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This informative book describes the fighting techniques of soldiers in what has been characterised as the 'age of chivalry' and it shows in detail the methods by which armies gained and lost ascendancy on the battlefield. Examined firstly are the individual components of the medieval army, the foot soldier and the mounted soldier and the equipment they wore and used and how they fought together as a unit. Certain types of unit are described - like Welsh longbowmen and Italian mercenaries - and why they were more effective than others, such as the French armoured knights at Agincourt. The third section discusses how these units were used together on the battlefield and the importance of a general correctly disposing his troops before the battle began - key battles such as Lincoln, Bannockburn and Crecy are examined - and also the contrasting tactics of both sides during crusades and the various shortcomings of the crusaders and their leaders. The fourth part looks at the specialist techniques and equipment developed for siege warfare - a common event in this era of fortification.
The last section covers naval warfare, from the ships in which the men fought to the weapons they carried and the major battles of the period including the battle of Meloria in the Mediterranean. Using specially commissioned artwork to illustrate the battles, equipment, and tactics of the era, Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World shows in detail the ways in which armies prevailed over their foes. It is an essential book for any reader interested in the realities and means of medieval warfare.
Phyllis G. Jestice is an associate professor of medieval history and chair of the History Department at the University of Southern Mississippi. A specialist in German history during the central Middle Ages, her teaching of the history of premodern warfare has led her deeper into the study of medieval war and society. She has contributed to several works on the history of warfare, including Battles of the Ancient World, Battles of the Bible, Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World and Timelines of Medieval Warfare. Iain Dickie's interest in military matters was first inspired by pictures of Roman artillery at the age of 12. Based in Britain, he has been a committee member of the Society of Ancients, the editor of Army & Navy Modelworld, Military Hobbies and Miniature Wargames magazines.