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Osprey's study of the Battle of Bannockburn, which was part of the First War of Scottish Independence (1296-1328) and the climax of the career of King Robert the Bruce. In 1307 King Edward I of England, 'The Hammer of the Scots' and nemesis of William Wallace, died and his son, Edward II, was not from the same mould. Idle and apathetic, he allowed the Scots the chance to recover from the grievous punishment inflicted upon them. By 1314 Bruce had captured every major English-held castle bar Stirling and Edward II took an army north to subdue the Scots. Pete Armstrong's account of this pivotal campaign culminates at the decisive battle of Bannockburn that finally won Scotland her independence.
With the exception of the key royal sites, such as Stirling and Edinburgh, few Scottish castles were located at strategic points, or were intended to house garrisons required to defend or subjugate towns. Instead they were primarily fortified dwelling houses, erected in an environment of weak Royal authority and endemic feuding between rival clans and groups, in both Highland and Lowland areas. Although some enceinte castles were developed during the 16th and 17th centuries, most defensive construction focused on the tower house, a distinctive vernacular style of Scottish fortification. This book examines the design, development, and purpose of these quintessentially Scottish buildings, and also covers larger sites such as Urquhart and Blackness.
The War of 1812 was never the most popular of conflicts on both sides of the Atlantic. Bogged down by their involvement in the Napoleonic conflict in Europe, the British largely relied on the power of the Royal Navy in the early years of the war. Part of this naval strategy was to blockade the American coastline in order to strangle American commerce and bring the new nation to its knees. Nowhere was this blockade more important than in the Chesapeake. Partly in response to the sacking of York (modern Toronto), the British decided to strike at the nation's capital, Washington, DC, and a force of Peninsular War veterans under General Robert Ross landed, defeated the Americans at the battle of Bladensburg and took Washington on August 24, 1814. Buoyed by this success, the British pressed on towards Baltimore. However, they were forced to withdraw at the battle of North Point, and a naval bombardment of Fort McHenry failed to reduce the fort and Baltimore was spared. With his intimate knowledge of the events in this theatre of war, Scott Sheads of Fort McHenry NPS brings these dramatic events of American history to life.
Charlemagne's conquest of the Saxons was the hardest fought and most protracted of his wars; it involved 18 campaigns spread across 33 years, a great deal of lower-level fighting and the harshest final peace settlement that Charlemagne ever imposed upon a defeated foe. Rapidly taking on the character of a religious conquest from its outset, it also became the most important of all Charlemagne's wars for the future direction and character of European history and began the long process of uniting the German-speaking peoples. With extensive photographs, full colour artworks, maps and bird's-eye-views, this volume unravels the initial stages of a convoluted sequence of events that led to the conquest of the Saxons and ultimately Charlemagne's consolidation of Saxony into the greater Carolingian Empire.
On the night of 1-2 April 1982, the Argentinian Junta led by Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri made its move against the Falkland Islands. On 3 April British Prime Minister Mrs. Margaret Thatcher faced an appalled and furious House of Commons to announce that Argentine armed forces had landed on British sovereign territory; had captured the men of Royal Marine detachment NP8901; had run up the Argentine flag at Government House; and had declared the islands and their population to be Argentine. An immediate response was required and a task force was rapidly assembled to head into the South Atlantic and retake the islands. From this point until the Argentine surrender on 14 June, the British forces fought what was in many ways a 19th-century style colonial campaign at the end of extended supply lines some 8,000 miles from home. This volume will detail the major stages of the land campaign to retake the islands, focusing on the San Carlos landings, the battle for Darwin and Goose Green, and the final battles for Mt Longdon, Tumbledown and Wireless Ridge, the mountains that surrounded the island's capital, Stanley.
