Medieval Military Combat

Battle Tactics and Fighting Techniques of the Wars of the Roses

Dr Tom Lewis OAM

This books shows for the first time the battle techniques of the medieval period and reexamines the sources for battle numbers.
Date Published :
April 2021
Publisher :
Illustration :
50 illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612008875
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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A concise and entertaining explanation of how other accounts, and popular culture such as films, have misrepresented medieval warfare.

We don't know how medieval soldiers fought. Did they just walk forward in their armor smashing each other with their maces and poleaxes for hours on end, as depicted on film and in programs such as Game of Thrones?

They could not have done so. It is impossible to fight in such a manner for more than several minutes as exhaustion becomes a preventative factor.

Indeed, we know more of how the Roman and Greek armies fought than we do of the 1300 to 1550 period.

So how did medieval soldiers in the War of the Roses, and in the infantry sections of battles such as Agincourt and Towton, carry out their grim work?

Medieval Military Combat shows, for the first time, the techniques of such battles. It also breaks new ground in establishing medieval battle numbers as highly exaggerated, and that we need to look again at the accounts of actions such as the famous Battle of Towton, which this work uses as a basic for its overall study.

About The Author

Dr. Tom Lewis served for 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy, during which time he saw active service in Baghdad, where he led American forces, and East Timor. As a museum director he led two museums to new success; the Royal Australian Naval College Historical Collection at HMAS Creswell – for which services he received an Order of Australia; and the Darwin Military Museum, where he was Director for five years. He holds a master’s degree in Cold War Politics from University of Queensland and a Strategic Studies from Charles Darwin University.

Tom was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2003 for services to naval history. Further decorations include the Australian Active Service Medal; the Iraq Campaign Medal, and the United States Army Commendation Medal.

Tom is in popular demand from radio and television stations across the globe for his insightful comments on military history and how it intersects with modern-day life. He is a regular speaker to community groups, and appears often in TV documentaries, including lately with Neil Oliver in Coasts, and in Sir Tony Robinson’s Tour of Duty. He produced with Military Myths Defeated the documentary of The Borella Ride, the Anzac Centenary commemoration of Lieutenant Albert Borella VC, who rode 1000 kilometres in the Northern Territory Wet Season to sign up for the Great War. Tom was the Lead Historian for the Ride. Albert Borella VC, an Incredible Journey screened nationally in Australia on Channel 9. He was also Historian for the 2017 Northern Territory Government project The Territory Remembers, the commemoration of 75 years since the first enemy attacks on Australia. He lives in Darwin, Australia with his wife.


1. The genesis of infantry combat
2. The evidence of medieval combat
3. Armour
4. Arms
5.. The Longbow’s Place in Medieval Battle
6.. The effectiveness of poleaxes
7. How were medieval battles fought?
8. Towton as an example
9. Conclusion


“A very good read for anyone trying to better understand warfare in the period and also for those interested in analytical approaches to the study of poorly documented conflicts.”

- The NYMAS Review

"Wargamers interested in the Wars of the Roses simply must read this book – especially if they are writing or selecting rules for the period – and so should any screenwriters and directors of battles for fantasy or medieval film or television epics!"

- Miniature Wargames

“The book seems to have the ambition to be the one book a reader will need to begin to understand Towton and the War of the Roses.”

- The Medieval Review

“This is an excellent book for the reader to learn about the actual fighting of a medieval battle compared to the Hollywood version we have stuck in our minds.”

- A Wargamer’s Needful Things

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