Talk:Pike and shot

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Expanding the stub[edit]

I'm in the process of expanding this page, and have most recently added text on the evolution of the tercio. This is provisional, and I suspect some of the text should be moved to the Tercio article, whereas more text is needed to describe the usage of the tercio in the sixteenth century, as well as the pike-and-shot formations used by other powers, such as the French and English. I'll take this on soon, but it's a major project.Larry Dunn 19:47, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Very nice work! While some of it might be more appropriate for the Tercio article, a lot of it is quite valuable here, as the tercio is one of the more prominent developments in the evolution of pike-and-shot infantry.
There is, incidentally, a pretty significant gap in coverage at the moment between Cerignola and the full-blown tercio; I'll try to fill in some of the more salient points there once I have some free time. Kirill Lokshin 02:44, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll look into it as well -- could you expand a bit on what you mean by the gap between cerignola and the full-blown tercio? The 3,000 man tercio dates from 1534 (some say 1531)Larry Dunn 16:21, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
There's some fairly interesting detail that can be given on the evolution of the colunellas (e.g. at Ravenna, etc.), but my main thought was that the article omits any mention of the pseudo-pike-and-shot infantry composed arquebusiers and pikemen from technically distinct units fighting in a single large block (such as the Imperial formation at Bicocca, as well as the various Italian experiments with this [e.g. the Black Bands in 1526–27]). Kirill Lokshin 23:32, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

I like very much the article congratulations; in the spanish/imperial tercio section there is detailed the "stepped pyramid" way of march. Well in this page:

we have an image of the spanish in the Battle of Nieuport forming perfectly wich is related in the wiki article, can be useful to show here that image.



I've pruned a paragraph from the introduction, because the "Why, Who and How" details should come up in the main body of the article- not the introduction. The job of the introduction is to introduce - not to explain.

Wow great article[edit]

I was poking around and came across this fine example of what the wiki can be. Maury 04:20, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Our of curiosity, in the main Spanish formation, how were the pikes in the center supposed to support the bastions in case of a cavalry charge? I assume the bastions folded in somehow? The pikes moving out seems more difficult given the shot all around them. Anyone know? Maury 04:25, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Just saw your comment, Maury. Thanks, I appreciate it. The bastions could flee back to the square, and hide under the pikes. It was also difficult for a large body of cavalry to selectively charge the muskets without hitting the pikes as well, something they wished to avoid. Larry Dunn 00:57, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

I was wondering the same thing as Maury, and I was glad to find an answer here. However, I still have one question: how would the bastions re-form after fleeing to the protection of the pikes? Wouldn't it be extremely difficult to form up again in the heat of battle?--Tabun1015 08:53, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

No formation is perfect, and they probably did not look as nice and neat as they are shown! We should probablt not use the discussion section for this purpose, though -- it's really for discussion of the components of the article. Larry Dunn 16:18, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Illustrations and empty sections[edit]

If we want to explain to our readers that the formation was used beyond the 15th century we should do so in prose, not by keeping empty section headers for months on end. And considering that there are no illustrations with anything approaching discernable detail, I think it's less than constructive to simply auto-revert attempts at fixing the problem. Especially not when a grainy scan of a black and white 16th century pamphlet (without details about the source) is kept at 400px-size at the very top of the article.

And those "toy soldiers" are extremely realistic 1:5 (or something like it) models on display at an award-winning museum. I'll take those over cheesy reenactment photos any day of the week.

