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Pike and Shot Tactics 1590-1660 (Elite) Paperback – March 23, 2010
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And that is where it stops being a good book.
Here are my critiques, all of which are equally important, so they are not in any order of priority:
1) The material was not organized. If you want to know how Gustavus Adolphus conducted military tactics, you would have to read about 10 different spots in the book. Why? Because the author would use a term of art in one spot, but no explanation for what it meant. In another spot, you'd see him quote directly from a primary source, but give no interpretation of half the words that all have unique meanings. In another spot, when reading about the Spanish Tercios, you would find 3 definitions explained for words that were used in primary sources earlier in the book involving the Swedish King, Adolphus. Then, in a fourth spot, you would find a marching order, reproduced, for Gustavus, but you would have no explanation whatsover as to the nomenclature or notations. Then, in a fifth spot, when reading about the English Civil War (nothing to do with Gustavus) you would find explanations for SOME of the nomeclanture. In other words -- not easy to read.
2) As mentioned above, some of the diagrams had some explanations. But most had none. There is a diagram of a field artillery piece, with some narrative on the surrounding pages about the general importance of field artillery and how one general used it once to assist the pike. But in the diagram itself, there are the letters A-M, corresponding to each different piece of the field artillery and some barrels next to it. But NO EXPLANATION OF WHAT A, B, C, etc actually are. None.Read more ›
The author makes a quick survey on the Dutch reforms (including the Brigade and the firing methods), the thirty years war, the Swedish military reforms (including the three line volley firing system, greater standardization of artillery calibers and contact cavalry), the Spanish army (that continued to favor big units) and snapshots of the English civil wars.
For its small size it has a surprising amount of information and could be an interesting title for Field of Glory Renaissance gamers.
The illustrations by Adam Hook are very clarifying being a great complement to the prose.
Firstly, the author is no doubt a scholar. This title is well researched, but having said that, it is not for the beginner. Much of the text is written in first hand accounts by contemporary military men. This is fine, but the author for some odd reason, writes in the period english which at least for me, is almost incomprehensible:
"Messirs (saith hee) now you have had all your desires & now you have fought a Battel, nay more, you have gained a Battel. But lett mee tell you herewithall that the State hath not gotten so much as a Quart d'escu by it; and had wee lost the Day, we had lost all by it:", ect, ect.
Much of the text is like this. Contemporary thoughts are great, but the author could have distilled it somewhat for modern readers. Also, the book is not organized very well. Very little on the evoulution of tactics and too much detail on micro concepts, such as, how the men retired not through the ranks, but rather to one side. He goes on and on about this. To me, a more broad stroke overview would have been better.
Well researched, but definately not for the beginner in Pike and Shot tactics.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good book. Adequate introduction to period tactics. Not specific to ECW, or TYW. Covers the period as opposed to a specific conflict.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book was written primarily for use as a reference book for English Civil War regiments. Some other material is in this book, but I thought the ECW societies were the targeted... Read morePublished on March 11, 2014 by CaptLiberator
Well written and informative. This is a good book for those interested in Thirty Years War miniature wargaming. Lots of good diagrams of formations and evolutions. Read morePublished on January 3, 2014 by davbenbak
I am a huge Osprey fan, but this is easily the worst one I have read. While the "diary entries" and the pictures from the manuals of the period added color, they do not... Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by American Barbarian
This is a well written and well researched historical work. It holds the reader's attention in a compelling manner. Easy to read book. Read morePublished on May 29, 2011 by mahdi1ray