16th Century Warfare

Renaissance/16th Century Military History; General

Web Sites:


An interesting site on Polish Renaissance Warfare, 1450-1699



A couple of sites about the winged Hussars of Poland.



Information on Landsknechts


Black, Jeremy, "Civilians in Warfare, 1500-1789", History Today, Vol. 56 (5) (May 2006), pp. 10-17. An interesting and informative article about the plight of the civilian in early modern warfare.

Kingra, Mahinder S. "The Trace Italienne and the Military Revolution During the Eighty Years' War, 1567-1648", The Journal of Military History, July 1993 (Vol. 57, No. 3), pp. 431-446. This article initially discusses the issue of the "Military Revolution" in the 16th century as set out by Michael Roberts and Geoffrey Parker, and then examines the issue of the relationship between the existence of bastioned fortresses and increases in military manpower, basing the analysis on a case study of the Eighty Years War-the Dutch War of Independence. Well done and competently expostulated.

Kleinschmidt, Harald. "Using the Gun: Manual Drill and the Proliferation of Portable Firearms", The Journal of Military History, July 1999 (Vol. 63, No. 3), pp. 601-629. An interesting article on the development of manual drill techniques in the 16th, 17th, and 18th century and its relationship with the adoption of portable firearms. An enlightening and informative article.

Kubik, Timothy R. W. "Is Machiavelli's Canon Spiked? Practical Reading in Military History", The Journal of Military History, January 1997 (Vol. 61, No. 1), pp. 7-30. An interesting and thought-provoking article on the nature and validity of the military works of Niccolo Machiavelli.

Manning, Roger B. "Prince Maurice's School of War: British Swordsmen and the Dutch", War and Society, Vol. 25, No. 1 (May 2006), pp. 1-19. This article discusses the nature and development of the Dutch army in the late 16th and early 17th century and how it provided a major influential training venue for English and Scottish soldiers in this era.

Millar, Gilbert John. "The Landsknecht: His Recruitment and Organization, With Some Reference to the Reign of Henry VIII". Military Affairs, October 1971 (Vol. 35, No. 3), pp. 95-99. A short but to-the-point essay on the mechanics of the recruitment and operation of the Landsknechts.

Neill, Donald A. "Ancestral Voices: The Influence of the Ancients on the Military Thought of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries", The Journal of Military History, July 1998 (Vol. 62, No. 3), pp. 487-520. An interesting article about the influence of writers of antiquity on the evolution of military thought in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Beyond the basic thrust of the article, which examines the influence of the ancients on 17th and 18th century French military authorities, as part of the essay, there are some rather interesting insights on military developments in the 16th century.

Potter, David, "The duc de Guise and the Fall of Calais, 1557-1558", English Historical Review, Vol. 98, No. 388 (July 1983), pp. 481-512. A good account of the fall of Calais to the French and the consolidation of the conquest, from the French point of view.

Parker, Geoffrey, "The Limits to Revolutions in Military Affairs: Maurice of Nassau, the Battle of Nieuwpoort (1600), and the Legacy". The Journal of Military History, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2007), pp. 331-372. "Revolutions in Military Affairs" (RMA's) currently interest both historians and strategic analysts, but how exactly do they occur, why do they prove so decisive, and what (if any) are their limits? This essay seeks answers through the detailed study of one critical element of an earlier "Revolution in Military Affairs"-infantry volley fire-tracing its invention, first in Japan in the 1560's and then in the Dutch Republic in the 1590's, and its first use in combat at the battle of Nieuwpoort in 1600 by a Dutch army commanded by Maurice of Nassau. It then examines the current RMA in the light of that case study.

Parrott, David, "The Utility of Fortifications in Early Modern Europe: Italian Princes and Their Citadels, 1540-1640". War In History, Vol. 7, No. 2 (April 2000), pp. 127-153. A solid article on the utility of sophisticated fortifications in early modern Europe. One of the major points made is that these new "impregnable" fortresses could succeed in their defensive purpose only in conjunction with field armies able to relieve the garrison placed under siege. This essential lesson was ignored by rulers of second- and third-rank states, who constructed fortifications to project both military effectiveness and dynastic status but without incurring the huge and unsustainable additional costs of maintaining an effective field army.

Paul, Michael C., "The Military Revolution in Russia, 1550-1682", The Journal of Military History, January 2004 (Vol. 68, No. 1), pp. 9-45. In this period, the Russian armed forces underwent changes in tactics and organization that were truly revolutionary in their impact on Russian society and helped make Russia a significant power in Northern and Eastern Europe. This article provides a good overview of how this happened.

Potter, David, "The International Mercenary Market in the Sixteenth Century: Anglo-French Competition in Germany, 1543-1550", English Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 440 (February 1996), pp. 24-58. This article discusses the problems of hiring mercenaries in mid-16th century Western Europe, with emphasis on the English and French hiring of mercenaries. The point is made that in 1543 the French had a considerable advantage over the English in this area, as they had been hiring mercenaries for their wars pretty consistently throughout the century, while the English had not. A good article.

Phillips, Gervase, "'Of Nimble Service': Technology, Equestrianism and the Cavalry Arm of Early Modern Western European Armies", War and Society, Vol. 20, No. 2 (October 2002), pp. 1-21. This article provides an excellent survey of the evolution of cavalry in the early modern period. The author contends that it was not firearms nor the humbling of the knight that transformed cavalry; it was the horse itself and the manner in which it was ridden. Horse breeding and equestrianism are, in the author's opinion, the keys to understanding the development of the mounted arm in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Vogt, John. "Saint Barbara's Legion: Portuguese Artillery in the Struggle for Morocco, 1415-1578. Military Affairs, December 1977 (Vol. 41, No. 4), pp. 176-182. An interesting and informative article on Portuguese use of artillery in the early modern struggle for Morocco.


Adams, Nicholas, and Pepper, Simon. Firearms and Fortifications: Military Architecture and Siege Warfare in Sixteenth-Century Sienna. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. The authors recount the ultimately unsuccessful efforts made by the Republic of Siena to defend its independence during the mid-sixteenth century, climaxing with the siege of Siena 1554-55. This carefully researched and documented book describes the construction, attack, and defense of fortifications that ringed the city of Siena and protected other towns in the Republic's territory. This thorough and well illustrated volume is excellent and ought to be read by historians of early modern warfare. Information taken from a review by John Lynn in The Journal of Military History, April 1989 (Vol. 53, No. 2), pp. 191-192. The same review is in Military Affairs, April 1987 (Vol. 51, No. 2), pp. 103. Also reviewed in American Historical Review, February 1989 (Vol. 94, #1), pp. 176-177.

Agoston, Gabor. Guns for the Sultan: Military Power and the Weapons Industry in the Ottoman Empire. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. ISBN: 0-52184313-8. This book is a much-needed addition to English language works dealing with Ottoman military affairs. Based on sound archival and other primary sources, it looks at the employment, manufacture, and cost of Turkish gunpowder weapons in the 1400's to 1700's. From the castle smashing kale-kob down to the infantryman's tufenk (musket), the author starts with a history of Ottoman gunpowder technology and how it was employed on the battlefield and in siege warfare. He gives equal time to analyses of weapons manufacture, the artisans who did the work, and how it all was financed. Guns for the Sultan is a good book. It contains extensive notes with frequent references to contrary points of view. Information taken from a review in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 70, No. 1 (January 2006), pp. 218-219.

Anglo, Sydney. The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2000. Sydney Anglo's The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe is that comparatively rare thing, a very scholarly book which is also highly entertaining to read. In the case of the martial arts, which here encompasses both armed and unarmed combat, there is a huge body of literature. There are in addition many other sources including chronicles, literature, and eye-witness reports, together with a wide variety of works of art and the surviving weapons themselves. Anglo has looked at, read, digested and analyzed all this material and he is probably the first person to have done so in such a comprehensive practice of all the different forms of combat, based upon all the evidence. This will be the standard work for many years to come. Highly recommended. Information taken from a review by Alan Borg in English Historical Review, Vol. 116, No. 465 (February 2001), pp. 206-207.

Arfaioli, Maurizio. The Black Bands of Giovanni: Infantry and Diplomacy During the Italian Wars (1526-1528). Pisa, Italy: Pisa University Press, 2005. ISBN: 88-8492-231-3. The Black Bands of Giovanni offers a fascinating exploration of Renaissance political and military history. Instead of focusing on the infamous condottiere and military adventurer Giovanni de' Medici, the author provides an in-depth analysis of his Black Bands-the infantry units whose mourning clothes eventually made their former commander renowned in historiography as 'Giovanni delle Bande Nere'. The book traces the history of the Black Bands' service in the armies of the League of Cognac, a French-led alliance that opposed Emperor Charles V's growing influence in Italy from 1526 to 1528. Throughout this narrative, the author uses the Black Bands' contradictory roles in Florentine defense and in League offensive operations to reveal the complexities of war in Renaissance Italy. One of the real strengths of this work is its contribution of bringing a Florentine perspective into the study of early modern military history. A good book. Information taken from a review by Brian Sandberg in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2006), pp. 492-493.

Arnold, Thomas. The Renaissance at War. London: Cassell & Co, 2001 ISBN 0 304 35270 5. A lushly illustrated and very informative brief overview of warfare in Europe, late 1400's through the end of the 16th century. A coffee table type book. Has some quite good insights, and excellent illustrations, but is kind of hit-and-miss. Interesting and valuable, but doesn't quite totally satisfy those familiar with the subject matter.

Bak, Janos, and Kiraly, Bela K., editors. From Hunyadi to Rakoczi: War and Society in Late Medieval and Early Modern Hungary. (East European Monographs, number 104; War and Society in Eastern Europe, number 3; Brooklyn College Studies on Society in Change, number 12). Brooklyn: Brooklyn College Press; distributed by Columbia University Press, New York, 1982. 545 pages. List of essays in this volume in American Historical Review, Vol. 88, No. 4 (October 1983), pp. 1123.

Black, Jeremy. A Military Revolution? Military Change and European Society, 1550-1800. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1991. Jeremy Black disagrees with Michael Roberts and his disciples on the nature of the "Military Revolution" and puts forth some provocative ideas of his own in this short but important book. This book raises more questions than it answers about the nature of early modern European warfare. At just over 100 pages, this well-written book lacks the breadth of coverage and depth of analysis needed to effectively challenge on its own the Michael Roberts-Geoffrey Parker thesis. And the author is aware of these shortcomings. What he provides, then, is a new angle for reexamining the military history of early modern Europe, both western and eastern. Information taken from a review by J. Michael Hill in The Journal of Military History, January 1992, (Vol. 56, No. 1), pp. 126-127.

Black, Jeremy, ed. European Warfare, 1453-1815. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. ISBN: 0-312-22118-5. This is a volume of collected essays dealing with European warfare from 1453 to 1815. These essays combine two concepts: that military organizations resemble and reflect the societies that create them, and that military organizations not only by their very existence but also by their effectiveness in battle act as engines of social and political change. The coverage is extensive, covering not only Western European states but also sections on the Ottoman Empire, Russia, the Baltic, and Celtic warfare as well as a survey of naval developments. The book, combining in a single volume a sweeping view of European developments, is a significant contribution to the study of military history. Information taken from a review by Steven Ross in The Journal of Military History, January 2000 (Vol. 64, No. 1), pp. 186-187. Review in American Historical Review, Vol. 101, No. 2 (April, 1996), pp. 473-474.

Black, Jeremy. Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare: Renaissance to Revolution, 1492-1792. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN: 0-521-47033-1. This volume contains over 90 maps of campaign trajectories and battle diagrams that are clear, uncluttered, and related to the immediate discussion. It also has a good synthesis of early modern warfare from a global perspective. The author has done more than summarize a series of campaigns. He has crafted an essay on the disparate, yet competitive, styles of early modern warfare. The narrative is divided into two chronological periods: 1490-1680 and 1680-1792. While having some limitations, the volume is nevertheless a solid piece of work. Information taken from a review by Brett D. Steele in The Journal of Military History, January 1997 (Vol. 61, No. 1), pp. 151-152.

Bovill, E.W. The Battle of Aleazar. London: Batchworth Press, 1952. Portuguese defeat of August 4, 1578, described in detail. Information from Military Affairs, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Fall 1952), page 148. Also cited as The Battle of Alcazar. New York: British Book Centre, 1953, in Military Affairs, Vol. 17, No. 3 (Fall 1953), page 152.

Bracewell, Catherine Wendy. The Usoks of Senj: Piracy, Banditry, and Holy War in the Sixteenth Century Adriatic. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1992. The Usoks were a group of semi-independent people, Christian, of Serbo-Croation ethnic descent who lived in Senj, a city on the Dalmatian Coast about 40 miles SE of modern Fiume. During the late 15th, 16th, and early 17th century, the Usoks engaged as their primary means of support in what was in effect banditry and piracy against, preferably, non-Christians and subjects of the Ottoman Empire, but also against others when financial necessity demanded it. This is a solidly done work on a complex and relatively little known, but important, community which helped to engender much friction between the Ottoman Empire, Venice, and the Hapsburgs. Information taken from a review by Thomas M. Barker in The Journal of Military History, January 1993 (Vol. 57, No. 1), pp. 139-140. Also reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 98, No. 3 (June 1993), pp. 903-904.

Bradford, Ernle. The Great Siege: Malta, 1565. Hertforshire, UK: Wordsworth Editions, 1999 (first published 1961). ISBN 1 84022 206 9. A good and very straightforward history of what was probably the greatest siege of the 16th century.

Blickle, Peter; trans. by Thomas A. Brady, Jr., and H. C. Erick Midelfort. The Revolution of 1525. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981. This book is the first full length study of the Peasants' War to appear in English for many decades. This translation of Blickle's work is quite useful, for not only does it make one of the most provocative and stimulating of the late 20th century's German studies available to English readers, but it also provides a bibliography of materials on the Peasants' War in English. The editors have included a concise account of the war and its historiography and they elucidate the specialist terms employed by Blickle. This text is not a narrative, and it is densely and complexly written, in exposition of Blickle's central thesis that the events of 1525 mark a new departure from the tradition of peasant revolts stretching back through the fifteenth century because they are marked by an appeal to "godly" law as a principle which justifies revolt. This, he argues, was revolutionary; radical because where previous revolts had appealed to traditional law and were in essence conservative, the principle of divine justice enabled peasants to progress beyond calls for a simple restitution of past relationships. The volume is well structured and the points well made. For anyone interested in the Reformation, early modern European society, or agrarian history, this book is essential reading. Information taken from a review by Lyndal Roper in History Today, Vol. 33, June 1983, pp. 54-55. There is also a review in English Historical Review, Vol. 102, No. 402 (January 1987), pp. 199-200, and one in American Historical Review, Vol. 87, No. 5 (December 1982), pp. 1405-1407.

Brockman, Eric. The Two Sieges of Rhodes, 1480-1522. London: John Murray, 1969. A very informative and well-written history of the two sieges of Rhodes in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The usefulness of this work is enhanced by a detailed index, well-chosen illustrations, excellent maps, and an adequate, albeit not exhaustive, bibliography. Recommended. Information taken from a review by John Beeler in Military Affairs, February 1972 (Vol. 37, No. 1), pp. 27.

