Highland charge

shock troopsdashed towardIrish Charge
The Highland charge was a battlefield shock tactic used by the clans of the Scottish Highlands which incorporated the use of firearms.wikipedia
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Battle of Culloden

CullodenCulloden BattlefieldJacobite defeat at Culloden
The final and least successful use of the Highland charge was in 1746 during the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745, the Battle of Culloden.
The two forces eventually met at Culloden, on terrain that made the highland charge difficult and gave the larger and well-armed British forces the advantage.

Donald Cameron of Lochiel

Donald CameronLochielCameron of Lochiel
Donald Cameron of Lochiel led the Camerons to join them and some other clans followed in a spontaneous, uncoordinated and disorganized charge in which many failed to use their firearms.
Because they mustered the tenants, acted as officers and functioned as shock troops in time of war, Argyll had inadvertently made himself militarily weaker through breaking the traditional bond with tacksmen.

Basket-hilted sword

broadswordbroadswordsschiavona
As a result, in the 17th century, Highlander warriors developed a lighter, one-handed basket-hilted broadsword that protected the hand.
At range, this strategy would do little against musket armed troops firing in volleys or artillery using canister shot (while effective against bayonets, the targe would not fare so well against a musket ball), which necessitated tactics such as the "Highland Charge", which required a Jacobite war band to close with their targets as quickly as possible, normally under heavy fire, using the smoke from musket and cannon fire to cover the last leg of the assault before attacking the line.

Alasdair Mac Colla

Alasdair MacDonald (MacColla)MacCollaAlistair McColla
The Scottish and Irish warrior Alasdair Mac Colla is sometimes credited with inventing the Highland charge during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms to meet a particular set of battlefield challenges.
Mac Colla has been credited with inventing or refining the tactic of the Highland charge, which came to be a feature of several battles of the following century.

Battle of Falkirk Muir

Battle of FalkirkFalkirkFalkirk Muir
This happened at the Battle of Tippermuir and the Battle of Falkirk Muir.
The Highland right and centre fired one volley, flung down their muskets and dashed toward the Hanoverian infantry, claymores in hand.

Battle of Prestonpans

Prestonpansdefeatedvictory at Prestonpans
The inexperienced government troops were outflanked and broke in the face of a highland charge.

History of the kilt

great plaidkiltkilted
For battle it was customary to take off the kilt beforehand and set it aside, the Highland charge being made wearing only the léine or war shirt.

Tacksman

tacksmentacktacks
Because they mustered the tenants, acted as officers and functioned as shock troops in time of war, Argyll had inadvertently weakened his military position and that of the Hanoverians in the 1745 Jacobite Rising.

Rebel yell

Civil War battle cry of the same nameYeeha!yell
Another plausible source of the rebel yell, advanced by historian Grady McWhiney, is that it derived from the screams traditionally made by Scottish Highlanders when they made a Highland charge during battle.

Redshank (soldier)

redshanksRedshankScottish Gaelic mercenaries
Combined with the use of muskets, this could have influenced the development of what was later referred to as the "highland charge", a tactic of firing a single coordinated musket volley before closing at a run with sword and targe.

Scotland in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms

Scottish Civil WarWars of the Three KingdomsCivil War
These locally raised levies frequently ran away when faced with a terrifying Highland charge, and were slaughtered as they ran.

Manus O'Cahan's Regiment

Manus O'CahanO'Cahan's Regiment
In the course of the conflict they developed a new battle technique known as the 'Irish Charge', which involved discarding heavy weapons such as pikes and muskets to rush the enemy to kill them at close quarter with dirks, daggers and swords or even with unarmed combat tactics.

Killiecrankie

The Highland charge of the Jacobites took the government forces under General Hugh MacKay by surprise and completely overwhelmed them in only 10 minutes.

David Morier

Morier's most famous painting depicts the Highland charge at the climax of the Battle of Culloden, when the charging Highlanders faced off against Col. Barrell's 4th Regiment of Foot.

Battle of Aberdeen (1644)

Battle of AberdeenAberdeenoutside Aberdeen
The Aberdeen Militia gave way before a final "Highland charge" and fled into the town, pursued by Laghtnan's men, beginning a general retreat of the government forces.

Battle of Dunkeld

Dunkeld
However, in the town's narrow, winding streets there was no room for the type of Highland charge that succeeded at Killiecrankie.

Fort George, Highland

Fort GeorgeInvernessFort George, Ardersier
Displays include the history of the regiments, their links to the clans, the Highland charge, Sergeant Alexander Edwards and other notable regimental members, and the regiments' activities in different conflicts.

Shock tactics

shock combatshockshock action
The Highland charge was a battlefield shock tactic used by the clans of the Scottish Highlands which incorporated the use of firearms.

Scottish clan

clanclansclan system
The Highland charge was a battlefield shock tactic used by the clans of the Scottish Highlands which incorporated the use of firearms.

Scottish Highlands

HighlandsHighlandHighlanders
The Highland charge was a battlefield shock tactic used by the clans of the Scottish Highlands which incorporated the use of firearms.

Battle axe

battle-axebattleaxeaxe
Prior to the 17th century, Highlanders fought in tight formations, led by a heavily armed warrior elite who carried heavy battle axes or claymores (two-handed swords whose name comes from the Scottish Gaelic claidheamh mòr "great sword").

Claymore

claymoresclaidheamh mórBasket-hilted claymore
Prior to the 17th century, Highlanders fought in tight formations, led by a heavily armed warrior elite who carried heavy battle axes or claymores (two-handed swords whose name comes from the Scottish Gaelic claidheamh mòr "great sword").