Warfare in the Seventeenth Century (Smithsonian History of Warfare)

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9780060891701: Warfare in the Seventeenth Century (Smithsonian History of Warfare)

In the seventeenth century the art of war underwent a very quiet revolution. Although the weapons changed from the pike to the socket bayonet and the uniformed dress appeared on the battlefield, there was no 'birth of the modern army', but rather a gradual evolution of military techniques and the conduct of war. Improvements in the design of fortifications, prompted by advances in firearms technology, had subtle but far-reaching effects. Wars became longer and armies larger. The resulting cost required the princes and rulers of Europe to reform the administrative apparatus in order to better control their resources. Thus, while most armies remained mercenary formations, motivated by economic considerations rather than national allegiance, governments themselves started to become more absolute and more centralised. John Childs, one of the world's foremost historians of the period, charts this fascinating evolution in a concise and authoritative account.

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Paperback. Pub Date: 2006 08 Pages: 240 in Publisher: Harper Paperbacks During the 17th century technological evolutions in fortifications and arms meant that wars grew longer. Armies larger and military formations can arise more disciplined. Yet the militias remained primarily mercenary; although armaments developed from the pike to the socket bayonet and uniforms began to appear. professionalism remained low. From the multifaceted conflicts of the Thirty Years' War to the campaigns of Louis XIV. a richly detailed picture emerges of military life and structure in the 1600s- -its conflicts and conduct. the rise of a standing army. the difficulties posed by reliance on paid soldiers. the changing weaponry. the politics overseeing it all. and the relentless world shift from ancient to modern.

Review:

'In summary here is an excellent book and an essential addition to the collection of anyone with an interest in this period. It is written in a readable style, has detailed information on its subject, and is lavishly illustrated. A 'must have'. ( JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR HISTORICAL RESEARCH)

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