Chambers, David; Clough, Cecil; and Mallett, Michael, eds. War, Culture, and Society in Renaissance Venice. Essays in Honour of John Hale. London/Rio Grande: Hambledon Press, 1993. This volume includes a variety of essays on Renaissance Venice, to include literature, diplomatic history, general architecture, language, and historiography. The review in the June 1996 English Historical Review spells out in detail the nature of the essays. However, the emphasis in the volume is the topics of war and fortification, areas in which Hale can be seen at his best as an architectural historian. Information taken from a review by Peter Laven in English Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 442 (June 1996), pp. 698-699.

Cook, Weston F., Jr. The Hundred Years War for Morocco: Gunpowder and the Military Revolution in the Early Modern Muslim World. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1994. With the "Military Revolution" debate in full swing, this book makes an important contribution to the discussion of this explanatory schema, while also providing a detailed analysis of the remarkable developments in sixteenth-century Morocco. This region that was prey to European and Ottoman penetration, as well as chaotic internal strife, saw the rise of a unified and independent state which ended the "Hundred Years War" and deterred foreign aggression so successfully that Morocco escaped a major battle with a European army until the middle of the nineteenth century. Critical to the success of this state was its effective use of gunpowder weaponry. One of the prime aims of the study is to place developments in Morocco in the wider context of early modern European history, but the author does not lean too heavily on any one theory, framework, or paradigm and notes when various conceptual models do or do not fit the Moroccan situation. This is a well done book. This study illustrates that an approach to military history which emphasizes the contingent nature of military innovations better reflects the empirical evidence than a teleological or deterministic approach. Information taken from a review by Paul E. Chevedden in The Journal of Military History, July 1996 (Vol. 60, No. 3), pp. 546-547. Also reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 100, No. 5 (Dec., 1995), pp. 1640.

Corvisier, Andre. Armies and Societies in Europe, 1494-1789. Translated by Abigail T. Siddall. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979. The thesis of this masterly book is that the "military mentality" was more pervasive in early modern Europe than many twentieth century historians have assumed. He examines militarization under three headings: the army's relations to the nation, the army as an arm of an increasingly centralized state, and the army as a society with its own system of recruiting, promotion, ethics, and so forth. Much of the author's previous work was based on his statistical examination of existing military records. In this one he uses his mastery of those records to examine the army's changing place in a changing society. At the time (1980) the book has already been recognized in France as a modern military-historical classic. There is hardly a topic upon which it does not have something interesting to say. The author's sections on the growth of military administration and military nobility in the service of the state are particularly interesting because of his comparative approach. This is a splendid, well translated work. Information taken from a review by Theodore Ropp in American Historical Review, Vol. 85, No. 4 (October 1980), pp. 876.

Downing, Brian M. The Military Revolution and Political Change: Origins of Democracy and Autocracy in Early Modern Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992. Downing's book is a persuasive attempt to redefine the debate on early modern European state formation by associating elements treated up to now (1993) mainly in isolation: bureaucratic and fiscal changes, mapped by historians of institutions; and developments in warfare that we call "the military revolution". Based on an impressive array of secondary works, this is a study packed with illuminating insights. It is easy to follow, thanks to Downing's uncluttered prose. Downing suggests that the impetus for political change did not come from internal class dynamics and agrarian development but from external pressures generated by dog-eat-dog competition within the European state system. One may disagree at times with Downing's conclusions, but this is an important work of comparative history whose arguments command serious attention. Information taken from a review by Geoffrey Symcox in American Historical Review, Vol. 98, No. 3 (June 1993), pp. 857-858. Also reviewed in English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 437 (June 1995), pp. 724-725. See below Glete, Jan. War and the State in Early Modern Europe: Spain, the Dutch Republic and Sweden as Fiscal-Military States, 1500-1660 (New York: Routledge, 2002) for a later book which would seem to follow on similar lines.

Duffy, Christopher. Siege Warfare: The Fortress in the Early Modern World, 1494-1660. New York: Routledge, 1996 ISBN 0-415-14649-6. There is an earlier edition of this book published in 1979. This is a brief but amazingly thorough survey of siege warfare throughout the world in the period 1494-1660. Very thorough and highly recommended, by me at least. A review may be found in The Journal of Military History, January 1998 (Vol. 62, No. 1), pp. 196-197. The reviewer finds some problems with this latest edition, not the least because it is completely unchanged from the 1979 edition and none of the errors of that edition were corrected. Geoffrey Parker has a critical review of this book in English Historical Review, Vol. 95, No. 375 (April 1980, pp. 372-373. Also reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 85, No. 2 (April 1980), pp. 383-384; a favorable review.

Frost, Robert I. The Northern Wars: War, State, and Society in Northeastern Europe, 1558-1721. Harlow: Longman, 2000. ISBN 0 582 06429 5. Adopting Klaus Zernack's designation of north-eastern Europe as a region including Scandinavia, Poland-Lithuania and European Russia, the author also follows him in opting for the wider term 'Northern Wars' rather than 'Baltic Wars', which has often been used instead. Showing considerable linguistic versatility, Frost moves easily through economic, social and political aspects of the subject, putting his description of battles and campaigns into a full context that also involves a critical analysis of the concept of 'military revolution'. Moreover, although the reviewer has some reservations here, the author succeeds in assessing the aims of the powers in going to war and their conduct during hostilities in an even-handed manner. The very nature of its subject, never before given such comprehensive treatment, means that the book is not an easy read. However, it will repay careful study and is a magnificent achievement, learned, perspicacious, and judicious. Highly recommended. Information taken from a review by Paul Dukes in War In History, Vol. 10, No. 1 (January 2003), pp. 102-103. I have read this book and agree with this reviewer. It is an excellent volume and very much worth reading.

Glete, Jan. War and the State in Early Modern Europe: Spain, the Dutch Republic and Sweden as Fiscal-Military States, 1500-1660. New York: Routledge, 2002. ISBN: 0-415-22644-9 (hbk); 0-415-22645-7 (pbk). The early modern period saw the development of Europe's great standing armies and a reduction in the individual ownership of troops. This book covers the changing relationship between war, state, armies and government, using Spain, Sweden and the Dutch Republic as extended case studies. Its main ambition is to emphasis that the emergence of the fiscal-military state as a complex organization was a decisive change in European history. It is a new attempt to integrate the history of early modern European warfare into the history of early modern European state formation. It emphasizes that economic theory, primarily about protection as a commodity (protection selling), transaction costs and innovative entrepreneurship (actors achieving new combinations in society) are necessary if the transformation of Europe is to be explained. In this, it succeeds well. It is an excellent book. It is not, however, an easy read. It is highly analytical and is for the scholar, not the casual reader. Highly recommended.

Gommans, Jos. Mughal Warfare: Indian Frontiers and High Road to Empire, 1500--1700. New York: Routledge, 2002. While this book is not, strictly speaking, within the subject context of this bibliography, it appears to be an interesting and useful reference for helping to put European military developments in our era in the context of other world developments. This volume is an excellent discussion of the operation of the Mughal military in this era. The author not only takes a look at a long-neglected topic, but also establishes a rich comparative context with his frequent references to the other two early modern West Asian empires, the Safavid in Iran and the Ottoman in the Middle East. An interesting facet of this book is the introductory chapter on ecology, which establishes an important distinction for the understanding of warfare in Mughal India. The arid zone of the northwest and the monsoon zone of the northeast demanded different approaches to military recruitment, provisioning, and strategy. In order to mount successful campaigns, Mughal emperors and generals had to combine the two military styles of early modern Eurasia: those of the sedentary armies of Europe and monsoon Asia, on the other hand, with those of the nomadic armies of West and Central Asia, on the other. In writing this book, the author has made an important contribution to the historical record of Mughal India. Information taken from a review by Stephen P. Blake in American Historical Review, Vol. 109, No. 2 (April 2004), pp. 501-502.

Goodwin, Godfrey. The Janissaries. London: Saqui Books, 1997. This volume is on the janissaries, the elite infantry of the Ottoman Empire. It is not really a military history, but a broad history of a specific military elite. It discusses the janissaries' rise, their fall, their characteristics and their culture. This one I have to give mixed reviews. The first four chapters, "The Origins of the Janissary Corps", "The Devsirme or Christian Levy", "Pillars of the Empire", and "The Ottoman Armed Forces" comprise almost half the book and are excellent expositions on the basics of the organization and operation of the government and the army (including the janissaries) of the Ottoman Empire. The remainder of the book, which provides an, essentially, chronological history of the janissaries until their demise in 1826, is not as good. In particular, it provides chronology, but not the intensive analysis that is needed for a book of this nature, in my opinion. The author obviously knows the subject of the Ottoman empire extremely well, but, as an art and architectural historian, does not seem to me to have the military/political history background to do full justice to the subject. It is an interesting book, but not the definitive history.

Grosjean, Alexis. An Unofficial Alliance: Scotland and Sweden, 1569-1654. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2003. ISBN: 90-04-13241-4. Alexis Grossjean has produced a magisterial piece transforming the previous analysis of Scots in military service to Sweden in the 1563-1654 period. Her research indicates that the Scottish involvement in the Swedish armed forces lasted longer, and was more extensive, than historians have thought. This book adds depth and breadth to an old subject, effectively revolutionizing the historiography of early modern Scottish military history. Information taken from a review by Edward M. Furgol in The Journal of Military History, October 2004 (Vol. 68, No. 4), pp. 1248-1250.

Gush, George. Renaissance Armies, 1480-1650. Cambridge: Patrick Stephens, Ltd., 1983 (first published 1975). ISBN: 0-85059-604-1. This 128 page volume is packed full of information on the military forces of Europe and the Middle East in the period 1480-1650. It starts with a general survey of the warfare in the period and brief examinations of the infantry, cavalry, and artillery. The book then systematically deals with the military forces of various geographical areas of Europe in the period under discussion. It includes considerable detail on weapons, uniforms, flags, tactics, and organization, and is profusely illustrated. There is a great deal of information here I haven't seen anywhere else. It is not, in the traditional sense, a scholarly volume, nor is it the definitive work on the subject. It is, however, an extremely informative and useful volume, and one that should be on the shelf of every student of this period of military history. I highly recommend this one.

Hale, J. R. War and Society in Renaissance Europe, 1450-1620. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1985. 282 pp. Interesting study of widespread violence in Europe as a whole, including military techniques, recruitment, life as a soldier, and direct and indirect impact of war on civilians, the economy, taxation, and government. Review provided by Dr. Tim Francis, Naval Historical Center. There is a review of this book in Military Affairs, July 1986 (Volume 50, No. 3), pp. 162. The reviewer trashes the book; his final comment is: "It is useful only as an example of how a book should not be written". Having read the book myself, I can only think that, at least in this instance, the reviewer is an idiot. This is an excellent volume, and, IMHO, a must-read for the serious scholar of the military history of 16th century western Europe. There is a much more favorable review by C. S. L. Davies in English Historical Review, Vol. 103, No. 406 (January 1998), pp. 191-192.

Hale, J. R. Artists and Warfare in the Renaissance. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991. This lavishly illustrated and handsomely bound volume is a decidedly unusual but very interesting work. It draws no conclusions, but provides a magnificent selection of original art works and engravings with informative texts. Beyond the general splendor of the paintings, they also are a useful compendium of the equipment used by many of the soldiers of the era. It is a valuable work for all students of war and artists, especially for Northern Europe, in the period covered. Information taken from a review by Denys Hay in History Today, Vol. 41, June, 1991, page 61.

Hale, J.R. Renaissance War Studies. London: Hambledon Press, 1983. Hale's book examines the evolution, in Europe and nowhere else, of armies and navies which could defeat their enemies by firepower rather than by close-quarter combat. He concentrates on the period between 1450 and 1650, with special attention to Renaissance Italy and Tudor England. The book includes 18 essays (all previously printed but often in unfamiliar places) which deal with problems of military mechanics. First come fortifications and the new defensive designs made necessary after circa 1450 by the development of artillery. Next comes a set of essays upon military education and military training in early modern Europe. The third section includes contemporary reactions to war. While these articles, some of which date back to the 1960's, have been printed without updating, they constitute a remarkably coherent and well-integrated collection. Information taken from a review by Geoffrey Parker in History Today, Vol. 34, September, 1984, page 56. Also reviewed in History Today, Vol. 33, December 1983, page 51, and English Historical Review, Vol. 102, No. 402 (January 1987), pp. 197-198.

Hale, J. R., and Mallett, M.E. The Military Organization of a Renaissance State: Venice c. 1400 to 1617. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984 ISBN: 0-521-24842-6. This well done volume redresses the old imbalance of the galleys and the Arsenal as the only focus of most studies of the Venetian military. Professor Mallet covers the 15th century creation, maintenance, and institutionalization of the standing army, while Professor Hale follows its 16th century development, growth, and elaboration. This is a pivotal and extremely well written work describing the development the standing military force of Venice and the development of Venice as a fiscal-military state. A recommended read. Information taken from a review by J. A. Houlding in Military Affairs, January 1986 (Volume 50, No. 1), pp. 51-52. Also reviewed in History Today, Vol. 35, January, 1985, pp. 52, and in The Historian, Vol. 48, No. 4 (August 1986), pp. 577-578, as well as English Historical Review, Vol. 101, No. 398 (January 1986), pp. 171-172 and American Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 2 (April 1985), pp. 451-452.

Hall, Bert S.. Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8018-5531-4. Those interested in the development of Western European warfare between roughly 1300 and 1600 should read this book. In my opinion, it is a "must read" for anyone who wants to understand the military technology of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Its subtitle, "Gunpowder, Technology, and Tactics", well sums up its emphasis. It is a fine volume, especially for military techie types. A review may be found in The Journal of Military History, January 1998 (Vol. 62, No. 1), pp. 195-196. Also reviewed in The Historian, Vol. 61, No. 4 (Summer 1999), pp. 954-955. Reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 103, No. 5 (December 1998), pp. 1578-1579. There is a review in English Historical Review, Vol. 114, No. 455 (February 1999), pp. 169-170 by Geoffrey Parker which is, to my mind, excessively harsh.

Hanlon, Gregory. The Twilight of a Military Tradition: Italian Aristocrats and European Conflicts, 1560-1800. London: University College Press, 1998. ISBN: 1 85728 703 7 (hbk), 1 85728 703 5 (pbk). This book is invaluable in providing both accessible information for an English-reading audience about the military and political circumstances of a vast sweep of Italian history which has been all but ignored, and in offering a far more nuanced and unprejudiced view of the military activities of the Italian princes and their nobles. It seriously challenges the common preconception that the military history of this period amounts to a series of sorry episodes in which the Italian princes and their armies and navies were treated as pawns in the Machtpolitik of the great powers. Included in the volume are a series of tightly argued and detailed narrative chapters exploring critical areas in which Italian officers and soldiers played a substantial role in early modern European warfare. This is a good useful piece of work and a significant scholarly contribution. Information taken from a review by David Parrott in War In History, Vol. 7, No. 3 (July 2000), pp. 363-365. . Also reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 105, No. 5 (December 2000), pp. 1830-1831.

