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General Works

Anglo-Saxon Kings and Warlords AD 400-1070, Raffaele d’Amato & Stephen Pollington. Looks at the nature of the military leaders of the Anglo-Saxons, their kings and other war leaders, covering their arms, armour, possible use of cavalry, the titles by which they were known and how they fitted into Anglo-Saxon society, finishing with a look at four of the many battles fought in this period, all involving external enemies (Read Full Review)
Post-Roman Kingdoms – ‘Dark Ages’ Gaul & Britain, AD 450-800, Raffaele D’Amato & Andrea Salimbeti. Looks at the lingering remants of the Roman world in post-Roman Britain and Gaul, a range of new kingdoms emerging from the Romano-British and Gauls and the shattered remnants of Roman power in Gaul. Strongest on the arms and equipment and organisation of the forces, but sometimes fails to acknowledge how shaky our knowledge of some of the possible kingdoms and individuals probably involved in this period actually is. An interesting reminder of how important the Roman world remained after the Legions left (Read Full Review)
The Last Viking, Don Hollway. A dramatic telling of the story of Harald Hardrada, making extensive use of later saga sources to fill out the details of an otherwise relatively poorly documented life. May as a result sometimes include material from the sagas that isn’t documented elsewhere, but does make for a more satisfying biography(Read Full Review)
Teutonic Knight versus Lithuanian Warrior – The Lithuanian Crusade 1283-1435, Mark Galeotti. Looks at three battles of the long Lithuanian Crusade, two Teutonic victories and the crushing Lithuanian victory at Grunwald/ Tannenberg that triggered the decline of the Teutonic Order. Compares the organisation, tactics and equipment of the fighting monks of the Teutonic Order and the initially pagan Lithuanians, who turn out to be more similar than one might have expected before focusing on the three battles. (Read Full Review)
Never Greater Slaughter – Brunanburh and the Birth of England, Michael Livingston. Combines an useful history of the battle with a search for its lost site, coming up with a convincing argument for it having taken place on the Wirral, looking at the rather limited sources for clues, and combining that with a study of the historical background – who fought there, how might they have got there, and how the battle might have gone (Read Full Review)
The Medieval Knight - The Age of Noble Warriors of the Golden Chivalry, Phyllis Jestice. Looks at the long history of the medieval knight, from their evolution from non-noble mounted warriors through their high point as a socially exclusive elite group through to the rise of the professional non-knightly cavalryman. Includes good sections on how the fighting style of the knight changed over time, how they cooperated (or failed to cooperate) with infantry, how they were trained and equipped, and studies some examples of their battles, including both victories and defeats at the hands of enemies fighting in a different style (Read Full Review)
The Knights of Islam – the Wars of the Mamluks, 1250-1517, James Waterson. Looks at the fascinating story of the Mamluk rulers of Egypt and Syria, who were responsible both for ending the existence of the last Crusader states, and defeating the Mongols just as they threatened to conquer the heartlands of Islam, before themselves being defeated by the rising power of the Ottomans. Looks at both the Mamluk as a soldier, at their peak amongst the best trained and most dedicated soldiers ever seen, and the Mamluk dynasty itself, which despite its achievements was often riven by discord and fierce political rivalries (Read Full Review)
Aedan of the Gaels King of the Scots, Keith Coleman. The first full length biography of Aedan mac Gabrain, ruler of Dal Raita, a kingdom split between Ulster and the west coast of Scotland, at the end of the sixth century. A difficult task because of the relative scarcity of sources and their often contradictory nature, but one that the author has handled well, producing a picture of the historic Aedan (as much as possible) as well as the mythical one, who appeared in Scottish, Irish and even Welsh tales (Read Full Review)
Hotspur – Sir Henry Percy & The Myth of Chivalry, John Sadler. Interesting biography of ‘Hotspur’ looking at the reality behind Shakespeare’s rival to the young Henry V and how the real Henry Percy fitted into the brutal situation on the Anglo-Scottish border during his life, as well as his wider career. Paints a picture of a very different man to Shakespeare’s Hotspur, but almost certainly a much more accurate picture of this experienced border aristocrat (Read Full Review)
The Two Eleanors of Henry III, Darren Baker. Looks at the lives of Henry III’s sister, who married Simon de Montfort, and his wife, both Eleanors, and both very heavily involved in the political controversies of Henry’s reign. Both had important and controversial lives, and both appear to be able to take some of the blame for the crisis that rocked Henry’s rule late in his life, while also acting as fairly typical medieval aristocrats, defending their own rights at all costs (Read Full Review)
