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 Medieval Military Combat Battle Tactics and Fighting Techniques of the Wars of the Roses by Dr. Tom Lewis  The War of The Roses, between th...

Medieval Military Combat by Dr. Tom Lewis Medieval Military Combat by Dr. Tom Lewis

Medieval Military Combat by Dr. Tom Lewis

Medieval Military Combat by Dr. Tom Lewis






 Medieval Military Combat


Battle Tactics and Fighting Techniques of the Wars of the Roses


by


Dr. Tom Lewis





 The War of The Roses, between the Lancaster and York factions, is a seminal point in English history. The Hundred Years War, fought between England and France, had given the various magnates and Lords of England an outlet for their rivalries and quest for more lands etc. The War of The Roses meant that England could no longer think of overseas expansion and had to deal with a war on their own island. This war saw the change from arrows to artillery and even handguns. Plate armor and the non-novelty of the longbowmen meant that these battle winners, according to most histories, in the Hundred Years War were just another force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. A longbowman was trained from childhood, through his whole life, to be effective on the field. The book informs us that that the archers' effectiveness in battle relied on many different things. 


 The author comes to a few conclusions in this work that will likely surprise people. His first one is, how long were the actual battles. Towton was supposed to have been a daylong affair. The book shows us that two lines of medieval soldiers hacking away at each other could only have gone on for a limited time. Soldiers on both sides had to break away from each other at least a few times. The weapons of the infantry, mostly poleaxes, and their armor would have made fighting for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time the most one could expect from a human. Dr. Lewis also makes an interesting point about the actual reported losses in these same battles. Using Towton again, 28,000 men were supposed to have been lost. The figures for other battles are not as large but do represent a great number of bodies. The problem is that there are very few, to no mass graves, that would accommodate such a slaughter. Certainly, the lords would have been normally found and brought back to the family for burial, but not the average soldiers. He also suggests that even during a rout an armed soldier was not the 'easy pickings' that are usually portrayed. The routing soldiers were not throwing away their costly arms and stripping their armor off to run away as fast as possible. Plus, how fast could infantry actually chase the routing soldiers. Certainly, cavalry would be able to run down some, but how much physical endurance could one expect from a normal horse with an armored knight on its back?


 This is an excellent book for the reader to learn about the actual fighting of a medieval battle compared to the Hollywood version we have stuck in our minds. It made me question my long-held beliefs that were instilled into me by earlier forays into books about the subject.

 

 Thank you, Casemate Publishers, for letting me review this book. This is another fine addition to their large library.


Robert


Book: Medieval Military Combat

Author: Dr. Tom Lewis

Publisher: Casemate Publishers



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