Harari, Yuval Noah. Renaissance Military Memoirs: War, History, and Identity, 1450-1600. Woodridge: Boydell Press, 2004. Warfare loomed large during the Renaissance. The nobility was acknowledged as the profession of arms and, in France at least, a nobleman's status and prestige depended largely on his frontal wounds. The practice of war was changing as fast as its technology. All of this called for written observation and comment. Soldiers felt the need to record their wartime experiences. The author lists 34 Renaissance "memoirists' of diverse nationalities in an appendix of this book that began as an Oxford D. Phil. thesis. There are at least two ways of studying war memoirs. They can be assessed individually to see how much light they throw on events or they can be judged collectively. Harai has chosen the second approach and formulates a number of characteristics pertaining to the memoirs as a whole. This book, resting on a large corpus of evidence, carefully sifted and digested, is informative and historically provocative. . Information taken from a review by R. J. Knecht in English Historical Review, Vol. 120, No. 486 (April 2005), pp. 520-521. Also reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 110. No. 3 (June 2005), pp. 854-855.

Hassig, Ross. Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995. Original edition 1988. The author of this study systematically examines a subject that is difficult to document and requires considerable imaginative analysis; warfare and military expansion by a state that was not literate in the conventional European sense. The author has accomplished that admirably. This book has considerable solid detail on weapons and tactics, as well as accounts of the operations of the Aztec military from the late 14th century through the Spanish conquest. This is a fine book. Hassig explains the origins of the militaristic state that dominated central Mexico on the eve of the Spanish conquest and clarifies or corrects misconceptions about Aztec military expansion. Information taken from a review by Robert H. Jackson in The Historian, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Summer 1996), pp. 860. The 1988 edition is reviewed in American Historical Review Vol. 94, No. 5 (December 1989), pp. 1516-1517.

Hellie, Richard. Enserfment and Military Change in Muscovy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971. While discussing the rise of Russian serfdom, the author gives a detailed account of the evolution of the army in the late medieval-early modern era. It is a pretty sizable book, a highly scholarly work, based on vast research. It is good, but not light reading. Information taken from a review by John Shelton Curtiss in Military Affairs, October 1972 (Vol. 37, No. 3), pp. 109. Also reviewed in The Historian, Vol. 34, No. 3 (May 1972), pp. 509-510.

Hoppen, Alison. The Fortification of Malta by the Order of St. John, 1530-1798. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, distributed by Columbia University Press, New York, 1979. The author's interesting and valuable monograph deals with the gunpowder fortifications built by the military order of the Knights of St. John on Malta between 1530 and 1798. This is more than a technical study of fortifications and siege craft. The work places the Order of St. John, the position of Malta, and the policies and strategies pursued in a wider Mediterranean framework. There is much in this monograph that illuminates the work of the military architect and engineer, much about the problems of constructing and financing elaborate fortifications, and much about the affairs of the Order of St. John. This book will be of considerable interest to specialist readers not only in military architecture but also to those interested in warfare in early modern Europe. Information taken from a review by Gunther E. Rothenberg in American Historical Review, Vol. 85, No. 3 (June 1980), pp. 622-623.

Khan, Iqtidar Alam. Gunpowder and Firearms: Warfare in Medieval India. This book does not live up to its subtitle. It does, however, deserve a place beside the works of David Ayalon, John Francis Guilmartin, and Kenneth Chase as a fundamental contribution to the study of the development, distribution, and effects of firearms in late medieval and early modern times. In addition to the chapter on the appearance of gunpowder and firearms in India in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the book addresses the development of artillery in India during the fifteenth century, the response to the arrival of European ordnance during the sixteenth century, and artillery and small arms in the Mughal period, with two chapters devoted specifically to the matchlock musket. As the reviewer sums it up, while some of the author's assumptions and conclusions are open to question, the value of his work is not. Information taken from a review by Douglas E. Streusand in American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 3 (June 2006), pp. 817-818. Also reviewed in History: Reviews of New Books, Vol. 34, No. 3 (Spring 2006), pp. 94-95. The book does not directly address European military history, but is included in the bibliography as an excellent case study of the impact of gunpowder on military developments in the late medieval/early modern period.

Kist, Bas, ed. The Exercise of Armes; All 117 Engravings From the Classic 17th Century Military Manual, by Jacob De Gheyn. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 1999. First published at the Hague, 1607; first English edition in 1608. ISBN 0-486-40442-O (pbk). A reprint of the classic period text describing and illustrating the individual manual of arms for the pike and musket. An extremely useful and valuable publication for those persons responsible for setting up a late 16th century-early 17th century English military encampment at reenactment events.

Knecht, Robert J. The French Civil Wars. Modern Wars in Perspective Series. New York: Longman, 2000. ISBN: 0-582-09548-4 (cased alk. paper); 0-582-09549-2 (pbk). This is a very well written standard political/military history of the French Wars of Religion, 1562-1598, with a short postscript on the religious wars of 1610-1629. Those wanting detailed descriptions of the battles should see Oman's A History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century. The emphasis in Knecht's book is much more political than military. Indeed, for some reason there are a couple of egregious errors on military matters (probably editorial errors, since Knecht is a very highly respected historian). The two in particular I noticed are on page 24 when it is stated that the rate of fire of an arquebus was 20 minutes between shots (it is 20 seconds), and on page 25 where it is stated that German reiters (armored German pistoleer cavalry) are armed with flintlock pistols (armed with wheellocks). A couple of maps are also mixed up, those for the battles of Arques and Ivry (pages 240 and 244); this indicates to me some sloppy editing. The OSPREY book on the same subject is done by the same author, and is, in effect, a highly condensed version of this book. Editing problems aside, this is an excellent book. Recommended for those who wish to place this war in its political and social context.

Lawrence, A. W. Trade Castles and Forts of West Africa. London: Jonathan Cape, 1963. The string of European fortresses in West Africa constitutes a group of great interest. In part this interest is architectural, and in part it concerns the commercial and political role played by these forts. In this book, Mr. Lawrence has produced an account of them which is both a pioneer and an authoritative work. The West African forts/castles were primarily commercial centers. One of the preliminary general chapters in this work describes (briefly) their role in the trading rivalry among the European nations concerned with the gold and slaves of the West Coast; others discuss the non-military functions of the castles-their personnel, the life led there, relationships between the castles and the neighboring towns; others the various types of fort and the value of the archival material. A detailed building history of each castle follows. In the range of material consulted, attention to topography and local needs it is difficult to see how these accounts-nineteen forts are examined, the earliest founded 1482-could be improved. Numerous plans in the text and 96 plates complete the usefulness of this architectural and historical survey of the buildings around which the history of Europeans in pre-colonial West Africa evolved. Information taken from a review by J. R. Hale in English Historical Review, Vol. 81, No. 319 (April 1966), pp. 392-393.

Lloyd, Howell A. The Rouen Campaign, 1590-1592. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973. This book achieves various extremely difficult things with lucidity, economy, and an engaging quality of commitment. In a sense it is as specialized as its title suggests, detaching a brief time period and covering the Rouen campaign in all its military detail, which illustrates the near impossibility of successfully combined operations between the motley enemies of Spain. But it also succeeds in illuminating in microcosm the infinitely complex nature of the politico-religious struggle of the sixteenth century at its maximum intensity, and Chapter I is a superb analysis of the structure of contemporary politics. Information taken from a review by N. M. Sutherland in English Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 356 (July 1975), pp. 643-644.

Murphey, Rhoads. Ottoman Warfare, 1500-1700. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1999. ISBN: 0-8135-2684-1 (cloth); 0-8135-2685-X (pbk.). This is not your typical military history. It is instead an analysis of how the military machine of the Ottoman empire worked. It is a study of behind the scenes: chapter headings include "General Political Framework", "Material Constraints on Ottoman Warfare", Military Manpower and Military Spending", Troop Movement and Army Transport", Provisioning the Army", Ottoman Methods of Warfare", and "Motivational and Psychological Aspects of Ottoman Warfare". The analytical methodology used by the author shows clearly how this very potent military force worked, and gives a very different perspective on Ottoman warfare from that found in most other texts. I feel that use of a similar methodology to analyze other military forces of this era, especially those of Europe, would be a very valuable contribution to the literature and very helpful in providing perspective on the military history of the period. This volume is clearly intended for the serious scholar, and not the general reader. With that caveat, I highly recommend it for not only the subject matter but as an example of a useful methodology for study of the nature of military organizations. A review may be found in The Journal of Military History, October 1999 (Vol. 63, No. 4), pp. 962-965, as well as in English Historical Review, Vol. 115, No. 460 (February 2000), pp. 202-203.

Oman, Sir Charles. A History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1937. There have been several reprints of this book. A new paperback edition (Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal; ISBN: 1853673846) was published in 1999. This is a very comprehensive and thorough history of European warfare in this era, organized in the traditional "battles and campaigns" format. At 770 pages, it is not a light or quick read, and the interpretations are dated. It is, however, very good, if somewhat pedestrian in style. There is a review by J. M. Scammell in Military Affairs, Vol. 2 (1938), pp. 158-164. This review, I should note, is primarily a brief summary of 16th century military history; discussion of the strengths and weakness of this book is, unfortunately, quite limited.

Redlich, F. The German Military Enterpriser and His Work Force: A Study in European Economic and Social History. 2 Volumes. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag GMBH, 1965. Mercenaries have existed from a very remote period in European history. But in late medieval and early modern times they first ousted other kinds of troops and then achieved a permanent instead of casual relationship with their employers, thus giving birth to the modern standing army. Due in part to transformations in the art of war, these changes were made possible mainly by the increasing financial and administrative resources of the states. Fritz Redlich has made a most illuminating contribution to the study of this important subject. His 'enterprisers' were soldiers who undertook to raise troops for princes, by contract and in expectation of profit. Redlich's book is based on printed sources and he notes himself some of the questions which strongly call for work in the archives. But he has worked through a great quantity of little-known material and presents a very full picture and a most useful bibliography. There are some issues that can be taken with some of the author's stands. His style is somewhat over-elaborate, with unhelpful lapses into the language of sociology. But none of the problems with the work detracts appreciably from the merit of an impressive study. Information taken from a review by J. R. Western in English Historical Review, Vol. 82, No. 322 (January 1967), pp. 136-138.

Roy, Ian, ed. Blaise de Monluc: The Valois-Hapsburg Wars and the French Wars of Religion. London: Longman, 1971. This volume consists of extracts from a seventeenth-century translation of the Commentaries of Blaise de Monluc, a Gascon gentleman who lived, and for the most part fought, between 1501 and 1577. His career therefore spans the 16th century wars in Italy and the French civil war in the latter half of the 16th century. Written toward the end of his life, his Commentaries offer some insight into the reality of both these episodes as seen from the field of battle. At a more technical level they illustrate the changes in methods of warfare in this era. The book is competently edited and introduced. Information taken from a review by J. H. Shennan in English Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 354 (January 1975), pp. 185-186.

Scribner, Bob, and Benecke, Gerhard. The German Peasant War of 1525-New Viewpoints. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1979. This is a useful and useable collection in English (translation, mostly) of 14 "recent" (late 1970's) contributions to Peasant War scholarship. The issue most prominent in the articles is history's relationship with the social sciences. Not all the scholarship is good, but the selection is good. An unusually important contribution of the editors is their bibliography of "recent" scholarship. Information taken from a review by Kyle Sessions in Military Affairs, October 1980 (Vol. 44, No. 3), pp. 149.

Steele, Brett D. and Dorland, Tamera. The Heirs of Archimedes: Science and the Art of War Through the Age of Enlightenment. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005. This is an impressive collection on the interface of warfare and science that focuses on the use of gunpowder in the early modern period, although other issues are also addressed, particularly mathematics, navigation and the theory of fortification. Based on two conferences, the collection displays the unevenness characteristic of the genre. Nevertheless, the overall quality is high and it includes much of interest. The volume would have been improved by more discussion of actual conflict, but it is both interesting and useful. Information taken from a review by Jeremy Black in English Historical Review, Vol. 121, No. 492 (June 2006), pp. 942-943.

Tallett, Frank. War and Society in Early Modern Europe, 1495-1715. New York: Routledge, 1992, 1997. In the first page of this volume, the author warns readers that the book omits tactics and strategy, descriptions of campaigns and the technical side of warfare, naval affairs and developments in countries lying to the north and east of Germany. Instead its five unequal chapters cover the reasons why wars came to be fought, the changing art of war, recruitment, the life and death of soldiers, and the impact of war on the economy, on civil society, on the state, and on public opinion. The persevering reader will find numerous telling quotations, interesting facts and instructive insights. This book reinforces recent trends in military history by adding new supporting material and by providing useful summaries, but initiates little new. Information taken from a review by Geoffrey Parker in English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 439 (November 1995), pp. 1267-1268.

Taylor, F.L. The Art of War In Italy, 1494-1529. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1921. There is a mention of the book in a review by J. M. Scammell in Military Affairs, Vol. 2 (1938), pp. 158-164. The book has been reprinted (2006) by The Scholar's Bookshelf, 110 Melrich Road, Cranbury, NJ, ISBN: 1601050518 I have read it and found that, within the limitations of the historical scholarship of the era, it is a very useful and enlightening volume. It is not so much a straightforward account of the battles and campaigns as it is a broad overview of how war was waged in Italy in this period and the changes in warfare which came about as a result of the wars in Italy. I found the analysis of the way various types of weapons/troops were used to be especially useful. Not the definitive story, but handy nevertheless.

Thomson, Janice E. Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns. State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. The author examines the relationship between the ambitions of rulers to monopolize the use of organized violence and the practice of 'non-state violence'. Professor Thomson argues that particular practices of non-state violence were eliminated as they provoked interstate conflicts; the impetus for this change came from other states, rather than domestic political pressures. Unauthorized non-state violence, particularly piracy and privately-organized expeditions designed to seize territory, was in large part stamped out in the nineteenth century, and Thomson has an interesting discussion of both processes. She relates them to the ability of states to monopolize power. This is an important, stimulating, and at times exciting book. Thomson offers a new perspective, ranges widely, writes with assurance and subtlety, and offers a far more acute historical dimension than is common in works by political scientists. Information taken from a review by Jeremy Black in English Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 443 (September 1996), pp. 996-997.

Trim, D.J.B., ed. The Chivalric Ethos and the Development of Military Professionalism. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2003. ISBN: 90-04-1209505. The author unites a formidable array of scholarly talent in this examination of the relationship between chivalry and the rise of military professionalism. Concentrating mainly on late medieval and Renaissance Europe, the central theme explores whether chivalry and professionalism were incompatible, and whether the decline of chivalry was a prerequisite of the rise of military professionalism, or merely a consequence. Information taken from a review by Gervase Phillips in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2003), pp. 1273-74. There is also a review in English Historical Review, Vol. 118, No. 479 (November 2003), pp. 1322-1323.