Deception in Medieval Warfare – Trickery and Cunning in the Central Middle Ages, James Titterton. Looks at the use of deception in warfare in the Francophone world (France, the Low Countries, Norman England with examples from Italy and the Crusades), studying both the actual examples of deception of various types and the chroniclers attitudes to it. An excellent study that helps prove that medieval warfare was far more complex than many would believe, as were attitudes to deception (Read Full Review)
Stephen and Matilda’s Civil War – Cousins of Anarchy, Matthew Lewis. A nicely organised look at the civil war between Stephen and Matilda, with alternating chapters looking at events from one side then the other, trying to explain why the war lasted so long, how bad things actually were during this period, and how the character of the two main players might have affected events. A well balanced account of a controversial period, described by our main sources as being near total chaos (Read Full Review)
Castles to Fortress – Medieval to Post-Modern Fortifications in the lands of the Former Roman Empire, J.E. Kaufmann & H.W. Kaufmann. A bit disjointed in parts, drifting into more of a general history of the earlier periods, but good on the changes brought on by the increasing effectiveness of gunpowder weapons during the Renaissance, and the changes to fortifications introduced in an attempt to cope with them. Includes many excellent photographic pages, which combine modern photographs, plans, and Medieval or Renaissance illustrations, giving a great visual backup to the text (Read Full Review)
The Viking Siege of Paris – Longships raid the Seine, AD 885-86, Si Sheppard. Looks at a rare example of a lengthy Viking siege, the year-long but unsuccessful siege of Paris. Sets the siege in the context of the internal power struggles for the Carolingian Empire and the split nature of secular and religious authority in the period (with key commanders of the defence coming from the church), as well as the aims of the Viking raiders, then follows with a good account of the lengthy siege itself, with its focus on the bridges connecting Paris to the banks of the Seine (Read Full Review)
Badon and the Early Wars for Wessex circa 500 to 710, David Cooper. An interesting attempt to locate some of the mysterious battles between the Britons and the early Anglo-Saxons, using a wide range of sources and techniques to try and pin down the territories controlled by the combatants and examine the various suggestions for locations to see which ones make most sense. Sometimes suffers from too much application of modern military techniques to a very different world, but otherwise very good, with some interesting ideas about this very obscure period (Read Full Review)
Condottiere 1300-1500 – infamous medieval mercenaries, David Murphy. A study of the infamous mercenaries who dominated Italian warfare during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, fighting for the many city states and small powers that dominated Italy in the prolonged series of lengthy but indecisive wars of the period. Looks at the nature of condottiere warfare, how they were recruited and organised, how they fought, how loyal they were to their employers (and the reverse), and the increasingly complex logistical systems created by the Italian cities to support their armies (Read Full Review)
From Robber Barons to Courtiers – the Changing World of the Lovells of Titchmarsh, Monika E Simon. Follows the history of a family that rose from a fairly obscure start in England to a position of dangerous prominence during the reigns of Richard III and Henry VII, with Francis Lovell becoming 1st Viscount Lovell, but staying loyal to Richard III’s cause even after his death, and disappearing after the battle of Stoke Field, while one of the last descendants of the family was Jane Parker, who was executed for her role in the fall of Katherine Howard (Read Full Review)
Women and Weapons in the Viking World, Leszak Gardela. An excellent study of all of the evidence connecting women and weapons in the Viking world, including the written record of the sagas and histories, artistic representations, and the archaeological record, in particular the contents of a number of the graves of women that contain military equipment. Avoids sensationalism to produce a thoughtful and very well researched examination of the ways in which Viking women may have been connected to those weapons, including the possibility of them being female warriors (Read Full Review)
The Mighty Warrior Kings – From the Ashes of the Roman Empire to the New Ruling Order, Philip J. Potter. A series of biographies of significant Medieval kings, largely focused on their military careers, with limited analysis of other aspects of their reign. Few if any surprises in the kings chosen, but the all-inclusive approach to their military careers does mean that we learn about many conflicts that are otherwise ignored or skipped over, such as the 1069-70 Viking invasion of England or Richard I’s extensive military experience before becoming king(Read Full Review)
God’s Viking – Harald Hardrada, the Life and Times of the Last Great Viking, Nic Fields. A look at the world in which Harald lived rather than an actual biography of the man, so has large sections on the history of the Vikings in Russia, the Varangian Guards, Viking warfare and so forth, often going some time without actually mentioning Harald. Includes plenty of interesting material on Harald’s world, but needed to focus more on its subject, or at least bring all of the pieces on Harald together before heading off into the background(Read Full Review)
