Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100-1550

Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100-1550

3.74 (120 ratings by Goodreads)
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Alongside the familiar pitched battles, regular sieges, and large-scale manoeuvres, medieval and early modern wars also involved assassination, abduction, treason and sabotage. These undercover operations were aimed chiefly against key individuals, mostly royalty or the leaders of the opposing army, and against key fortified places, including bridges, mills and dams. However, because of their clandestine nature, these deeds of "derring-do" have not been studied in any detail, a major gap which this book fills. It surveys a wide variety of special operations, from the eleventh to the sixteenth century. It then analyzes in greater depth six select and exciting operations: the betrayal of Antioch in 1098; the attempt to rescue King Baldwin II from the dungeon of Khartpert in 1123; the assassination of Conrad of Montferrat in 1192; the attempt to storm Calais in 1350; the "dirty war" waged by the rulers of France and Burgundy in the 1460s and 1470s; and the demolition of the flour mill of Auriol in 1536.

"A portrait of espionage, covert operations, assassination squads, and the deep penetration of seemingly invulnerable fortresses or security systems matching anything to be found in the war stories of the modern era." MATTHEW BENNETT, SANDHURST.

Professor YUVAL NOAH HARARI teaches at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is the author of the international bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 17.78mm | 566.99g
  • The Boydell Press
  • Woodbridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 6 Line drawings, black and white; 8 Illustrations, color
  • 1843834529
  • 9781843834526
  • 39,816

Table of contents

Special Operations, Strategy and Politics in the Age of Chivalry: An Analytical Overview
The Gateway to the Middle East: Antioch, 1098
Saving King Baldwin: Khartpert, 1123
The Assassination of King Conrad: Tyre, 1192
For a Sack-full of Gold Ecus: Calais, 1350
Princes in the Cross-Hairs: The Rise and Fall of Valois Burgundy, 1407-1483
The Mill of Auriol: Auriol, 1536
Works Cited
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Review quote

Unequivocally illustrate[s] the importance of special operations and of small scale initiatives in medieval warfare. Harari's prose and research will appeal to both academics and enthusiasts of military history. Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100-1550 is a great contribution to the field and should inspire many more studies. DE RE MILITARI

The prose is detailed but very clear and coloured plates, maps, etc., help. BIBLIOTHEQUE D'HUMANISME ET RENAISSANCE

A scholarly but eminently readable account of undercover operations in medieval warfare. CLASSIC ARMS & MILITARIA

An entertaining but also learned book, from which it is possible to glean much about medieval military history. BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE

A wide-ranging study, which sets medieval warfare in a novel perspective. EHR

Highly readable.[...] This is a popular book, but a scholarly one and a worthy addition to the well-known series Warfare in History. CRUSADES

Recommended. CHOICE
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Rating details

120 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 28% (34)
4 33% (40)
3 27% (32)
2 8% (9)
1 4% (5)
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