Turnbull, Stephen. The Art of Renaissance Warfare; From the Fall of Constantinople to the Thirty Years War. London: Greenhill Books; St. Paul, MN: MBI Publishing, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-1-85367-676-5; ISBN-10: 1-85367-676-4. This is a broad survey of Renaissance warfare 1453 to about 1618. This volume falls into Black's military history category of an account of the military, of its organization, weaponry, war making, and conflicts. It is not a highly analytical work, nor is it full of details, but it gives a good big picture lucidly. It is, plainly, a smorgasbord. It is broadly chronological, examining various military history topics of the era as they occurred. While it is well researched, it is not a scholarly tome, but is written in a casual conversational, almost colloquial, fashion-easy to read and follow, although the style will date this volume more quickly than most academic works of this nature. Of interest is the considerable attention paid to events in Eastern Europe-very important, but greatly neglected in the literature in English. I was really impressed by how this volume seems to hit all the high points of the military history of this era without getting bogged down in the interesting sidebars. I highly recommend this volume for the serious researcher and casual scholar alike.

Van der Hoeven, Marco, ed. Warfare in the Netherlands, 1568-1648. Leiden: Brill, 1997. ISBN: ISBN 90-04-0727-4. The great European conflict known as the Thirty Years War was only the final phase of a war in the Netherlands which was to last 80 years. In the course of this the Dutch rose up successfully against their Spanish rulers and established a Republic in the early 16th century which was the envy of its contemporaries. This volume brings together papers by 11 leading military historians from the Netherlands who discuss the processes by which the Dutch organized and financed the military apparatus which was eventually to defeat the leading land and maritime power of their day, and to maintain the position of Holland as a world power until well into the 18th century. Articles cover military matters such as changes in strategy and tactics and issues such as the financing of the war, effort, the navy, privateering and the arms trade. Information taken from the Brill publishing web site, http://www.brill.nl/m_brill.asp?sub=1. Site valid as of 10/20/2004.

Williams, Sir Roger, ed. by D. W. Davies. The Action of the Low Countries. Cornell, NY: Cornell University Press, 1964; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965. This is a tedious work. It is largely a rather lifeless narrative of campaigns between 1568 and 1574, campaigns for the most part consisting of sieges. Williams rarely illuminates the narrative by his personal experience, and in general does not use it to illustrate military doctrine, though occasionally he does reflect on a commander's decision. Williams emerges from Davies introduction, if not from his own pages, as an interesting enough character. ). There is no index to this volume. Information taken from a review by C. S. L. Davies in English Historical Review, Vol. 81, No. 320 (July 1966), pp. 591-592.

Wood, James B. The King's Army: Warfare, Soldiers, and Society during the Wars of Religion in France, 1562-1576. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN: 0-521-55003-3. This work represents an important step in the process of scholarly elucidation of what has traditionally been considered a very complicated and inexplicable period of French history. Using long neglected archival sources and a sophisticated quantitative methodology, the author has been able to illuminate the military logic and social dynamics behind the campaigns of the early decades of these wars. Information taken from a review by Henry Heller in The Journal of Military History, April 1997 (Vol. 61, No. 2), pp.364-366. There is also a review by David Parrott in War In History, Vol. 7, No. 3 (July 2000), pp. 361-363. Reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 103, No. 2 (April 1998), pp. 524 and also English Historical Review, Vol. 113, No. 451 (April 1998), pp. 447-448.

The Military Revolution Issue:

During the Renaissance and the early modern period, the way of war in Europe underwent major changes. The nature of, and, in fact, whether there was a "Military Revolution" in that era has been a very contentious issue in the fields of early modern European history and military history. The debate has been vigorous, and the interpretations diverse. Anyone seriously interested in 16th century military history needs to understand the framework of this debate. The three books below are quite valuable in this regard. While the debate began with Michael Robert's statement of his basic thesis of the military revolution in 1955, it really heated up with Parker's interpretation of the revolution-at odds with that of Roberts-as spelled out in his seminal volume cited below. Rogers' book on the debate provides several different viewpoints on the idea of the "Military Revolution. Black's book is a general survey of the warfare of the era 1494-1600, and a very good one. However, he has a number of salient points to make about the military revolution issue as well. Whether or not you agree or disagree with the various interpretations, reading these books is a very excellent way to learn a great deal about the military history of the 16th and 17th century and get a good overview of how military affairs were interrelated with the broader political history of this era. These books are highly recommended.

Black, Jeremy, European Warfare, 1494-1660. New York: Routledge, 2002. ISBN: 0-415-27531 (hbk); 0-415-27532-6 (pbk). This is a synthesis of existing scholarship, rather than a monograph. This is not a book about the military revolution. Black argues that war-by this he really means the conduct of military operations-is central to early modern history because the effects and influence of war were manifold, felt in virtually areas, certainly of government but also of life generally. Profound intellectual, cultural, social and financial changes were triggered by war in this period; important changes in how war was waged also occurred. Black stresses contingency rather than change, and agency rather than determinism, regardless of whether the alleged determinate factors are technological developments or social contexts. While the reviewer has some reservations about the book, he feels that it is an important work that will interest and reward specialists and students alike. Information taken from a review by D. J. B. Trim in English Historical Review, Vol. 120, No. 485 (February 2005, pp. 208-209. Review also found in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2003), pp. 552-553.

Eltis, David. The Military Revolution in Sixteenth Century Europe. London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 1995. The contribution of the author to this debate has at its heart an interpretation of the revolution which deserves serious consideration. In essence, he suggests that the crucial changes in warfare took place in the sixteenth century as a whole, and that these were a great increase in firepower which transformed both infantry and cavalry tactics; the re-established superiority of defense in siege warfare, and a new emphasis on discipline and training in order to control large infantry formations, comprising both pike and shot, in the field. There are some problems with his thesis, and the work would have benefited from better editing to cut down on repetition. Despite such blemishes, this contribution helps to clarify the terms of a debate which, on this evidence, promises to remain lively for some time to come. Information taken from a review by J. L. Price in English Historical Review, Vol. 112, No. 448 (September 1997), pp. 977-978.

Parker, Geoffrey. . The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1988 (republished 2000 with revisions). ISBN: 0 521 47426 4 (hb); 0 521 47958 4 (pbk). A review of the second edition (1996) by Barker, Thomas M.; Black, Jeremy, and Cook, Weston F., with a response by Geoffrey Parker, "Geoffrey Parker's Military Revolution: Three Reviews of the Second Edition", can be found in The Journal of Military History, April 1997 (Vol. 61, No. 2), pp.347-354. A review of the 1988 edition can be found in The Journal of Military History, October 1990, (Vol. 54, No. 4), pp. 489-490 Review in History Today, Vol. 39, June, 1989, page 51, in History Today, Vol. 47, No. 5 (May 1997), page 56, and in American Historical Review, Vol. 94, No. 5 (December 1989), pp. 1342-1343. A review of the 1988 edition is in English Historical Review, Vol. 106, No. 421 (October 1991), pp. 1010-1011.

Rogers, Clifford J., ed. The Military Revolution Debate: Readings on the Military Transformation of Early Modern Europe. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995. ISBN: 0 8133 2053 4 (hb); 0 8133 2054 2 (pbk). A review can be found in The Journal of Military History, January 1997 (Vol. 61, No. 1), pp.152-154.

Renaissance/16th Century Military History; Spain and the Hapsburgs



Hoffman, Paul E. The Spanish Crown and the Defense of the Caribbean, 1535-1585: Precedent, Patrimonialism, and Royal Parsimony. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980. This book is intricately structured. Its narrative is chronological and preserves a sense of place, while the interpretation of events described considers many elements. The author enumerates those factors that he isolates as explaining the evolution of Spanish defenses in the Caribbean. While describing Spanish defenses, the author also pays attention to surrounding circumstances. Ample statistical data put the thesis upon a firm documentary base, and they are effectively and modestly presented. The index is rather summary, but the notes are ample, precise, and helpful. With patience and skill, Hoffman redresses many hasty generalizations and answers the repeated requests of scholars to know the story of Spanish defenses as seen from the Spanish perspective. Information taken from a review by Ursula Lamb in American Historical Review, Vol. 86, No. 1 (February 1981), pp. 227-228.

Maltby, William S. Alba: A Biography of Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, Third Duke of Alba, 1507-1582. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983. This is a good, solid biography of one of the most powerful and controversial figures of his day, a pivotal figure in the Dutch Revolt of the 16th century. Fully half of the biography is devoted to Alba's career in the Netherlands. This is a good, solid work of history and a fine biography. Information taken from a review by John Vogt in Military Affairs, July 1985 (Vol. 49, No. 3), pp. 163.

Parker, Geoffrey. The Army of Flanders and the Spanish Road, 1567-1659. The Logistics of Spanish Victory and Defeat in the Low Countries' Wars. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1972 2nd ed. 2004). 309 pp. Intensely detailed study of Spanish efforts to subdue the Netherlands. Includes discussion of march routes, logistics, financing armies, mutinies and the dominance of sieges and the guerre aux vaches. Review provided by Dr. Tim Francis, Naval Historical Center. A slightly revised edition of this book was put out by Cambridge University Press in 2004, ISBN: 0-521-54392-4. There is a substantial review in English Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 354 (January 1975), pp. 128-131. I have read this volume and find it an excellent one. It provides an excellent overall view of the Army of Flanders during the 80 years war for the Netherlands. Especially useful is the examination of the relationship of finance to military effectiveness in this era. I highly recommend this book.

Quatrefages, Rene', Translated by E. Jarnes Bergua. Los Tercios. Madrid: Coleccion Ediciones Ejercito, 1983. This study is devoted to the origins, organizational structure, economic situation, and military evolution of the tercio during the 16th century. The book is divided into three parts. The first explores administration, armament, combat preparation, and warfare techniques. Part two surveys the rank structure of the tercios and the methods of discipline. The final part examines economic life, the moral and spiritual aspects of the tercios, and their social life. This is a fine book. For those interested in the history of military administration, the thrust of this book will be particularly rewarding. Information taken from a review by James F. Powers, in The Journal of Military History, January 1991, (Vol. 55, No. 1), pp. 102-103. The same review is found in Military Affairs, January 1986 (Vol. 50, No. 1), pp. 53.

Thomas, Hugh. The Conquest of Mexico. London: Pimlico/New York: Random House, 1993. Thomas shows us that the encounter of Spaniards with the Mexica remains an extraordinarily fascinating subject. Indeed, it is a tribute to his skill that, though following a well-trodden path, his book awakens a sharp sense of the hazards, excitements and contingencies of the conquest, and does so with a vividness and immediacy unrivalled since Prescott. Thomas chronicles the conquest primarily from accounts by eyewitnesses and historians who drew on the memories of those present, both Spanish and native, and he usefully adds to these from a rich secondary literature. Throughout the book, the narrative thrust I continually and carefully blended with analysis. While accepting that socio-cultural factors played a part in the Mexica defeat, Thomas lays heavy stress on political and military explanations. In this dramatic reconstruction, the author has created a fresh and compelling synthesis of the conquest, its contexts, and its central characters. This is a history of the conquest of Mexico which will not be easily surpassed. By telling the story of the conquest in detail and at length, with the strategic deployment of telling details and revealing quotations from contemporaries, Thomas offers us a book which does justice to its remarkable subject. Information taken from a review by Anthony McFarlane in History Today, Vol. 46, No. 3 (March 1996), pp. 53-54. Thomas, Hugh. Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes, and the Fall of Old Mexico. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993. Virtually identical subject matter, different title, and an equally favorable review. Reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 100, No. 4 (October, 1995), pp. 1338-1339.

Thompson, I.A.A. War and Government in Hapsburg Spain, 1560-1620. London: Athlone Press, 1976. In this work the author describes the methods by which Castile raised and financed the forces which it needed to defend the peninsula and, in the second half of Philip II's reign, to wage war against the maritime powers of the north. His book has three main themes: the experiment in government by 'administracion' and 'asiento'; the history of such arms as the galleys, the high seas fleet, and the provincial militias; and thirdly the social consequences of the Crown's attempt to meet its financial and military needs. Dr. Thompson's book provides a wealth of new detail about the impact of warfare upon the financial, military, and administrative structure of Hapsburg Spain. It suffers, however, from a number of defects. Dr. Thompson's comparison of the Spanish experience with that of other European countries is sometimes inadequate. Overall, however, Dr. Thompson's book remains, whatever the criticisms, enjoyable to read and a worthy addition to the history of Spanish government in the early modern period. Information taken from a review by A. W. Lovett in English Historical Review, Vol. 93, No. 366 (January 1978), pp. 121-122.

Tracy, James D. Emperor Charles V, Impresario of War: Campaign Strategy, International Finance, and Domestic Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN: 0-521-81431-6. A well done and competently organized book by a highly qualified expert on the interplay of war and finance during the reign of Charles V. Information taken from a review by R.J. Knecht in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2003), pp. 553. A review may also be found in American Historical Review, Vol. 109, No. 1 (February 2004), pp. 260, and in The Historian, Vol. 67, No. 1 (Spring 2006), pp. 98-99, and also in History: Reviews of New Books, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Summer 2003, pp. 161.

Renaissance/16th Century Military History; The British Isles

Web Sites:

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/8901/military.html A very good web site on the late Elizabethan military and the Trained Bands.

http://www.livinghistory.co.uk/1500-1600/articles/xw_169.html A handy quick reference site on arms, armor, and the Tudor soldier

http://battleofpinkie1547.20m.com/ http://www.royal-stuarts.org/pinkie_cleuch.htm A couple of web sites on the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh


Ashley, Roger, "Getting and Spending: Corruption in the Elizabethan Ordnance", History Today, Vol. 40, November 1990, pp. 47-53. An interesting article on the way in which "creative accounting" and English government financial methods led to corruption and, in the case of military corruption, putting English soldiers unnecessarily in harm's way.

Brzezinski, Richard; paintings by Richard Hook, "British Mercenaries in the Baltic, 1560-1683 (1), Military Illustrated, Past and Present, No. 4 (December 1986-January 1987), pp. 17- 23.

Brzezinski, Richard; paintings by Richard Hook, "British Mercenaries in the Baltic, 1560-1683 (2), Military Illustrated, Past and Present, No. 6 (April-May 1987), pp. 29-35. A pair of articles on mercenaries from the various portions of the British Isles who fought in the Baltic. More of a sampling vignette than a definitive study, but interesting nevertheless.

Colvin, H. M., "Castles and Government in Tudor England", English Historical Review, Vol. 83, No. 327 (April 1968), pp. 225-234. This article argues that castles in England in the Tudor era, even if not defensible against an expeditionary force armed with modern weapons, could still be a useful defense against popular insurrection. Also traces in brief what role the castles played in the 16th and early 17th century.

Gunn, S. J. "The Duke of Suffolk's March on Paris in 1523", English Historical Review, Vol. 101, No. 400 (July 1986), pp. 596-634. A solid and well-written article on the English campaign against the French in 1523.

Klein, Randolph S., "The History of Medicine in Tudor Times: An Historiographical Survey", The Historian, Vol. 33, No. 3 (May 1971), pp. 365-384. While not directly dealing with military history, this article is nevertheless of interest to the historian of 16th century military history. Disease and illness was, after all, one of the major factors (some would argue THE major factor) influencing the success or failure of innumerable military campaigns in this era. One of the useful topics dealt with in the article is a discussion of the problems medical doctors have when writing about the history of medicine. This is an interesting article, one worth reading.

