Talk:Battle of Dunbar (1296)

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Wholly unreliable[edit]

One minute Dunbar is a heavy encounter with an entire Scottish army routed, the next it's a minor skirmish between mounted men at arms? Which is it? Where are the sources (none have been cited). Given that this battle would appear decisive in its nature I'm not inclined to believe what is written here especially since everything else points toward a sizeable Scottish army completely routed. Even that fella Neil Oliver on the BBC programme 'A history of Scotland' states as much.

Can this be straightened out with reputable sources? Given that this battle ultimately led to a wholesale ransacking of Scotland it's decisiveness should warrant respectful attention. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.149.66.138 (talk) 16:06, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Numbers Again[edit]

Be careful in quoting the size of medieval armies. Not only is '40,000' a suspiciously round number, but it was almost certainly beyond the capacity of the medieval Scottish state to raise and, more important, equip an army anywhere near this size. At Bannockburn, Robert Bruce commanded no more than about 10,000 men. Rcpaterson 22:36, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree -Colin MacDonald

Mr. Paterson makes an excellent point. There is no reason to assume that the infantry of either side were engaged at all and - as far as the sources go - it would seem likley that only one formation of the Englsih cavalry took part; a force unlikley to be greater than five or six hundred given that the cavalry (about 2,500) were almost certainly organised in four divisions, the largest of which would be the King's. The Scots are uinlikley to have been able to raise more than 1,000 men-a-arms at most - probably rather fewer - and it is unlikley that all of them would be commiteed to one operation at a distance from the main body of the army, hence my amendment of the figures in the box. CB.

More on Dunbar.[edit]

I've expanded, streamlined and refined this article; but to be perfectly honest there is not an awful lot more that can be said about the battle of Dunbar. We have very little in the way of direct evidence; we do not even know who commanded the Scottish army. We know it was not King John, who remained behind with his court at Haddington. The previous version alluded to a 'massacre' of the fleeing Scottish troops, which is news to me, having never come across any reference to this, other than the exaggerated-and suspect-figures in the English chronicles. In truth it was over so quickly that it resembles a rout rather than a proper battle. Rcpaterson 02:10, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Apparent inconsistency[edit]

There appears to be a contradiction between this entry and that on Scotland in the High Middle Ages, which suggests Dunbar marked the total destruction of the "Feudal Army" of Scotland. Can this be resolved? Wang Ming The @high Middle Ages' article is largely based on material from annals, much of which is very difficult to use without a good big dose of scholarship; best, probably, to do without the article and consult the works of A.A.M. Duncan, Richard Oram and Alex Woolf if you want to know about this stuff. Duncan's 'Scotland. The Making of the Kingdom' is -arguably - a little dated perhaps, but it is still an excellent place to start. Hope this helps, Chris.

The Campign Box.

Wikipedia editor Timsdad periodially re-writes the Campaign box to indicate a battle with 40,000 Scots against 12,000 English, however the evidence does not suggest anything of the kind. Mr Paterson - who has written extensively on Scottish medieval warfare - is absolutely right to contradict that position. If Timsdad has information to the contrary he should provide it; if he can demostrate a viable analysis of he source material to support his contention he should show the logic of his argument. Threatening to block other users does not constitute a reasoned position. Both Mr. Paterson and myself have provided the rationale of our interpretaion of this action, a rationale supported by the reord evidence and by scholarship. I may not always agree with Mr. Paterson's conclusions, but he is very clearly a man steeped in the source material of the period and I respect his scholarly integrity. Timsdad, on the other hand, has signally failed to provide any material at all to support his reversions. Until he can do so, his reversions to the Campaign Box consitiute the very 'vandalism' of which he complains. Given what we know of the 1296 campaign in particular and what we know of the general English and Scottish military pratice of the day, it is difficult to understand why Timsdad should be so eager to make the changes that he does. Is he party to some contemporary text that has somehow evaded the best efforts of Scottish and Englsih medievalists? If so, it would be very interesting to read it. It is of course possible that the entire academic community has reached unsupportable conclusions on this matter and that Timsdad's knowledge of football and skyscrapers (see his Wiki page) gives him a special insight into late medieval warfare that has been denied to scholars who have spent years - even decades - immersed in the historiograhy and paleograhy of the later Middle Ages. If so, perhaps he should tell us where we have been going wrong? In the meantime....I'm willing to back the work of Professors Nicholson, Prestwich, Barrow, Duncan and of Drs. Watson, M.Brown, King, Ayton, McNamee etc., not to mention several perfectly reputable scholars outwith the narrow confines of the academic community I'm also willing to put my name to my position rather than use a pseudonym. Perhpas Timsdad would like to give us a list of the academic publications in the field of medieval history which he has written and that have been subject to peer review. (Dr.) Chris Brown. PS, I appear to have unwittingly done somehting to remove the actual 'box' framework of the campaign box, my apologies and can someone tell me how to restore it? (but without the '40,000/12,000' stuff obviously.... CB —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.157.118.144 (talk) 15:06, 10 January 2009 (UTC)