Monday, June 23, 2008

Military History and Warfare: The Crusades: How were the Crusaders able to get to conquer, and establish themselves in the East?

I was very fortunate to sit through Christopher Tyerman’s lecture series on the Crusades as a undergraduate. Although I greatly enjoyed his lectures, one particular remark has always stuck with me above everything else. At the beginning of the first week, there were some fifty students in the lecture theatre. As the weeks continued (and it being the summer term with exams on the way) numbers began to dwindle. Eight weeks later, at the start of the final lecture, few of us remained of the original fifty. Dr. Tyerman surveyed the rows of empty chairs and counted eight of us left. “Well” he said. “I suppose this is about the right proportion who would have survived a crusade.” We burst into laughter.

Given the incredible hazards of the journey to the Holy Land and the low survival rate of the average Crusader, it is interesting to consider how exactly westerners were able to establish themselves and even thrive in Palestine in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The likelihood of an expedition succeeding was not very high. This is supported when one looks at the failures of the other Crusades to the East. In comparison to the First Crusade, the Second Crusade in 1147 was almost a total failure.

Byzantine support
Despite attempts by Latin Chroniclers such as Fulcher of Chartres to discredit the Byzantines, the First Crusade owed much to the active co-operation of Alexius Comnenus. The Crusaders rendezvoused at Constantinople before embarking on their quest. They would have had little knowledge of the ‘lay of the land’ in the territories to which they would be crossing. Even Fulcher highlights the necessity of securing Greek counsel and assistance. It was they who controlled communications and would have to keep supply lines open for the main crusading army. Proof of the necessity of Byzantine support can be offered through looking at the results of the Second Crusade. The First Crusaders had the knowledge and experience of Tactikus, an old soldier with long familiarity of warfare in Anatolia. The Second Crusaders did not receive the level of assistance that Alexius I had provided to their predecessors because Manuel had made long-term truce arrangements with the Seljuk Turks. Consequently, the expedition was largely conducted without any real knowledge of the dangers ahead. The First Crusaders may have felt abandoned after reaching Antioch, but that had been supplied and escorted on their journey by experienced troops provided by Byzantium.

Weaknesses in the Islamic world
The work of Carole Hillenbrand has done much to open up the Islamic perspective to western scholars concerning the arrival of the first crusaders. She argues that the Islamic world went through a series of catastrophic events during the last decades of the eleventh century, and as a result, the Crusaders were able to force their way into the East and establish states in hostile lands. In the space of less than two years, beginning in the 1092 there was a total sweep of all the major political pieces in the Islamic world. Nizam al-Mulk, the ruler of the Seljuks was murdered leading to a spiral of fratricide and power struggles. This diverted resources away from fighting western invaders. The disparate nature of the Seljuk army (consisting of standing troops, nomadic Turcomans, and groups of soldiers under provincial commanders) made strong military leadership under a Sultan essential for victory. This had been the case at Manzikert when the Turks had been led to victory under Alp-Arslan. In 1094, the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, al-Mutansir died. This succession of deaths in both the key power centres of the Islamic world led to disorientation and anarchy. This made the First Crusade all the more likely to succeed.

More significantly, to the survival of the Crusader states was the religious schism that had developed within the Islamic word. The Fatimid Ismaili shi’ites of Egypt shared a political enmity with the Seljuk Sunnis in Anatolia. Indeed the Crusaders would be able to play these groups off one another. In addition to this, the Fatimid Egyptians suffered further religious schism after the death of al-Mutansir in 1094 with the breakaway group known as ‘Assassins’. The concept of ‘Jihad’ had also become a rhetorical term and was not revived until later in the Middle Ages. Jerusalem in 1095 was not yet considered as important in the Muslim world as it would become in the build up to 1187 (the Fall of Jerusalem to Saladin). Economically in the period of the First Crusade, Egypt was suffering from famine and plague. It is therefore hardly surprising that the Muslim world was unable to offer serious concerted opposition to the arrival of Western armies.

Strong political leadership of the Crusader states
The establishment of the Crusader territories was vitally dependent upon the implementation of strong political leadership. Crucially, the first issue that had to be dealt with was the question of the political status of the territory surrounding the Holy places. Was it to be a state of the church governed by a papal legate, or simply a Christian kingdom in the Holy Land? The death of Adhemer of Le Puy had removed the legitimate channel of papal authority. Godfrey of Bouillon decided to take the title of ‘advocatus’, meaning a layman who protected and administered Church estates. This situation changed after Godfrey’s death in 1100 and the new ruler was able to assert his strength and become Baldwin I. The papal legate, Daimbert was slowly undermined until 1102, when he was sent into exile. The establishment of a king gave the opportunity for the practice of feudal forms of government already in operation in Europe at this time. The other three territories acknowledged the leadership of the kingdom of Jerusalem as shown by the high degree of co-operation between the Frankish states.

