Lavishly illustrated, Swords and Swordsmen chronicles the history of the sword, its methods of manufacture and its systems of use, interwoven with tales of the men who lived and died by it. It spans many cultures and periods from Ancient Egypt to the American Civil War and is an in-depth study that is a must for anyone with an interest in swords or military history.
Swords and Swordsmen has been written with a style and approach seldom found in non-fiction work. It is at heart a factual book but it has been written in a narrative style and peopled with characters that combine to make it read as a compelling story. One that reaches out to be read and understood by the general history buff as well as the sword expert.
Chapters: The Sword of Tutankhamun . Swords of the Iron Age . The Sword of King Raedwald . The Swords of the Northmen . The Sword of King Henry V . Medieval Diversity . The Sword of Maximilian I . The Sword of Uesugi Kenshin . The Sword of Honour and the Rise of the Civilian Duel . The Sword of Henri IV, King of France . The Sword of Oliver Cromwell . The Gentleman’s Companion: Age of the Smallsword . The Many Swords of George Washington: The Sword of Lieutenant Henry Lane, Hussar at Waterloo . The Swords of J.E.B. Stuart and G.A. Custer.
This slim volume, in the well-known Osprey series, has been widely acclaimed as an important new work on this iconic weapon. The book contains previously unpublished primary source material and re-evaluates traditional thinking. It debunks lingering myths and casts new light on several aspects of the longbow’s military use.
Beautifully illustrated with colour plates from Peter Dennis, drawings from Matthew Ryan, archive images and a great deal of original photography, the text covers the development, manufacture, use and effectiveness of the military longbow, or warbow, as it is also known.
Much emphasis is placed on the longbow’s versatility. As well as examining its role as a battlefield weapon, this study focuses on its function as a naval weapon, as a siege weapon and as a skirmish weapon for marauding, mobile troops on raids and chevauchée. It is this versatility, together with its portability, that made it an ideal choice for the massed armies employed by successive English monarchs in their foreign adventures.
This book on the composite bow includes a typology of the principle forms this shapely bow has taken. It details the manufacturing process, considers thumb-ring shooting styles and draws on accounts for the composite bow’s use in a variety of cultures. There is also an assessment of the bow’s effectiveness.
Both infantry- and horse-archer techniques and practices are discussed, though there is an emphasis on the horse-archer for it was in his hands that the composite bow achieved the greatest renown.
Mike wrote the introduction and several chapters for The Worldwide History of Warfare, as well as advising on much of the content.
He wrote the individual segments on: Swords; Weapons of Reach; Clubs, Maces and Axes; Thrown Weapons; Bows; Crossbows; Siege Engines; Artillery; Handheld Firearms and Armour, as well as contributing shorter sections on weapons to each of the many periods covered.
The style of illustration was to use images from 19th century books. These images have tremendous character and are themselves part of the history of the topic.