The Normans in Italy 1016-1194, Raffaele D’Amato and Andrea Salimbeti. An overview of the Norman presence in Italy, from the first appearance of the Normans as mercenaries to the formation of the powerful Kingdom of Sicily, and their dominance of the central Mediterranean, looking at their history in Italy, how they fought, how they were equipped and examining two sample battles. Nicely sub-divided to reflect the very different natures of the early conquest armies and the later Royal armies, and the multi-cultural nature of the army, with Norman, Greek and Muslim components (Read Full Review)
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeMedieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 5: Early Arab Assaults on Byzantium Focuses on the early Arab attacks on the city of Constantinople, and the Byzantine armies that defeated them, including a convincing argument that the first Arab siege, of 674-8, probably didn’t happen in that form as well as a look at the siege of 717-8 that very much did. Includes a fascinating account of the contacts between the Spanish in the Philippines and Japanese exiles, including as enemies and as much admired mercenaries [see more]
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeMedieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 4: From Priest to King - Sverrir Sigurdsson and his saga Focuses on the career of Sverri Sigurdsson who rose from humble origins and early training to be a priest to win the crown of Norway after a successful rebellion against an apparently popular king. One of those historical figures who life reads more like a novel than real life, at least in part because many of the details come from a saga that he probably just about co-authored!  Also looks at the impact of the Black Death on warfare, in particular the Hundred Years, which was in its early stages at the time [see more]
The Ismaili Assassins – A History of Medieval Murder, James Waterson. A detailed history of the infamous Assassins, showing that they were much more than just a band of killers. Traces their birth out of the internal disputes that split the early Islamic world, their establishment in Persia, their use of political murder to try and protect their small state, and their influence on the wider world (Read Full Review)
Lost Heirs of the Medieval Crown – The Kings and Queens who Never Were, J.F. Andrews. An unusual but interesting choice of topic, looking at all of those people who could reasonably expect to have inherited the throne of England, but for whatever reason either didn’t survive to take the throne,  or were usurped by someone with a worse claim but more determination, luck or support. Starts with the sons of William the Conqueror and ends with the career of Richard III, a king involved with two of these lost heirs(Read Full Review)
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeMedieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 2: A War for England - The Battle of Lincoln, 1217 Mainly focuses on the First Baron’s War, which began as a revolt against King John but later turned into a clash between Prince Louis of France and his supporters on one side and the supporters of John’s young son Henry III on the other. Includes articles on two key sieges – Rochester and Dover, and the battle of Lincoln, one of the decisive land battles of the campaign [see more]
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeMedieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 3: The Battle of Vlaardingen - Frisian ‘pirates’ vs the Ottonians Focuses on one of the rare occasions in which a mainstream feudal army was defeated by unrated foes, taking place in the same Low Countries setting as many of the more famous examples. Looks at the full context of the battle, including the rise of the Ottonians, the nature of the Frisian troops who defeated the Royal troops and the battle itself. An interesting examination of a little known battle that played a major role in the history of the Low Countries [see more]
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeMedieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 2: The English Invasion of Wales - The fall of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd Focuses on Edward I’s conquest of Wales and the fall of Llywelyn the Last, the last generally recognised independent native prince of Wales, with articles on the career of Edward I, Llywelyn’s slippery brother David, the war itself and Edward’s famous castles. Elsewhere ranges from Anglo-Saxon riddles to Korean peasant resistance to the Japanese during the Imjin War! [see more]
The Two Handed Sword – History, Design and Use, Neil Melville. A detailed history of the European two handed sword, a surprising agile but still fairly rare weapon that was used in some numbers during the later Middle Ages and early modern periods. Looks at the development of the weapon (a surprisingly complex subject), its use in combat, the many regional variations, the evidence for how it was wielded, and its evolution into a prestige, non-combat weapon (Read Full Review)
The Composite Bow, Mike Loades. A splendid examination of this complex but elegant weapon, looking at its construction, the skills needed to use it effectively, the types of bows, arrows and supporting equipment in use, the different national traditions and the military use of the bow by both mounted and foot soldiers. An impressive book that packs a great deal of information into its 80 pages, and greatly benefits from its author's own experience as an archer (Read Full Review)
