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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2000
The book highlights and illustrates one of the most flambuoyant periods in Polish military history. The brief, comprehensive summary and excellent illustrations help the reader to visualise and understand why Poland in the 16th-17th century was a power to be reckoned with. The vast array of military forces - Polish winged hussars, light cavalry, Cossacks, Tartars, Wallahians etc, present a picture of a colourful, highly effective strike force. A must-read for anyone interested in this subject.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2003
"Polish Armies: 1569-1696 (1)" is the first book in a two-part set. Some of the topics covered in this volume are organization and recruitment, types of cavalry and infantry, armor and weapons, flags, command insignia, and field signs. This book is filled with photographs and illustrations that bring to life this period. Eight full-page artworks depict various uniforms with high attention to detail.
The book is very well written, and Polish history is brought to life in words and pictures. Many aspects of this time are concisely described in this volume. After reading this book, you will want to read its second part.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
At its peak, the Polish Kingdom stretched from Baltic to the Black Sea and from the Vistula to the gates of Moscow. After France and Russia, Poland had the third largest population in Europe. During its century of greatness, Poland's armies faced Swedes, Turks, Tatars, Russians, Hungarians and Cossacks. With their winged hussars at the lead, Poland's army was made up of that strange and colorful mix of east and west.

Osprey's Men-At-Arms Series by its very nature can only offer a superficial look at the Polish armies of this period. As anyone who reads Osprey books know, the quality of the writing is inconsistent. Fortunately, Richard Brzezinsky is one of their best writers. He loves the topic and his enthusiasm is infectous. For me the only downside are the Angus McBride illustrations. Having finished this book, I am looking forward to reading Brzezinsky's book on the Winged Hussars.
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