For the overwhelming majority of people outside the French-speaking world the Hundred Years War consisted of a sequence of major English victories, above all Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt. The only significant victor or 'hero' on the French side was Joan of Arc, and she ended up being burned at the stake. Yet somehow the war ended in a French victory and with England's martial energies being turned against itself in the Wars of the Roses. This book is intended to provide some balance. It will describe the campaign that brought the Hundred Years War to a close, with English possessions being confined to Calais and the Channel Islands. It will also explain how the somewhat unprepossessing and unmartial King Charles VII of France succeeded where his predecessors had failed. The campaign consisted of more than battles, of course, but it was marked by two major victories - at Formigny in 1450 and at Castillon in 1453. Formigny is of special interest because it saw French cavalry defeat English archers, in effect a reversal of Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt, and could be interpreted as one of the last 'medieval' battles. Castillon is of interest because it was a victory of gunpowder artillery in fixed positions over a traditional medieval assault by mixed infantry and cavalry, and thus could be interpreted as one of the first 'modern' battles.
After the British garrison of Fort William Henry in the colony of New York surrendered to the besieging army of the French commander Marquis de Montcalm in August 1757, it appeared that this particular episode of the French and Indian War was over. What happened next became the most infamous incident of the war - and one which forms an integral part of James Fenimore Cooper's classic novel The Last of the Mohicans - the 'massacre' of Fort William Henry. As the garrison prepared to march for Fort Edward a flood of enraged Native Americans swept over the column, unleashing an unstoppable tide of slaughter. Cooper's version has coloured our view of the incident, so what really happened? Ian Castle details new research on the campaign, including some fascinating archaeological work that has taken place over the last 20 years, updating the view put forward by The Last of the Mohicans.
The works of French novelist Alexandre Dumas have been reproduced time and again on stage and screen. Based on a genuine memoir by an officer named D'Artagnan, Dumas published The Three Musketeers. The King's Musketeers were formed in 1622 and were populated by young men of noble birth, but often of poorer means. The Musketeers served as a form of military academy, which enabled these men to qualify for commission into the regular army, but the academy was not just a schoolroom - the Musketeers served in all major battles and campaigns of the period; their reputation for bravery was well deserved. This title explores the history behind the legends created by Dumas. Drawing on historical and fascinating accounts the truth of this most colourful and flamboyant of units is revealed.
George Washington may be one of history's most underrated commanders. Overlooked in favour of his contemporaries such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Frederick the Great, Washington's achievements are arguably more impressive. Frederick and Napoleon inherited formidable militaries, and both had extensive military training and experience prior to assuming command of armies. Washington built his army from scratch, was self-taught, and had never commanded anything larger than a regiment before assuming command of the Continental Army in 1775. This new Command title will track the development of Washington's military career from his early missteps to his heroic efforts during the Revolutionary War that led him on the path to the presidency.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Ironside is symbolic of the one occasion when the army took an active role in British politics. He represents a unique period when ordinary people displaced the established order to take political control into their own hands. In the nineteenth century a rash of historical publications, paintings and statues with a civil war theme reflected the political divisions of Victorian society and Royalist and Parliamentarian causes were argued over again, reflecting the sub text of contemporary political struggles. This book attempts to take a wider view of the Ironside as a warrior who evolved from the experiments of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries to combine firepower with the armoured cavalryman.
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, is one of the great commanders of history. Using his great charm and diplomatic skills he was able to bind troops from various European states into a cohesive army that won a string of victories over the French armies of King Louis XIV, the first of which was perhaps his most spectacular triumph - the battle of Blenheim. Other great victories followed, but political and social turmoil proved harder opponents to defeat. This book provides a detailed look at the many highs and lows in the career of the most successful British general of his era.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Osprey's examination of the COntinentals' first battle of the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). General Sir William Howe's NewYork campaign gave the British their best chance of destroying the Continental Army and George Washington's resistance to colonial power. Having initially assembled his forces on Staten Island, Howe succeeded in dividing the Continentals, defeated them on Long Island and forced Washington to retreat to Brooklyn Heights. Under siege there Washington successfully extricated his troops and crossed the East River to Manhattan but soon had to fall back on Harlem Heights. After a few weeks Howe forced the Continentals north to White Plains and defeated them again. However, he allowed Washington to withdraw and preserve his army when more aggressive pursuit could have brought the campaign to a decisive conclusion and ended the war. Instead, with the British army rapidly weakening and facing huge manpower shortages, Washington emerged from a succession of defeats to produce what was ultimately a war-winning strategy. The author provides fascinating insights into a unique campaign in which a string of British victories ultimately led to failure and defeat.
