Highlands & Islands

Culloden was won with swords, not muskets, research claims

Memorial at Culloden Battlefield Image copyright Dr Julian Paren/Geograph
Image caption Jacobite and government armies fought at Culloden in 1746

New research on the Battle of Culloden claims that the Jacobite Army was beaten by government troops with swords, not muskets and cannon fire.

Glasgow University professor Murray Pittock said the claymore-wielding Jacobites were "outnumbered", not "outgunned".

He has studied written evidence, battlefield archaeology and weapons surrender from the 1746 battle.

The research is featured in Prof Pittock's book Culloden.

He said: "Arguably no battle out of living memory is remembered so powerfully and so falsely.

"On Culloden Moor what was, in some ways, the last Scottish army sought to restore the Stuarts to a multi-kingdom monarchy more aligned to European politics than colonial struggle. They were in many essentials a regular army.

"Outnumbered but not outgunned, cavalry proved their downfall.

"My own archival research and the battlefield archaeology of the site shows that it was not British ball that brought down kilted swordsmen as much as British dragoon blades that cut down Jacobite musketeers.

"Culloden as it happened is in fact much more interesting than Culloden as it is remembered."

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