1. Chainmail was nearly impervious to all attacks, especially arrows.
2. Nearly 95% of casualties were inflicted during a rout. A rout was the disorganized fleeing of an army after its morale or formation was broken by the opposing side.
3. Child marriage was rarer than many think, especially for nobles. The normal marrying age was 18 to 25.
4. Most high-born commanders were neither incompetent nor cowardly. They spent their whole lives being trained on how to command battles, and lead and inspire men.
5. The average bow was a terrible personal weapon. They were always deployed en masse and few archers hit what they aimed at.
6. The longbow required years of practice and could fire like a machine gun, but a single arrow was worth more than a soldier’s spear.
7. Archers had to be some of the biggest and most muscular men in the army to handle the massive draw of a medieval bow.
8. Crusader knights walked through storms of arrows like rain because Saracen bows were too weak to pierce steel chainmail and leather.
9. Nearly all knights suffered from extreme post-traumatic stress disorder. They cried and screamed during their sleep, had horrifying flashbacks and often thought of suicide.
10. Most wars were either due to religious differences between Christian peasants, or business transactions of the nobility involving land and power.
11. Guns had no value over bows (except the noise) for more than 200 years. In fact, guns and cannons were only used to a minor degree, and bows still had the monopoly on power, force, range and rate of fire.
12. The Normans were the finest soldiers in Europe for more than 100 years. They invented castle building knights and even finalized the feudal system. These innovations saw them conquer lands from England to Africa.
13. The Byzantine Empire contained some of the brightest military minds of the Middle Ages. They had a battle doctrine for every possible foe. They believed that the Saracens were their smartest foes, and the Franks to be their fiercest.
14. Most medieval battles were not exciting pitched battles like we’re accustomed to seeing in movies, but nearly all of them were completely one-sided massacres.
15. Your average medieval arming sword was designed for piercing and hacking to get through chainmail. After plate armor became ubiquitous in the 14th Century, almost no-one carried arming swords into battle anymore – the belligerents relied on longswords, maces, hammer, picks and hooks instead.