Feudal armies in Europe from
the 11th to the 14th century produced a core group
of premium fighting men
— the mounted knights.
Over time, they became more heavily armored and
reliant upon the shattering force of horse, lance
and wide-bladed sword. In their wake, massed ranks
of foot-soldiers engaged the enemy with long
polearms (essentially weapons mounted on the end of
a long pole), hoping to dismount and finish off any
enemy knight. The fighting was brutal and bloody,
conducted in a crush of jabbing, thrusting weapons.