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The Art of War in the Middle Ages: A.D. 378-1515

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This history of medieval warfare, originally written in 1885 when its author later one of the great medievalists was still an undergraduate at Oxford, remains for students and general readers one of the best accounts of military art in the Middle Ages between Adrianople in 378 A.D. (the most fearful defeat suffered by a Roman army since Cannae in 216 B.C.) and Marignano (1 ...more
Paperback, 194 pages
Published June 30th 1960 by Cornell University Press (first published 1898)
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John
Proof that the rating system here is rubbish.

Check this out, this is Sir Oman's FULL book, with the absolutely brilliant chapter on the Swiss, their pikemen and Ascendancy etc., but this gets a 3.8 rating while the INCOMPLETE book without the analysis of rapid light infantry pike and the tactics of Leo and the Strategicon of Maurice scores over a 4.2

Sir Charles Oman writes some of the best English language paragraphs to date, any date. Check this one out:

"The strength of the armies of Philip an
...more
Jason
I got this book hoping to better understand my beloved fantasy novels which often involve medieval warfare, and I was not disappointed. This book is a breakneck-speed study of 900 years of military history in Europe. In it, Sir Oman shows us all of the military organization, arms and armor, and tactics that was common in an era, as well as the political situation that would all contribute to the makeup of respective armies. Then he takes this knowledge and leads the reader on studies of individu ...more
Coyle
We all know the what war was like in the Middle Ages, right? A bunch of rich guys get on horses and run into each other with lances, swords, and axes until one of them can't any more. And... that's pretty much spot on. But! How did the world (or at least the West, but come on, that's the important part of the world, right?) come to that state of affairs? How did we get from the Roman army -one of the most well-trained, well-equipped, and efficient killing machines ever- to an "army" consisting o ...more
Gianluca
For the amount of data, battle review, sheer information, this book deserve 5 stars, no doubt. Sir Oman covered many middle age battles in a quite short book, in itself quite an accomplishment. There are also a few battle's illustration, something missing from many military books even today.

But I gave it only 3 stars because I felt throughout it that the author tried not to expose his knowledge on the matter but to prove his points, namely that the French suck, that cavalry was the main force th
...more
Brent Lambell
This is the book that got me into military history. Its a fun and easy read that gives a good survey of military conflict throughout Europe from the dark ages to the renaissance. Its far from the perfect historical document and has been challenged in some circles but all the same, its a fine piece of work worth the read.
le-trombone
Nov 08, 2009 le-trombone marked it as to-read
Note: Added to my to-read shelf not because this is a recommended history, but because it's not. Apparently he let his pet theories get in the way of the historical record. I'm still interested because he's a source for some science fiction writers who wrote a lot of alternate history.
Andrei
The short version, still very interesting view on late Romans and the question on the infantry in late Middle Ages, and surprisingly arrogant towards the French. Worth to have it combined with Hans Delbruck.
Michael Brady
The history of warfare is the history of mankind. This one is concise and well written.
Chris Mericle
An excellent book, I gave it a low ranking because it is dated.
Rob Bradley
Mounted cavalry can be defeated by pikemen.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count for 1853673315 2 12 Mar 11, 2015 06:39AM  
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Sir Charles William Chadwick Oman was a British military historian of the early 20th century. His reconstructions of medieval battles from the fragmentary and distorted accounts left by chroniclers were pioneering. His style is an invigorating mixture of historical accuracy and emotional highlights, and it makes his narratives, though founded on deep research, often read as smoothly as fiction, es ...more
More about Charles William Chadwick Oman...
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