Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: The English Experience

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 1999 - History - 396 pages
3 Reviews
Medieval warfare was hard, gruelling and often unrewarding. While military life in this era is sometimes pictured in terms of knights resplendent in armour and bearing colorful standards and coats of arms, the reality more often consisted of men struggling against cold, damp and hunger, pressing elusive foes who refused to do battle. In this fascinating book, Michael Prestwich re-creates the real experience of medieval warfare, examining how men of all ranks of society were recruited, how troops were fed, supplied, and deployed, the development of new weapons, and the structures of military command. Michael Prestwich challenges many common assumptions about medieval warfare. He shows that medieval commanders were capable of far more sophisticated strategy than is usually assumed: spies were an important part of the machinery of war, and the destruction of crops and burning of villages were part of a deliberate plan to force a foe to negotiate, rather than an indication of lack of discipline. Sieges, often lengthy and expensive, were more prevalent than physical battles. And in actual engagement the mounted knight was never as dominant as is often supposed: even in the twelfth century, many battles were won by unmounted men. Medieval warfare was not, on the whole, any more chivalric than warfare of other periods, although there were many instances of individual heroism, particularly during the Hundred Years War, that brought glory and renown to those who performed them.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DanoWins - LibraryThing

This is an excellent and enlightening look on English Medieval warfare. Prestwich has definitely done his research on his subject. The work challenges myths and assumtions that many modern readers ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ksmyth - LibraryThing

I finished reading this last night and found it to be a fascinating look at the nature of warfare in England during the Middle Ages. Prestwich focuses on he how-to's of war, rather than actual combat ... Read full review

Contents

The Military Elite
12
Illustration Acknowledgements
14
bottom MS 619 163 MS 804 f 128 244 MS 638 f 27v 279 MS 804 f 44v
29
Military Obligation
57
Rewards
83
Infantry
115
137 Public Record Office London
138
Mercenaries
147
The Logistics of War
245
The Navy
263
Siege Warfare
281
184 Marlay Add 1 f 2v Photo the author 207 210
290
Battle
305
295 By permis
316
A Military Revolution?
334
Glossary
347

Strategy and Intelligence
185
Chivalry
219

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Michael Prestwich is Professor of History at the University of Durham.

Bibliographic information