chapter  12
The Distinctiveness of Gaelic Warfare, 1400–1750
ByJames Michael Hill
Pages 23

This chapter provides the distinctiveness of Gaelic warfare by comparing and contrasting it with more conventional forms of warfare during the modern period and to show that at least one small comer of Europe did not experience a 'military revolution'. Gaelic warfare during the period 1644 to 1746 emphasized the frontal shock attack across rugged terrain, with the broadsword – not the musket – as the principal weapon. Gaelic warfare faced a crisis in the latter years of the seventeenth century that were brought on by tactical and technological improvements and changes on Europe's battlefields. Developments in Gaelic warfare from 1400 to 1750 generally have been omitted from the writings of those who expound the theory of a 'military revolution' in modern Europe. The true distinctiveness of Gaelic tactical warfare until its demise at Culloden lay in its stubborn insistence on offensive combat.