Peter Isotalo 21:20, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

If you don't like the empty section headers, you do the work and you fill them in. The article does not work if it ends full stop at 1600, obviously, because there is another 100+ years of history. Empty section headers are better than nothing. And toy soldier images in the dark are not preferable to anything. Larry Dunn 00:55, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Please keep in mind that you can't just unilaterally dictate how articles should be written. Empty section headers are always discouraged. Just add a sentence or two in the lead if you don't have the time to write them out right now. We can't keep sections that contain only "TBD" for months on end just because you want it that way. As for the photos, I'll see what I can do about upping the brightness the next time I pay the museum a visit, but considering the very low quality and lack of detail of the illustrations you're insisting on yourself, you're not really not in a position to make such derogatory comments.
And for Christ's sake, stop making all-out auto-reverts. You're spoiling perfectly reasonable and uncontroversial improvements by simply being stubborn.
Peter Isotalo 01:15, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
I see no reason to not include the picture. Unless a better one can be found that shows a few soldiers close up (which I believe is quite necessary for an article like this one), that one is perfectly fine, IMHO. – Elisson • T • C • 16:14, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Mmm, everyone please play nice and all that! :-) Kirill 04:00, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Johan and I are fairly good friends and I asked him for his opinion myself, so to avoid the risk of seeming like I'm trying to bring in friends to gang up on Larry (considering how upset he was about the photo), I'd appreciate if you weighed in with your opinion as well, Kirill.
Peter Isotalo 16:54, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't have any particular objections to having it somewhere in the article—it livens it up a bit, if nothing else—but I don't think it warrants very prominent placement, as it's not all that useful. "Pike and shot" is more a question of how a formation is arranged; an image of a few dozen individuals isn't going to show much except for the fact that some have pikes and others have muskets.
(Not that the pamphlet image is all that good, either. The better approach would be to redraw the diagram in color, at which point the reader could actually tell what was being shown without staring at tiny letters.) Kirill 18:32, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
That's my opinion of the pic as well; it ads a bit of color to the article, and there's nothing wrong with getting at least a bit up close and personal, so to speak. I'm of the opinion that it's so much easier to get a feeling for what an article tries to describe if one gets close and personal, even if just with a small-scale, though highly realistic and historically accurate, model. The reason I placed the image at the top of the article at first was because the other two illustrations were black and white and showed virtually no detail. That and the fact that the pamphlet diagram was taking up a staggering amount of article space...
Peter Isotalo 17:38, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Cerignola, the Colunella and the Pike & Shot in early (Spanish) armies[edit]

"... Fernández de Córdoba's colunellas at the Battle of Cerignola, ..., in which the heavily-outnumbered Spanish pike-and-shot forces," - the problem with this article is that most of the pike infantry of Cerignola was a block of Landsknechts, not Spanish Colunella. When the Spanish fought alone at Ravenna their army was destroyed. At La Motta, Bicocca or Pavia they always cooperated very closes with Landsknechts (Pescara with Frundsberg,in all three battles). Only the divergence of the Spanish and German forces after the end of the hot phase of the Italian wars saw the introduction of the Tercio with serious Spanish pike formations - while at the same time the Landsknecht did not manage to up their handgun contingent, mainly due to tradition but also to limits on getting more then 10% arquebus paid for. So in the early 16th century we see Spanish and Italian forces more geared for the mobile war and usage of handguns, while Germans and Swiss were the heavy battle blocks. The coordination between landsknecht and Spanish just worked out far better than for other armies, even before Charles unified both under one crown. Question: is there any hard (or soft) data out there on how a Colunella worked out on the battlefield? How many reports do exist of Spanish pikeblocks in any "push"?ASchudak (talk) 15:00, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

A lot of people get confused by the Spanish army's make up. So instead, I'll talk about the British army. Half of the British troops commanded by Wellington at Waterloo were not Britons. A very large percentage of the red coats fighting in the American Revolutionary War were Hessians and other mercenaries from continental Europe, not Britons and so on. This sort of thing was common and not only for the British and Spanish militaries. When the Spanish general Gonzalo improvised the first pike and shot forces, he used what men he could get at that moment - Spanish and Italian arquebusiers and German Landsknecht pikemen and it didn't happen accidently, Gonzalo was the most capable general in Europe. Later there'd be trained Spanish, Flemish, Waloon, Italian, Irish, etc pikemen and arquebusiers/musketeers. For all this, it was still the Spanish army. The highly developed "tercio" formations appeared much later. Provocateur (talk) 08:57, 6 December 2012 (UTC)