McPeak, William J. "The Adventures of Captain John Smith", Military History, June 2002, pp. 34-41. John Smith, best known for his involvement with the Jamestown colony in America, was also a competent mercenary soldier who had fought both in the Lowlands as well as with the Hapsburgs against the Ottoman Empire in Eastern Europe. As this article shows, he was a good sample of the many professional mercenary soldiers of this era who often fought very far from home.

Nolan, John S. "The Militarization of the Elizabethan State", The Journal of Military History, July 1994 (Vol. 58, No. 3), pp. 391-420. This interesting article argues that the army of Elizabeth I was in fact more effective than it has been credited with and, indeed, it carried out effectively the tasks assigned to it. The article also provides a good general survey of the later Elizabethan military establishment.

Phillips, Gervase, "To Cry 'Home! Home!' Mutiny, Morale, and Indiscipline in Tudor Armies." The Journal of Military History, Volume 65, No. 2 (April 2001), pp. 313-332. This article explores very well the why, as well as the characteristics, of mutiny, morale, and indiscipline in Tudor armies. A good and interesting article.

Rogers, Colonel H.C.B., "The Standards and Colours of the Army from King Henry VII to King Charles I", Journal Royal Service Institution (London), May 1954. Information taken from Military Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Winter 1954), page 221.

Webb, Henry J., "The Science of Gunnery in Elizabethan England". Isis, Vol. 45, Part 1, No. 139 (May, 1954). Information taken from Military Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Winter 1954), page 221.

Tincey, John; paintings by Richard Hook, "The London Trained Bands 1588 (1)", Military Illustrated, Past and Present, No. 14 (August/September 1988), pp. 15-19.

Tincey, John; paintings by Richard Hook, "The London Trained Bands 1588 (1)", Military Illustrated, Past and Present, No. 15 (October-November 1988), pp. 29-33. A brief but solid and well illustrated survey of the London Trained Bands in 1588.


Barr, Niall. Flodden 1513: The Scottish Invasion of Henry VIII's England. Stroud, UK: Tempus, 2001, ISBN: 0-7524-1792-4. An excellent and engaging account of the battle of Flodden, 1513. Well told and well documented. Information taken from a review by Gervase Phillips in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 66, No. 1 (January 2002), pp. 194-195. Another review is found in War In History, Vol. 10, No. 4 (November 2003), pp. 480-482. It is not nearly as favorable as the review by Gervaise Phillips.

Boynton, Lindsay. The Elizabethan Militia, 1558-1638. London and Toronto: Routledge & Kegan Paul and University of Toronto Press, 1967. This substantial study describes in considerable detail the establishment and organization of the Elizabethan militia, tracing its history down to the outbreak of the Bishop's War in 1638. This book is based upon an extensive examination of manuscript and printed sources. This admirable work deserves a place in every library that gives attention to Tudor and Stuart history. Information taken from a review by Bernerd C. Weber in Military Affairs, December 1969 (Vol. 33, No. 3), pp. 407. Also reviewed in The Historian, Vol. 30, No. 3 (May 1968), pp. 484-485, and in English Historical Review, Vol. 83, No. 328 (July 1968), pp. 603-604. I have to agree with the review in Military Affairs. This is an excellent volume on the English militia from 1558 to 1638. It is very thorough, well written, and informative. The nature of the militia in this period, and the problems involved in its recruiting, muster, and getting it properly armed and trained, are examined closely. The details and specific examples illustrating the broader picture are well chosen and quite enlightening. Highly recommended for those interested in the English military of this era. I would particularly commend it to those doing 16th century English military reenactment at renaissance faires and elsewhere.

Cornwall, Julian. Revolt of the Peasantry 1549. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977. The main purpose of the author is to reconsider the rebellions in the west and in Norfolk as military operations. The strength of his book lies in its clearly and pleasantly written narrative based on careful fieldwork and extensive use of records for mercenary bands. The detailed accounts of the fighting in Norwich and the three fiercely contested western battles are excellent. The author is much less at ease on the causes of the risings. His resume of the social and political background tends to be oversimplied. Information taken from a review by Anthony Fletcher in English Historical Review, Vol. 94, No. 370 (January 1979, pp. 181-183.

Cruickshank, C. G. Army Royal: An Account of Henry VIII's Invasion of France 1513. London: Clarendon Press, 1969. Skillfully weaving narrative and analysis together, the author describes the phases of the art of war in relation to the campaign; objective, beach-head, movement, siege and battle. Topics such as supply of victuals and munitions and discipline, also receive careful treatment. The book concludes with some valuable pages on the military and administrative problems of the occupation and a bibliography with an especially useful section on the contemporary sources. While not without flaws, it is a useful work. Information taken from a review by John Adair in Military Affairs, October 1970 (Vol. 34, No. 3), pp.104-105. Also reviewed in The Historian, Vol. 32, No. 3 (May 1970), pp. 486-487, and in English Historical Review, Vol. 86, No. 338 (January 1971), pp. 168-169. Appears there was a reprint under the title Henry VIII and the Invasion of France by St. Martin's, New York, 1991 (citation: American Historical Review, Vol. 96, No. 5 (Dec. 1991), pp. 1661).

Cruickshank, C.G. Elizabeth's Army. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966. This is a new edition of an original which was basically a study of the administrative machinery of overseas expeditions. This edition has been brought up to date to take account of the most important recent (mid-1960's) work and the earlier work has been substantially enlarged by the author's own research. The new material does not always relate strictly to "the army" (which implies troops paid by the crown and nearly always destined for foreign service), but also deals in fact with the militia. The author makes full use of contemporary sources. He has also included three useful chapters illustrating Elizabethan military organization in action. The ultimate result is a well-written and authoritative book in which there is much of interest. There are few points with which one might disagree. In general, this is an admirably reliable study which is outstanding in its field. Information taken from a review by L. Boynton in English Historical Review, Vol. 83, No. 326 (January 1968), pp. 167.

Dop, Jan Albert. Eliza's Knights: Soldiers, Poets, and Puritans in the Netherlands, 1572-1586. Alblasserdam, Netherlands: Remak, available from Kooyker Ltd., Leiden, 1981. The author scrutinizes the cult of Queen Elizabeth from an unusual, and disenchanted, viewpoint in this volume. Setting Leicester's campaign in the Netherlands in a broader context, he argues that the expedition was such a disastrous failure because the mythology of Protestant chivalry that motivated its leaders was fatally out of touch with Dutch realities. Dr. Dop gives a useful survey of the art of war in the sixteenth century, tracing the increasing gulf between military practice in the Dutch wars and courtly ideals of heroism. The part of the book dealing with English relations with the Netherlands is valuable and could well have been expanded. Almost half the book is taken up with a lengthy survey of traditions of chivalry which adds little to previous accounts and does not leave enough room for a completely convincing reading of Sir Philip Sidney, the books central figure. Dr. Dop's book graphically brings home how disastrous a sudden transition from games of war to the real thing could be. Information taken from a review by David Norbrook in English Historical Review, Vol. 98, No. 389 (October 1983), pp. 861-862.

Falls, Cyril. Elizabeth's Irish Wars. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1997 (first published 1950 in Great Britain). ISBN 0 8156 04235 1. A balanced and straightforward history of English-Irish military conflict during the reign of Elizabeth I. Some good specifics on the respective military forces.

Fissel, Mark Charles. English Warfare, 1511-1642. London and New York: Routledge, 2001. ISBN 0-415-21481-5 (hbk); 0-415-21482-3 (pbk). This volume chronicles and analyses military operations from the reign of Henry VIII to the outbreak of the English Civil War. It is not a battles and campaigns type of volume, but instead provides a good overall picture of all aspects of the English way of war in this era. Contrary to much that has been written previously, the author contends, with good solid evidence to back him, that the English military of this period was, on the whole, quite competent and functioned well. An interesting book. There is a review in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 67, No. 1 (January 2003), pp. 224, as well as in War in History, Vol. 11, No. 1 (January 2004), pp. 111-112. The reviewer, C.S. L. Davies, in English Historical Review, Vol. 117, No. 471 (April 2002), pp. 467-468, was not particularly impressed with the book.

Frazer, George MacDonald. The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995 (originally published 1971). ISBN 0-00-272746 3. This is a history of the people of the English-Scottish border with particular emphasis on the period 1513-1611. An excellent and very readable volume on a very turbulent area and era. Some interesting insights on the military aspects of a major group of players in the 16th century military drama between Scotland and England.

Hammer, Paul E. J. Elizabeth's Wars: War, Government and Society in Tudor England, 1544-1604. Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2003. This is an excellent work of synthesis, unpretentious, clearly and interestingly written. It deals with strategy, tactics, and foreign policy on the one hand, with finance, provisioning, the effect on the economy and society on the other. Information taken from a review by C. S. L. Davies in English Historical Review, Vol. 119, No. 481 (April 2004), pp. 512.

Hayes-McCoy, G.A. Irish Battles: A Military History of Ireland. New York: Barnes & Nobles Books, 1997 (First Printed in 1969). ISBN: 0-7607-0467-8. Overall, this is a superior work and is often credited in the bibliography sections of other historians writing about particular battles in Irish history. Battle range from Clontarf in 1014 to Arklow in 1798. Of particular interest in this era would be the battles of Knockdoe 1504, Farsetmore 1567, Clontibret 1595, The Yellow Ford 1598, Moyry Pass 1600, and Kinsale 1601/1602. Hayes-McCoy gives a blow by blow account of each battle down to troop movements and deployment by each commander. It is an excellent, if not one of the best resources on Irish warfare available. Review provided by Daniel Hendrix, Assistant Guildmaster, Army of O'Neill, RPFS.

Macdougall, Norman. Scotland and War: A.D. 79-1918. Savage, MD: Barnes and Noble, 1991. This is not an attempt to survey two millenia in two hundred pages, and this is not attempted. The scope of the essays varies from a single battle to a rumination on premodern warfare. There are essays on a variety of topics relevant to late medieval through 17th century warfare in the British Isles, including such topics as James IV's warship "Great Michael", the battle of Pinkie, the Marian civil war, and the civil wars of the 17th century. Most readers will be interested in specific essays, not the entire book. Information taken from a review by James L. Gillespie in The Historian, Vol. 55, No. 4 (Summer 1993), pp. 752-753.

McGurk, John. The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland: The 1590's. New York: Manchester University Press; distributed by St. Martin's Press, New York. 1997. This is a very useful volume on the continued friction between England and Ireland in the final years of Elizabeth I's reign. It clearly shows that, in the 1590's, in both England and Ireland, society was virtually on a continuous war footing. The strength of this monograph lies in the area of logistics, and examines thoroughly the demands that raising troops imposed on various counties. The last third of the book, which describes the nature of the Irish wars, shows what war was like for the Elizabethan soldier, and tries to estimate casualties, is perhaps the least satisfying portion of the books and has some problems. Nevertheless, even if the title promises more than the book actually delivers, this monograph, which demonstrates that the Elizabethans were prepared to bear any burden, pay any price in what they regarded as a titanic struggle with Catholic Spain, makes an important contribution to early modern military history. Information taken from a review by Charles Carlton in American Historical Review, Vol. 104, No. 2 (April 1999), pp. 648.

Merriman, Marcus. The Rough Wooings: Mary, Queen of Scots, 1542-1551. East Linton, UK: Tuckwell Press, 2000. ISBN 1 86232 090 X. While not strictly speaking a military history of the conflict between the English and the Scots in this time period, the volume contains some excellent insights on the military aspects of this conflict. In a review of this book by Keith M. Brown in English Historical Review, Vol. 118, No. 476 (April 2003), pp. 439-440, Mr. Brown gives the author great credit for the detail, but says "Ultimately this is a self-indulgent book, a labour of love in which historical analysis is drowned by description. The reader ends up knowing a great deal about what happened during this short episode without fully appreciating what difference 'The Rough Wooings' makes to our understanding of mid-sixteenth century Britain". Having read the book, I kinda have to agree with Mr. Brown.

Military History Society of Ireland. Irishmen in War From the Crusades to 1798: Essays from 'The Irish Sword'. Vol. I. Portland, OR: Irish Academic Press, 2006. ISBN: 0-7165-2816-9. This and the second volume in the series (same title covering the period 1800-2000) offer 38 articles reproduced from the journal of the Military History Society of Ireland, The Irish Sword. Roughly half of the articles were published in the period 1990-1916. A portion of these articles are examples of traditional military history: the style of warfare practiced by medieval Irish rulers, the career of Queen Elizabeth's bete noir High O'Neill, and others. Many of these works offer examples of wider trends in military developments in an Irish context, such as the impact of cannon and firearms in Medieval Ireland, and aspects of the "Military Revolution" reflected in the forces raised by High O'Neill during the Nine Years War (1594-1603). But there are also examples of a broader approach to military history that incorporates social, religious, and political aspects. Many of these articles illustrate the military connections between Ireland and the wider world. There is much valuable information in this volume. Information taken from a review by Paul V. Walsh in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 70, No. 3 (July 2006), pp. 825-827.

Millar, Gilbert John. Tudor Mercenaries and Auxilliaries, 1485-1547. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1980. This work is a historical survey of the origins, prevalence, availability, and competence of the alien groups that served in the Tudor armies during the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII. This volume also provides good solid information on the nature and equipment of the military establishments of these two kings. It is a valuable study of a hitherto neglected but important phase of Tudor military history. Information taken from a review by Bernerd C. Weber in Military Affairs, October 1981 (Vol. 45, No. 3), pp. 156. Also reviewed in The Historian, Vol. 44, No. 1 (November 1981), pp. 92-93. Based on the review in The Historian, I personally would suggest examining Phillips, Gervase. The Anglo-Scots Wars, 1513-1550, for what would seem to be to be a more generous interpretation of the competencies of the English armies of Henry VIII than Mr. Millar provides. There is a perfunctory and, reading between the lines, not too favorable a review of the book by C. S. L. Davies in English Historical Review, Vol. 97, No. 385 (October 1982), pp. 900. The review of the book in American Historical Review, Vol. 86, No. 4 (October 1981), pp. 836-837, is favorable.

Morgan, Hiram, ed. The Battle of Kinsale. Bray, Ireland: Wordwell Ltd., 2004. ISBN: 1-869857-70-4. The battle of Kinsale, which ended Tryone's Rebellion, is an important historical milestone. In terms of production values, this book is a paradigm of what military history books should be: solid scholarship profusely illustrated. The excellent illustrations are buttressed by ten appendixes that contain arcane, inaccessible and newly discovered information. The book illuminates from many different angles: economic, biographical, comparative, literary, ideological, archaeological, etc. One finds some strikingly original essays. However, there is neither an order of battle to sort out the combatants or a genuinely comprehensive bibliography to facilitate further study. There are problems with documentation, and, as a result, this book is neither comprehensive nor definitive, despite its title and implied assertions to the contrary. Still, according to the reviewer, this is the most important work on Kinsale to appear in the last thirty years, perhaps since 1912. Information taken from a review by Mark C. Fissel in The Journal of Military History, October, 2004 (Vol. 68, No. 4), pp. 1245-1246.

