A Brief History Of Medieval Warfare

Little Brown & Co

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Great Britain's story is punctuated by the glorious battles at Bannockburn, Crecy and Agincourt, and Shakespearean heroes like Edward III, Henry V, and Hotspur. History remembers this as an age of chivalry interwoven with mythic feats of bravery.

For over 150 years, from 1314 to 1485, England fought an almost continuous war with its neighbours: the Campaign of the North when the armies of Robert the Bruce were vanquished, the long 116 year conflict with France, finally imploding into a bloody civil strife in the War of the Roses.Too often attention has been placed upon the bravery of knights and archers during these conflicts yet face to face confrontations were few. Peter Reid proposes that England's ability to discipline, provision and finance such a long campaign was at the heart of its success. England was so strong because the whole nation was converted into a political state of total war. The campaigns were just won not on the battle field but in the organisation of troops and supplies.Interweaving his argument with a dramatic recreation of the main events of the campaigns, on land and at sea, Peter Reid presents a new perspective on the turning point in English history. A Brief History of Medieval Warfare is a gripping and powerfully persuasive book.

Many historians have tackled the questions of why the wars between England, Scotland and France between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries occurred; few have had the expertise to explain how England came to dominate medieval warfare. Peter Reid, formerly the Major General of logistics for the British Army, uses his experience to recast how the small English forces were able to face down their enemies on so many fronts. Within the 116 years of conflict only a handful of battles were actually fought; instead the British army conducted a policy of raiding and sieges. Additionally, when two armies met, the famous English archers created havoc on the field, and battles were won or lost by hand to hand fighting. Medieval Warfare is revelatory about the role of war in creating Great Britain.

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