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War played a central part in the history of Japan. Warring clans controlled much of the country. The wars were usually about land, the struggle for control of which eventually gave rise to perhaps the most formidable warriors of all time: the Samurai. Ancient Yayoi warriors developed weapons, armour and a code during the ensuing centuries that became the centrepiece for the Japanese Samurai. Anthony Bryant chronicles the history, arms and armour of these truly élite warriors, from the rise of the Yayoi through the Genpei War (1180-1185) between the Minamoto and Taira clans, to the Mongol invasions of the 13th century.
Osprey's examination of the New Kingdom of Egypt (16th - 11th Century BC) and it's people. Builders of the Pyramids and most ancient of all the powers of the biblical world, the Egyptians remain one of history's most fascinating and enigmatic peoples. During the New Kingdom era, Egypt reached the peak of its power, wealth, and territory. Through the intensive military campaigns of Pharaoh Thutmose III (1490-1436BC), Palestine, Syria, and the northern Euphrates area in Mesopotamia were all brought within the New Kingdom. Mark Healy outlines the history, organisation and dress of the New Kingdom Egyptians in this volume packed with accompanying illustrations and photographs, including 12 full page colour plates by the ever popular Angus McBride.
This book gives an accurate picture of the pirates who sailed in the waters of the Caribbean and off the American coastline during the 'golden age' of piracy between 1660 and 1730. It traces the origins of piratical activity in the 16th century and examines the Boucaneer (Buccaneer) culture in Jamaica and Hispaniola. It details what drove individuals to a life of piracy, how they dressed, their weaponry, the ships they used and the codes by which they operated. Whether viewed as villains or victims the Pirates were a major threat to shipping and commerce in the western Atlantic for more than 70 years.
This title details the culture, weapons, armour and training of the elite samurai warrior class in the fascinating Age of Battles period (1550-1600). This was a period of vital importance not only because of the political effects of the chaos but also due to the changes in warfare that occurred. In 1542 the Portuguese introduced the matchlock musket into Japanese warfare, and this book traces the effect that this important innovation had on the samurai. Life outside the field of battle is also examined, making this an unmissable book for those interested in this brave warrior caste.
The dazzling spectacle presented by the armies of medieval Japan owed much to the highly developed family and personal heraldry of samurai society. From simple personal banners, this evolved over centuries of warfare into a complex system of flags worn or carried into battle, together with the striking 'great standards' of leading warlords. While not regulated in the Western sense, Japanese heraldry developed as a series of widely followed practices, while remaining flexible enough to embrace constant innovation. Scores of examples, in monochrome and full colour, illustrate this fascinating explanation of the subject by a respected expert on all aspects of samurai culture.
The Sassanians ruled the last great imperial Empire of Persia before the Arab conquests of the 7th century. Rome's only equal in the classical world, the Sassanian Empire had an enormous impact on the development of architecture, mythology, arts, music, military tactics and technology. Within the Sassanian military, the cavalry was the most influential element, and Sassanian cavalry tactics were adopted by the Romans, Arabs, and Turks. Their cavalry systems of weaponry, battle tactics, Tamgas, Medallions, court customs, and costumes influenced Romano-Byzantine and medieval European culture, and this book allows the reader to see how a little-studied eastern power affected the development of cavalry traditions in the western world.
Though the 'Scythian period' in the history of Eastern Europe lasted little more than 400 years, the impression these horsemen made upon the history of their times was such that a thousand years after they had ceased to exist as a sovereign people, their heartland and the territories which they dominated far beyond it continued to be known as 'greater Scythia'. From the very beginnings of their emergence on the world scene the Scythians took part in the greatest campaigns of their times, defeating such mighty contemporaries as Assyria, Urartu, Babylonia, Media and Persia. This highly illustrated book details their costume, weapons and the way they waged war.
Osprey's study of William Wallace's rebellion in the First War of the Wars of Scottish Independence (1296-1357). The death of the last of the Scottish royal house of Canmore in 1290 triggered a succession crisis. Attempts to undermine Scottish independence by King Edward I of England sparked open rebellion culminating in an English defeat at the hands of William Wallace at Stirling Bridge in 1297. Edward gathered an army, marched north and at Falkirk on 22 July 1298 he brought Wallace's army to battle. Amid accusations of treachery, Wallace's spearmen were slaughtered by Edward's longbowmen, then charged by the English cavalry and almost annihilated. In 1305 Wallace was captured and executed, but the flame of rebellion he had ignited could not be extinguished.
By the end of the nineteenth century the fame of the Zulu was world-wide, and their army was one of the few non-European military organizations to have become the subject of serious historical study. Their very name is still synonymous with bravery, discipline and military skill. This excellent addition to Osprey's Men-at-Arms series tells the story of the Zulus at war, from their rise to unrivalled power under the fearsome Shaka to the final devastating defeat against the British at Ulundi, detailing Zulu weapons and tactics, and the famous battles in which they fought.
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