king simply could not find the strength to stop it. Therefore, Charles I decided to smash the parliamentary forces as soon as possible and in parts. To this end, he sent his nephew Prince Rupert, ordering him to unlock York, and the forces of the parliamentary army besieging him to defeat and destroy in a field battle.

Battle of Marston-Mur: round-headed defeat gentlemen

Prince Rupert (1619 - 1682). First Duke of Cumberland and Count of the Rhine National Maritime Museum. Portrait by Peter Leila. National Portrait Gallery.

Prince Rupert was an intelligent and experienced commander. Therefore, arriving on July 1 in York, he, with a deft maneuver, forced the parliamentary forces to move away from the city and thus remove the siege from it. The Cavendish soldiers immediately joined his forces, after which he began the movement towards Marston-Mur, to which the parliamentary forces had withdrawn.


William Cavendish, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne. Portrait by William Larkin. National Portrait Gallery.

The troops came together on 2 on July 1644, and the royalist army, as already mentioned, consisted of 17 thousand people, including 6 thousand horsemen - “knights”, while the parliamentary had 27 thousand people, including 7 thousand cavalrymen - “ zheleznobikh.

It is believed that this was the name of the first cavalry regiment, formed by Cromwell in the 1642 year and distinguished by discipline that was not characteristic of the army of that time. According to another version, Cromwell himself was called “Old Iron-sided”, and this is his nickname and “stuck” to his soldiers. In theory, Rupert should not have attacked an army one and a half times superior to his own troops, but he believed that since the main strike force of the army was cavalry at that time, the overall numerical superiority of the army of parliament was not so significant.


Oliver Cromwell, portrait by artist Samuel Cooper. National Portrait Gallery.

The English nobility from childhood learned to ride and prepared for service in cavalry. That is why at the very beginning the king had an advantage to the cavalry, and Cromwell had to train his cavalry from the beginning. Therefore, it is not surprising that in a number of previous clashes, the horsemen of Prince Rupert even defeated parliamentary generals, who outnumbered him in the number of their troops.


Cromwell's death mask from the Ashmola Museum, Oxford.

At the same time, in the battle at Grentem, and later at Gainsborough, and at Winsby, the Cromwell horsemen remained behind the battlefield, although Rupert for some reason did not pay attention to this and, apparently, attributed these failures to chance. In addition, Cromwell was confident that the pikemen of the army of the parliament, acting with their five-meter peaks in one line, would repel any “gentlemen” primarily because of their numbers.

Cromwell noticed that Rupert's cavalry had poor discipline and, attacking, every cavalier rider, like a knight before, attacked his chosen target, regardless of the actions of everyone else. Therefore, he taught his riders not to crumble when attacking, but to stand firmly together. Already contemporaries of those events paid attention to the high combat qualities of the “iron-sided”. In particular, the historian Clarendon wrote about them: “The royal troops after the attack are never built again and are not able to attack on the same day, while the Cromwell soldiers, regardless of whether they won or were beaten and pursued, immediately take on combat order pending new orders. " That is, the advantage of the "iron-sided" was not in their courage, strength and courage of each individual soldier, but in the fact that they acted on the battlefield as one, obeyed the orders of their superior and ... did not try to somehow stand out with their personal bravery among others .


“Basket sword” by Oliver Cromwell near 1650, the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

During the battle of Marston-Moore, the power of the parliament consisted, in fact, of three armies at once with a separate command: the army of Lord Fairfax, the army of the Eastern Association and the Scots, commanded by Lord Liven. It was dangerous, because any differences between the commanders could lead to big problems in the management of troops in general. But ... Cromwell turned to God and he apparently suggested that he rely on the common sense and experience of his comrades armsbecause he still didn’t seek unity in the face of the enemy of unity of command. Although, of course, understood his favor.

The combat orders of combatants can be described as primitive to the extreme: in the center of the infantry, on the flanks of the cavalry, along the front artillery, whose guns were between parts of pikemen and musketeers.


