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Author Topic: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare  (Read 4162 times)

Offline le bon roi rene

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Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« on: March 27, 2015, 04:30:04 PM »
Diligently back at the painting bench after a hiatus I was going through some of my favorite source material and realized I haven't bought anything new in several years. After my Freezywater stack my "go-to" reading is still Burne, Seward, Keene, Tuchmann, and a little Prestwhich. So are the hot academics/writers these days for Late Medieval European warfare?
Thoughts?
Cheers,
Fred

Offline Ahistorian

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2015, 04:58:54 PM »
Robin Neillands has a couple of very readable books.

Offline shandy

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2015, 06:25:50 PM »
Generally, I found Kelly deVries instructive. For Wars of the Roses, I liked the book by Anthony Goodman, The Wars of the Roses: Military Activity and English Society, 1452-97, but we've got some WotR specialists on the forum, they might know better titles.  ;)
My favorite though is still Verbruggen, The Art of Warfare in Western Europe During the Middle Ages, but that's rather old.

Offline le bon roi rene

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2015, 08:04:18 PM »
Yes.

I have both De Vries and Verbruggen I must concur (esp. about Kelly De Vries's book on Infantry warfare in the early 14th Century)

Offline Arlequín

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2015, 08:15:46 PM »
For me Goodman's book that Shandy posted is pretty thorough actually, despite its age... not so much his follow up; "The Soldier's Experience"... which is very lacking in actual soldier's experiences.

The Soldier in Late Medieval England by Adrian Bell, Anne Curry, Andy King and David Simpkin, looks damn good from the excerpts I've seen, but pricey.

I've heard good things about Bosworth a Battlefield Rediscovered by Glen Foard and Anne Curry... I don't know what car she's saving up for, but I think her readers are paying for it, as this is another pricey book.  

Bosworth 1485: The Psychology of a Battle by Michael Jones was a thoroughly enjoyable read for me. Not so sure about his conclusions, but  a great read all the same. Cheap as chips on Kindle.

Ones to avoid;

Chris Skidmore's Bosworth book... "I know nothing about the period, or warfare at the time, I'll just wing it and hope some suckers buy it because it says 'Bosworth' on the cover" - should have been the blurb. I was that sucker.

Mike Ingram's Battle Story Bosworth book... Having critiqued other historians for going with an idea as if it was what actually happened and then basing their books on that, he then does the same thing himself. If I went into detail this would be a very long post... but as an example; if you had a couple of thousand Swiss-trained French pikemen and were outnumbered 2:1, where would you put them?

a) In the centre under my most experienced commander, the Earl of Oxford.
b) On one flank to deliver a killing blow at the right moment.
c) So far to the left of the battle line as possible that they are barely on the map, directly opposite nobody at all and even further away than the artillery firing in enfilade into the Yorkist ranks.

Ingram chose c).  Seriously the French look like they've thought screw this, we'll have a day at Drayton Manor instead. ::)  

Obviously I've been reading a fair bit on Bosworth recently.  :-I

Offline Captain Blood

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2015, 11:51:29 PM »
Chris Skidmore's Bosworth book... "I know nothing about the period, or warfare at the time, I'll just wing it and hope some suckers buy it because it says 'Bosworth' on the cover" - should have been the blurb. I was that sucker.

You want to try Conn Iggulden's Wars of the Roses novels... You would probably have kittens on the spot. Suffice it to say his battles are principally fought by 'soldiers' in 'mail' with 'axes'.
Clearly he knows absolutely nothing about warfare in the later C15th, and hasn't bothered to find out. Just churned out another series of potboilers masquerading as history. Shocking.

The Michael Jones book on Bosworth has been on my Amazon wishlist for a while. None of my relatives obliged at Christmas, damn them >:(

No doubt the prices on all Bosworth books will soon begin dropping since they've reburied Richard III. Public interest in all things Richard III-related will surely fade as fast as it blew up...

Offline Arlequín

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2015, 02:03:03 AM »
Somebody's review of Iggulden's first one saved me from those, which is a shame as I hear his other books are quite good.

I can't say I have read much HisFic on the WotR, but I recall not being able to put Sharon Penman's Sunne in Splendour down and that's a girly book.
 ;)

Jones's book was quite different to me... it's more about people. I remember picking a hole or two in his military knowledge, but he gets inside the people involved and probably devotes more time to the French contingent than I recall reading about anywhere else. My copy is in England, but I'm tempted to get it via kindle for a re-read. I just hope anyone else who gets it shares my opinion after I've bigged it up.

Offline cdr

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 08:30:21 AM »
There is a lot available in other languages

the books by Predonzani on Anghiari 1440 and Caravaggio 1448 if you like lots of cavalry. (Italian)
in French Monthlery 1465 in the Historic one editions (pre Charles the Bold Burgundians)

in Flemish a book by Verbruggen on Guinegatte 1479

Carl


Offline Arlequín

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2015, 09:28:04 AM »
Michael Mallett's Mercenaries and their Masters is still the go-to book in English for the Condottieri after 35 years.

I'll give +1 to Verbruggen's Guinegate book, although I've yet to get my hands on the English version and translating Vlaamse line by line tends to suck some of the fun out of it. Thankfully it's not a long book.

Offline cdr

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2015, 02:39:12 PM »
Vlaams is not that difficult  :D

If you need help .......

Carl

Offline pocoloco

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2015, 06:20:24 PM »
Very interesting discussion, keep it going gents, I'm taking notes :) It seems that I need to order few of the titles mentioned here to add my collection.

Offline Arlequín

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2015, 08:03:08 PM »
Vlaams is not that difficult  :D

If you need help .......

Cheers! Well I'm struggling with pages 30-146, so feel free to translate them... no rush.  :D

Actually, if you could point me to the bit which mentions the liveries, that would be a help. I've scan-read it and nothing jumped out. Otherwise Google and I are getting there beetje bij beetje.

 :) 

Offline janner

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2015, 05:45:43 AM »
Some solid suggestions here, but late med is quite a broad field. Are you thinking British Isles or further afield, Fred?

Offline cdr

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 08:40:02 AM »
re Verbruggen

page 55 Bruges 1478 "...Bruges had sent many soldiers : Crossbowmen, arquebusiers en pikemen they wore red tunics with a white cross of Saint Andrew on the front and the back...."

Carl 

Offline Arlequín

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Re: Reading/reference material for late medieval warfare
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 09:16:57 AM »
Cheers Carl!  :)

But... we're digressing, Fred wants some hot book tips.

 

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