The character of vvarre, or The image of martiall discipline contayning many vsefull directions for musters & armes, and the very first principles in discipline, the ground postures, all the military motions now vsed ... By Edvvard Cooke.
Cooke, Edward, fl. 1626-1631.

CHAP. XXIII. Of the vse of Doubling.

THere is two kinde of Doubling, the one of Rankes, the o∣ther of fies. The first doth double thea Length, the second the Depth of your battell.

The Length of your battell may bee doubled in Place or Num∣ber.

Inb place, when euery file doth open, from three foot to six foot, which is your open order in files. By this meanes the Front possesseth double ground to that it had before. There is another way to double the Front in place, as you shall heare anon.

The Length of your battell isc doubled in Number, when of twentie in a ranke, it is made fortie, and of fortie fourescore. So that you haue twice as many men in the Front as you had before.

This doubling of the Length of your battell by number, may be done vpon fit occasion, either in open order, or in order

In open order, by doubling of Rankes, by middle men doing Page  [unnumbered] the same. By bringers vp doubling the front either to the right or left hand at discretion. In order by middle men doubling of the Front, either to the right or left hand intire, or by deuission to both. Which doth likewise double the length of a Battell, not onely in number but in place also, as Captaine Bingham doth ob∣serue in his notes upon Aelian chap. 29.*

Two Causes are assigned for the doubling of the length of your Battell both in number and place. The one to ouerwing the enemie. The other to auoid ouerwinging.

Two wayes you may auoid ouerwinging.

One is by making choise of such a ground, as may giue you this aduantage of the enemie; That he can neuer compasse you in behinde,* nor flanke you on the sides. Now if you cannot finde such a ground, vse art. Cast a trench vpon each flanke; or Wag∣gons on either Wing. As Syila and Huniades did, fearing to be en∣compassed by the multitude of their enemies.

The second way to auoid ouerwinging is, by placing of Aides in the Reare of your Battell; or by laying them in Ambush aloofe off, that so vpon a word giuen they may suddenly start out vpon the Enemy, as Caesar made his to doe at the Battell of Pharsalia, where he put Pompey the Great to flight. These Aides must be of the most chiefest Souldiers you haue, with Officers appointed for their conduct, as was vsed by the auntient Romanes before and in Vegetius time,* who did alwaies res rue many of these Aides, when their number was inferior to their Enemies, their Battell lesse pitched, and they in danger to be ouerwinged. But when they had plenty of fighting men, they by Doubling would make their Battell equall in length and depth to their Enemies. So that they could not breake through or ouerwinge them.

Thus much to aoid ouerwinging. And for the doubling of the length of a Battell in plce and number.

*The depth of your Battell is doubled in place, when euery Ranke from the swords point opens to three foot, from three foot to six foot, from six foot to twelue foot, which is your double di∣stance. The vse of this is twofold.

First to imploy a great deale of ground for your owne aduan∣tage, making your number seeme more then it is. Secondly, to make way for the Canon shot, by which the enemy afar of would annoy your flanks. Therefore you march at a double distance.

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The depth of your Battell is doubled by number,* when of ten in File, it is made twenty, of twenty forty, and of sorry fourescore.

The doubling of the depth of your Battell may be done vpon fit occasion, either in open order or in close order.

In open order, by doubling of Files: When Files double by Countermarch, either to the right or left hand: Or when halfe the Rankes double the right or left flanke: When Ranks file by conuersion, either to the right or left hand, which is vsually done at a double distance.

In order (or close order) by aduancing of Files to the right or left hand: By File-leaders drawing forth their Files (into one) or if you will both to the right and left hand by diuision. Then both right and left hand File leads forth together: so the body is drawne into two Files.

All these waies and more, may the depth of your Battell be doubled in place and number, not to change the forme thereof, or (if it be) to alter the fashion, whereby your Battell may bee made suteable to the ground vpon any occasion: which is not the least thing to be taken notice of.


A large fronted Battell is vnfit for a narrow place.

A deepe narrow Battell for a Champion, is not so suteable.

This the Romanes and Grecians knew full well, and therefore they would order themselues accordingly, making a politicke vse of either, as they saw occasion.

It is reported of Manius Acilius the Romane Consul, that be∣ing to fight with Antiochus the Great in the Straits of Thermopy∣les, because therein he could march with his men no more then fiue in Front. He ordered all his Legions into an*Orthiophalanx, wich was a kinde of Battell in forme of a Heirse, of far greater depth than length. Thus being extended in depth (and but fiue in Ranke) he proceeded on, appointing Marcus Cato (one of his Tribunes) with a selected band of men to fetch a compasse about to seeke some other passage: If not, to scale the Rocks, and then to seize vpon Antiochus Campe. And likewise hee sent Lucius Ʋalerius (another of his Tribunes) wih a like band of men, to force the Aetlians from the Rocks on the other side, (he being to passe vnder them) that so hauing gained the Rocks, they might further his passage, and annoy Antiochus from thence wih Page  [unnumbered] missiue weapons. He himselfe led his Army in Front against An∣tiochus in the manner before said. Now Antiochus hauing forti∣fied the Straits with a wall (where it was broad) stood there ready to receiue him with his Battell of Macedonians, farre broader in Front than Acilius Armie was. But when Marcus Cato had gai∣ned the Hills, Antiochus was instantly strucke into amazement, and Acilius taking courage thereby, came brauely on, and forced Antiochus to flight. Thus suting his Battell to the nature of the place, (and yet making vse of his men for his best aduantage) he obtained a glorious victory.

One example more out of Xenophons Historie, and so I will conclude.

*The Grecians which Cherisophus and Xenophon conducted out of Persia, were in the Champaigne ordered into a square hollow Battell, euery part of like strength, with their baggage and loose multitude in the midst.

These Grecians when they came into the Country of the Cardu∣chans and Colchans, were otherwise ordered.

There was high Hilles, huge steepe Mountaines, and but narrow passage. They must now be Imbattelled (not in a hollow*Plaesium) but in seuerall Companies, and euery Company into a single File, euery file hauing an hundred men a peece, ascending those steepe Mountaines, and beating the enemie from thence, which stood thereon in battell aray, doing more with ten thousand men, than a King of Persia could doe with twelue Myriades, that is, twelue hundred thousand.

Thus the Grecians and Romanes (Mirrours of Armes and lear∣ning) did alwaies shape their battell according to the proportion of ground, and being perfect in the art of Imbattelling, did all things proper as they saw occasion. The like must we. And thus much shall suffice for the doubling of the Length and Depth of a Phalange or Battell. Now followes the Distances to be obserued in them. So the words of command shall follow for all in the fiue and twentieth Chapter.