War Bows, Mike Loades. Looks at the longbow, crossbow, composite bow and Japanese Yumi, largely based on previously published Osprey books, but updated for this combined edition. Brings together four fascinating topics to provide a useful overview of the many types of war bow that were used from western Europe to Japan, and the varied types of archery that developed around them.  Useful to have all four together in a single volume, allowing a more direct comparison between the different types(Read Full Review)
Offa and the Mercian Wars - the Rise & Fall of the First Great English Kingdom, Chris Peers. Looks at the rise and fall of Mercia, the dominant English power of the Eighth Century, first emerging under the pagan Penda, before reaching its greatest power under Offa, one of the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon kings. Does a good job of dealing with the more obscure corners of Mercian history, and tells the interesting story of a kingdom that might have formed the nucleus of a united England (Read Full Review)
Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 5: Chaos and  Civil War in Flanders - the death of Charles  the GoodMedieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 5: Chaos and Civil War in Flanders - the death of Charles the Good. Focuses on the civil war that followed the assassination of Charles the Good in 1127, mainly as seen by the contemporary chronicler Galbert of Bruges, who was actually caught up in the events he described, and provides us with one of the more involving and detailed accounts of a medieval conflict. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 3: Jousts and TournamentsMedieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 3: Jousts and Tournaments. Entirely focuses on the medieval tournament, covering a wide timespan from the First Crusade to the end of the Middle Ages, where the formal tournament made something of a comeback. Includes a look at some most unusual contests, such as the Ghent Crossbow Tournament, the wide appeal of the tournament and the way in which it evolved over time. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 1: Invasion of the Vikings - Warriors, sailors and heroesMedieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 1: Invasion of the Vikings - Warriors, sailors and heroes. Looks at a number of less familiar topics, from the Viking invasions of France and Spain to the possible role of woman as warriors, as well as examining the theories for why the Vikings began to raid. Away from the theme includes an interesting eyewitness account of medieval Korea, the use of mining at the siege of Edessa and the appearance of armies of the dead in Medieval literature. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 6: The Masses are Rising – The German Peasant's RevoltMedieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 6: The Masses are Rising – The German Peasant's Revolt . Focuses on the German Peasant's Revolt, one of the more famous of the surprisingly rare large scale peasant's revolts, and no more successful than any of the others, despite coming at a time of religious turmoil and affecting large parts of the German speaking world.  Looks at why the revolt started, who took part in it and why it failed. Also looks at the soldier in 16th century art, the Norman royal forests and the military flail. [see more]
Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 3: Legacy of Ancient Rome - The Byzantine-Sassanid WarsMedieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 3: Legacy of Ancient Rome - The Byzantine-Sassanid Wars . Focuses on the later wars between Byzantium and her eastern neighbours, the Sassanids, a series of conflicts that left both powers exhausted and unable to resist the Arab conquests. Covers the main course of the final war, the armour of the Sassanids, Byzantine commanders, the motives of the defeated Sassanid emperor and the final events of the war. Also looks at Japanese and English longbows, the Livonian crusades and the battle of Loch Lochy. [see more]
Fixer & Fighter - The Life of Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, 1170-1243, Brian Harwood. Follows the turbulent career of one of the key figures during the reign of King John and Henry III, and one of the victors in the war that established the infant Henry on the throne after the death of his father. A self made man, Hubert suffered several periods of out favour, and even had to go on the run for a period late in his career, despite his constant support for John and Henry Read Full Review
The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England, Hilda Ellis Davidson. One of the first serious studies of the Anglo-Saxon sword, comparing the literary and archaeological records, examining the physical nature of the swords and their accessories in some detail, and including an early example of experimental archaeology, a successful attempt to recreate the pattern welded swords of the period, a lost technique until then. Does a really good job of linking the surviving swords to their literary cousins, suggesting that the language used to describe swords was accurate [read full review]
