It's mostly a source question, because the topic is too large to be covered by simple questions and answers, so im sorry if i posted this in the wrong place.

I'm trying to research on the differences between the typical composition (i.e. typical ratio of archers, heavy infantry, cavalry, etc.) and standard tactics during the middle ages, particularly across culture. In other words, how a standard English army differed from a standard Arab, Iranian, Greek, etc. one. (No particular reason why English is mentioned first) Im looking for sources, but having trouble because its both highly specialized (medieval army composition and tactics) and broad (not just Western Europe or one country). I was wondering if anyone could direct me to a good resource to find what im looking for.

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    I doubt you'll find a single resource covering all cultures and spanning a period of a thousand years.
    – Steve Bird
    Jul 13, 2019 at 21:48
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    Try the wikipedia entries of famous battles. Many of them hold, in a fairly standard snippet of html, the size of the adversary armies. And a number of those in turn give some level of detail as to what type of units were included in those numbers. So, while it wouldn't necessarily be complete or exhaustive (or even correct), it might give you a rough idea. Jul 13, 2019 at 23:16
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    Generally source requests are out of scope because they are subjective and ephemeral; they tend not to produce authoritative answers. Search meta for multiple questions like this one. Combining a source request with the breadth of this question (a millenium of history and all human cultures) and I'm not optimistic. Can you narrow the focus? Is there a way to more precisely express what you want to know?
    – MCW
    Jul 14, 2019 at 0:04
  • @ItalianPhilosopher, the Wikipedia articles also generally note, especially for the "famous" battles, that the reported numbers are wildly exaggerated.
    – Mark
    Jul 15, 2019 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


Yes, you have to look for historical wargame manuals and army lists of the period you are interested in. Wargame Research Group is a good start.

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