Morgan, Hiram. Tyrone's Rebellion. London: The Boydell Press, 1999. (First Published 1993 The Royal Historical Society, London). ISBN 0-86193-224-2 (hbk); 0-85115-683-5 (pbk). Politically, the only person who can go to task with Hiram Morgan is Cyrill Falls. Yet, Dr. Morgan (a lecturer at University College, Cork, has poured over far more reference material from English, Spanish, Italian, and Irish sources. He debunks many of the misconceptions made by other authors by comparative analysis and paints a much more vivid and accurate picture of events surrounding the "Nine Years War" of Ireland. Militarily, the book is lacking in description of battles but is good at revealing the composition of Irish forces during the late 16th century. It is a good counterpoint to "The Irish Wars 1485-1603" from Osprey and "Elizabeth's Irish Wars" by Falls, cited elsewhere in this bibliography. Review provided by Daniel Hendrix, Assistant Guildmaster, Army of O'Neill, RPFS.

Nolan, John S. Sir John Norreys and the Elizabethan Military World. Exeter, UK: University Press, 1997. In this volume, the author suggests that the Elizabethan military effort on land developed considerably between 1572 and 1603, so much so that, by the time of the Battle of Kinsale in 1601, its soldiers were the equal of any in Europe: damning, perhaps, with somewhat faint praise. As the author admits, there is too little known about Norreys for this to be a conventional biography. It appears that the author uses Norreys' military career as a vehicle to describe the Elizabethan military world, where Nolan makes his major contribution. The book is workmanlike in its writing and production-the seven maps are completely useless-and the activities of Norreys in the Netherlands could have been substantially amplified if Dutch and Belgian sources had been employed. Overall, however, Nolan has deepened our understanding of how the Elizabethan 'army' functioned whilst on campaign. Information taken from a review by John Childs in English Historical Review, Vol. 114, No. 456 (April 1999), pp. 434.

Phillips, Gervase. The Anglo-Scots Wars, 1513-1550. Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press, 1999. ISBN 0 85115 746 7. A superb treatment of the Anglo-Scots wars of the first half of the 16th century. Includes an excellent introductory essay on warfare in early modern Europe. A review may be found in The Journal of Military History, July 2000 (Vol. 64, No. 3), pp. 825-826, as well as in War In History, Vol. 8, No. 3 (July 2001), pp. 351-353. Also reviewed in The Historian, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Summer 2001), pp. 880-881.

Seymour, William. Battles In Britain, 1066-1746. Hertfordshire, UK: Wordsworth Editions, 1997. ISBN 1 85326 672 8. Has very good narrative accounts of the battles of Flodden (1513) and Pinkie Cleugh (1547), as well as some useful bibliographical information relevant to English and Scottish 16th century military history.

Stewart, Richard W. The English Ordnance Office, 1585-1625; A Case Study in Bureaucracy. Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1996. ISBN 0-86193-233-1. This is a study of an often overlooked, but vital, element in the conduct of warfare: the supply of arms. The author's conclusions provide a very insightful look into state building and its relationship to military activity, contributing to the ongoing debate over the general "military revolution" of the early modern era. Stewart generally concludes that greater centralized control over military resources was not necessarily the most effective road to greater military effectiveness, at least in the case of England. Overall this is a very valuable book for early modern scholars and those interested in military logistics. Information taken from a review by John S. Nolan in The Journal of Military History, April 1997 (Vol. 61, No. 2), pp.366-367. Also reviewed in English Historical Review, Vol. 113, No. 451 (April 1998), pp. 450-451. Go

Silke, John J. Kinsale: The Spanish Intervention in Ireland at the End of the Elizabethan Wars. New York: Fordham University Press, 1970. This is an account of the siege and battle of Kinsale, Ireland, in 1602, which set the English political and military hegemony in Ireland. It is the unique contribution of this book that Kinsale is presented in a broad European diplomatic framework. It is a well organized volume and a highly readable and interesting book. Information taken from a review by Gilbert A. Cahill in The Historian, Vol. 35, No. 1 (November 1972), pp. 124-125.

Smythe, Sir John; ed. by J. R. Hale. Certain Discourses Military. Cornell, NY: Cornell University Press, 1964; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965. Military memoirs written by Sir John Smythe, who served against the Ottoman empire, trained English militia, and who had a quarrelsome and stubborn nature which led him to treason in 1596. Hale writes an extensive introduction to the memoirs which details Smythe's life. His memoirs are conservative, very critical of the late 16th century Elizabethan military (which caused the book to be banned in 1590). He strongly advocates the use of the bow rather than firearms. Hale devotes a large part of his introduction to the bow-gun controversy, showing the way in which technical arguments were clouded by patriotic and ethical considerations (archery as a prophylactic to vice). There is no index to this volume. Information taken from a review by C. S. L. Davies in English Historical Review, Vol. 81, No. 320 (July 1966), pp. 591-592.

Webb, Henry J. Elizabethan Military Practice: The Books and the Practice. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1965. The author has provided a concise and comprehensive guide to Elizabethan military science. He begins by emphasizing the reliance of Tudor theorists on classical authors, and the particular value of such works at a time of military transition. But more and more, as the Queen's reign wore on and Englishmen gained more experience on the battlefield themselves, practical modern precepts supplanted the theories of the ancients. While there are some areas of the practice that have been neglected, such as logistics and recruiting, the book is still a useful and informative one. Information taken from a review by Stanford E. Lehmberg in The Historian, Vol. 29, No. 1 (November 1966), pp. 100-101. J. R. Hale has a much less complimentary review in English Historical Review, Vol. 82, No. 323 (April 1967), pp. 383-384.

Young, Alan. Tudor and Jacobean Tournaments. London: George Philip, 1987. As a form of military exercise relevant to warfare, or even to personal combat, the tournament was outdated by the end of the reign of Henry VIII, and in France, for example, its popularity declined sharply in the second half of the sixteenth century. This was not so in England, where at court tournaments continued to flourish until the end of the Tudor period, and survived into the reign of Charles I, the last being probably that of 1626. This volume examines the final phase of tournament history. The author has probably produced the definitive current study of his theme, while leaving plenty of room for further work on the cultural implications of tournament symbolism. Information taken from a review by Mervyn James in English Historical Review, Vol. 105, No. 415 (April 1990), pp. 461-463.

Renaissance/16th Century Military History; Naval


Davies, C. S. L. "The Administration of the Royal Navy Under Henry VIII: The Origins of the Navy Board", English Historical Review, Vol. 80, No. 315 (April 1965), pp. 268-288. Discussed the evolution of the Navy Board during the reign of Henry due to the considerable expansion of the fleet in his time. By the early years of Elizabeth I's reign, the Navy Board had become "the conduit pipes to whom the lord admiral properly directs all his commands for his Majesty's service and from whom it descends to all other inferior officers and ministers under them whatsoever". The article contends that administrative reform at least kept pace with changing circumstances. There is an appendix about the Ordnance Office.

Monterio, Armando da Silva Saturnino, "The Decline and Fall of Portuguese Seapower, 1583-1663." The Journal of Military History, Volume 65, No. 1 (January 2001), pp. 9-20. An interesting and well-presented article on this subject.

Tenace, Edward, "A Strategy of Reaction: The Armadas of 1596 and 1597 and the Spanish Struggle for European Hegemony", English Historical Review, Vol. 118, No. 478 (September 2003), pp. 855-882. A survey of the Spanish Armadas of 1596 and 1597 from the perspective of Spanish strategy in the 1590's.


Andrews, Kenneth R. Elizabethan Privateering: English Privateering During the Spanish War, 1585-1603. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964. Andrews has in this work produced a definitive study of these English raids on Spanish shipping, based largely on an examination of the records of the High Court of Admiralty and other manuscript sources in England and Spain. The author writes with skill, erudition, and common sense, and enlarges our knowledge and understanding of sixteenth-century maritime history. Of considerable importance is his discussion of privateering as an industry. Issue can be taken with some of the points asserted in the work but, all in all, a useful contribution. Information taken from a review by G. V. Scammell in English Historical Review, Vol. 81, No. 320 (July 1966), pp. 590-591 and a review by Stanford E. Lehmberg in The Historian, Vol. 27, No. 2 (February 1965), pp. 257.

Beeching, Jack. The Galleys at Lepanto. London: Hutchinson, 1982. ISBN: 0 09 147920 7. An interesting and unusual approach to military history. In this volume, Beeching, in a style reminiscent of high quality narrative fiction, ties a series of threads, composed of individual chapters on various people and events, into a rope which leads into-and provides a thorough historical background for-the pivotal naval battle of Lepanto on 7 October, 1571. The book does not follow the usual scholarly pattern. There are no footnotes, and the selected bibliography is extremely brief. However, this is an excellent historical work; the story is well written and hangs together well. Highly recommended.

Brummett, Palmira. Ottoman Seapower and Levantine Diplomacy in the Age of Discovery. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994. Among the author's intentions in this study is to demonstrate that the Ottoman state, contrary to relevant Eurocentric historiography of this period, was an active trading, commercial, and entrepreneurial participant in the late-fifteenth and sixteenth century world order. To accomplish this goal, she proffers three reconceptualizations of the prevailing Eurocentric historiography: the Ottomans were a protagonist rather than an obstacle; to "refocus attention on frontiers not privileged by the Age of Discovery theme" (page 176); and to expand the understanding of Euro-Asian relations beyond the boundaries imposed by the rhetorics of differences. She makes it clear that the Ottoman state, like the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, and English, was a seaborne empire and that it was essential for the state to use sea power to defend its interests in trading, and not simply for purposes of territorial expansion spurred by religious zeal. It is a different look at the Ottoman Empire during the 15th and 16th century and useful for putting Ottoman military activities, particularly at sea, in proper context. This study makes a solid contribution to understanding the sixteenth-century world structure. Information taken from a review by Robert Olson in American Historical Review, Vol. 100, No. 1 (February 1995), pp. 197-198.

Capponi, Niccolo'. Victory of the West: The Story of the Battle of Lepanto. New York: Pan Macmillan, 2006. ISBN: 1-4050-4588-4. Niccolo' Capponi has written an excellent book on the 1571 Battle of Lepanto. The bulk of the monograph deals with the diplomatic and military context of the confrontation, the intricacies of the Christian alliance, the Cyprus war, and the aftermath of the combat, whereas the battle only gets some 30 pages. While the strength of this book is its author's remarkable familiarity with the relevant Italian and Spanish sources, Capponi also uses Ottoman sources and specialized studies by Ottomanist historians, and tried to provide a balanced treatment of the opponents' strategies, tactics, strengths, and weaknesses. One of the more rewarding parts is the splendid examination of the opposing navies' ships, weaponry, crews, and recruiting methods. More extensive use of Ottoman sources will certainly change many details of the narrative. Some of the old inaccuracies and uncertainties repeated by western historians, only recently and partially corrected by more detailed scholarship in the Ottoman sources, are in this volume. Yet until someone with the necessary linguistic skills undertakes the task of integrating western and Ottoman sources on Lepanto, this monograph remains the most reliable and accessible account of the battle in English. Information taken from a review by Gabor Agoston in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January, 2008), pp. 223-224, with a review in the same publication on pages 224-225 by John F. Guilmartin, Jr., which generally concurs.

Cipolla, Carlo M. Guns, Sails, and Empires: Technological Innovation and the Early Phases of European Expansion, 1400-1700. New York: Pantheon Books, 1965. The author attempts to show the impact of "guns and sails" on the history of the early modern world. There are only two chapters in the 148 page nucleus of the book, but they are packed with a wealth of information on the subject. The book ends with a seventeen page epilogue, two appendices, and a useful bibliography. It is well documented and flows along in an interesting and readable manner. Overall, a worth-while book. Information taken from a review by Herman J. Muller in The Historian, Vol. 29, No. 3 (May 1967), pp. 460-461. While I have not read the book, it sounds like a volume of the "technological determinism" school, and should probably be read with some degree of skepticism in light of current (post-1990) research trends.

Earle, Peter, The Last Fight of the Revenge. London: Collins and Brown, 1992. Both stirring and scholarly, with excellent use of original sources. Information taken from data provided in English Historical Review, Vol. 108, No. 427 (April 1993), pp. 551.

Fury, Cheryl, Tides in the Affairs of Men: The Social History of Elizabethan Seamen, 1580-1603. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002. This volume examines the lives of the ordinary sailors of the Elizabethan period during a particularly volatile period of maritime history. Information taken from an unattributed review in History Today, Vol. 51, No. 11 (Nov. 2001), page 57. There is a review of this book in International Journal of Maritime History, Volume XIV, Number 2 (December 2002), page 293.

Glete, Jan. Warfare at Sea, 1500-1650; Maritime Conflicts and the Transformation of Europe. New York: Routledge, 2000. ISBN: 0-415-21454-8 (hbk); 0-415-21455-8 (pbk). An excellent academic examination of war at sea, 1500-1650. As the back cover states, "This book places the history of warfare at sea within a modern scholarly framework, bringing together historical research and analyzing questions on war, state formation, strategy and tactics, and economic and technological change. The book compares the social history of seamen and the early officer corps in several European countries and includes discussion on Spain, Portugal, France, Venice, the Ottoman Empire and the Baltic states." A first-class book, although not for the casual reader. Should be read in conjunction with Guilmartin's Galleons and Galleys. A review may be found in The Journal of Military History, October 2000 (Vol. 64, No. 4), pp. 1144-1145, as well as in War In History, Vol. 9, No. 2 (April 2002), pp. 223-226.

Glete, Jan, ed. Naval History 1500-1680. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2005. ISBN: 0 7546 2498 6. 537 pages. From the International Library of Essays on Military History. 24 previously published articles trace developments in western naval strategy, tactics, technology, and administration.

Goodman, David. Spanish Naval Power, 1589-1650: Reconstruction and Defeat. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN: 0-521-58063-3. A comprehensive analysis of the state of Spain's naval forces in the decades following the defeat of the Great Armada of 1588. The book does not consider naval forces in isolation, but as part of the social and economic fabric of contemporary Spain. Although the book has some weaknesses, it is in the main a thoroughly researched and useful book on the Spanish navy. Information taken from a review by Victor Enthoven in The Journal of Military History, April 1998 (Vol. 62, No. 2), pp. 390-391. Also reviewed in English Historical Review, Vol. 113, No. 452 (June 1998), pp. 729.

Guilmartin, John F. Jr. Galleons and Galleys. London: Cassell & Co., 2002. ISBN: 0 304 35263. On this one, I can do no better than quote the flap of the dust cover: "This book addresses the development of warfare at sea during the pivotal early phases of Europe's rise to world domination [circa 1450-1650], a period which saw the establishment of European empires in Asia and the Americas, the frustration of Ottoman attempts to dominate the western Mediterranean, and the repulse of Japan's first attempts at overseas expansion. John F. Guilmartin, Jr., vividly describes the challenge of harnessing human muscle power, the force of the wind and the energy of gunpowder to create effective fighting ships. The author begins with an examination of the geographic and technological realities of warfare at sea. He looks at the tactical and technical developments in the changing patterns of warfare and trade, paying particular attention to their cultural, social, and economic context. The human dimension is also addressed, showing how distinct attitudes, beliefs and ambitions played a crucial role in shaping events. Throughout, key developments are illustrated with narrative accounts of wars, campaigns, and battles chosen for their strategic importance." This volume is well written and well illustrated. Good for the casual reader as well as the more academically oriented. Should be read in conjunction with Glete's Warfare at Sea, 1500-1650; Maritime Conflicts and the Transformation of Europe.