Warfare in Tenth-Century Germany, David S. Bachrach. A look at warfare under Henry I and Otto I, two of the most successful of the medieval Kings of Germany, and argues convincingly that warfare during their reign was both more professional and carried out on a larger scale than many historians are willing to admit. Makes an excellent use of a wide range of sources to paint a picture of a sophisticated kingdom, capable of maintaining large armies, and carrying out operations across much of central and southern Europe, including a series of expeditions across the Alps. [read full review]
The Vikings and their Enemies: Warfare in Northern Europe 750-1100, Philip Line. Looks at who the Vikings were, how and why their fought and how they compared to their neighbours and victims. Does a good job of dealing with the limited sources, which were either written by the Viking's victims, or produced in Scandinavia centuries after the events they portray. Makes good use of contemporary accounts of warfare elsewhere in Europe, and the limited reliable sources for the Vikings, to produce a detailed picture of their military world [read full review]
The Vikings, R Chartrand, K Durham, M Harrison & I Heath. A nicely organised overview of the Vikings, looking at Viking society, the Hersirs (medium ranked men who played a key part in early raids), the Vikings in battle and finally Viking ships. More than an introduction to the topic, there are some excellent sections, in particular on the various types of ships used by the Vikings and on their voyages to North America [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 4: The Norman Invasion of Ireland - Contesting the Emerald IsleMedieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 4: The Norman Invasion of Ireland - Contesting the Emerald Isle Focuses on the 12th century Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, a fateful step that began with the English invited into Ireland by a defeated king of Leinster but that led to a direct royal intervention by Henry II. Includes interesting material on the Irish military system of the period, as well as the invasion itself, one of our main sources, and the fortifications built by the Normans. Also looks at the much earlier Irish ringworks and other fortifications, the Book of Kells and the value and pitfalls of battlefield archaeology.. [see more]
Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 2: Two Kings Duelling - The War of the Sicilian Vespers . Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 2: Two Kings Duelling - The War of the Sicilian Vespers . Focuses on one of the most important wars in the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages, a clash that helped undermine the political authority of the Holy Roman Emperors, and the moral authority of the Papacy, while also causing devastation in the formerly prosperous areas of southern Italy and Sicily. This was a very varied war, with naval battles, political crusades and even a potential duel between the two original claimants to Sicily. Also looks at the Anarchy, the battle of Shrewsbury and the Anglo-Scottish conflict.. [see more]
Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 6: The Lombard Invasions: The Loss of Byzantine Italy .Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 6: The Lombard Invasions: The Loss of Byzantine Italy . Focuses on the Lombard invasion of Italy and the various failed Byzantine attempts to regain control of the country. Although earlier waves of invaders had been responsible for the collapse of the Western Empire, it was the Lombards who made that loss permanent, defeating a series of Byzantine expeditions to Italy and slowly capturing most of the remaining Byzantine positions across northern Italy.. [see more]
The Norman Campaigns in the Balkans 1081-1108, Georgios Theotokis . Having established themselves in the south of Italy and on Sicily, the Normans then turned east and began a series of attacks on the Byzantine Empire. This book traces their land campaigns in the Balkans, where they came up against Alexius I Comnenus. Over several campaigns both sides showed an impressive ability to adapt to circumstances and their opponents. [read full review]
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Swords of the Viking Age, Ian Peirce. Combines a catalogue of key surviving Viking blades with an explanation of the types of blade and hilt and the methods used to construct them. A valuable reference work on the Viking Sword, with enough supporting information to give it more general interest. The heart of the book is the heavily illustrated catalogue of swords, which includes some in amazing condition. [read full review]
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Records of the Medieval Sword, Ewart Oakeshott. A detailed study of hundreds of surviving Medieval swords, looking at their physical form, known history and any surviving decoration, almost all supported with a photo of the weapon. Invaluable if you are interested the Medieval Sword, useful if you are interested in Medieval Warfare or weaponry, perhaps a bit specialised otherwise. [read full review]
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Edgar: King of the English, 959-975, ed. Donald Scragg. A series of articles that use the limited available evidence to look into the reign of King Edgar, one of the more obscure Anglo-Saxon monarchs. Shows how much can be learned from sources such as coins or lists of charter witnesses in a period when the chronicles don't provide much evidence. [read full review]