Fig. A.Shepsa

The position was extended between two settlements - Long Marston and the village of Tokwif and stretched along the road that connected them. A ditch stretched along it, which was a natural obstacle for cavalry, although not too significant, since the whole was overgrown with grass. The left flank of the royal army was commanded by Lord Goring, opposed to him by Lord Fairfax, and on the opposite flank against the cavalry of Prince Rupert were the "iron-sided" Cromwell, who also had a reserve of Scottish cavalrymen under the command of Leslie. In the center were the infantry of Count Manchester and Leuven, opposite whom stood the royal infantry of Porter and Newcastle.


The gun of the civil war. South Aurshire, Scotland.

They were preparing for the battle all day, but the weather prevented him from starting: it began to rain several times, and it was impossible to shoot muskets and pistols in the rain. Only around 5 hours of the evening did an artillery duel begin. But even then, many believed that the battle would not take place, since it was going towards evening and many were afraid that the weather would deteriorate even more. Rupert's cavalrymen generally sat down for lunch, although the horses did not unsaddle.

The use of the cuirass, helmet, and narucha on the left hand led to the fact that the riders who fought with cold weapons, it became very difficult to hit each other. But on the other hand, the vulnerability of the right hand, which had a heavy equestrian rapier, increased. Gardy baskets were invented, which completely protected the entire brush. In addition, in close cavalry combat, such a guard could deliver a stunning blow to the face.

And here in the hours of 7, the singing of the psalm from the First Book of Kings, as was customary in them, Cromwell's horsemen unexpectedly forced a ditch and jumped on the enemy. The avalanche of horsemen in yellow leather buffs made of buffalo, with plain linen collars, metal pot-shaped lobster helmets and breastplate glistening in the sun, looked simple but impressive. Cavalry cavalry also in armor, lace collars and "musketeer" hats with colorful feathers and with a metal casket jumped in towards them. Zheleznoboki launched a volley at them and killed many, but for this they had to slow down, so Cromwell could not immediately break through the enemy front.

Prince Rupert considered that the decisive moment had come and for the second time ordered to blow the attack. Two masses of riders clashed in a tight fight in which everything was mixed up. Cromwell, who fought in the front row, was wounded in the neck and was forced to leave the battlefield to bandage. At this critical moment Leslie's cavalry attacked Rupert's horsemen from the flank. Meanwhile, Cromwell returned to the battlefield and ordered the squadrons to make volts and reorganize, and again moved them to attack the enemy. For the “gentlemen” who scattered all over the field, it was simply impossible to repel the blow. It became obvious that the “round-headed” achieved success here, and that Rupert's cavalry was completely crushed.


"Railway" in the attack. Shot from the movie "Cromwell" (1970 g.)

Meanwhile, in the center of the parliamentary infantry, attacking the enemy, met with decisive resistance, and was rejected in places, and continued to fight in places, being in a very disadvantageous position, as its united front was torn as a result. On the right flank, Goring's men managed to break through the ranks of Ferfax’s parliamentary forces, cut him off from the main forces and began to threaten the flank of parliamentary infantry. Manchester and Leuven position seemed so serious that they ... left the battlefield, considering that the battle is already lost!


And this is how it happened in reality. Modern reconstruction.

The situation was saved by the determination and military talent of Cromwell, who, having received a message about the difficult situation on the right flank, again gathered his cavalry and again rushed into a repeated attack on Rupert's horsemen, in order to finish them off completely. He managed to break through their ranks - or rather what was left of them, and turned the enemy to flight. Then, having finished smashing him on his plot, he sent Leslie the Scots to pursue Rupert and his horsemen, while he himself repeated the maneuver of Alexander the Great at the battle of Gavgameh, that is, he went around the royal troops from behind, and then attacked Goring's cavalry from the rear. Together with the units of Ferfax, his cavalry was defeated, after which Cromwell attacked the royalist infantry with all his might. And it finally decided the outcome of the battle in favor of the army of parliament. Then began the massacre of the survivors, and still trying to somehow resist the royalists. Later, Cromwell wrote about it in his report to Parliament as follows: "God made them stubble for our swords." About 4000 royalists were killed, 1500 was captured. The army of the parliament was killed and injured to 1500 people. As trophies she also got 14 guns, 6000 muskets, and part of the royal banners. “God was with us and for us!” Said Cromwell.


