This week long ago: Please may I have some Moor please sir?

The Battle of Tours or Battle of Poitiers took place on October 10 732.

The battle has two names from its site at Moussais-la-Bataille which is located between the two. Charles Martel led the Franks and Burgandian forces against the Moorish caliphate of the Umayyad dynesty led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi.

Charles Martel in the battle

The battle is often characterised, particularly by historians of the nineteenth century (in the heat of muscular christianity and the regrowth of catholicism) as being a decisive moment in the Christian defence of Europe. In the less religiously inclined twentieth century the battle has been interpreted more as the first step in the increased political power of the Franks and the setting up of the initial stages for Carolingian Empire.

The battle itself happened after a build up of seven days worth of skirmishes. In the cold French October the Franks had an advantage (clearly no-one had told the moors to pack their woolly jumpers) of knowing what to expect. The Umayyad forces also underestimated the strength of the Franks and did not sufficiently scout the forces.

Post the defeat the Moors retreated over the Pyrenees.

If you wanted a Franco-Moorish face off though we don’t sell the exact belligerents there are a few chaps in the HaT ancients range, the Strelets Normans and some other ancient chaps could perhaps be suitably amended. Have you recreated this battle? What did you use?