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Medieval Maritime Warfare, Charles D Stanton. Mainly a narrative history of the main periods of naval warfare during the Middle Ages, covering the slow decline of Byzantine naval power, the brief Norman dominance of the central Mediterranean, the Crusades, the clashes between Genoa and Pisa and Venice and Genoa, the War of the Sicilian Vespers, the Vikings, Normans and the Hanse and the battles of the Hundred Years War. [read full review]
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The Knight who Saved England, Richard Brooks. A biography of William Marshal, the most famous English knight of his day and a key figure in the chaos at the end of the reign of King John. Starting as a famous competitor in tournaments, Marshal married a major heiress and moved into the top rank of Medieval society, where he played an important role in securing the throne for the infant Henry III. [read full review]
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Forces of the Hanseatic League 13th-15th Centuries, David Nicolle . Looks at the very varied armed forces that served the network of trading cities that formed the Hanseatic League, at its peak a powerful naval force capable of taking on major European powers and on land of fighting off its aristocratic neighbours. Covers both land and sea forces, so has a lot of ground to cover. [read full review]
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Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 1: Alexander Nevsky Prince of NovgorodMedieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 1: Alexander Nevsky Prince of Novgorod. Focuses on the life of one of Medieval Russia's great national heroes, a leader who fought off attacks from the Catholic west while allying himself with the more powerful Mongols. Also looks at Saladin's attitude to hostages, the battle of Montlhéry and the poem Y Gododdin. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol V Issue 1: Treason and Treachery - Betrayal in the Medieval World. Looks at some of the most famous cases of medieval treachery, from the battle of Manzikert to the fall of Richard III. Also looks at the problems involved in moving a museum collection, fragments of an Anglo-Saxon poem and the Swiss Pike.. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol V Issue 2: Carolus Magnus: Frankish heir to Ancient Rome. Focuses on the military career of Charlemagne, the greatest of the Frankish kings and the first Holy Roman Emperor. Looks at several of his major wars as well as the organisation of his army. Away from the theme looks at the Hussite victory at Aussig, and the English law of treason. . [read full review]
England's Medieval Navy 1066-1509: Ships, Men & Warfare, Susan Rose. An excellent detailed examination of the early days of English naval power, the period before the establishment of a permanent Royal Navy, when most warships were impressed merchant ships taken over for the duration of a campaign.  Excellent material on the men, their ships, skills, weapons and the battles they fought. [read full review]
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Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 4: Downfall of the Bold: The Burgundian Wars. Focuses on the unsuccessful military career of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, a warlike leader more famous for his willingness to fight rather than for his successes in battle. Instead he became best known for his defeat and death at the hands of the Swiss pikemen, who earned a reputation that lasted into the sixteenth century. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 2: Queens and Valkyries Women as warriorsl. Focuses on a number of very different examples of female warriors in the Medieval period from the familiar Joan of Arc to almost legendary Viking warriors. Demonstrates that gender roles in the Middle Ages weren't quite a rigidly defined as we sometimes think. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol III Issue 6: Myths and Legends in the Medieval World. Looks at the figures who gave rise to legends and how those legends differed from reality, covering heroes ranging from Theoderic the Great to the mysterious Prester John. The choice of heroes and how their exploits were altered tells us much about the attitudes of the societies involved. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 3: The First War of Independence - Scotland's Struggle for survival. Focuses on the First Scottish War of Independence, a very live topic in the year of the 700th anniversary of the crucial Scottish victory at Bannockburn. Covers a good range of topics and avoids the nationalist pitfalls of the topic. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol III, Issue 5 - King Alfred the Great and the Great Heathen Army. Main focus is on the career of Alfred the Great, his battlefield victories, military reforms and the strategies of his enemies. Also looks at the birth of the noble infantry, the halberd and the concluding part of the 14th century invasion of the kingdom of Naples. [read full review]
The Anglo Saxon Age - An Alternative History of Britain, Timothy Venning. Contains a huge number of possible alternative histories, covering the period from the early Anglo-Saxon settlement or conquest period to the dramatic events of 1066, with each chapter starting from a genuine historical point in time and working forward. A fun read and a valuable reminder of how little we really know about the early stages of the Anglo-Saxon period and how big a part chance played in the events of the period. [read full review]
