The Medieval Warrior: Weapons, Technology, and Fighting Techniques, AD 1000-1500 Paperback – 1 Sep 2011
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From the Inside Flap
The Medieval Warrior is a gorgeously illustrated, fact-filled introduction to the weaponry and fighting methods of the Middle Ages. Written in an accessible style for the nonexpert with chapters coveringthe key types of warriors, from mounted knights to foot soldiers, siege engineers to sappers it shows how the development of new weapons, technology, and techniques changed the face of war in Europe. The popular image of the mounted knight dominating the battlefields still persists, but medieval warfare was in reality far more complex. Rarely celebrated in the art or literature of the time, ordinary foot soldiers such as longbowmen and pike-armed peasants had a revolutionary impact on the development of warfare. Disciplined groups of archers defeated larger and better-armored forces of knights, while tightly packed formations of pikemen began defining all military encounters in the fifteenth century. Then the introduction of gunpowder weapons leveled the battlefield and swiftly ended the power of armored cavalry, forever changing the way we wage war.More than 300 beautiful and comprehensive color illustrations showcase the weapons, equipment, techniques, and tactics of the medieval warrior. All types of soldiers appear in stunning detail including English longbowmen, Norman knights, Milanese crossbowmen, Saxon huscarls, Swiss pikemen, Hussite handgunners, Mongol horse archers, and Mamluk cavalry. Easy-to-understand line illustrations depict popular techniques, such as fighting with two-hand swords, forming a shield wall, pole axe combat, and mounted combat with sword and lance. From the Battle of Hastings to the Battle of Agincourt, see in rich, majestic color how the weapons, methods, and fighting tactics of the medieval warrior evolved over the centuries."
From the Back Cover
The essential visual guide to the warriors of the Middle AgesThis richly illustrated book provides an overview of the medieval world and a guide to the typical battlefield and the armies that populated it. From the Battle of Hastings to the Battle of Agincourt, see in detail how the weapons and fighting tactics of archers, artillerymen, bowmen, knights, and even peasants developed over the centuries.Chapters cover mounted knights, foot soldiers, missile troops, and siege weapons and techniques.More than 300 color images and maps depict weapons, armor, equipment, and fighting tactics.Step-by-step illustrations demonstrate combat skills, including how to fire a longbow, fight with a sword and a buckler, attack with a lance, defendSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Ideal for a teenager with an interest in Medieval warfare. If Juliet Barker writes as a comparison A level then this would be an O level book (higher than GCSE/CSE standard though. Sorry prejudices of a former teacher kicking in).
Definitely a book to dip into.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In the post-Roman world, warfare ceased to be a function of the state and reverted to its earlier tribal bases, with the continually warmongering feudal aristocracy being the evolution of that. Warfare between neighboring lords, or (less often) nations, broke down into four main areas by type of participant: Mounted fighters, foot soldiers, missile troops, and "specialists," which included engineers, sappers, and artillerymen in the later period.
Mounted forces consisted mostly of knights, the highest-status segment of society, if only because horses and armor were very expensive and required constant training. Lighter mounted troops, including horse archers, were common farther east and in the Muslim lands, but Dougherty focuses mostly on Western Europe. Foot troops ran from "sergeants" and housecarls and other full-time professional men-at-arms at the top to levies made up of poorly-armed, untrained peasants at the bottom, whose function was to be arrow-fodder and keep the enemy busy while their social superiors got close enough to fight. Missiles meant longbowmen in some areas and crossbowmen in others, with small but still powerful recurved bows in use farther east. This was a more advanced technology and therefore anathema to most knights, who generally considered shooting at your betters from a distance to be unsporting. Siegecraft was highly specialized and attracted freelance professionals, as did the later appearance of artillery.
As in his later book, every page is filled with color illustrations, explanatory drawings and diagrams, and battle maps. Key engagements are detailed as examples of good or bad tactics and the use and misuse of types of forces and weapons. And throughout, the language is plain and straightforward as Dougherty points out how the European style of war evolved and why. An excellent introductory volume.
of famous battles are plentiful as well as detailed line drawings of military
clothing, armour and weapons. There are chapters on knights, foot soldiers
and 'missle troops' (mostly archers).
The captions usually indicate when the image was made; nineteenth
centuries engravings and paintings are not that accurate. Even
contemporary images reflect who commissioned them, the
kings and nobles who are most prominent in medieval manuscripts.
The text shows that the book was written from a depth of knowledge.
The vital role of the peasant levies is described. Most histories
emphasise the role of the knights and archers 'while a mob of miserable
peasant infantry cower nearby'. Military camps, the effects of on
agriculture and the purpose of tournaments are also covered.
A whole chapter is devoted to siege warfare and the improvements
to castle defences. Battles are only the first step of an occupation; it was more important to
capture towns and castles.
An essential book for those writing or reading historical novels as well
as high school or first year university students of history.
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