After the fall of the Western Roman Empire there was a decline in 'professional' cavalry forces, and infantry dominated in the Germanic successor 'barbarian' kingdoms. In the Carolingian and Norman periods from the 9th to the 11th centuries, the cavalry arm gradually expanded from the small remaining aristocratic elite. Even so, the supposedly complete dominance of the 'knight' in the 12th and 13th centuries is grossly exaggerated, as integrated cavalry and infantry tactics were nearly always the key to success. This is a two-part treatment of medieval tactics. Throughout the period there was a steady evolution of training in both individual and unit skills, of armour and weapons, and thus of tactics on the battlefield. This book covers Hastings in 1066 to Legnano in 1176. It also details the two key set piece battles of Bouvines in 1214 and Pelagonia in 1259, the former an example of abject failure of cavalry tactics and the latter a stunning success.
Born in 1944, David Nicolle worked in the BBC's Arabic service for a number of years before gaining an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and a doctorate from Edinburgh University. He has written numerous books and articles on medieval and Islamic warfare, and has been a prolific author of Osprey titles for many years. Adam Hook studied graphic design, and began his work as an illustrator in 1983. He specializes in detailed historical reconstructions, and has illustrated Osprey titles on the Aztecs, the Greeks, several 19th-century American subjects, and a number of books in the Fortress series. His work features in exhibitions and publications throughout the world.
Introduction /Background - tactical impact of fall of Western Roman Empire /Barbarian tactics - cavalry survives as ultimate reserve and battle-decider -the new stirrups and saddles - battle of Lech, 955 /Carolingians and Normans - a revival of cavalry and mounted infantry - development of new armour and tactics - Hastings 1066 /Combination of cavalry and infantry tactics - importance of northern Italian militia armies - Legnano 1176 /'The Knight Dominant' - cavalry vs. cavalry tactics - successes and failures analysed