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The Book of the Order of Chivalry, Ramon Llull, trans. Noel Fallows. A translation of a popular thirteenth century guide to chivalry, intended to be read by squires on their way to knighthood to explain their duties and establish a single united Order of Chivalry. A fascinating guide to the late Medieval view of knighthood, as represented by one of the most popular contemporary guides to chivalry. [read full review]
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The Portuguese in the Age of Discovery, c.1340-1665, David Nicolle. Looks at the military organisations that allowed the Portuguese to create and then hold onto a world-wide empire despite a forced merger with Spain and a length war with the Dutch. An interesting examination of what became one of the most integrated and multi-racial armies of its time, and a key element in the long-term success of Portugal [read full review]
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The Longbow, Mike Loades. A super look at the longbow as a military weapon, covering the development of the bow, how it might have been used in battle (taking into account the number of arrows we know to have been available, physical stamina etc), and the way in which the multi-level armour of the period coped with the threat. An excellent guide to this iconic English weapon and its role in battle. [read full review]
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Medieval Warfare Vol III Issue 4 - The Albigensian Crusade: Catharism condemned. Focuses on the early thirteenth century crusade against the Cathar heresy in southern France, a bloodthirsty episode that greatly expanded the definition of a crusade. Also includes a look at the fate of disabled warriors and the Hungarian campaign in Italy in 1348-50. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare III 3 - The advance of the Seljuq Turks: Byzantine power in decline. Looks at both sides in the clash between Byzantium and the Seljuq Turks, with articles on Manzikert and Myriokephalon, the rise of the Seljuqs, Seljuq technology, the Byzantine army of the period and the Byzantine sources. Also looks at the Scottish invasion of England of 1138 and late Medieval Irish warriors. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare II 6: Frustrating the Fatimids: Basil II and the conquest of Syria. Looks at the clash between Byzantium and the impressive Fatimid Empire, which had expanded from north Africa to include Egypt and much of Syria, before being halted by the able Byzantine emperor Basil II. Also includes articles on rural revolts in Burgundy, the siege of Harlech, the siege of Rouen and the naval commander Eustace the Monk. [read full review]
Italian Rapier Combat: Capo Ferro's 'Gran Simalcro', ed. Jared Kirby. A translation of a classic Italian manual on fighting with the rapier, complete with reproductions of a mix of illustrations from two early editions of this famous work. Most technical terms have been left in Italian, with clear explanations at the start, so the book is best suited to someone with an interest in fencing or authentic period fighting methods. [read full review]
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Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 5: Turmoil in northern Italy: France and the Holy League at War. A look at the early sixteenth century wars that are often seen as marking the boundary between Medieval and Early Modern warfare, with some of the first successful uses of gunpowder weapons on the battlefield. Also looks at the Anglo-Saxon mead hall, the battle of Evesham and medieval sappers. [read full review]
Knight: The Warrior and the World of Chivalry, Robert Jones. A study of the Knight, from their humble origins in the 11th century through their dominance of society and battlefield in the high Middle Ages to their decline in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Looks at their arms and armour, role on the battlefield, place in society and eventual decline. An excellent overview of a complex issue. [read full review]
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Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 4: The Steppe warrior defeated: Otto I versus the Magyars. Combines an overview of the Magyar's impact on early Medieval Europe with an examination of their early successes and the sequence of German victories that ended their raids and indirectly led to the foundation of the Hungarian kingdom. Also looks at Glyn Dwr in Wales, the fortifications of the Bosporus and Dardanelles and the Byzantine Empire's attitude to the Armenians. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 3: Pikes, bows and war wagons: The rebirth of infantry. Focuses on the revival of infantry in the late middle ages, a trend that ended a period where the mounted knight had dominated warfare, and that possibly played a major part in changes in wider society. Also looks at the diseases of siege warfare, fortifications of Tunisia and the Mongol invasion of the Khwarazmian Empire. [read full review]
Medieval Warfare Vol 1 Issue 4: Mercenaries and mighty warlords: The Normans in the MediterraneanMedieval Warfare Vol 1 Issue 4: Mercenaries and mighty warlords: The Normans in the Mediterranean. Focuses on the Norman conquests in southern Italy and Sicily, a period that saw the Hauteville family dominate the central Mediterranean and even conquer parts of North Africa. Also looks at the medieval fire arrow, the fate of English archers after the battle of Morat, head wounds and the work of a duelling master. [read full review]