Co-operation of the Crusader kingdoms

In 1118, the forces of Jerusalem, Antioch and Tripoli combined to meet an army from Egypt and Damascus that was threatening the kingdom of Jerusalem. Roger of Antioch campaigned for three months with the king and gave the king three hundred of his own soldiers to strengthen the royal army. In addition, the traditional marriage alliances also helped to strengthen the solidarity of the Crusader states. At first the Crusaders were ill-equipped for the task of establishing themselves and securing territory. They lacked manpower and had suffered huge losses during the First Crusade. This was made worse by the departure of some of the most important magnates and their companies after Jerusalem had been taken (such as the Counts of Flanders and Normandy). The historian Malcolm Barber has gone so far to say that the major reason for the success of the kingdom was that the Muslims were in an even worse condition that the Crusaders, disunited and lacking a sense of unity.

Control of the coast

Control of the coast was essential in sustaining Crusader power. The ports gave the merchants a trading post and opened up the supply route to the west. Therefore the co-operation of the Italian city-states of Venice, Pisa and Genoa was crucial in maintaining operations in the Levant. In 1104 a fleet of Genoese ships had enabled Baldwin to capture the important port city of Acre and Genoa had received extensive trading privileges in return. Later the Venetians assisted with the blockade and capture of Tyre in 1124. The terms of their support gave the Venetians 1/3 of the city and made them almost entirely exempt from the payment of customs. The consequences of this and other grants was the establishment of autonomous Italian settlements in the trading cities of the Frankish states. They formed enclaves, under their own jurisdiction and administered by officials appointed by their mother-cities in Italy. The Italian fleets were essential in securing the Eastern Mediterranean from Muslim counter-attack, as well as successfully besieging coastal cities.

Contribution of the military orders
The chronic shortages of manpower would have proved fatal, if not for the establishment of the religious military orders. I have explored their contribution to defence of the Crusader States in more detail in earlier posts on this blog, but to summarise, the military orders provided much needed manpower to the Christian armies. The orders were an elite fighting force, dedicated to the defence of the Christian holy places in the Crusader states. Their network of financial resources in Europe enabled them to build castles and garrison strategic frontier areas on the borders of Muslim kingdoms and princedoms.

The disunity of the Muslim world was arguably the single largest factor in maintaining the western presence in the Levant. Although it took nearly ninety years for the Muslim world to organise itself effectively, they could afford to squabble during that time. For the westerners trying to establish themselves, disunity would have been disastrous.

If you are interested in reading more about the Crusader kingdoms, have a look at these books;


Malcolm Barber, ‘The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050-1320 (London and New York, 1993)

Jean Richard, ‘The Crusades c.1071-c.1291 (Cambridge, 1999)

Carole Hillenbrand, ‘The Crusades: Islamic perspectives (Edinburgh, 1999)

P.M. Holt, ‘The Age of the Crusades: The near east from the eleventh century to 1517 (London, 1986)

Alan V. Murray, The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: A Dynastic history 1097-1125 (Oxford, 2000)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Military History and Warfare: The American War of Independence: Bunker Hill

By the spring of 1775, tensions between the British government and the American colonists had reached boiling point. For months, provincial militias had been drilling on village greens and hoarding stocks of gunpowder. The first clash had occurred when British General Thomas Gage had sent a military force to the villages of Lexington and Concord on the 18th April to seize local munitions and supplies. Whilst negotiations continued between the British government and colonists, Gage gathered what reinforcements he could into Boston. By the end of May it was becoming increasingly clear that further conflict was inevitable. As such, the British government dispatched three additional generals to support Gage. Generals William Howe, Henry Clinton and John Burgoyne had all been hand picked for their experience.

The Plan

It seemed intolerable to the British commanders that an army of regulars should be bottled up in Boston by mere militia. They therefore conceived an elaborate plan to occupy the Charlestown promontory to the north and the Dorchester Heights to the south-east with token forces and draw the American flanks. In the meantime, the main British force would storm through the narrow Boston neck and across the Charles River to attack the main American concentration centred around Cambridge.

Opposing the British was Artemas Ward, the American Commander-in-Chief. Although his troops outnumbered the British, they were ill-equipped, ill-disciplined and lacking in coherent leadership. Command of the American regiments was exercised by competing Colonels, Israel Putnam, Colonel William Prescott, and Dr. Joseph Warren. They decided that a challenge must be made to disrupt British preparations. Three regiments were therefore marched onto the Charlestown Peninsula during the night of the 16th June. Digging with shovels, the Americans threw up fortifications on Bunker Hill. Four hours after arriving, the militiamen had constructed a shoulder-high earthen fort which offered protection from both musket fire and long-range cannon. This gave the Americans control of the heights overlooking Boston and therefore the potential to bombard the city with cannon. The British decided that the threat of bombardment must be dealt with before their own plan could be put into action. Crucially, however, they choose to wait until the next morning before taking any action. This gave the Americans further time to organise reinforcements and improve the fort.

