The Conquest of Mexico is a legendary chapter in the annals of military history. Accounts vary, but all portray the fall of the Aztec Empire as a super-human feat achieved against hordes of superstitious savages by only a few hundred Spaniards armed with superior weaponry and guided by the military genius of Cortes. Nevertheless, as heroic as this legend has been portrayed in popular writing, the reality of those events is even more astounding. This volume explodes the myth of the Conquest of the New World by examining what factors led to the emergence of the Spanish citizen-soldier as the most effective killer Europe had seen since the Roman legionnaire. The author seeks to shed light on Cortes and his highly-trained men, as well as their finely-tuned killing methods. He examines how the machine of war had evolved so far that a new campaign almost had to be found to keep the hordes of soldiers occupied. The volume also gives a "soldier's eye view" of the Conquest, through the story of one of the many foot soldiers, who felt compelled to write down his experiences in later years.
John Pohl is a research archaeologist at UCLA. He is an eminent authority on American Indian civilizations and has directed numerous archaeological excavations in Mexico, Central America, Canada, and the United States. He has published extensively on subjects ranging from human origins to the rise of the Aztec empire and specializes in the decipherement of ancient pictographic writing systems. Adam Hook studied graphic design at art college and began his illustrating career in 1983. He has worked with a variety of educational publishers covering various subjects within the fields of history and natural history. For Osprey he has illustrated numerous Campaign and Warrior titles. Adam lives and works in Sussex, UK.
Introduction; Recruitment and Mobilization; Training Arms and Armor; Campaigning; Diplomacy; Tactics; The Fate of the Conquistadors; The Far Horizons