The 8th century heralded the start of a golden age in the history of the Islamic world. At this time, the Sunni Muslim 'Abbãsid Caliphate, with its capital at Baghdad, ruled virtually the entire Islamic world. Islamic military power peaked in the 9th century, but by the end of this golden age in the 11th century, the 'Abbãsid Caliphs had little political and virtually no military power. Featuring numerous photographs of artefacts and eight full colour plates by Graham Turner, David Nicolle's book examines the recruitment, organization, weaponry and uniforms of the armies of the Caliphates from 862-1098.
The dramatic eruption of the Arab peoples from Arabia after their adoption of the Muslim faith in the 7th century remains one of the most extraordinary events in world history. By the end of that century they ruled a state that stretched from the Atlantic to India, from southern Arabia to Central Asia, covering an area far greater than that of the Roman Empire. Therefore warfare, at least among the nomadic bedouin, was a normal aspect of life. Complemented by numerous illustrations, including eight full page colour plates by Angus McBride, this detailed text by David Nicolle tells the real story of the armies of the Muslim conquest.
During the Middle Ages, Islam was Christian Europe's only civilized and most troublesome neighbor. The Middle Ages saw almost continual strife between these two distinct cultures. By the time the Frankish Crusaders reached the Middle East at the end of the 11th century, Islam had already incorporated three major races: Arabs, Persians and Turks, each of which contributed different strengths to the armoury of Islam. This title explores the organization, uniforms and equipment of the armies of Islam from the 7th to 11th centuries, backed by illustrations, museum photographs and eight full page color plates by popular Osprey artist Angus McBride.
Armies of the Dark Ages spans the period from 600 AD to 1066 and describes Byzantine, Sub-Roman, Pictish, Irish, Visigothic, Lombard, Merovingian, Carolingian, Ottonian, Viking, Russian, Slav, Avar, Khazar, Magyar, Bulgar, Pecheneg, Ghuzz, Alan, Armenian, Sassanid, Arab, Andalusian, Near Eastern, Saxon, Norman, Italian and Spanish armies. It examines tactics and strategy, organisation and formations as well as providing a detailed guide to the dress and equipment of the armies of the period. Comprehensive illustrations complement the text and the result is a wealth of information for anyone interested in the warfare of the time. Long out of print, the book has been a source of inspiration to wargamers and academic historians alike. It is reprinted here in its complete 1980 second edition with an updated bibliography.
In the centuries following the first expeditions down the great rivers of northern Russia by Viking traders and adventurers, the foundations for a new state were laid. Many influences combined in this colourful culture which grew up first around the great cities of Kiev and Novgorod – Scandinavian, Finnish, Slav, steppe Turkish, Byzantine. By the time of the Mongol invasions of the 12th century the small enclaves of the old pagan Rus', tolerated by the Khazar Khans for their commercial usefulness, had evolved into a Christian nation. Its story is told here in fascinating detail, and illustrated with striking colour reconstructions of the warriors themselves.
The birth of the Ottoman state is shrouded in legend. Whatever the truth of its origins, the Ottomans formed an Empire which almost succeeded in bringing Christian Europe to its knees. During the last decades of the 13th century, the ambitious Osman Bey's tiny mountain state took eight frontier castles plus the Turkish town of Eskisehir. In 1299 Osman seized Yenisehir after working up the Kara Su valley. With this as its first real capital, the Ottoman state emerged into history poised above the fertile shores of the Sea of Marmara.
In October 1935 Mussolini ordered the invasion of Ethiopia from Italian-held Eritrea and Somaliland, thinking that he would easily crush an ill-prepared and badly equipped enemy. The Italians, in the face of widespread condemnation from the League of Nations, spread terror and destruction through their indiscriminate use of air power and poison gas against an enemy more used to medieval methods of warfare. David Nicolle examines in detail the units, equipment and uniforms of the forces on both sides of this conflict that unrealistically bolstered Il Duce's colonial ambitions. A great read ably supported by Raffaele Ruggeri's detailed full-page colour plates.
In the summer of 1642 the First Civil War between king and parliament had broken out in England. Initially both sides were confident of victory, but after the first campaigns ended in stalemate they began looking for allies. The meddling of the Stuart Kings with Scotland's religious traditions provoked the National Covenant, and later the Solemn League and Covenant. Yet many Scots continued to support the King, and after his execution, his exiled son.This fine text by Stuart Reid examines the Scots armies who fought in the English Civil Wars, and features numerous illustrations and photographs, including full page colour plates by Graham Turner.
Hono sapiens, homo pugnans, and so it has been since the beginning of recorded history. In the Middle Ages, especially, armed conflict and the military life were so much a part of the political and cultural development that a general account of this period is, in large measure, a description of how men went to war.