The British landing

General Howe decided that the best means of dealing with the earthen fort would be by landing at the Charlestown neck and cutting them off. At 1:30 p.m. the first British assault barges set off loaded with ten light infantry and ten grenadier companies. Their landing was completely unopposed. Howe was so confident of success that he had his men pile arms and eat lunch whilst the landing barges went back for the second wave of troops. In the meantime, the Americans in the fort had been joined by another thousand militiamen. Further reinforcements also arrived in the form of John Starks’ New Hampshire regiment. These men were probably the best marksmen in the American army. Two hundred of them were sent into Charlestown to provide harassing fire on any passing British troops.

Howe had by now, assembled his forces at the bottom of Bunker Hill. However, they could not have been worse dressed for the ordeal that would follow. Their brilliant red coats made them ideal targets. Furthermore, each British grenadier carried a heavy load of 125 pounds with their muskets weighing an additional 10 pounds.

The Assault

Slowly three red lines of British soldiers began to move up the hill. The advance soon ran into difficulties caused by the terrain. The British line became badly broken up as the soldiers hacked away at the waist high grass and low stone walls and fences. By contrast, on the northern side of the hill, British light infantry quickly advanced up the hill. The militiamen were ready for them. The American commander had hammered a stake into the earth 40 yards from the stonewall his men were defending. He ordered his men to hold their fire until the British and passed the post. The first volley thundered down the hill and completely halted the advancing wave of infantry. As more troops passed over their bodies, two further volleys inflicted the same results. Howe’s infantry at the centre took the fire of 1,500 men firing in unison. All across the line, the British were suffering heavy losses. There was nothing to do except for them to retreat and reform for another attempt.




The British advance up the hill under heavy fire





Howe led his men for a second assault. Three times, he found himself entirely alone, with everybody around him killed or wounded. A third attack was then organised. By now many of the British units were down to just a quarter, or even a tenth of their original strength. Fortunately for the attackers, General Clinton had been watching the events from afar and arrived with further reinforcements. Howe’s artillery had also now been brought up with the forward troops. He quickly devised a new plan of leaving the surviving light infantry to act as a skirmishing force whilst the rest of his men took the breastwork in the flank. At this moment American supplies of ammunition and gunpowder also ran out. Howe’s plan succeeded and British bayonets were suddenly amongst the Americans manning the earthen works. It was at this stage that the Americans suffered most of their casualties as they began to retreat.

Conclusion and Aftermath

Although the British had taken the hill, their losses were staggering at nearly fifty percent. 226 were killed with 828 wounded. Casualties were particularly high amongst the officers, with 27 killed and 828 wounded. By contrast, the Americans lost 450 men. However, their relatively untrained forces had stood up to professionals and inflicted massive losses. It was a sign of things to come and was arguably a turning point in the morale of the American revolutionaries. Although the Americans had technically lost the battle, their actions helped to serve as a recruiting agent amongst other colonists still undecided as to the chances of success against the British army.

Taking Bunker Hill brought no long term advantage to the British. It had almost been a pyrrhic victory. The loss of so many men made any future actions untenable for the time being. The following March, the Americans seized the Dorchester Heights and constructed an even larger fort. The entire British force and a thousand American loyalists boarded the ships in the harbour for Halifax and left Boston.


If you are interested in finding out more about the Battle of Bunker Hill, have a look at these books;

Mary Englar, ‘The Battle of Bunker Hill (We the People: Revolution and the New Nation)’ (2007)

William Weir, ‘Fatal Victories: From the Crusades to Bunker Hill to the Vietnam War: History's Most Tragic Military Triumphs and the High Cost of Victory’ (2006)

Richard M. Ketchum, ‘Decisive Day: The Battle for Bunker Hill’ (1999)

Victor Brooks, ‘The Boston Campaign: April 1775-March 1776 (Great Campaigns): April 1775-March 1776 (Great Campaigns)’ (1999)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Military History and Warfare: World War II: Arnhem Bridge ‘A Bridge too Far’

The Allied land and airborne operation of September 1944, codenamed ‘Market Garden’ was an ambitious plan to end the war quickly by dropping 30,000 paratroopers into Holland. The paratroopers would seize and hold a series of bridges whilst the British XXX Corps would follow behind and advance into Germany. The battle at Arnhem bridge was only one battle in a series of engagements on the sixty-four mile road from the Meuse-Escaut Canal to the Neder Rijn. However, since the success of the whole operation depended upon seizing this bridge, it was also the most important.

