Roleplayers and Wargamers spend a lot of time wondering what it must have been like to be on a medieval battlefield. What would it be like to witness two massive armies clashing on the battlefield with nothing less than life or death stakes.
Thanks to Cylopeatron for posting a link to this amazing article from the Economist which offers a lot of insight into what these types of battles were like through the window of a single battle during the Wars of the Roses.
The battle in question, perhaps one of the bloodiest battles in English history, took place in a small village named Towton, located between York and Leeds. There two massive armies clashed on March 29th 1461. How many men are we talking about? Well it's a medieval battle so one might think the the conflict would have been small, especially by modern standards. One would be wrong. It is estimated that as many as 75,000 men took part in the fighting that day. An epic clash that rivals even the sprawling battles found in a fantasy series such as George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, itself heavily influenced by the Wars of the Roses.
The Article has a wealth of information that fans of history are sure to enjoy, Including the tale of one casualty of the battle, christened "Towton 25" by researchers, who met a grisly end. I highly recommend you go and read the article, it is definitely worth your time, and may make you think differently about how you handle large scale conflict in your games.