This month, Weapon is our series of choice for the Book Vote. Covering a range of history, this list of five new title ideas looks at weapons from the medieval knight right through to rifles of World War I. Which area of history grabs your attention more, which weapons do you want to know more about? Have a read of the descriptions below, and click the link to have your say!

Also, keep reading for the results of last month's New Vanguard book vote. 

WPN: Weapons of the Medieval Knight

WPN: Weapons of the Ninja

WPN: Early Military Rifles

WPN: Weapons of the Civil War Cavalryman

WPN: Sniping Rifles of World War I                               

Weapons of the Medieval Knight

Whether fighting on horseback or on foot, the medieval man-at-arms employed a wide variety of formidable close-combat weaponry, from axes, hammers and maces to swords, daggers and lances. His choice of weapons was informed not only by the circumstances of battle, but also by the traditions of his homeland and his personal preferences. This study assesses the origins, effectiveness and legacy of a host of close-quarter weapons used by such troops in the context of medieval warfare, from pitched battles to siege operations.

Weapons of the Ninja

Separating the legends from the reality, this study investigates the weapons and equipment traditionally associated with the ninja, Japan’s secret agents and undercover warriors. A wide variety of objects, ranging from samurai edged weapons to agricultural tools, could be adopted, adapted and employed by the ninja, while specialized weapons such as blow pipes and throwing weapons were developed for their use. Also assessed are other elements of equipment used by the ninja, such as caltrops, torches, bombs and booby traps.

Early Military Rifles

During the 18th century both Austria and Prussia fielded light troops armed with rifled firearms, while conflicts in North America involved the deadly long rifle and the innovative Ferguson breech-loader. These highly accurate weapons were slow to load, meaning that the majority of the infantry retained the smoothbore flintlock musket. Rifle-armed specialists fought for several nations during the Napoleonic Wars, but it was the decades after 1815 that saw the appearance of successful rifled percussion firearms and the Minié ball, paving the way for the widespread issue of rifled weapons.

Weapons of the Civil War Cavalryman

During the American Civil War, the mounted soldiers fighting on both sides carried a wide array of weapons, from sabres and lances to carbines, revolvers and other firearms. The sheer variety of weaponry carried reflected the mounted soldiers’ various roles in different theatres of operation, but also the availability – or otherwise – of weapons, notably on the Confederate side. This study assesses the effectiveness of the various weapons equipping the Civil War cavalryman and the consequent decisions made concerning the armament of the US cavalry after 1865.

Sniping Rifles of World War I

In August 1914, only Germany fielded snipers equipped with scoped rifles, but as the initial clashes gave way to trench warfare other combatants – notably Britain and France, later joined by the United States – also employed sharpshooters on the battlefield. German and Austrian snipers were also active on other fronts, as were Italian snipers in the Alps. This study investigates the firearms adapted for sniping by the various combatants, along with the scopes and other accessories employed by snipers during World War I, and the evolution of sniping doctrine and practice.

Make your vote by clicking here!

Last month's book vote received quite a bit of attention, and saw Polish Warships sail into first place. Despite some competition initially, it wasn't enough to see the warships knocked off the top spot.

 NVG: Warships of the Republic of Venice      17%   
 NVG: Combat Airboats 1915–2015    6% 
 NVG: Warships of the Spanish Civil War                14%
 NVG: Polish Warships 1939-45     56% 
 NVG: The Modern Indian Navy    7%

Post Comments

Hessy Field posted on 5 Feb 2019 12:54:23
I admit to being a bit dubious about the scale of victory of last month's book vote - are there any checks on multiple voting by individuals?

I would also agree with Paintybeard's comments about the direction the Weapon series seems to be heading judging by the voting options - it seems to be undermining what I understood to be the original remit and is starting to put me off the series. You could easily have individual standalone titles on the "Chassepot" and "Dreyse" (there are single volumes on the "Enfield" and "Trapdoor Springfield", so why not?). Indeed you could have a volume on "Seventeenth Century Rifles" - the true genesis of the rifle as a weapon. And while I'm on a role what about "The Matchlock Musket", "The Arquebus" (including Japanese use and manufacture) and "Wheel-lock Pistols and Carbines"?
Further, given the options above, rather than having a generic title about the Medieval Knight, what about separate books on "The Medieval War Hammer", "Medieval Maces and Morning-stars" and "The Medieval Lance"?
I'm not really inclined to vote for any of these - at a pinch, I might go for "Sniping Rifles of World War I".
Paintybeard posted on 1 Feb 2019 08:52:15
A very strange and rather lop-sided vote last month.

Starting to worry about the Weapon series. 4 out of the 5 titles offered are "Weapons of..." which I think is going to be much more diffuse and less informative than the titles we have have to date. We are moving away from books about how one weapon was designed, manufatured and used to books about how one sort of soldier was armed. And that should be covered by "Warrior".

Even "Early Military Rifles" leaves me a little cold, if it doesn't cover Dreyse and Chassepot.

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