Medieval Battles, 1047 to 1295, Volume 1

This is an introduction to a series of books looking in detail at the original accounts of medieval battles within the Anglo-Norman realm between 1047 and 1295.  The books are primarily based upon first hand translations of Exchequer documents and chronicle accounts.  For the first time all the major sources are brought together for the reader to experience what was known of battle in this period.  This first volume includes a detailed look at what it was actually like to be a knight or common soldier with first-hand accounts of the life of medieval soldiering.  The training, armaments and ethos of medieval soldiers are examined in individual chapters before taking a more detailed look at the planning and events for eleven campaigns along the Plantagenet frontier. 


The Sources                                                                                 
An Overview of a Medieval Army                                                  
The Mentality of Soldiering in the Middle Ages                            
The Accoutrements of Armour                                                      
Changing Fashion                                                                        
Royal and Baronial Seals                                                            
Cavalry, Knights and Serjeants                                                     
Knightly Effigies                                                                            
Archers and Foot                                                                          
Siege Engines and Engineers                                                       
Tactics and Pay                                                                        
Raising Troops                                                                  
Naval Transport and Fleets                                                
Casualties and Battle Cairns                                             
Supply and Logistics                                                            
Transport, Movement, Speed and Distance                     
The March towards Corwen, April to September 1165                
The Welsh in the French Wars of Richard the Lionheart                
The Ceri Campaign of 1228                                                         
The Painscastle Campaign of 1231                                             
The Wars of Prince Dafydd                                                         
The Degannwy Campaign, 26 August to 26 October 1245            
The Welsh Campaign of 1257                                                       
Cefnllys, December 1262                                                           
The Welsh Campaign of 1276 to 1277                                       
The Welsh War of 1282 to 1283                                               
The Regent's Campaign of 1287                                                  

A List of Early Effigies containing Heraldry                                     
The Cost of Troops from the Twelfth to the Fourteenth Centuries   
Index of Names                                                                                 
General Index                                                                                 

This series of books is intended to give the reader a good grounding in the battles that took place within the Anglo-Norman realm during the Middle Ages.  For such an understanding it is first necessary to place yourself in the age when these events occurred.  It is of little value to look at ancient battles with the eyes of a modern specialist.  Our medieval counterparts had no electronic communications and to them the only weapon of mass destruction was famine and resultant plague - and all sides were happy to use this when it was deemed necessary.  It is therefore necessary to attempt to understand how medieval man saw his world.
    Life held different values in the Middle Ages and death, especially early death, was seen as a part of life, rather than an aberration as it is today.  At the head of local society was the feudal knight, holding his land by service to his lord.  His lord in turn might hold of another lord and eventually you would reach the tenant-in-chief who held his land directly from the king.  The king held all the land.  These knights and lords made up the heavy cavalry shock troops that formed the core of medieval armies in this period.  At the other end of the feudal scale was the yeoman who held his land from the lord or knight.  He might also employ farm labourers or serfs who were legally tied to a piece of land.  These men provided the infantry, otherwise known as archers, spearmen, knifemen or simply, the foot.  This is a simplistic view of medieval armies and as we shall see there was much overlapping in what was an uncertain and constantly changing world, even if today we tend to think of the Middle Ages as a time of stagnation and fixed ideas.
    Of particular importance to the study of medieval battles is the size and components of an army.  Contemporary chroniclers are often said to have ‘exaggerated their figures'.  Is this true?  There is a human ten
dency, and historians are certainly not immune to this, that allows us to cherry-pick figures and somewhat ignore the caliber and credibility of the sources.  A small figure is often accepted, but a large one rejected.  In reality the scribes who wrote these figures might have had no clear idea at all of what was a ‘rational figure'.
  In some modern works the Crusaders of the eleventh and twelfth centuries are allowed armies up to 100,000 men strong, yet when various sources state that a combination of Sultans put 330,000 men in the field it is an exaggeration.  The best answer would appear to be based on an assessment of what is possible and to this end much of the early section of this work will deal with the numbers armies consisted of and the consequent problems of supply.
    This book is designed to set the stage for later books which will concentrate on the battles of Wales, England, Normandy, Scotland and Ireland.

Available now through PayPal for £39.95.  Consists of 398 A4 pages and 147 illustrations and maps.

Released March 2017, Medieval Battles: Wales: Volume 2, part 1: 1055 to 1216

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