The Anglo Saxons at War 800-1066 – Book Review
By Angela Youngman Oct 29, 2012, 17:50 GMT
In the time of the great Anglo-Saxon kings like Alfred and Athelstan, Æthelred and Edmund Ironside, what was warfare really like - how were the armies organized, how and why did they fight, how were the warriors armed and trained, and what was the Anglo-Saxon experience of war? As Paul Hill demonstrates in this compelling new study, documentary records and the growing body of archaeological evidence allows these questions to ...more
For many years, the Anglo-Saxon period was regarded as a Dark Age falling between the glories of the Romans and the medieval period. Modern historical study is slowly changing that impression. Anglo-Saxon England was every bit as vibrant and had just as much to offer as any other historical period. Methods of warfare have undergone just as much reassessment.
The Anglo Saxon Fyrd was a notable and strong fighting unit which when used effectively could be a very powerful force. It got lots of practice - this was a period of instability with considerable infighting, as well as dealing with Viking attacks. Yet until now there have been few books dealing with this subject. Paul Hill's book filled a distinct gap in the market. This is a very solid study of the way warfare was conducted during this period.
It covers everything you can possibly think of relating to warfare - weapons, armor, battles, taking of hostages, treachery, the role of cavalry as well as naval warfare. Well written, well researched, this is a valuable addition to knowledge of the period and will be welcomed by historians, military historians and the ever growing numbers of war gamers wanting to know more about different periods of history.
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