Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle (above the river) is the most strategically important castle in Scotland to hold. It lies on the border of the Highlands & Lowlands. To have and hold Stirling is to control Scotland.

Edward the Confessor / Edward Longshanks (depending on if you want to use the English or Scottish nickname for him; though the Scots had many more, most of which can't be repeated in polite company) was 'invited' into Scotland to adjudicate on their internal politics. They were having a spot of bother deciding on the succession to the Scottish throne. Edward chose John Balliol, a man whom he thought he could control and the English moved in as 'peacekeepers' to help ensure that everything went to plan. Anyhow, the English turned Stirling Castle into their own stronghold with 9000 men encamped there.
Meanwhile, William Wallace and Andrew de Moray planned to rout the English and hoped to seize Stirling (a great victory and morale boost for the Scots); however, they had only 1500 men each. So they did thus...

William openly camped on the plains opposite the castle. Early one morning he and his men approached the bridge with war cries etc... The English strolled down for a bit of arse kicking before going back to their crumpets and tea. They moved forward over the bridge smirking as the cowardly Scotsmen began to draw back.... Once a large part of the English forces were on the bridge, Andrew swept into the English forces from behind and the William's men had their turn to smirk. With the English trying to flee from forces on either side of them there was, as can be expected, chaos and a lot of butchered English. A number of them dived off the side of the bridge hoping to swim downstream and leg it. Now this wasn't an entirely bad plan since the Scots weren't hugely keen archers, however, while the bridge is not ludicrously high the English weren't dressed in plaid but heavy chainmail.... They sank to the bottom of the river and thus avoided an ignominious death at the hands of the Scots but did end up being used as very large paperweights by the fishies (at least until the bridge collapsed on top of them due to the weight of the rest of the English soldiers).

Scots 1 - English 0

[Well, that score isn't entirely accurate but the Scots were victorious which was good as the English tended to win rather a lot.]


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