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.

Basket-hilted sword

broadswordbroadswordsbasket hilt
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)Alasdair Mac Colla ChiotaichAlasdair Mac Colla Chiotaich MacDomhnaill
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.

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.

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.

Military history of Scotland

Scottish armydefence establishmentsproud military past
Military history of Scotland
Highland charge

Shock tactics

shock combatshockshock attack
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

claymoresBasket-hilted claymoreclaidheamh mór
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").

Scottish Gaelic

GaelicScottishScots Gaelic
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").

Musket

musketsmusket ballmusketry
However, with the introduction of muskets and cannon, such formations became vulnerable.

Cullands Grove

cannongunscannons
However, with the introduction of muskets and cannon, such formations became vulnerable.

Shield

shieldsbattle-shieldKetayam
This was generally used with a shield or targe strapped to the weak arm and a dirk or biotag "long knife" held in the other hand.

Targe

round shieldScottish targeTarga
This was generally used with a shield or targe strapped to the weak arm and a dirk or biotag "long knife" held in the other hand.

Dirk

Naval dirkceremonial dirkdirk knives
This was generally used with a shield or targe strapped to the weak arm and a dirk or biotag "long knife" held in the other hand.

Wars of the Three Kingdoms

Civil WarCivil WarsScottish Civil War
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.

Celts

CelticCeltCeltic people
It was initially known as the Irish charge, due to it first being implemented in Ireland, by Montrose's Irish brigade, before the Irish used it in Scotland again under Montrose.The use of the charge greatly resembled older Celtic fighting styles of battle in which one side would rush at the other in an attempt to break the line of battle.

Bayonet

bayonetsbayonet chargebayoneted
Before the adoption of ring attachments for bayonets, the attachment consisted of a plug inserted into the barrel, which meant a musket could not be fired or reloaded with a fixed bayonet.

Pike (weapon)

pikepikespikemen
Those enemy soldiers with plug attachments (some carried a pike) had only moments to fix bayonets while under psychological pressure from the onrushing Highlanders brandishing swords and roaring their war cries.

Battle of Killiecrankie

KilliecrankieThe Battle of Killiecrankie 1689The Battle of Killiecrankie, 1689
At the Battle of Killiecrankie Lowland Scots who were veterans of the Dutch wars were overwhelmed by Highlanders of clan Cameron; the Highlanders secured a complete victory by a charge which killed 2000 redcoats for the loss of 800 Highlanders.

Battle of Tippermuir

Tippermuir
This happened at the Battle of Tippermuir and the Battle of Falkirk Muir.

Jacobite rising of 1745

Jacobite rising1745 Jacobite risingJacobite Rebellion
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.

Charles Edward Stuart

Bonnie Prince CharlieYoung PretenderCharles Stuart
The battle pitted the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart against an army commanded by Prince William, Duke of Cumberland loyal to the British government.