Matchlocks to Flintlocks

Warfare in Europe and Beyond 1500–1700

William Urban

 
Date Published :
December 2011
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Language:
English
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781848326286
Pages : 304
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$50.00

Overview
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In the early modern world three dominant cultures of war were shaped by a synergy of their internal and external interactions. One was Latin Christian western Europe. Another was Ottoman Islam. The third, no less vital for so often being overlooked, was east–central Europe: Poland/Lithuania, Livonia, Russia, the freebooting Cossacks, a volatile mix of variations on a general Christian theme.

William Urban’s fascinating narrative is an integrated account of early modern war at the sharp end: of campaigns and battles, soldiers and generals. Temporally it extends from the French invasion of Italy in 1494 to Austria’s Balkan victories culminating in the 1718 Treaty of Peterwardein. Geographically it covers ground from the Low Countries to the depths of the Ukraine.

That narrative in turn focuses Urban’s major analytical points: the replacement of ‘crowd armies’ by professionals, and the professionals’ integration into crown armies: government-supervised, bureaucratized institutions. The key to this process was the mercenary. Originally recruited because the obligations of feudal levies were too limited, mercenary forces evolved operationally into skilled users of an increasingly complex gunpowder technology in ever more complex tactical situations. By the end of the seventeenth century, soldiers were identifying with the states and the rulers they served.

About The Author
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William L Urban is an internationally recognised authority on the history of European warfare. He served as L Morgan Professor of History and International Studies at Monmouth College (Illinois). For several years he was editor of the Journal of Baltic Studies. He has written some two dozen scholarly books including The Teutonic Knights (2003) and Small Wars, and their Influence on the Nation State (2016)

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