The Battle of Bannockburn


The Battlefield as might have looked in 1314
This was painted by Jim Proudfoot, and is owned by the City of Stirling.

Before the Battle, Bruce spent two months training his army. He wanted to make sure his forces were mobile, since immobility had proved the undoing of the Scottish army under Wallace at Falkirk. He organised his horsemen into a light cavalry of about 500 (who faced the 2000 heavily armoured English cavalry). There were 4 Scottish Divisions of foot soldiers, and a few archers from Ettrick Forest. It is claimed that the Camerons, Campbells, Carmichaels, Chisholms, Frasers, Gordons, Grants, Gunns, Mackays, Mackintoshes, Macphersons, Macquarries, Macleans, MacDonalds, MacFarlanes, MacGregors, MacKenzies, Menzies, Munros, Robertsons, Rosses, Sinclairs, and Sutherlands were there.


They were determined as patriots to defend the Independence of Scotland under Bruce's great leadership. The fact that the Scottish nobles, knights, landowners and tenant farmers fought on foot together with their men made for a more cohesive force than the English army which was less democratic. Most of the English leaders were in the cavalry, leaving the infantry at a disadvantage. Bruce prepared the battle field by digging rows of camoflaged pits and laying calthrops to maim the cavalry horses.




The Battlefield as it is today

This decisive battle was fought in on the 23rd and 24th of June, 1314, between the Scots, headed by King Robert the Bruce, and the English, headed by their King Edward II (Longshanks son). The English were soundly defeated and Edward barely escaped capture. The film Braveheart gave the impression that the Scots only decided to fight instead of agreeing to humiliating English terms, at the last moment. This is not the case. On the contrary, Bruce won because he and his army of 5000 men, were better prepared for this battle than were the much larger English forces of 20,000.




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