While medieval military life is sometimes pictured in terms of knights in armour with splendid coats of arms, the reality more often consisted of men struggling against cold and damp and against elusive foes who refused to do battle. In this book, Michael Prestwich re-creates the experience of medieval warfare, examining how English medieval armies fought, how men of all ranks of society were recruited, how the troops were fed, supplied and deployed, what new weapons were developed, and what structure was set in place for military command. Michael Prestwich challenges many common assumptions about medieval warfare. He argues that medieval commanders were capable of much more sophisticated strategies than is usually assumed: spies were an important part of the machinery of war, and the destruction of crops and the burning of villages were part of a deliberate plan to force a foe to negotiate, rather than an indication of lack of discipline. Sieges, often lengthy and expensive, were more prevalent in war than were battles. In battle, the mounted knight was never as dominant as is often thought: even in the 12th century, many battles were won by unmounted men. Medieval warfare was not, on the whole, any more chivalric than warfare of other periods, although there were many notable individual deeds, particularly during the Hundred Years War, that brought great chivalric renown to those who performed them.