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Rhea
August 3rd, 2007, 11:50 PM
It is coming to the point in my book where I need to write battle scenes/know about medieval warfare etc. Now I have done reasearch on battles/fighting/weapons only, i haven't been able to find anything on campaigns/logistics etc. If anyone knows any good sites or books on medieval warfare (not just battles and weapons) can you please help me out.

lin
August 4th, 2007, 01:30 AM
Start with Wikipedia and work your way out. Some of the best strategy stuff is Chinese, by the way.

choppy
August 4th, 2007, 03:12 PM
Some recommended reading:
"How Great Generals Win" by Bevin Alexander
"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu (various translations available)

I'm sure there are many others. It's best not to limit your search to medieval warfare, and look rather at "history of warefare" in general and adopt the logistics to your settings as you see fit.

lin
August 4th, 2007, 07:57 PM
Exactly. Tactics change, but strategy remains remarkably similar over the years.

Mock
August 4th, 2007, 11:01 PM
It is coming to the point in my book where I need to write battle scenes/know about medieval warfare etc. Now I have done reasearch on battles/fighting/weapons only, i haven't been able to find anything on campaigns/logistics etc. If anyone knows any good sites or books on medieval warfare (not just battles and weapons) can you please help me out.

Read about Alexander the Great's campaign (sources vary tremendously) for a good idea about lightning-quick campaigns involving world conquest. His battle tactics are very cool, as he is always outnumbered but manages to kick his enemy's ass regardless.

Oh, and ever heard of Osprey Publishing? Go on their website (www.ospreypublishing.com) and see if they have any books that catch your eye. They have a sweet compilation of books about warfare, from the Bronze Age to modern times.

Holbrook
August 5th, 2007, 03:46 AM
Take a look at this site;

http://www.netsword.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi

If you do some searching on the medieval warfare forum, you will find tonnes of information, lists of books/sites.

Also I would be careful of Wikipedia, it can led you on a wild goose chase sometimes. A lot of the information is second hand research, lifted from other work and can be very misleading.

lin
August 5th, 2007, 11:44 AM
I'd really recommend the Sun Tsu out of all this. It's the "algebra" you are looking for her, abstract strategy rather than a bunch of medeival weaponry that you say you have handled already.

In order, if that's what you want, to be able to build your own warfare, rather than copy existing events.

Wikipedia gets that knock, but few cite any specific cases of bad info. But in this case, historical accuracy and first-hand information (are there encyclopedae that AREN'T secondary sources??) is exactly what the OP is looking for. He's not writing history, he's writing a fantasy novel.

briruc
August 5th, 2007, 12:05 PM
A well-respected (as far as I know), but very academic and not terribly easy to read survey of the subject is Philippe Contamine's War in the Middle Ages (http://www.amazon.com/War-Middle-Ages-Philippe-Contamine/dp/0631144692/ref=sr_1_1/105-6775897-3609212?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186330073&sr=1-1). It's over 20 years old now, and is translated from the French, but contains almost overwhelming amounts of detail on things like logistics, recruitment, organisation of campaigns, battle tactics and strategy etc. etc. Not an easy read by any means (the opposite, in fact, if you ask me), but there are vast amounts of information buried in there if you can summon up the energy to dig it out ...

Holbrook
August 5th, 2007, 03:21 PM
. He's not writing history, he's writing a fantasy novel.


So you are saying if you are writing about a medieval type army and the logistics of such you shouldn't make the effort to cross research the information you require? Just because a work is fantasy dosn't mean you don't have to do any research. I know a number of published fantasy authors, and all say research gives you a sound base to create on.

And yes, there has been a lot of crap on Wikipedia, especially a number of articles in the past enforcing the belief that medieval European swords were just iorn crowbars, and were not as good as their Eastern counterparts of the same time. If you take time to study the works of people like Ewart Oakeshott, you will find it is not the case. Both types of swords have their weakness and strengths, each was designed to be used very differently, bit like comparing apples and oranges, yet folks continue to do so.

P.S by original sources I was meaning books by experts in the fields, even then you need to cross reference the information and nit pick what you need. Often internet sites contain the same mistakes repeated over and over....

Rhea
August 6th, 2007, 12:32 AM
I am a she by the way. I must say this point about fantasy authors not having to do research always gets to me as I put in a great deal of time with it (I'm also a history major so it comes with the territory :)). Thank you all for the info, you've been a great help.