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The True Bosworth Field?

In Military History
An old blog from the hallowed Osprey archives that has suddenly become very interesting...Continue Reading
With CAM 222: Salamis 480BC well into production, I am now researching Plataea, the battle that finally drove the Persians out of Greece in 479. This is, without doubt, one of those "battles that changed history" (more precisely, battles where history would have been changed if the other side had won!). In terms of forces engaged it was a bigger battle than either Gettysburg or Waterloo, it lasted 11 or 12 days, and it was an equally "close run thing". In it, hoplites were pitted against superior numbers of lighter-armed, more mobile Asian infantry and cavalry, employing missile tactcs against their close-quarter style of combat. There were also Greek hoplites and heavier, northern Greek cavalry fighting with commitment on the Persian side. The crucial intervention early in the battle of the Athenian archers, the only ones in the Greek army, is clearly documented, but the contribution of the huge body of non-hoplite troops, who outnumbered the hoplites by thousands is only hintedContinue Reading

Visiting Flodden

In Military History
On the way home, the day after my visit to Bannockburn and my Scots cousin's wedding, I thought I should celebrate the other half of my ancestry by visiting Branxton, the site of an English victory, better known as Flodden Field. It was a beautiful June morning, and it was hard at first to relate this orderly, modern agricultural landscape with larks singing above it to the business that was done on that damp, grey September afternoon almost five centuries ago. Up to 8,000 Scots died, including their gallant king, and English losses were around 1,500, quite severe for such a total victory. However, CAM 168, an excellently laid-out and signed battlefield trail, well-presented exhibits in the museum at nearby Etal Castle and distinctive terrain soon combined to make this a very rewarding visit.Continue Reading
A few weeks ago my manuscript was delivered. The childbirth metaphor is entirely appropriate and the labour pains have kept me off blogging for a couple of months. Back in January I claimed to "have been making good progress with the writing". This was three months on from triumphantly blogging that the book had been formally contracted. Back in February 2008, now feeling like a lifetime ago, my first post on the subject was grandly titled "How to write an Osprey book". As if I knew......!Continue Reading

New evidence from Bosworth Field

In Military History
Some interesting archaeological research was published in April last year that located the area of marshy ground which, according to contemporary sources, significantly shaped the battle that brought the reign of Richard III, the Plantagenet era and the Wars of the Roses to an end. The new evidence strongly suggested that the main fighting was done some distance to the south of the area generally identified as Bosworth Field. Further investigation and significant finds of artillery shot have now confirmed this interpretation.Continue Reading

Napoleonic Picture Competition Answers

In Military History
How did you get on? This was meant to be challenging, but we were a bit disappointed by the number of our Buonapartistas who rose to the challenge! We thought you'd enjoy burrowing into your reference libraries and digging and delving on the web, and hope some of you did do just that. Mike will be contacting prizewinners shortly.Continue Reading

Visiting Bannockburn

In Military History
The National Trust for Scotland's Bannockburn Heritage Centre, just south-west of Stirling, is closer to the location of the first day's fighting than that of the decisive second day, further east and now mostly built over. However, the open country to the west and south must still bear some resemblance to the ground on which Robert Bruce won his famous duel with Henry de Bohun, dancing round his lumbering charger on his nimble grey and splitting his helmet and skull with one blow of his axe.Continue Reading

Snipers and Service Aces

In Military History
An article in the Independent’s Saturday Magazine, "Return of the Sniper", provided a nice updating footnote to Martin Pegler’s gripping studies of the lethal craft, Out of Nowhere and Sniper, full-length sequels to his best-selling Elite on the subject. Reading the piece as I watched Wimbledon, I remembered the post I wrote a couple of years ago on sniping and tennis.Continue Reading

Win "Armies of the Napoleonic Wars"!

In Military History
How well do you know the vast range of images that document and celebrate the extraordinary career of Napoleon Bonaparte, from Gentleman-Cadet, who, according to one of his instructors, “would go far if circumstances favoured him”, to L’Empereur. Answer the questions about the following four paintings for a chance to win a copy of the sumptuous "Armies of the Napoleonic Wars".Continue Reading
A while back I did a couple of posts inspired by recent obituaries. I saw a brief article the other day recording the death of Walter Palmer, one of the now very few surviving Tuskegee Airmen, feared and respected by the Germans as the 'Schwartze Voglemenschen' (Black Birdmen). Palmer makes a couple of appearances in Aviation Elite Units: 332nd Fighter Group – Tuskegee Airmen, which we published just in time for the ceremony belatedly honouring this extraordinary unit . I found a great portrait of Palmer. In the same paper there was a fuller obituary of another remarkable World War II veteran, John Gunn, and this led me to another....Continue Reading

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