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Posted on May 4, 2005 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

The Battle For Basing House – An English Civil War Re-Enactment

Armchair General

THE BATTLE

Once the displays were over, it was time for battle. Already we had seen some Parliamentarian troops from the New Model Army practicing their Musket drill at the other end of the battlefield. Now, as we watched, and to the beating of the drums, the enemy approached in force.

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Safe behind the outer defences of the house, the Royalists began to taunt the enemy with a flourish of their Colours. The two sides come face to face at last.

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Long-range Musket fire is exchanged, to little effect. The troops are going to have to engage more closely. In the real battle for Basing House, artillery featured prominently, with the enormous towers of the house pounded from afar. Today, of course, the events are somewhat scaled down, however it was not hard to understand the terror of combat with the noise and smoke filling the air. Once battle is joined, it’s not long before the outer defences are breached and teams of Pikemen engage each other directly.

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Before long, the battlefield is clouded in smoke and debris as the battle becomes a melee. Pikemen fight each other in a brutal scrum, each side trying to push aside the other.

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Musketeers fire volley after volley at their opponents.

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Before resorting to hand-to-hand combat.

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Casualties begin to mount… The battle becomes increasingly desperate as the Royalists are overwhelmed.

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Women tend to the wounded and supply water to those fighting. Stretcher bearers ferry the wounded from the carnage.

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And the battle is over. The "dead" litter the field, the Royalists are routed, Cromwell’s forces are triumphant. Time to get up and go home…

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I hope you have enjoyed these pictures, and I thoroughly recommend attending any re-enactments in your area.

To view the complete set of images, go to the ACG image gallery here.

Andrew Summersgill

andrew@armchairgeneral.com

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