European Medieval Tactics (2): New Infantry, New Weapons 1260–1500 (Elite) (Paperback)

European Medieval Tactics (2): New Infantry, New Weapons 1260–1500 (Elite) By David Nicolle, Adam Hook (Illustrator) Cover Image
By David Nicolle, Adam Hook (Illustrator)

Other Books in Series

This is book number 189 in the Elite series.


Longbows, crossbows, heavy spears, swiss pikes, catapaults, and especially gunpowder artillery and handheld guns such as the arquebus gradually but profoundly changed European warfare.

By about 1260 the steady rise of the European heavily armoured mounted knight to the predominant role in most pitched battles was complete. But though he dominated the actual day of battle, he did not dominate warfare - there were plenty of vital though unglamorous tasks for which footsoldiers were still necessary, 'cleaning up round the edges'. With the development in the 13th century of co-operative tactics using crossbowmen and heavy spearmen, deployed together to compensate for each others' vulnerabilities, circumstance began to arise in which the charge by Muslim horse-archers, and then by European armoured knights, could be defied.

Infantry were far cheaper and easier to train than knights, and potentially there were far more of them. Slowly, tactics emerged by which more numerous and more varied infantry played an increasing part in battles. The best-known examples of this 'democratization of the battlefield' are the English longbowmen who won battles against French knights in the Hundred Years' War, and the massed Swiss spearmen and halberdiers who did the same in wars against the Dukes of Burgundy.

Illustrated with specially commissioned full-colour artwork depicting the tactical formations of the era, this book traces these and other examples of this 'jerky' and uneven process through its regional differences, which were invariably entwined with parallel cavalry developments - the balanced army of 'mixed arms' was always the key to success. By the time serious hand-held firearms appeared on battlefields in large numbers in about 1500, the face of medieval warfare had been transformed.

About the Author

David Nicolle is Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Medieval Studies, Nottingham University. He is the author of over a dozen books on medieval military history.

Adam Hook studied graphic design, and began his work as an illustrator in 1983. He specializes in detailed historical reconstructions, and has illustrated Osprey titles on subjects as diverse as the Aztecs, the Ancient Greeks, Roman battle tactics, 19th-century American subjects, the modern Chinese Army, and the history of fortification. His work features in exhibitions and publications throughout the world.

Praise For…

“...provides a fine history of military forces and techniques of early warfare and represents the second part of the author's study of tactical changes during a thousand years of European history ... It's a powerful survey ... and is especially recommended for any collection seeing popularity with [Nicolle's] first volume.” —James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9781849087391
ISBN-10: 1849087393
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Pages: 64
Language: English
Series: Elite