- Taschenbuch: 48 Seiten
- Verlag: Osprey Publishing; Auflage: First Edition (19. März 1981)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0850453933
- ISBN-13: 978-0850453935
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 18,4 x 8,1 x 25,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 333.834 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
The Armies of Crécy and Poitiers (Men-At-Arms (Osprey)) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. März 1981
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Christopher Rothero is an expert on the armies of medieval Europe. He has written and illustrated several titles for the Osprey Men-at Arms series including Men-at-Arms 210 The Venetian Empire 1200-1670 and Men-at-Arms 113 The Armies of Agincourt.
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Though, as a previous review has stated the plates focus too much on knightly parade uniforms and not enough on practical armament and the appearance of the common soldiers, the text of this book is invaluable. Following a several page intro to the historical background the author examines the course of both battles in detail. The chain of command, cavalry, cavalry armor, infantry, mercenaries, supplies, and a final analysis of the battles are the other sections.
The plates are high quality, as typical of Osprey, but six of the eight focus on the nobles and kings of both sides; only the first and last plates show us the appearance of the common soldiers (although they were understandably not as diverse or interesting in gear than the knights).
Overall, this is one of the better early men-at-arms titles, made better than most because of its examination of just two battles, thus leaving room for more detail than usual.
Compared to more modern titles, it does have a few problems. First, there is no bibliography, meaning that this title cannot be used as a basis for anyone wanting to delve deeper into the subjects that it covers.
Second, while the sources give huge, incredible, and varying numbers, especially for the French, these may have been somewhat exaggerated. There clearly was not 60000 foot on the French side at Crécy, although there may have been a third or perhaps half that number of poorly equipped and trained levy infantry. The French possibly did line up some 12000 men-at-arms and knights plus half that number of mercenary Genoese crossbowmen. Only these two forces seem to have had real and significant military value but both were terribly misused. Estimates for the English army tend to vary between 9000 and 14000, with between two-thirds and three-quarters being made up of archers. A similar point can be made for the battle of Poitiers where the French may even not have outnumbered the English that they had been pursuing for days as much as they had at Crécy.
There are also some “glitches”. I do not remember, for instance, the blind King of Bohemia John of Luxemburg was in overall command of one of the “batailles” at Crécy. Also, the Flemings were NOT “scattered by a charge of heavily armed horsemen” at Courtrai in 1302, quite the opposite in fact. It was the French chivalry that was slaughtered. Finally, Edward Prince of Wales did not have “the splendid strategic idea of bringing the greater part of Western France under English control when he initiated the “chevauchée” – which was in fact a large scale plundering expedition - that would lead to the battle of Poitiers.
Having mentioned this, the title does contain some good if somewhat short descriptions of the respective armies and their components. It also presents clearly and succinctly the main factors explaining how and why the English comprehensively won against the odds in both cases, although even they did not really believe in their chances of winning before the battle. For instance, Edward Prince of Wales at one point before the battle of Poitiers even offered to surrender all of his expeditions plunder if the French would let him and his forces retreat back to Bordeaux without attacking them.
Finally, there is what remains for me the main value of this book and this is the combination of sections and plates showing the evolution of arms and armour. Particularly good are the pieces and associated plates showing the transition between great helm and bassinet. Still worth a strong three stars, despite the glitches and the lack of bibliography.
Prior to the Hundred Years War, the armored knight was regarded as the cutting edge of the military technology. Accordingly, the French military based largely on armored knights was regarded as the best military force in Europe. These two battles changed the perceptions of the French military. No longer were knights regarded as the best military weapon in the world.