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Author Topic: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599  (Read 749 times)

Offline OB

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 292
The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« on: December 10, 2019, 12:09:17 PM »
The Battle of the Curlew Pass fought in August 1599 is an interesting encounter. 

It saw what may have been the last successful charge of the traditional Galloglaich and an English cavalry charge up hill across a bog that saved the English army.

It also contributed directly to the Earl of Essex losing his head as its result destroyed his grand strategy for victory in Ireland. Today, it's a little known action. If it's of interest to you I have the full story, as best as I can tell it, on my blog.

https://youdonotknowthenorth.blogspot.com

Offline fred

  • Scatterbrained Genius
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    • Miniature Gaming
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2019, 12:40:59 PM »
Another really good write up.

Thanks for sharing

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 296
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2019, 12:43:09 PM »
Once again, an excellent story well told.  Was there any particular reason that English casualties were so much higher than those of the Irish during the peliminary skirmishing?  It seems to be almost a constant theme across all the engagements you have covered so far, and seems to contradict the "popular" (ie erroneous!) view that the Irish were slow to take up "modern" weapons and adapt their tactics to them.
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

Offline Eoin OCnaimhsi

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 49
    • oldworldtales
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2019, 12:48:08 PM »
Have been looking forward to the next installment.

Great stuff and well written as always.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2019, 02:33:14 PM by Eoin OCnaimhsi »
My Mostly 16th Century Irish blog
https://oldworldtalestabletop.blogspot.com/?m=1

"Lamh Dearg abu"

Offline OB

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 292
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2019, 02:25:35 PM »
Thanks very much Fred and Eoin.  I think my next two will be Recruiting the New Irish Army and The New English Army of 1599.

Thank you too Baron.  The English shot were mainly pressed men rather than volunteers and so were less motivated.  They were mainly interested in finding an opportunity to get home.  That might not have impacted as badly as it did if they had not had their wages deducted for every shot they fired.  The latter meant that their marksmanship and weapons handling was greatly inferior to the Irish shot.  They had been actively disincentivised from learning their trade because to do so would make the poorer.

They also only had slightly over half of their men armed with calivers the rest carried muskets. The musket was not suitable for Irish service being too heavy and too slow. 

Mountjoy's reforms of 1599 that I'll write about addressed both of these issues and some others.

The New Irish Army was indeed ground breaking modern at least as far as the foot were concerned.


Offline Eoin OCnaimhsi

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  • Posts: 49
    • oldworldtales
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2019, 03:00:39 PM »
Horesemen seem absent aby this point from Irish forces. Not that they were fantastic, but it is surprising that they were not made the best use of in the roles they were suitable.

If possible could you in a future post give a bibliography or links for some of your sources. I want to do some reading myself for my project.

Offline OB

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 292
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2019, 03:28:28 PM »
Yes, it's conspicuous absence isn't it.  They weren't there, nor was O'Donnell.  Clifford didn't face the the full Irish army.  The Irish pike or at least some of them came up in time to fight but the Horse didn't probably because it was such poor cavalry ground.

I'll produce some sort of bibliography post when I've finished the series.  In the meantime where I mention Irish law I'm relying on Fergus Kelly or Nerys Patterson.  For Mountjoy Falls biography of the same name. For Tyrone Hiram Morgan and Micheline Kearny Walsh.  Hayes-McCoy and Falls are old but still interesting as are Canny and DB Quinn. Brendan Bradshaw also.  Clan histories are very worthwhile.  I found great stuff on jstor.

I'd suggest though that you get a copy of James O'Neill's The Nine Years War which is bang up to date excellent scholarship.  It's available in both paperback and hardback and currently is the definitive book on the War.  I think it's a classic-nicely written too.

Hope that helps.

Offline Eoin OCnaimhsi

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  • Posts: 49
    • oldworldtales
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2019, 03:55:51 PM »
It does indeed! Thank you kindly.

Fair play to you, you have certainly done a solid amount of research.

Offline OB

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 292
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2019, 04:01:25 PM »
Thanks Eoin.

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 296
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2019, 06:20:24 AM »
The English shot were mainly pressed men rather than volunteers and so were less motivated.  They were mainly interested in finding an opportunity to get home.  That might not have impacted as badly as it did if they had not had their wages deducted for every shot they fired.  The latter meant that their marksmanship and weapons handling was greatly inferior to the Irish shot.  They had been actively disincentivised from learning their trade because to do so would make the poorer.

Good lord, you couldn't make it up, could you?  At least the 18th Century guys got to take the uniforms they purchased with them when they left the Army.

That really is just....bizarre!!!

Offline has.been

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1801
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2019, 07:02:31 AM »
Thanks for posting.

Offline Romark

  • Supporting Adventurer
  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • *
  • Posts: 2888
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2019, 09:34:02 AM »
I'm enjoying these,thanks for posting  :)


Offline OB

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 292
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2019, 04:49:34 PM »
Much appreciated lads.

Offline Metternich

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1735
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2019, 03:59:33 PM »
A very interesting posting; thanks for writing it.

Offline OB

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 292
Re: The Battle of the Curlew Pass-Ireland 1599
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2019, 08:58:51 PM »
Thank you, much appreciated.