News and updates: poll Volume V and fighting in armour

This is our news update of Friday 3 October. Today, copies of MW IV-5 are shipped to subscribers and those who pre-ordered the issue. Another issue all finished, so time to focus on the next one. MW IV-6 will cover the Byzantine-Lombard Wars in Italy. It promises to become another great issue, so keep an eye out for news and pre-order discounts.
With the final issue of Volume IV being the next issue, it’s time for us to start looking at Volume V. The first issue of that volume (theme: traitors in medieval military history) is already fixed. The proposal for the second issue, which will focus on Charlemagne, will close in 12 days. For those of you who’d like to contribute, don’t forget to send in a proposal before 15 October.

Volume V poll update:

15 October is also the closing date for our Volume V poll. A while back, I promised you an update, so here are the results so far.:

MW V-3
The Conqueror: William the Bastard’s invasion of England – 18,83%
The War of the Roses: triumph for the Yorkists (1455-1461) – 29,92%
The First Barons’ War and Prince Louis VIII’s invasion – 14,18%
Dark Age England: the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy and the rise of Mercia – 29,01%
War of succession: The Anarchy – 8,07%

MW V-4
Frederick I Barbarossa’s Italian campaigns – 25,08%
Division in Northern Italy: open conflict between Guelphs and Ghibbellines (1260-1289) – 10,78%
The War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282-1302) – 16,18%
Charles VIII and the First Italian War (1494-1498) – 20,83%
The power of Al-Andalus: the reign of Almanzor (980-1002) – 27,13%

MW V-5
Piracy and naval warfare in the Middle Ages – 32,54%
The Rise of the cannon – 11,52%
Pre-gunpowder siege weapons – 10,29%
Logistics and financing war – 16,91%
The peasant at war: soldiers and rebels – 28,74%

MW V-6
Matthias Corvinus, Bohemia, and the Austrian-Hungarian Wars (1468-1488) – 23,53%
Sultan Murad I in the Balkans: the end of Serbia and Bulgaria – 18,63%
Menace from the east: the Mongols in Europe – 34,31%
A violent reform: the Hussite Wars – 16,18%
The reign of John Hunyadi – 7,35%

Nemesis of crusader and Mongols: the campaigns of Baibars – 13,48%
How to become a saint: the Crusades of Louis IX (7th and 8th Crusades) – 10,05%
The Kingdom of Jerusalem: expansion and fall (1100-1187) – 29,86%
Before Islam: Heraclius vs the Sassanids – 27,49%
Basil II: Bulgar-slayer – 19,12%

As you can see, several themes can still very much undecided. If your favourite topic is the runner –up, try to get in some extra votes. The poll will close on 15 October, at the end of the day.


- You’ll all be familiar with the stories about clumsy knights lumbering around in armour, too heavy to move quickly enough to counter more nimble lightly armoured opponents. Due to conservative (and sometimes very bad) historiography, but more importantly the image as portrayed by Hollywood and the like, have made sure that many people still think of heavily-armoured warriors as slow tanks – which is rather strange, as they could have easily guessed that the popularity of plate armour in the late Middle Ages would be plenty of evidence that armoured knights could move quite freely even if clad in plate. Luckily, anyone interested in medieval combat must by now have seen plenty of evidence that armoured warriors could be quite agile, if not from articles on medieval fighting treatises, then at least by having seen professional re-actors running around in full plate armour. Just to drive that message home, here’s a great video showing how nimble, and relatively safe, such warriors really were. 

- On 7 October 1513, Venetian forces were defeated by Spanish troops under the famous General Ramon de Cordona at the Battle of La Motta, a major clash during the War of the League of Cambrai. The result effectively ended Venetian participation to the conflict, but the Holy League did not follow up on this success, leaving the French, under the new King Francis I, to defeat his adversaries at the Battle of Marignano. For more information on the War of the League of Cambrai, including Marignano, read Medieval Warfare II-5.

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