Early Modern

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BRIEFING ROOM: Nader Shah

Look at that bling – who was he? Hailed by historians as ‘a second Alexander’ and ‘the Napoleon of the East’, Nader Shah was Shah (monarch) of Persia from 1736 to 1747. He was a gifted military commander and used his prowess to build a huge empire that included Iran, Afghanistan, the North Caucasus, northern India, and much of central […]

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After Culloden: from rebels to Redcoats

Robbie MacNiven explores the fate of the Scots who survived Culloden. On a bitterly cold April afternoon in 1746, on moorland just east of the town of Inverness, the power of Scotland’s Highland clans was forever broken. The Battle of Culloden Moor marked not just the final defeat of Charles Edward Stuart and his Jacobite […]

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Renaissance galleys

The galleys were the most effective vessel in Mediterranean naval warfare during the 16th century. This was the Indian summer of an ancient warship that gave primacy to oars over sails and, in a Renaissance context, a level cannon-bearing platform over a rounded keel – thus, in effect, turning sea battles into land battles. The […]

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The Dutch War of Independence

When the war began in 1566, Imperial Spain was the world’s greatest superpower. By the time it ended, in 1609, ‘the Spanish century’ was over.  The Dutch War of Independence was the defining conflict of its era. It secured the triumph of the Reformation in north-west Europe, and along the way reconfigured the geopolitics of the Continent. It also produced one […]

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BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD – COMBINATION WEAPONS

You would think that combining two deadly weapons to create a super-weapon would be a smart move for any warmonger. Some combination weapons, however, were simply over-ambitious monsters: clumsy, cumbersome, useless. The popularity of the combination weapon rose during the 16th and 17th centuries, when weapons-smiths were innovators and owning a trident dagger elevated one’s […]

Opinion – Battlefields of neglect

Neil Faulkner rails against the neglect of historic battlefields and a warped view of British history. Visit the battlefield of Evesham and you will find most of it private property with minimal public access. What happened here? As Steve Roberts explains this issue (see War Zone), it was where Simon de Montfort perished with many […]

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