The Irish Warrior
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It is absolutely stunning; however, it was impractical for combat and was most likely only used for ritual purposes. Celtic shield designs were frequently imitated throughout the classic western world. For clothing, the Celtic warrior usually wore the so-called Braccae wool trousers and a light cloak, although the Romans reported one group of Celts charged into battle completely naked. Celtic Cavalry At first, horses were used only in conjunction with chariots.
Each chariot consisted of two crew members: a driver and a noble warrior or champion. The ancient writers described the Celtic chariots use as a mixture of cavalry and infantry tactics. The chariot would drive into the battle where the warrior jumps out of the vehicle and fights as an infantry warrior.
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Once the warrior tired he would jump back on the chariot. The chariots would also drive up and down the battle lines throwing javelins and intimidating opponents with the load noises they made. Caesar describes that the drivers as extremely agile on the chariot, they would even climb forward on the yoke in order to steer the horses better. Celtic chariots used a suspension system that allowed them to operate on rough ground and even on steep hillsides.
Mounted cavalry arose only later, particularly in Britain where chariots were still used in battle much longer than anywhere else in the world. Celtic riders were usually rather light cavalry.
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They fought by first unleashing a hail of javelins on their opponents, then they followed up by attacking with lances and swords. An exception to this was the nobles who often functioned as heavy cavalry, particuarly in Gual. Celtic Military Tactics The normal Celtic sword fighter was probably a heavy infantryman. They typically fought unarmored in a battle line formation.
The center piece of Celtic tactics was the mass charge. However, the Romans tended to out endure the less well armored and disciplined Celts if they could with stand the initial ferocity of their rush and usually came out on the winning side of prolonged battles. The Celts also fought defensively at times. They could form a deadly and formidable shield wall. Caesar describes a Celtic Phalanx that formed to defend the Helvetia wagons.
The Romans set launched their Pila in order to weight down or pin their overlapping shields to one another. The Galatians, who formed a warlike Celtic state in the highlands of central Anatolia in modern Turkey , also used a tight, phalanx like formation.
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It has been theorized that they developed this technique to deal with the open plains, mounted troops and Greek formations they encountered on their route to Asia Minor. In addition to these open combat methods the Celts also employed Guerilla tactics. They understood well that they could gain an advantage by attacking their opponents from forest or by disturb them with raids and ambushes.
This enabled the more lightly armored Celts to take advantage of their speed and knowledge of terrain. At one point during Caesars Gaelic campaign an army of Celts surprised Caesars forces as they were setting up camp. It was only with a great amount of luck, by Caesars own admission, that he and his army were not annihilated. Celtic Warrior Culture The Celts were a warrior culture. Fighters were admired like heroes and courage in the battleground was an important virtue.
The Celtic elite fighters functioned as models, which should inspire other warriors by their courage. The Celts cut off the heads of killed enemies and collected them. It was considered a spiritual gesture, which often also appears in other cultures. The head was valued by the Celts as the seat of life, emotions and the soul. He who had captured a head attained the strength of the fallen enemy. Such trophies were bound to their horse or fastened to their belts, a practice that also served to cause fear in their enemies. Mistress of The Storm.
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