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A Brief History of Medieval Warfare Paperback – March 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Brief History Of...
  • Paperback: 620 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786720719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786720712
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 5.1 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,829,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Reid has had a distinguished military career in the British Army where he rose to the rank of Major General and was Director of the Royal Armoured Corps. He also became an associate member to Burdeshaw Associates, a company of defense analysts in Washington. He is now retired and lives in Wittshire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
War is hell!. It is hell now in the cesspools of Iraq and Afghanistan; it was also hellish in the high middle ages of the 14th-15 centuries. Author Peter Reid is a major general (retired) in the British Army who is also a commentator on military affairs for the BBC. In over 600 closely printed pages he presents a panoramic view of the sanguinary conflicts of this bloody period which ran from 1314 to 1485
The most interesting part of the book was the introductory chapters wherin the author surveys how soldiers of the era dressed for battle, were provisioned, fought and were paid. There were no real standing armies in this time of nascent nationalistic aspirations. Battle was fought hand to hand and you looked your enemy in the eye before you tried to kill him. Recovery from wounds was rare; cruelty was prevalent.
The history begins with the battle of Crecy in 1314. This important battle was won by the outnumbered English troops fighting in France under the great warrior/monarch Edward III. The English longbow proved decisive as literally hundreds of thousands of arrows would be launched against the enemy. The French knights and their crossbowmen were soundly defeated.
The English would also do well using the longbow under the inspired leadership of King Henry V in the famed battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Reid recounts the key battles, plots and strategy used by England and France during the long 100 years war which lasted from 1337 to 1453. The English were finally defeated losing their French territories in Aquitaine, Normandy but holding on to Calais. Outstanding warriors of the war were Joan of Arc and Edward the Black Prince of England. Almost 2/3 of the book deals with this crucial European war.
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By Beth on July 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very thorough, excellent account of medieval times. My husband is a history buff and enjoying this book very much.
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I really loved this author's approach to the subject of medieval warfare. I had already read several books on the wars and the period covered by this book, but I found that I still learned a great deal. For example, I had read about the successful English use of the longbow during the Hundred Years' War, but I had never read about how the method if its employment developed: this book explanied how the English experiences against the Scots specifically shaped their subsequent battle methods. Another strength of the book is the author's ability to provide a succint summary of the social-political context of the wars and battles he describes. His explanation of the multiple and complex reasons for the English wars in France was very helpful, as was his explanation of the turmoil surrounding Richard II and his succession. As another reviewer stated, explanations of the composition and equipment of armies also contained great material, once again clearly and succinctly presented. I highly recommend this book to any military history buff interested in medieval warfare. Even if you've read books on the Hundred Years' War, Crecy, Agincourt, and the like, you'll still find a great deal of interest here. You'll probably find new material you haven't encountered before, while things you have read before will make more sense!
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