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Fighting Ships of the Far East (1) adds enormously to the hitherto small corpus of knowledge about a fascinating and little known subject. Using detailed descriptions, accurate cutaway plates and reliable historical examples, this book covers the history of Chinese ship design and naval warfare from the beginning of the Han dynasty to the first few years of the Ming dynasty. The epic battle of Lake Poyang in in 1363, won by the man who was to become the first Ming Emperor, is also detailed.
From the 10th to the mid-17th century, religious organisations played an important part in the social, political and military life in Japan. Known as sohei ('monk warriors') or yamabushi ('mountain warriors'), the warrior monks were anything but peaceful and meditative, and were a formidable enemy, armed with their distinctive, long-bladed naginata. The fortified cathedrals of the Ikko-ikki rivalled Samurai castles, and withstood long sieges. This title follows the daily life, training, motivation and combat experiences of the warrior monks from their first mention in AD 949 through to their suppression by the Shogunate in the years following the Sengoku-jidai period.
Kawanakajima is unique in history. In the space of 12 years, between 1553 and 1564, this valley deep in the mountains of central Japan witnessed no fewer than five battles between two of Japan's greatest warlords. Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin were both descended from great families and were highly skilled tacticians. Both had taken the tonsure and risen to high rank in their respective Buddhist sects. When Shingen attempted to seize control of Shinano province they were set on a collision course. Stephen Turnbull chronicles the see-saw struggle between two men who epitomize the warrior daimyo from Japan's 'Warring States' period.
The Ninja were the secret agents and assassins of feudal Japan and they remain a subject of enduring fascination. They first emerged during the power struggles of 9th and 10th century Japan, in response to the increasing demand for spies, informants and even assassins, and they were used until the mid-1600s when they disappeared on account of a campaign to destroy them. This title provides an accurate and detailed account of the reality of the Ninja, detailing their daily life, training, hiring, combat use and secret operations; also covered are the Ninja's use and knowledge of poisons, medicines and charms.
First mentioned by name in AD 297, the Picts inhabited Northern Britain from the end of the 3rd century AD to the 9th. They rose to power in the devastation following Emperor Septimus Severus's repression of the Caledonians in AD 208, and dominated Northern Britain for over 500 years, before vanishing mysteriously. The Picts represent a high point of Celtic civilisation, remaining free and unconquered beyond the borders of the Roman world, and rising to become the first barbarians to form a recognisable 'nation'. This title takes a detailed look at their origins, and examines Pictish heroic and warrior society, covering education and training, appearance and equipment, the status of women, and the experience of battle.
From the 11th century AD, East Asian armies made increasing use of exploding missiles and siege cannon to reduce the fortifications of their enemies. Some of these weapons were very similar to those used in Europe - for example, the heavy siege cannon used in the siege of P'yongyang during the Japanese invasion in the late 16th century. Others, like the Korean hwach'a carts mounting over a hundred rockets that were used to bombard the Japanese at Haengiu in 1593, were very different from their European contemporaries. This book details the design and use of the wide range of weaponry available during this period.
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