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War in European history [Unknown Binding]

Michael Eliot Howard
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 165 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (2001)
  • ASIN: B0006E8408
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,268,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War in European History 25 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
An excellent and succinct introduction to the major developments in European military culture, perfect for gaining an overview of the major events and themes.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant overview 13 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The chapters this book is broken down is a brilliant way to sumarise the changes in warfare, and is also well written and enjoyable to read. We all have ideas about different periods and the tactics or weapons used, but this not only shows the progression, but reasons behind changes, ones that i had never considered before, creating a very informative yet easy to digest book on the subject.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent survey in historical context 3 Dec 2013
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a dense and vivid account, thick with historical detail and incisive analysis and definitions. You can see why it is studied in military academies, but also as a primer for history students, ranging from the early middle ages to the nuclear era. It is written with the elegance one expects from Oxbridge academics.

First, after the chaos of the dark ages, a knightly culture emerged. This was based most importantly on the establishment of heavy, stone castles, where fighting forces could find safety and also, if they were so inclined, protect the peasants more consistently. Armed with the stirrup to ensure their balance with swords and heavier pikes, they developed a formidable new manner of fighting that combined mobility and enhanced lethality. Due to the costs of this equipment and fortification, knights reinforced their privilege with investments in arms races. Finally, there was a significant shift in Christian values: newly active popes promoted the notion of a moral code, an ethics of just war and personal responsibility. They fought with God on their side, much like the Muslims, their most dangerous adversaries. There were also rules of war, whereby captured knights could be ransomed after long captivity and without mistreatment, but also on the battlefield, where custom limited carnage and ferocity between aristocrats.

Second, as riches accumulated during the Gothic era, it became common to maintain standing armies, switching emphasis to mercenaries (the condottieri of the Renaissance). With bigger and bigger organization, princely states began to emerge; they were embryonic nations, mobilizing vast new resources in men and wealth.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought as further easing for Masters course, its good for background generalised material. Its a small volume but useful and well written.
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0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good 6 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback
A good book for anyone interested in this particular area of history, especially university students.
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