Modern "Cromwell soldiers".

The battle of Marston-Moore was the first truly serious victory for the army of parliament. The previously considered invincible, the royal cavalry of Prince Rupert was utterly defeated by "iron-rammed" Oliver Cromwell. Speaking the language of modernity, we can say that it was a radical change in the course of the civil war in England.


Memorial monument installed at the scene of the battle.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 8 February 2016 08: 06
    +3
    Hmm .. your ways are interesting, Lord .. during the "Restoration" period, Cromwell's corpse was removed from the grave and executed .. Nevertheless, the monument to Cromwell stands .. and the British say that it was he who laid the foundations of English democracy .. Cromwell will be remembered and in Ireland ... children are still frightened by his name ...
    Thank you, Svetla .. I liked the article, the portraits are magnificent .. and the photos are good ...
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 8 February 2016 17: 51
      +3
      ". and the British say that it was he who laid the foundations of English democracy" ////

      Exactly! fellow

      And, note in which year: 1644.
      The parliamentary system defeated the absolute monarchy.
      It is not surprising that since then in Britain there has not been a single revolution ...
      Parliament changes, kings change, colonies appear, colonies disappear,
      there are continuous wars, feudalism is replaced by capitalism and imperialism -
      and the country is completely stable for 500 years!
      Parliament, an independent court, the inviolability of private property - three pillars of strategic
      stability.
      1. kalibr
        8 February 2016 18: 27
        +2
        The most interesting thing is that it was on the example of Britain that Wilfredo Pareto derived his famous principle: quote = voyaka uh] Parliament changes, kings change, colonies appear, colonies disappear, there are continuous wars, feudalism is replaced by capitalism and imperialism - [/ quote] But 80% property is always owned by 20% of the population!
      2. Kyrgyz
        Kyrgyz 8 February 2016 19: 33
        +1
        Quote: voyaka uh
        ". and the British say that it was he who laid the foundations of English democracy" ////

        Exactly! fellow

        And, note in which year: 1644.
        The parliamentary system defeated the absolute monarchy.
        It is not surprising that since then in Britain there has not been a single revolution ...
        Parliament changes, kings change, colonies appear, colonies disappear,
        there are continuous wars, feudalism is replaced by capitalism and imperialism -
        and the country is completely stable for 500 years!
        Parliament, an independent court, the inviolability of private property - three pillars of strategic
        stability.

        370 still not quite 500
  2. Riv
    Riv 8 February 2016 09: 02
    +6
    In order to correctly evaluate the results of the battle at Nesby, one should remember the political situation at that time.
    First, the English Puritans believed that King Charles had sold his soul to Satan. Some even thought he was the Antichrist. Cromwell had no shortage of volunteers. However, the people in parliament were more practical and, in principle, ready to settle the matter peacefully, if Karl "moves up" and gives them more rights. Charles did not make a deal, but later these moods affected and negotiations began with the captive king.
    Secondly: Cromwell’s increasing political weight aroused fear in parliament. Well, let's say the king was overthrown ... Then what? Dictatorship? I didn’t really want to.
    And most importantly: the socio-economic ties with the old aristocracy were very strong. After all, it was from their estates that both raw materials and labor for manufactories came. In the colonies, in general, everything belonged to them. And although the king rested his horn, the nobles did not really want to fight.

    The solution was found quite simple: the captured king was executed (and it turned out that he found out on her day - a surprise!), And Cromwell was offered to take the royal title. He predictably refused, and then he died (as it was very in time). There were riots in the army (google: John Lambert), but they were quickly suppressed. The new parliament called for the throne of Charles II. Then there was a little leapfrog with the kings, ending with William of Orange and the Bill of Rights (also googling).