Guilmartin, John F. Gunpowder and Galleys: Changing Technology and Mediterranean Warfare at Sea in the Sixteenth Century. London: Cambridge University Press, 1974. With a skillful blend of sound research and clear, concise writing, the author has produced a significant study of the changing role of the war galley in the 16th century and the impact of gunpowder weapons on the Mediterranean system of warfare at sea. Using pertinent archival sources as well as relevant contemporary and modern accounts, the author links the military and technological revolution of the period with the important social, economic and social changes. An excellent volume. Information taken from a review by William Collins in Military Affairs, October 1975 (Vol. 39, No. 3), pp. 154. Also reviewed in The Historian, Vol. 38. No. 4 (August 1976), pp. 731-732, and English Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 361 (October 1976), pp. 843-45.

Heers, Jacques. The Barbary Corsairs: Warfare in the Mediterranean 1480-1580. London: Greenhill Books, 2003. This book offers a robust and enthralling account of the world of the Barbarossa brothers and the effect of their privateering on trade and commerce in the Mediterranean. Information taken from a brief unattributed review provided in History Today, Vol. 53, No. 11 (Nov. 2003), page 70. There is also a review in The Journal of Military History, Volume 68, Number 2 (April 2004).

Kirk, Thomas Allison. Genoa and the Sea: Policy and Power in a Early Modern Maritime Republic, 1559-1684. (Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science number 3). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. 276 pages. This book treats a neglected subject-the maritime policy of an early modern Mediterranean state-with a new and refreshing approach. It is a study about Genoa's naval and trade policies and their relations to the republic's foreign policy. The author shows that these policies were closely connected but also subjects of conflicts. Maritime policy was developed in a context of backward-looking rhetoric about recreating Genoa's glorious past as a leading naval and mercantile power and an eminently realistic policy of adjustments to changing political and economic realities. The rhetoric was part of the power conflicts among various factions in the Genoese elite. These conflicts were dominated by other questions other than maritime policy, and there was no firm structure of interest groups behind different ideas about Genoa's relations to the sea. Kirk's analysis of Genoa's maritime policy is well connected to recent research about international relations and how they were transformed by both state-formation activities and economic development. His conclusion is that Genoa skillfully adapted to a changing Europe wherein centralizing states gradually reduced the strategic choices of a maritime city-state. Information taken from a review by Jan Glete in American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 2 (April 2006), pp. 583. Also reviewed in History: Reviews of New Books, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Summer 2005), pp. 157.

Knighton, C.S., and Loades, D.M. The Anthony Roll of Henry VIII's Navy. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, for Navy Records Society, 2001. In 1546 Anthony Anthony, the clerk of the ordnance, presented Henry VIII with a pictorial representation of the royal fleet. The roll is, in effect, a sumptuous spotter's guide to the fifty-eight ships. The pictures are stylized. The ships are shown from a three-quarter rear angle, depicting starboard and stern. Sails are furled. Oars are in action. Guns protrude from gun ports. Banners stream uniformly in a stiff breeze. There are no human beings. Each picture is accompanied by a note of the ship's leading dimensions; tonnage, crew (mariners and gunners separately), armament, and 'habilments for the war' (ropes, nails, bags, 'spare wheels', etc.). This book is a record of the complete work, each ship illustration reproduced in color, along with a transcript of the original attached notes. It has been provided with a mass of supporting material by various experts. The book will be a delight to enthusiasts and an indispensable work of reference for naval historians. Information taken from a review by C. S. L. Davies in English Historical Review, Vol. 117, No. 471 (April 2002), pp. 467.

Loades, David. The Tudor Navy: An Administrative, Political, and Military History. Brookfield, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 1992. In this useful book, David Loades has gathered information from a wide variety of sources and brought it together in a coherent account that summarizes the present state of our knowledge and places the navy in the larger context of Tudor administrative development. The book's greatest value lies in the wealth of detail it presents on the financing and day-to-day management of the navy in its formative century. A competently done work. Information taken from a review by William S. Maltby in The Journal of Military History, July 1993 (Vol. 57, No. 3), pp.543-544. Also reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 99, No. 2 (April 1994), pp. 549, and English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 439 (November 1995), pp. 1253.

Moorehouse, Geoffrey. Great Harry's Navy: How Henry VIII Gave England Seapower. Weidenfeld and Nicolson ISBN: 0 297 64544 7. This is an informative, if not particularly outstanding, volume on the history of the birth and development of Henry's navy. There is solid technical information, and the information is put in a context which gives it both meaning and relevance. The writing style is somewhat limpid, but there is an excellent glossary, clear maps, and good illustrations. A useful book on the subject. Information taken from a review in History Today, Volume 55 (1) (January 2006), pp. 62-63.

Nelson, Arthur, The Tudor Navy, 1485-1603; The Ships, Men, and Organization. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2001. ISBN: 1-5575-816-X. An interesting and informative coffee-table book on the Tudor Navy. Includes extremely well written and gripping accounts of the Spanish Armada and the capture of Grenville's Revenge by the Spanish. Suffers from what appears to be a lack of analytical organization of some of the chapters, but a useful work overall.

Padfield, Peter. Tide of Empires: Decisive Naval Campaigns in the Rise of the West, Vol. I: 1481-1654. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980. A very well researched and well written volume. Makes its greatest contribution in giving an unusually strong emphasis on Indian Ocean and Mediterranean operations alongside those of the Atlantic. A very solid work. Information taken from a review by Clark G. Reynolds in Military Affairs, April 1982 (Vol. 46, No. 2), pp. 110.

Perez-Mallaina, Pablo E., translated by Carla Rahn Phillips. Spain's Men of the Sea: Daily Life on the Indies Fleet in the Sixteenth Century. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. ISBN: 0-8018-5746-5. This book is one of the great classics of the study of seafaring culture. Seamen's provenance, work, discipline and mental worlds are described in turn, but the core of the book is the long chapter on 'the ship as a place of life and death, in which the horrors of the seaman's routine are described without sensationalism but with devastating candor: the claustrophobic crowding, the disgusting food, the tedium of leisure time, the sexual repression, the imminence of peril". Good stories and cautionary tales abound. Information taken from a review by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto in History Today, Vol. 49, No. 9 (Sept. 1999), pp. 55-56. . Reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 104, No. 3 (June 1999), pp. 1014, as well as in History: Reviews of New Books, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Summer 2005), pp. 164-165.

Rodger, N. A. M.. The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain, 660-1649. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1999 (first published 1997). ISBN 0 393 31960 1 pbk. A very excellent and interesting book. Contains several excellent chapters on the navies of the British Isles during the 16th century. It critically examines the history of the navies of the British Isles in the period noted and analyses clearly the naval situation throughout this era, in the process putting to rest several of the myths that have grown up about the English navy in this era, particularly during the time of Elizabeth I. There is an interesting discussion of that little know early 17th century English naval problem, raids on the English coast by North African pirates. Highly recommended. There is a review in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2001), pp. 175-176, as well as a review in War In History, Vol. 7, No. 4 (November 2000), pp. 481-483. Also reviewed in History Today, Vol. 48, No. 6 (June 1998), page 61. Reviewed in American Historical Review, Vol. 105, No. 2 (April 2000), pp. 607 and in English Historical Review, Vol. 114, No. 455 (February 1999), pp. 131-133.

Sicking, Louis. Neptune and the Netherlands: State, Economy, and War at Sea in the Renaissance. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2004. ISBN: 90-04-13850-1. This is an important contribution to early modern naval history. The title requires amplification on three points. Sicking does not have an expansive view of the period covered by the Renaissance. His study is limited to a period of about eighty years from the 1480's to 1561. He thus stops short of the Dutch Revolt, which plays no part in his narrative. Secondly, by the Netherlands Sicking refers to a region that emphatically includes Flanders. Indeed, if the book can be said to have a polemical purpose, it is to bring the southern provinces into the orbit of Dutch history. Thirdly, war at sea, in the sense of combat and the clash of arms, is largely absent from this book. Sicking describes himself as a maritime rather than as a naval historian, and he approaches war at sea from the standpoint of what it has in common with other maritime activities. For the time and place of his study this is appropriate. The two Ordinances on the Admiralty of 1488 and 1540, and the institution they created, provide the framework of Sicking's tale, but he ranges well beyond this to include nearly all aspects of maritime policy. In such a long book, there are some curious omissions and some problems. Sicking keeps his focus resolutely on administrative geopolitics, and economic. Religion plays only a minor part in his narrative. The book has only limited illustrations and the maps are not adequate. It is also unfortunate that a work so full of new and valuable information is not better written. The style is long-winded and repetitive, and the density of Sicking's prose will discourage many readers. It would be unjust, however, to end on this note. Sicking has given us a ground-breaking work that sheds new light on a neglected corner of early modern naval history. His book repays the effort needed to absorb the large amount of new information he presents. Information taken from a review by Robert Glass in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2007), pp. 215-216.

Stradling, R.A. The Armada of Flanders; Spanish Maritime Policy and European War, 1568- 1668. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. The author states in his preface that this is an analysis "of naval policy in the western European theater of the Spanish Monarchy's wars" that focuses on the role of the"Armada of Flanders" and includes the "cognate themes" of privateering as part of "mainstream naval strategy" and the central place of Dunkirk. He admits that "its touch is light (and often derivative)" on economic and technical questions, naval policy in other theaters of war, and issues of international and maritime law, but he partly justifies this on the grounds that there are monographs that cover these aspects (p. ix). The book is divided into three chronological parts (1568-1621, 1621-1640, 1640-1658) and a thematic section dealing with ships, men, administration, and prize-taking. While the coverage of the book is uneven, it is still a valuable work. Stradling's main contributions are in his discussion of the first half of the 17th century. Information taken from a review by M. J. Rodriguez-Salgado in American Historical Review, Vol. 98, No. 5 (Dec. 1993), pp. 1619-1620. Also reviewed in English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 436 (April 1995), pp. 473-474.

Tenenti, A., trans. by J. and B. Pullan. Piracy and the Decline of Venice 1580-1615. London: Longmans, 1967; first published in Italian 1961. The book falls into two parts. The first illustrates with copious examples the damage wreaked upon Venetian shipping by a variety of sea-dogs. The second explains how the Signory met the challenges with such poor success. There is an elaborate documentation drawn chiefly from the Venetian state archives. On his deliberately restricted field Tenenti cannot be gainsaid, but historians concerned to discover why will have to look further into the political and social structure of the Republic. Information taken from a review by G. D. Ramsay in English Historical Review, Vol. 84, No.331 (April 1969), pp. 393.

Trim, D. J. B., and Fissel, Mark Charles, eds. Amphibious Warfare 1000-1700: Commerce, State Formation and European Expansion. (History of Warfare number 34). Boston: Brill, 2006. 498 pages. ISBN: 90-04-13244-9. There is a listing of the essays included in this volume in American Historical Review, Vol. 111, No. 3 (June 2006), page 940. It appears to be a very interesting volume. It is given a good review by K. A. J. McLay in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October 2006), pp. 1111-1113. All in all, a majority of the book appears to deal with 16th century amphibious warfare.

Usherwood, Stephen and Elizabeth, The Counter-Armada, 1596: The Journal of the 'Mary Rose'. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1983. This book tells the story of the 1596 Cadiz expedition by the English against Spain. It is built around the detailed campaign journal kept by Sir George Carew, commander of the Mary Rose. It is supplemented by various other contemporary accounts, making it a documentary account, a threading together of extracts rather than a coherent history of the adventure. This book attempts little in the way of historical analysis or appreciation, nor is it a book about the politics of warfare. The Counter Armada is an engaging presentation of a gallant naval episode, not a scholarly publication. The serious student will have to turn elsewhere. Information taken from a review by David Cressy in History Today, Vol. 34, April, 1984, pp. 53-54.

Wernham, R. B. After The Armada; Elizabethan England and the Struggle for Western Europe, 1588-1595. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984. This book represents a very large-scale exercise in narrative history. Some 570 pages cover just seven years. Wernham's subject is that "struggle for western Europe" occasioned by what he takes to be a self-conscious attempt by Phillip II to establish Spanish hegemony through that region. A detailed account of each incident and campaign involving English forces is constructed (from largely English sources) and then set in an overall evaluation of the nature of English policy and of the English contribution to the anti-Spanish war effort. The book therefore occupies a sometimes uneasy middle-ground between military and diplomatic history. Wernham's conclusions tend to play down the significance of English naval activity in favor of the crucial role played by English land forces in both France and the Low Countries against Spain and the Catholic League. The book brings out very clearly the reactive nature of policy-making, the logistical and political difficulties experienced by the English state in seeking to wage war on so large a scale and the frequent clashes between the strategic and political priorities of the Queen and her Dutch and French allies. It does not always resolve analytical questions that English political historians might want answered from this same material. There is also perhaps a need for this book to take a closer look at the decision making from the Spanish, Dutch, and French angle. Still, all in all, a good book. Information taken from a review by Peter Lake in History Today, Vol. 35, November, 1985, page 60. Also reviewed in English Historical Review, Vol. 101, No. 401 (October 1986), pp. 936-938 and American Historical Review, Vol. 90, No. 4 (October 1985), pp. 926-927.

Wernham, R. B. The Return of the Armadas: The Last Years of the Elizabethan War Against Spain, 1595-1603. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988. This book has the overwhelming merit of understanding and expounding the complexity of the problems facing the English state. The diplomatic and military history of the years after the Armada will not need to be written again for a long time. Wernham's account, based on a lifetime's study of the archives, is scholarly, shrewd and lucid. The reviewer's only criticism is that he tells us less than we need to know about the domestic background to the war, though it is always in his mind. Information taken from a review by Penry Williams in History Today, Vol. 45, No. 11 (Nov. 1995), page 52. Review in American Historical Review, Vol. 101, No. 2 (April, 1996), pp. 472-473. Also reviewed in English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 436 (April 1995), pp. 421-423.

The Spanish Armada

Fernandez-Amresto, Felipe. The Spanish Armada: The Experience of War in 1588. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. The author attempts to describe what the Armada campaign was like for ordinary soldiers and seamen, although chiefly on the Spanish side for which there is more evidence. He writes with flair and establishes from the start the human dimension of his narrative with Miguel de Cervantes riding out from Seville to collect taxes for the Armada. Fernandez-Amresto is vivid in treating religious differences in popular terms and the perceptions each side had of the enemy. When he returns to high politics, planning, and the broader treatment of battles, his lack of familiarity with more than the standard material in print frequently shows, although he poses many astute questions and offers provocative analyses of the development of Spanish strategy and the conduct of the campaign. . Information taken from a review by Peter Pierson in American Historical Review, Vol. 95, No. 2 (April 1990), pp. 520-521.

Hanson, Neil. Confident Hope of a Miracle: The True History of the Spanish Armada. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. ISBN 1400042941. This is a very absorbing read. Readers can't live by academic analysis alone. Instead, Hanson provides a splendid narrative, interspersed with irreverent, but convincing, character sketches of some of the major figures in the Armada saga. Escapism is rarely pure and never simple, but this book nevertheless provides escapism of a very high historical and literary order. We should be the poorer without this privileged glimpse into another world. Information taken from a review by Robert Pearce in History Today, Vol. 54, No. 11 (Nov. 2004), page 89. Also reviewed in Proceedings, Vol. 131/6/1,228 (June 2005), pp. 84-85. There is a review in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 70, No. 3 (July 2006), pp. 821-824, which is not as favorable as that of Pearce.

