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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Did an `English art of war' exist during the century that preceded the civil wars of 1642-9?", 28 Nov 2011
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: English Warfare, 1511-1642 (Warfare and History) (Paperback)
From the Author's Preface:
"Did an `English art of war' exist during the century that preceded the civil wars of 1642-9? When Englishmen fought Englishmen at Edgehill (October 1642), how expert were they in the practice of arms? Were Tudor and early Stuart English soldiers inferior to their continental counterparts? This book examines English land warfare from 1511 to 1642, blending narrative with thematic exploration of topics such as the military obligation and logistics."

The Contents are -
P001: The Early Tudor art of war on the Continent
P021: The Early Tudor art of war in the British Isles
P050: The defence of the shire: lieutenancy
P082: The defence of the realm: impressments and mobilisation
P114: Elizabethan Warfare in the North, 1560-73
P137: Elizabethan Warfare in the Netherlands, 1572-92
P154: Elizabethan and Jacobean allied operations on the continent, 1587-1622
P181: Ordnance and logistics, 1511-1642
P207: Hibernian Warfare under the Tudors, 1558-1601
P236: The Irish military establishment, 1603-42
P255: The Caroline art of war
P282: English warfare turned upon itself
P304: Notes
P363: Bibliographic Essay
P370: Index

From the Preface again:
"For all the controversies about, and criticisms of, English warfare that appeared in English print during the century and a half before 1642, debate raised the question of how to defend the realm. Diversity of English opinion stemmed from the varieties of continental military practices. What weapons, tactics and organisational frameworks best served England? England was not Europe. The relationship between country and Crown, between the shires and the court, was distinctly English, and affected how soldiers were pressed from the populations of the towns and countryside, and how the lieutenancy managed local defence... That every shire was reasonably proximate to the sea meant that the responsibility of the defence of the realm fell to all inhabitants. Exercise of the military obligation was thus consensual and channelled through traditional patterns of local autonomy and patronage, which meant that mobilization rarely could be achieved unilaterally or immediately. Similarly, English governments relied upon decentralised supply systems. Unless these arrangements were made with a certain thoroughness (as in dealing with the shires) the victuallers, arms manufacturers and ordnance officers could not assemble the materiel requisite for victory. Several times English military ventures failed because logistics were handled hastily, not because the English did not know how to fight. One truism, which deserves further research, is that English arms usually prevailed when they had access to artillery. The judicious use of cannon may be the salient development in English land warfare as it is in the emergence of English naval power."
"At the end of the day, what WAS English warfare? Then English approached to warfare with eclecticism and adaptability. Except for a few bellicose anomalies, few Englishmen relished going to war; it was an arduous and disagreeable task that had to be done, and done rightly, so that the realm might return to peace. The fluidity with which the English moved from fighting upon the seas to fielding land armies resulted from geography - there were many theatres that required defending. When in those theatres of war, the English did their best to assimilate the style of combat that suited the terrain and enemy. The English art of war was more than the sum of the parts - rather it consisted of the manner in which foreign innovations and practices were synthesised with English practice. Problems there were. Muddy strategic thinking could confound the best efforts of English soldiers and their suppliers. The local communities put their own interests ahead of national security rather often. But by the time of the Civil War, England had remained free from foreign oppression. The cost was high, and a review of the military actions that occurred between 1511 and 1642 dispels any notion of an England living blissfully at peace through the era of the wars of religion."

Some readers may take exception to a few of the author's comments or conclusions above, and there are several newer books which have taken research into the area covered by this book a step further - see Further Reading below. The author tells us that it took him many years to write this book, and it is noticeable that several chapters have a different style to others, possibly showing the difference in time of their composition. I also found that the few references I checked, particularly in the calendars of State Papers, didn't appear to match up, but that might have been me. This subject is of great interest to me, and this book is still worth reading, though some of the authors' assertions were unverifiable (those references!), and some chapters were more interesting than others.

Further Reading
Military Revolution In Sixteenth Century
The `intellectual basis' for the 16th century `military revolution'.
The Dutch Army and the Military Revolutions, 1588-1688 (Warfare in History)
The Anglo-Scots Wars, 1513-1550: A Military History (Warfare in History)
The Complete Soldier: Military Books and Military Culture in Early Stuart England, 1603-1645 (History of Warfare)
An Apprenticeship in Arms: The Origins of the British Army 1585-1702
Exercise of Arms: Warfare in the Dutch Revolt (1568-1648) (History of Warfare)
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English Warfare -, 7 Mar 2010
A. M. Knight - See all my reviews
This review is from: English Warfare, 1511-1642 (Warfare and History) (Paperback)
Excellent book, a good high level account of English Warfare of the period. The sections on Warfare in Ireland were particularly illuminating.
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English Warfare, 1511-1642 (Warfare and History)
English Warfare, 1511-1642 (Warfare and History) by Mark Charles Fissell (Paperback - 24 May 2001)
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