    This revolution ended. The most stubborn Protestants were killed, some were shoved overseas. The kings were restricted in their rights, England received a powerful impetus in industrial development. And it turns out that the victory at Basey did not actually have any political results. Where they were going - they came to that. If Carl had been more accommodating from the very beginning, his head would have been in place and Cromwell would not have had to dig and hang it from the grave.
    1. kalibr
      8 February 2016 09: 55
      0
      Yes, that's right! A good lesson for kings. But "he could not compromise on principles!"
    2. xan
      xan 8 February 2016 12: 00
      +2
      Quote: Riv
      Then there was a little leapfrog with the kings, ending with William of Orange and the Bill of Rights (also googling).

      The Dutchman William of Orange proved to be the most talented and far-sighted English king. Having absolute power, he nevertheless decided to give it up, by which he practically programmed the non-revolutionary development of England.
      1. Riv
        Riv 8 February 2016 13: 33
        +1
        Well, about talent and foresight - a big question. Not everyone was looking forward to William of Orange in England, but ... He sailed not alone, but with an army of 50.000 soldiers. So of course, everyone immediately realized that here he was: talented and unique. :)))

        Jacob the Second had only to pull off to France and no one caught him, like the Elusive Joe. The French king William did not recognize the English king, but his opinions were also not asked. Firstly: a Catholic, and secondly: the same Dutch repeatedly beaten.
  3. Cartalon
    Cartalon 8 February 2016 11: 50
    +3
    The lieutenant of the infantry unit, a man rootless and unknown, surfaced
    to the surface at the age of forty-five, taking advantage of the trouble in
    country. He overthrew his rightful sovereign, kind, fair,
    condescending, courageous and generous, and having secured a royal decision
    of Parliament, ordered the king to be cut off, turned the kingdom into
    a republic and ten years was ruler of England; he held other states in
    more fear and disposed of his own country more autocratic,
    than any of the English monarchs; enjoying all the power, he quietly
    and died peacefully // Larashfuko
  4. xan
    xan 8 February 2016 11: 53
    +1
    And what was this Rupert sensible of if he could not draw conclusions from the three defeats before Marston Moore? War is not to eat Lobio. If the gentlemen do not want to fight to the end, but only one attack, defeat becomes inevitable. Most likely the king did not have the dough, and he could not replace the gentlemen with real cavalry, and how to teach Dartanyan to fight if he was an academician since childhood. And he could not hire the real infantry, all was occupied on the continent, and yesterday the peasant was not resistant. It was necessary to negotiate with parliamentary figures.
    1. kalibr
      8 February 2016 12: 54
      0
      It is also the way it is, but ... then the king's advisers did not have such knowledge as you and I did. But the king did not have money because the Parliament did not want to burden the country with taxes (and himself, too!).
  5. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 8 February 2016 19: 14
    -1
    Whenever I read the English story of the Civil War, I am sorry that the Cromwell case did not win forever, and the monarchy was restored.
    However, as is the case of Lenin ...
  6. Vladislav 73
    Vladislav 73 8 February 2016 19: 15
    +2
    Judging by the portrait of Prince Rupert, either the picture is turned upside down, or the prince is left-handed. And in the Middle Ages, this is fraught with belay , all sorts of inquisition tribunals, well, or whatever they were called-episcopal, spiritual and other courts did not doze off. By the way, the Protestants burned their spiritual opponents no worse than Catholics! belay
    1. kalibr
      8 February 2016 20: 38
      +1
      Burned even more! One Calvin is worth it!
      1. Vladislav 73
        Vladislav 73 19 February 2016 13: 23
        0
        I agree. And if you also recall the "reformation from above" in the same England under Henry 8 Tudor, and then the return to Catholicism under his daughter Mary the Bloody. By the way, her husband was the notorious Philip 2 of Spain ... Yes, they burned there for "faith" ! belay
  7. unknown
    unknown 9 February 2016 09: 28
    +2
    Quote: Robert Nevsky
    Whenever I read the English story of the Civil War, I am sorry that the Cromwell case did not win forever, and the monarchy was restored.
    However, as is the case of Lenin ...


    Are you sorry that Cromwell’s case did not win forever? Cromwell is homosexual. And his case in the West triumphed. Although, an American researcher Dr. Kinsey concluded that in a healthy society the number of homosexuals should not exceed 3 percent.