on December 21, 2007
This book is an examination of the organization and armament of the British army from its crushing victory at Agincourt in 1415 to its defeat by French patriots at Castillon in 1453.
After a brief introduction (which includes a geneology of Anglo-French kings of the 14th and 15th Centuries and a useful chronology) the book discusses the battle formations, troop types, and social origins of Henry the Fifth's soldiery. Next the weaponry, armor, heraldry, and horses of the army are all discussed, albeit rather briefly. Following this is a brief summary of King Henry's campaign in France. After this are sections in discipline, logistics, training, experience of battle, and garrison life for Henry's troops, as well as brief sections on the navy and artillery of the English army of the Hundred Years War.
The plates, by the talented Graham Turner, are detailed, attractive, and do a good job of supporting the text. Overall this is a worthy effort, covering all arenas of this topic concisely and readably. It should be highly useful to a wargamer or amateur military historian researching this era.
on October 31, 2011
From the composition of the English army and its evolution throughout the first half of the XV century, the proportion between "lances" and archers, their equipment, training and discipline, to the main campaigns and battles that decided the fate of England, France, and the entire Occidental Europe.
This period saw the development of artillery, being used by both sides. There were new siege techniques using those new weapons.
It is also interesting that English armies weren't as devastating to the civilians in this period as they had been in the past. They considered France their land now, and there were strict disciplinary sanctions for perpetrators.
Also notice, like the author states, that the powerful English massed archery never managed to stop a French charge in its tracks; but severely weakened and disrupted it, bettering the odds of the English man-at-arms defeating the French demoralized warriors in hand to hand combat.
The paintings from Graham Turner are superb, realistically depicted and beautiful. They include the following pieces: On Board Ship; Battle of Baugé 1421; Artillery crew 1410; The Mines 1415; Early Lances; Later Lances; Uniforms and Camouflage; The Loss of Normandy 1449-50.