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Tolkien doesn't have a whole lot to say about the Battle of Dale or the events leading up to it, but there's enough canon to get a sense of the timeline and general troop movements as well as make an educated guess as to the sizes of the armies involved. First, the borders of Brand's kingdom have to be drawn.
Assuming then that the Northmen are as strong or more so, united under Brand's crown (Esgaroth excluded, perhaps), as when Thrór ruled as King Under the Mountain, the greater realm of Dale likely consists of all the land between the River Running in the west and the Redwater in the east, which takes its name from the ore in the Iron Hills. This is an area roughly comparable to Rohan, and the Bardings, who are kin to the Rohirrim, probably live in much the same way, in scattered farming and fishing villages. Dale is, of course, the largest city but, strategically, I'd expect there to be another fortified town where the Celduin and Carnen meet at the kingdom's southernmost point.
In military terms and, again, using Rohan as a model, I feel an army of no more than 10,000 is plausible for the whole of Dale, with the town of Dale supplying a good half of this force—not only infantry and cavalry, but a small fleet to patrol and defend the rivers. Brand's problem, like Théoden's on the eve of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, is that his is not primarily a standing army and mustering soldiers who are usually busy being farmers and fishermen takes time on the order of weeks. The Easterlings are not so accomodating as that. When the Council of Elrond convenes on October 25 (The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: The Tale of Years), they're already posturing threateningly on their side of the Redwater.
From Appendix B, some relevant dates:
Lastly, the account of the battle and siege, also from Appendix B:
Note that the Easterlings cross the Carnen on March 14, but the battle at the Mountain's feet doesn't begin until three days later and then lasts three days in what, if I'm not mistaken, is the longest single engagement during the War of the Ring. My guess is that, owing to the difficulties of mustering his forces quickly and defending the entire length of his eastern border, Brand doesn't have the numbers to do more than harry the enemy after he fails to stop them at the river. Once he retreats to Dale, he's joined by Dáin and probably several thousand Dwarven warriors, and together with the advantages of better weapons and armor, whatever fortifications had been raised, they slow the enemy to a crawl, such that it takes the Easterlings three bloody days to press down the valley between the Mountain's eastern and southern spurs, as described in The Hobbit, to reach the gates of Erebor. That is where Brand and Dáin finally fall, as night gathers on March 19/20.
While the Easterlings have the victory in the Battle of Dale, it costs them so severely that they can only besiege the Mountain, for a full week, rather than overwhelming its defenses by storm. Not to mention, they almost kind of give up and go home or the military equivalent. Besides low morale upon hearing word of Sauron's fall (the Eagles!), I've speculated that the Easterlings suffer from a lack of command unity—possibly because they were intended to join the forces of Dol Guldur or vice versa with the three Nazgûl, led by Khamûl, himself once an Easterling, originally in command there as their generals; possibly because their best fighting units were deployed in the south against Gondor—and are attacked by levies from Dale's outlying villages come to break the siege. Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith are similarly relieved by the defenders sallying forth when new reinforcements arrive on the field.
Here Smaug routs the Easterlings on the morning of March 12, leaving Brand and Dáin time enough to gather their forces and march to Thranduil's aid in Mirkwood. The Battle of Dale never happens, and neither does the third assault on Lórien. Instead, with the Men and Dwarves lending his enemies unexpected numbers, Sauron's orc army is not only defeated in short order but driven south to Dol Guldur, which is besieged and destroyed before the Ring is cast into the fires of Mount Doom. News of victory in the north is brought by the Eagles to the Captains of the West at the Black Gate, heartening the allied host for the final effort. Emissaries from Dale and Erebor, with a strange tale to tell, follow down the Anduin for King Elessar's coronation on May 1.
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