Pike and Shot Tactics 1590-1660

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Overview

Drawing upon years of research into period documents, this book explains and illustrates one of the key turning points in military history, when the potential of gunpowder infantry weapons was first fully exploited. At the turn of the 17th century the Dutch, revolting against Spain, pioneered this great step forwards, harnessing disciplined mixed formations of musketeers and pikemen to the rediscovered tactical skills of ancient Rome. This doctrine was developed during the Thirty Years' War, and came to dominate ...

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Pike and Shot Tactics 1590-1660

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Overview

Drawing upon years of research into period documents, this book explains and illustrates one of the key turning points in military history, when the potential of gunpowder infantry weapons was first fully exploited. At the turn of the 17th century the Dutch, revolting against Spain, pioneered this great step forwards, harnessing disciplined mixed formations of musketeers and pikemen to the rediscovered tactical skills of ancient Rome. This doctrine was developed during the Thirty Years' War, and came to dominate the battlefields of the English Civil War. Illustrated with contemporary engravings and original colour plates, this book reveals how armies of pike and shot, cavalry and artillery were deployed by Dutch, Swedish, German and English generals, and how they ruled European battlefields for a century.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Keith Roberts presents a very useful overview of the typical battlefield small unit and large army tactics employed by generals and commanders during the war-torn pike and musket period of the late 16th century through the late 17th century. Well illustrated by Adam Hook, the book is typical of recent fine efforts of the Osprey Elite series, and is a fine addition to the bookshelves of miniature wargamers in particular, as well as to anyone wanting a good overview of European military tactics from the period." -Charge! Civil War Wargaming
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846034695
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/23/2010
  • Series: Elite Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 793,376
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

The Contemporary General's Perspective 7

Sieges and field armies

Campaign preparations and rehearsal

The decisive battle - Dutch caution and Swedish aggressiveness

The German doctrine - multiple battle lines - field artillery - terrain

Cavalry

The infantry confrontation - command and control - broken-country fighting

Outpost warfare

The Spanish Army 26

Infantry formations

Cavalry: Spanish and German - French Huguenot developments

The Dutch Reforms 32

The Dutch battalion - the distinction between administrative and tactical organization - the Dutch company

The Dutch firing system

Battle plans - the Dutch brigade

Cavalry and artillery

The Thirty Years' War 43

Dissemination of Prince Maurice's reforms to belligerents, by veterans, instructors and translations

Spanish conservatism

From Denmark to Sweden

The Swedish Intervention 46

The army of Gustavus Adolphus: unit organization - firing systems - cavalry and artillery

Swedish brigade deployment

The Swedish army in battle: Breitenfeld, 1631

The English Civil Wars 56

Dutch, Swedish and German influences

Monk, Barriffe, Elton and Watts

Prince Rupert at Edgehill, 1642

Marston Moor, Donnington and Naseby, 1644-45

The last word

Index 64

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    New perspective on 17th-century Military Revolution

    This is a book that fits in the ongoing historical debate about the military revolution that took place in the early 17th century in Western Europe. As such it is first of all of interest for interested professionals (though these might at first be scared away by the "popular" format). But "amateur" historians will find this an interesting book also. Roberts focuses on the tactical reforms first introduced by Maurice of Nassau (and his cousin William Louis of Nassau, though he doesn't mention him remarkably enough; their more distant relative Johann of Nassau gets higher billing) in the Dutch States Army in the late 16th century. These reforms were later taken over and further enhanced by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden during his intervention in the Thirty Years' War in the early 1630s. After the successes the Swedes gained with their new approach, it was generally adopted by the different parties in that war and further adapted by the Imperialist side. Roberts shows that by the time of the English Civil War the reforms had also been adopted in England. The story is not new, but Roberts adds many interesting details that may not have been widely appreciated before. One of these details is the amount of formal planning that went into the preparation for battles, including the drawing up of sketches of battle formations (with a formalized notation) by the commanders to guide their sub-commanders (with many examples from the archives). These sketches are also examples of the lavish use of illustrations in the book. Despite its narrow focus the book provides indispensable background information for people interested in the military history of the early 17th century.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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