Norman Naval Operations in the Mediterranean, Charles D. Stanton. Based around a narrative history of the Norman's maritime empire in the central Mediterranean, this interesting book looks at the naval operations involved in the Norman conquest of a kingdom in southern Italy and Sicily, in the maintenance of that kingdom and during increasingly grandiose campaigns in the eastern Mediterranean. [read full review]
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The Teutonic Knights - A Military History, William Urban. Traces the Teutonic Knights from their origins in the Holy Land, through a brief period in Transylvanian and on to the area they are most famously associated with, Prussia and Livonia, where they fought against Pagans, Orthodox Russians, Tatars and eventually Catholic Poles and Lithuanians. [read full review]
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Ancient Warfare Magazine: Volume III Issue 2: Alexander's Funeral Games Medieval Warfare Vol II, Issue 2: The Thirteen Years War: The end of the Teutonic Order. This issue focuses on one of the less well known orders of crusading knights and the war that effectively destroyed their state on the shores of the Baltic. Also covers a major chronicler of Eastern Europe, the Church's attempt to ban the crossbow, the fighting skills of mounted troops and the battle of Worringen. [read full review]
Ancient Warfare Magazine: Volume III Issue 2: Alexander's Funeral Games Medieval Warfare Vol II Issue 1: Creating a Viking Empire: The Campaigns of Cnut the Great.. Focuses on the career of Cnut the Great, one of the great conquerors of the Medieval World and a man who created an empire all around the North Sea. Also looks at Hunedoara Castle, the late medieval armour industry and the Battle of Tewkesbury. [read full review]
Cross and Crescent in the Balkans - the Ottoman Conquest of Southeastern Europe, David Nicolle. Partly chronological and partly thematic, this book looks at the Ottoman conquest and retention of the Balkans, overcoming the remnants of Byzantium, a number of powerful Balkan states, before  recovering from the devastation caused by Tamerlane. Looks at Ottoman culture, architecture, urban and rural life as well as the military campaigns that established an empire that lasted into the Twentieth Century. [read full review]
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War for the Throne: The battle of Shrewsbury 1403, John Barratt War for the Throne: The battle of Shrewsbury 1403, John Barratt. A military history of the turbulent early years of the reign of Henry IV, including his seizure of the throne, early conflicts with Scotland, the Glyn Dwr revolt in Wales and the rebellions by Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland, and his son Hotspur, with a special focus on the battle of Shrewsbury [read full review]
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The Medieval Soldier, Vesey Norman. A solid but now somewhat dated look at the fighting men of Medieval Europe, from the early Lombards and Franks to the Crusaders. Well researched at the time, and written by a respected expert on medieval arms and armour, this is now best seen as a starting point for further reading, especially in the sections on chivalry, a subject on which views have changed significantly over the last forty years [read full review]
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Galloglass 1250-1600: Gaelic Mercenary Warrior, Fergus Cannan. An account of the life, equipment and battlefield experience of these mercenaries of Scottish descent who fought in Ireland between the mid 13th and early 17th centuries, taking part in battles between Irish lords and fighting both for and against the English. [read full review]
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A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages:.378-1278 , Sir Charles Oman, a great two volume history of war covering over a millenium. While his conclusions may have been challenged, the level of detail in these two volumes is invaluable.
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A History of the Art of War in the Middle Ages: 1278-1485 , the second volume of Sir Charles Oman's great work on medieval warfare.
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English Longbowman 1330-1515 , Clive Bartlett A very detailed book covering a long period of history. Contains information on all aspects of the bowman including weapons, training , equipment and pay. Good colour plates fill the centre pages and good black and white photographs and illustrations are contained throughout the book.
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James of St George and the Castles of the Welsh Wars, Malcolm Hislop. An architectural history of the Edwardian castles of North Wales, including both Royal and noble castles, looking at their overall designs as well as the smaller details that help identify the connections between them and other castles of the period, and helping to prove the idea that Master James of St. George actually played a significant role in their design, as well as in their construction (Read Full Review)
Bradbury, Jim, The Medieval Siege , Boydell Press, 2002, 378 pages. A much needed survey of the most important form of warfare in the middle ages, a period that saw far more sieges than battles.
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