Howarth, David. The Voyage of the Armada; The Spanish Story. New York: The Viking Press, 1981. This book is written by an accomplished naval historian who is fully at home with the technical aspects of sixteenth century ship handling. While Mr. Howarth relies primarily on known printed sources, he does make the first full use of the evidence provided by the recent underwater archaeological exploration of the Armada wrecks. His clear and lucid analysis for the Armada's technical deficiencies-its inability to sail to windward, incompetent provisioning, defective munitions and limited navigational expertise-make his book a worthy supplement to Garret Mattingly's classic account. Mr. Howarth is far more critical than Mattingly of the Duke of Parma and his discussion of Parma's strange refusal to provide even minimal assistance to the fleet is an important contribution to Armada scholarship. Information taken from a review by Simon Adams in History Today, Vol. 32, August 1982, page 52.

Martin, Colin, and Parker, Geoffrey. The Spanish Armada. New York: W.W. Norton, 1988. The reviewer feels that Colin Martin and Geoffrey Parker have produced the best account of the Armada campaign yet written (circa 1990). It rests on new archival data, fresh treatment of material long available, Martin's work on underwater archaeology, and thorough knowledge of the literature, contemporary and modern. The authors have crafted the book to achieve something of Mattingly's dramatic sweep while offering keen analyses of each phase of the Enterprise of England, from its inception to its aftermath, and a wealth of technical detail. Information taken from a review by Peter Pierson in American Historical Review, Vol. 95, No. 2 (April 1990), pp. 520-521.

Mattingly, Garrett. The Armada. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1959. ISBN: 0-395-08366-4 (pbk). Entitled also The Defeat of the Spanish Armada (London: Cape, 1959). This is an excellent account of the events leading up to, and the immediate aftermath of, the Spanish Armada. It is one of the better known accounts and a staple of the literature for decades, but it has not lost its luster. One of its major strengths is its discussion of the "sidebars"-events in France and elsewhere in Western Europe which both affected and were affected by the Armada. Its detailed account of the battles in the English Channel is very good and quite clear. Not only is this good history, but the style, albeit a bit on the florid side at times, is eminently readable. Reviewed in English Historical Review, Vol. 77, No. 302 (January 1962), pp. 110-112.

McDermott, James. England and the Spanish Armada: The Necessary Quarrel. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005. ISBN: 0-300-10698-X. This is a very well written account of the Armada campaign, primarily from the English side. The author paints a broad canvas, describing in some detail the background of English-Spanish conflict (seven of his sixteen chapters). While the author virtually ignores the copious Spanish sources (only citing Spanish material when it is available in English), he seems to have seen and read every relevant document in London, many of which add significantly to our knowledge of how England prepared to resist the Spanish Armada. A useful volume, but in the next edition the author should correct the archival call number inconsistencies and the legion of mangled foreign nouns. Information taken from a review by Geoffrey Parker in The Journal of Military History, Vol. 70, No. 3 (July 2006), pp. 821-824.

Padfield, Peter. Armada: A Celebration of the Four Hundredth Anniversary of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 1588-1988. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1988. Ships and gunnery have been two of Peter Padfield's lifelong interests, and he brings to his lively narrative the good sense and insights of one who knows the sea. In dealing with high politics, he draws selectively and usually well on the work of others. When he reaches his own area of special competence, he seems sound about the English ships, less so about the Spanish, although for everyone there remains much to learn. His treatment of guns and gunnery has much to commend it. Padfield does a good job of describing what the campaign was like for the English crews. This is a good and valuable book. . Information is taken from a review by Peter Pierson in American Historical Review, Vol. 95, No. 2 (April 1990), pp. 520-521.

Rodriguez-Salgado, M. J., and Adams, Simon, eds. England, Spain, and the Gran Armada, 1585-1604. Edinburgh: John Donald, 1991. The four hundredth anniversary of the Spanish Armada came and went with little more than a rippling of the academic waters. But besides the wealth of material made available for the general reader there was a call for conference papers and it is some of the best of the contributions read to largely professional gatherings in London and Madrid which make up this volume. Summary information on the topics of these papers is included in the review in the February 1995 English Historical Review. Information taken from a review by Joyce Youings in English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 435 (February 1995), pp. 177.

Military Uniforms and Equipment

Web Sites:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/calderon/armsnarmor.htm An interesting site on some of the basic equipment of the Conquistador.


McPeak, William J. "Command Looks at Cavalry Part II: The Rise and Fall of Pistol Cavalry, 1540--1685". Command, Issue 48 (April 1998), pp. 66-72. An informative brief article on the use of the wheellock pistol and the evolution of the western European cavalryman between 1540 and 1685. Nice series of diagrams on the evolution of the wheellock pistol.

McPeak, William J. "For a Swordsman with Muscle as Well as Skill, Two Hands Could Be Better Than One". Military History, October 2001, pp. 24-28. A short article on the evolution of the two-handed sword in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, with particular emphasis on the use of the two-handed sword by the Landscknechtes. A useful quick guide to the subject for the novice.


Heath, Ian. Armies of the Sixteenth Century: The Armies of England, Scotland, Ireland, the United Provinces, and the Spanish Netherlands, 1487-1609. St. Peter Port, Guernsey, UK: Foundry Books, 1997. ISBN: 1 901543 00 5.

Heath, Ian. Armies of the Sixteenth Century: The Armies of the Aztec and Inca Empires, Other Native Peoples of the Americas, and the Conquistadors, 1450-1608. St. Peter Port, Guernsey, UK: Foundry Books, 1999. ISBN: 1 901543 03 X. These two books are not so much historical narratives as they are general, yet thorough, quick reference to the organization, methods of warfare, dress, and weapons of a variety of 16th century armies. For the size of the volumes, the detail is impressive. The sections on organization and methods of warfare are very instructive. The illustrations of uniforms and weapons are all line drawings-there are no color illustrations or photographic reproductions of paintings-but they are of very high quality, and the descriptive information is outstanding. The volume on the Americas has an amazing amount of information on the various native tribes. For anyone who has any interest at all in the uniforms and equipment of any of these 16th century military forces, I highly recommend these books.

Mann, James G. The Etched Decoration of Armour: Study in Classification. New York: Oxford University Press, 1945. 54 pages. No information available. Referenced in Military Affairs, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Fall 1945), page 265.

Mann, Sir James. Arms and Armour in England, from the Early Middle Ages to the Civil War. London: H.M.S.O., 1969. This brief, authoritative account of the evolution of British medieval and renaissance fighting equipage, revised by A.R. Dufty, provides a graphic introduction to the White Tower's renowned collections. In addition to a selected bibliography, this guide provides a useful note on the principal armouries of England and the Continent as of 1969. Information taken from a review by Philip K. Lundeburg in Military Affairs, December 1970 (Vol. 34, No. 4), pp.142.

Norman, A. V. B., and Pottinger, Don. English Weapons and Warfare, 449-1660. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1979. The authors have collaborated to produce a very useful introduction to the development of arms, armor, strategy, and tactics over a period of 11 centuries. It should not be surprising that, in attempting to do this within the compass of 213 pages of text, some errors of omission and commission should have been committed. The merits of the book lie, in the first place, in Norman's excellent description of armor and weapons. Secondly, Pottinger's line drawings are cleanly done and, what is more important, accurately labeled. The sections on "Tactics and Strategy" are where the errors are, and they should be used with caution. Overall, however, this book is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the military history of the Middle Ages and early modern times. Information taken from a review by John Beeler in Military Affairs, October 1980 (Vol. 44, No. 3), pp. 152. What appears to be an earlier version of this volume, A History of War and Weapons, 449 to 1660: English Warfare from the Anglo-Saxons to Cromwell (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1966), is reviewed in Military Affairs, Summer 1967 (Vol. 31, No. 2), pp. 95-96, by Caroll Quigley. The reviewer praises this book highly. Her only criticism is that "The chief weakness of this book is its extreme brevity".

Osprey Publications. Osprey has over the past roughly 30 years published various series of publications on military forces and equipment throughout human history. They are published by Osprey, an imprint of Reed Consumer Books. Ltd, Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 6RB. There are seven series: Men-At-Arms, Warrior, New Vanguard, Fortress, Campaign, Essential Histories, and Elite. These publications provide brief, competent surveys of various military forces and their characteristics. Very handy for getting a good mental picture of what the soldiers looked like and what weapons they used-something often neglected by academics writing scholarly works on military history. As Robin Higham comments in Military Affairs, October 1984 (Vol. 48, No. 4), page 206, in a review of the book Armies of the Ottoman Turks, 1300-1774, "These short illustrated histories with the major illustrations described in French and German also provide capsule histories, and in some cases are virtually the only readable modern work for the non-specialist." The particularly relevant publications are:

  1. Men-at-Arms. Publications in this series provide on the uniforms, insignia, and appearance of various military forces throughout history. Each 48-page book includes some 40 photographs and diagrams and eight pages of full-color artwork. Of special interest are:
    1. 256 The Irish Wars 1485-1603
    2. 191 Henry VIII's Army
    3. 279 The Border Reivers
    4. 58 The Landsknechts
    5. 101 The Conquistadores
    6. 140 Armies of the Ottoman Turks, 1300-1774
    7. 384 Armies of the German Peasant's War 1524-26
    8. 427 Armies of Ivan the Terrible: Russian Troops, 1505-1700
  2. Elite. Provides detailed information on the uniforms and insignia of the world's most famous military forces. Each 64-page book contains some 50 photographs and diagrams and 12 pages of full-color artwork. The publications in this series especially relevant are
    1. E-15 The Armada Campaign 1588. For Elizabethan military reenactment, this is a particularly valuable quick reference.
    2. E-70 Elizabethan Sea Dogs, 1560-1605 Some useful information on war at sea during the late Renaissance, and some excellent illustrations of military costume of the period.
    3. E-58 The Janissaries
  3. Campaign. Presents concise, authoritative accounts of the great conflicts of history. Each volume begins with an assessment of each commander's campaign strategy, then recounts the progress of the fighting. More than 90 illustrations, including maps, charts, and color plates, accompany the text, and a series of three-dimensional battle maps mark the critical stages of the campaign. Each volume concludes with a brief guide to the battlefield today and detailed notes for wargamers.
    1. 43 Forvono 1495; France's Bloody Fighting Retreat.
    2. 44 Pavia 1525; The Climax of the Italian Wars
    3. 50 Malta 1565; Last Battle of the Crusades
    4. 53 Granada 1492; The Twilight of Moorish Spain
    5. 114 Lepanto; The Greatest Naval Battle of the Renaissance
    6. 168 Flodden, 1513
  4. Campaign. Presents concise, authoritative accounts of the great conflicts of history. Each volume begins with an assessment of each commander's campaign strategy, then recounts the progress of the fighting. More than 90 illustrations, including maps, charts, and color plates, accompany the text, and a series of three-dimensional battle maps mark the critical stages of the campaign. Each volume concludes with a brief guide to the battlefield today and detailed notes for wargamers.
  5. Warrior. Insights into the daily lives of history's fighting men and women, past and present, detailing their motivation, training, tactics, weapons, and experiences.
    1. 40 The Conquistador, 1492-1550
    2. 44 Ironsides: English Cavalry, 1588-1688
    3. 43 Matchlock Musketeer, 1588-1688
    4. 104 Tudor Knight
  6. New Vanguard. The design, development, operation and history of the machinery of warfare through the ages.
    1. 62 Renaissance War Galley, 1470-1590
    2. 96 Spanish Galleon 1530--1690
  7. Essential Histories. A multi-volume history of war seen from political, strategic, tactical, cultural, and individual perspectives.
    1. 47 The French Religious Wars 1562--1598
    2. 62 The Ottoman Empire, 1326-1699
    3. Fortress. Design, technology and history of key fortresses, strategic positions and defensive systems.
    4. 46 Castles and Towers of the Scottish Clans
    5. 39 Russian Fortresses 1480--1682

Snook, George. The Halberd and Other European Polearms 1300-1650. Alexandria Bay, NY: Museum Restoration Service, 1998 (?). This is a short (32 page) monograph on various European polearms, discussing their configurations, construction, origins, and histories. Also provides information on their tactical use. Extensively illustrated. Appears to be a good brochure on the subject. Information taken from a review in Man At Arms, Volume 21, No. 1 (January/February 1999), pp. 44, by Herbert G. Houze. This publication can be found on the web at virtuatheque.free.fr/The%20Halberd%20and%20Other%20European%20Polearms.pdf. Not as thorough as Waldman, but a very good short summary of the subject matter.

Waldman, John. Hafted Weapons in Medieval and Renaissance Europe: The Evolution of European Staff Weapons Between 1200 and 1650. (History of Warfare, number 31). Boston: Brill, 2005. ISBN: 90 04 14409 9. This is an excellent volume, and I am in awe at the detail and scope of the work. It is very useful volume on a subject that, in terms of the sheer variety of weapons involved, is rather complicated and, IMHO, shamefully neglected. Very expensive, though, as are most of the books I have seen from Brill ($180 list price; I got it for half price using discounts at the book store where I bought it). If you are really interested in this particular subject, you need to get this book. There was a review of this volume by a gentleman named Charles Gadda in January of 2007 on Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/9004144099/ref=cm_rev_sort/103-1571254-1007053?customer-reviews.sort_by=-SubmissionDate&s=books&x=4&y=9 which I am quoting below in full and which sums up my opinion of the volume:

"This beautifully written and reasonably well-illustrated work fills in a yawning chasm in the subject of Medieval/Renaissance arms & armour scholarship! The main focus of the work is on halberds, but other arms, such as poll axes, bardiches, military forks, and items even more obscure are discussed. In addition, a chapter on the use and effectiveness, primarily of halberds, is present. The author also delves to some extent on the construction details of many of these weapons, which is a subject often flat ignored in many works on arms and armour. Finally, the chapters on restoration, conservation, and collecting such arms are unprecedented in a work of this nature, and very helpful. This book fully earns a five star rating, though there are a few areas I should have liked to see covered: 1. While there is a good discussion on the effectiveness of such weapons, it would have been very useful to see some independent experiments that gauged such things as energy of impact, anti-armour effectiveness (the video cited in the text sounds inadequate) and so forth. Hard data is sorely needed with regards to Medieval arms, and precious little exists. And what does exist often has serious shortcomings. 2. While admittedly beyond the scope of this work, I would have loved to see information on other hafted weapons, such as maces, war hammers, and battle axes, particular later Gothic and Renaissance examples with all steel hafts, a subject that also is poorly covered. 3. Hand in hand with the chapters on conservation and collecting, something discussing quality modern reproductions, such as those put out by Arms & Armor [...] would have been very useful. 4. More details on featured weapons, to include weight and a better sense of overall dimensions (such as blade thicknesses and cross-sections) would have been extremely useful, and is an unfortunate omission. While this book is expensive, it is terribly necessary addition to any serious researcher of Medieval and Renaissance arms and armour."