The recent 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, combined with the threat of significant cuts to the current RAF, have highlighted the importance of Fighter Command in the early days of World War II once more. The role of the "few", as described by Churchill, during the Battle of Britain has been the subject of much mythologizing both at the time and in the years since.This title will put Fighter Command in context; describing the lack of funding and attention which it received during the interwar period, until it was almost too late. The myth of the fighter pilot will be humanized, with first-hand accounts quoted which put nervous but brave human beings from all walks of life in the cockpit, not the fearless, arrogant public school boys who appear in popular fiction. Although the Battle of Britain may not have in itself been the decisive encounter that it has historically been portrayed as, the moral victory won by the RAF, the victory that proved that Germany could be defeated, was just as important as a military-strategic victory.Other aspects of these early days of Fighter Command will also be given a more detailed exploration - the obsolete but tenacious Gladiators over Norway, the Hurricanes in support of the BEF and air cover over Dunkirk. Thus giving a rounded picture of the early years and development of Fighter Command and its pilots.
In the summer of 1642 the First Civil War between king and parliament had broken out in England. Initially both sides were confident of victory, but after the first campaigns ended in stalemate they began looking for allies. The meddling of the Stuart Kings with Scotland's religious traditions provoked the National Covenant, and later the Solemn League and Covenant. Yet many Scots continued to support the King, and after his execution, his exiled son.This fine text by Stuart Reid examines the Scots armies who fought in the English Civil Wars (1642-1651), and features numerous illustrations and photographs, including full page colour plates by Graham Turner.
The battle of Talavera in 1809 was one of the major battles of the Peninsular War and Arthur Wellesley's first victory in Spain itself, following which he was created Viscount Wellington of Talavera and Wellington. Although Wellesely's forces were outnumbered, and a sizeable contingent of the Spanish ran away, he had chosen a superb defensive position and was able to beat off successive French attacks, though at a heavy cost in terms of casualties. Although the French had withdrawn leaving Wellesley the master of the field, his high casualties and approaching French reinforcements led to Wellesley withdrawing to Portugal. His foray into Spain had an enormous effect on Spanish morale as they realized they were not alone in the struggle. British redcoats had had got to within 70km of Madraid, and they would return in future years.
Following the battle of White River and the fall of Forts Washington and Lee during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), George Washington withdrew his army, crossing the Delaware River to regroup. However, with morale at a critical low and the terms of enlistment of many of his troops set to expire, Washington decided on one more strike before the winter weather made military operations impossible. Re-crossing the Delaware on Christmas night, 1776, Washington's army surprised the Hessian garrison at Trenton and managed to kill, wound or capture 1,000 of the enemy for the loss of only four men. Then, avoiding a major engagement with the British Army under General Cornwallis that had been sent to track him down, Washington attacked and defeated another small British force at Princeton. Having inflicted two costly and embarrassing defeats on the British forces, Washington withdrew his army into winter quarters at Morristown. Using a combination of modern photographs and period artwork, this book tells the story of the legendary campaign that restored the morale of American forces, caused the British to abandon large parts of New Jersey, and established General George Washington's reputation as a daring military strategist.
Over the course of the nineteenth century gardening came to be considered a respectable profession, providing a means to an education, a good chance of advancement and decent working conditions. The hierarchy of the garden staff became just as regimented as that of domestic servants, and progression was attained by hard work, self-improvement and ambition. Training courses and apprenticeships prepared young gardeners for their trade and horticulture became recognized as a skilled profession, with the head gardener commanding a position of influence and respect and women overcoming social barriers to join their peers on equal terms. This book explores the gardening profession within the complexities of Victorian society and the advances in science and technology that pushed the gardener further into the limelight.
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