Friday, 31 May 2013

Battle of Northampton, final phase

Soon after Edward broke into the fortified deer park he led his men to attack Buckingham’s men in the flank and rear. The Lancastrians then broke and fled, though they were to find their escape route blocked by the River Nene.

from The Battle of Northampton 1460 by Rupert Matthews.

Buy your copy HERE

A book dedicated to the Battle of Northampton, fought as part of the Wars of the Roses in 1460. In 1460 the Yorkist faction in the Wars of the Roses seemed doomed. The Duke of York was dead, his sons in exile, his friends in hiding and his army scattered. Then Edward, the dashing new Duke of York, returned to England from Ireland and summoned his supporters to join him. Among those heading to support Edward was the Earl of Warwick, but at Northampton Warwick encountered a powerful Lancastrian army under the Duke of Buckingham. The four hours of savage fighting that followed changed the situation entirely and gave the Yorkists the upper hand. This book follows the standard pattern set by others in the Bretwalda Battles series. The reasons for and course of the war in question are outlined, then detailed analyses of weapons, tactics and strategies are given with particular reference to this battle. The course of the battleis then followed, with comment on what there is to see at the site today. Short biographies of the commanders are also given. The aftermath of the battle, its effects and importance to the progress of the war are then described. The "Bretwalda Battles" series has been running with increasing success as ebooks for some time. Now the first books in the series are being published in print format.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bascient, a 14th century helmet

A bascinet of the pointed snout variety. These relatively light helmets relied as much on the deflecting slopes of their shape as on the strength of their metal to protect the wearer. Bascinets began to be worn about 1310 and by the time of Crecy were usual wear for the wealthier knights. 

from The Battle of Crecy by Rupert Matthews


Book Description

1 May 2007
Rupert Matthews tells the story of the most dramatic military campaign of the medieval world, a thrilling tale of action, adventure, mystery and much more. Before the Crecy campaign began, France was recognised to have the greatest, most powerful and most modern army in all Christendom. England was thought of as a prosperous but relatively backward kingdom lying somewhere in the sea off the European coast. But six hours of bloodshed, slaughter and heroism beyond imagining changed all that. The pride of France was humbled, her army destroyed and her king a wounded fugitive fleeing for his life through a foggy night. This book explains to the general reader the reality of warfare in the year 1346. It seeks to recreate in our minds the tactics used in the Crecy Campaign and to put them into the context of the time. It shows what the weapons were like and how they were used in action. It describes the tactics of the different military units involved and how these would have impacted on each other in battle. Crucially, it takes the reader inside the minds of the commanders to explain what they did, why they did it and what they hoped to achieve. This is the second in Spellmount's new series, "Campaign in Context". 

Friday, 17 May 2013

Spear - a Weapon of War

The thrusting spear was held in one or both hands and pushed toward the enemy. It was a favoured weapon of war for thousands of years. It was cheap and easy to make, but could be deadly whether used in single combat or in a battle between large armies. Some armies developed special tactics to make war-winning use of the spear.

The earliest spears were probably straight wooden shafts that had one end sharpened to a point. By about 100,000 years ago, however, stone tips were being fitted to spears. When techniques for making bronze were developed, spear heads were among the first weapons to be made. The joint between a metal head and the shaft could be made very strong by gluing the wooden shaft into a socket. This allowed the user to thrust with much greater strength without the head slipping off.

By about 1500bc it had been discovered that ash was the best wood to use for spear shafts. This wood was light, but very strong under compression so that it was unlikely to break due to the impact of a spear thrust. The point of a spear concentrate the power of the thrust on to a small area, meaning that the spearhead  could punch through some types of armour or shields.

The first picture to survive of an army comes from the city of Ur in what is now Iraq. It is about 5,000 years old and shows a column of men carrying spears.

from "Weapons of War" by Rupert Matthews

Buy your copy HERE

Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Carlton Publishing (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847322700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847322708
  • Product Dimensions: 27.1 x 30.8 cm

Wednesday, 15 May 2013