I do not intend to dwell too much upon the entire operation, or indeed the entire British 1st Airborne Division, who quickly found themselves scattered around Arnhem and fighting for their lives. Instead I intend to focus on the 2nd Battalion of the 1st Parachute Brigade commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Frost. This was the sole battalion to reach its objective. Alone and cut-off they held the bridge for four days awaiting reinforcements that never came.

Seven hours after landing on the 17th September, Frost and his men got within sight of Arnhem bridge. A whole Brigade had initially been dispatched, but when Frost counted the number of troops with him that evening, he had just over 700. The battalion were able to seize one end of the bridge almost immediately. However, the other end was held by the Germans. That evening Frost’s men made two attempts to get across the bridge. Both attacks were beaten back by heavy fire from a German pillbox in the centre and an armoured car at the southern end. German trucks that tried to cross the bridge were destroyed, thus discouraging further attempts by the enemy to cross the bridge under the cover of darkness. Unable to contact Brigade HQ, Frost ordered his men to deploy in defensive positions in houses at the north end of the bridge and await reinforcements. However, the Germans reacted quickly and brought in nearby SS infantry and tank units to reinforce their end of the bridge. The only good news for Frost during the night of the 17-18th September was the arrival of most of the Brigade HQ along with a captured German truck loaded with ammunition from the original drop zone.

Frost and his men did not realise that the rest of the division were by now pinned down in desperate little battles all across Arnhem. By the early hours of the 18th September, the 1st Airborne division were fragmented all over Arnhem. Just a few hours after the landing, individual groups of paratroopers were engaged in private battles with whatever local forces they encountered. The breakdown in communications added to the general confusion and chaos. The Germans were well aware of the importance of the bridge. Thanks to the capture of Allied plans carelessly left in a glider, German Field Marshal Model was fully aware of the intention of Operation Market Garden. Whilst the British fought at Arnhem, the American 82nd and 101st were fighting to take the bridges at Nijmegan and Eindhoven. As long as Frost as his men held the North end of Arnhem Bridge, German armoured reinforcements to Nijmegan would be delayed.


British paratroopers landing at Arnhem




German counterattacks began as soon as sufficient forces were assembled on the German side of the bridge early in the morning of the 18th. These attacks continued throughout the day and were beaten back by the British without great loss. Despite these early successes, the growing number of casualties and shortages in ammunition made it imperative that additional units from 1st Airborne or XXX Corps broke through as soon as possible. By early afternoon of Tuesday the 18th, ammunition supplies were so low that it was necessary to stop any sniping and only open fire when an attack was actually in progress. The units of 9th SS Panzer facing them made full use of the lull in shooting to find better positions from which to fire onto the battalion. Half-tracks from 10th SS Panzer soon joined them and were deployed on the south bank. The balance of firepower and armour was rapidly turning against the paratroopers as the Germans launched intermittent assualts on the bridge. Every German fighting vehicle capable of withstanding small-arms fire became a threat to the beleaguered paratroopers. The British forces on the bridge had only hand-held PIATs with which to counter German armour. This spring loaded weapon was the British equivalent of the American bazooka or German Panzerfaust. Unfortunately it was considerably inferior to its counterparts in those armies. Despite this, Frost's men were able to repel multiple attacks, leaving a trail of wrecked German vehicles on the bridge.

Later on the 18th, a captured British paratrooper was sent back to the British side to convey a German request for the British to surrender. With the radio now picking up signals from the British spearheads further down at Nijmegan, Frost still had every reason to believe that XXX Corps would be arriving at any moment. The messenger did not bother to convey Frost’s decline of the German offer and instead took his place back in the line with the rest of his unit.

By Wednesday morning, the Germans were demolishing British defences one building at a time. German tanks fired phosphorus shells to force the paratroopers out of each shelter. Movement between buildings was also fraught with danger as the Germans had now covered the area with machine gun positions and snipers. Casualties were starting to fill the cellars underneath the buildings. Worse still, Frost himself was injured when a mortar exploded next to him. He handed over command to Major Gough of the Reconnaissance squadron, but insisted on being consulted on all major decisions.

With their ammunition almost gone, Frost's men found themselves fixing bayonets and engaging in hand to hand combat. Groups of two or three paratroopers would leave the shelter of the houses they were hiding in to attack Tiger tanks with their PIATs. In the midst of all the fighting, the battalion medical officers convinced Frost to ask the Germans for a two hour truce, during which the wounded would be taken into German hospitals. Following the resumption of fighting, the Germans launched a concentrated mortar barrage on the remaining British positions. Refusing to surrender, groups of paratroopers were simply overrun by superior German manpower backed up with fire support. Despite horrendous conditions, the battalion had managed to hold on to the bridge for three days and four nights. By the fourth day at 9:00, 21st September, all resistance on the bridge had ceased. Eight-one paratroopers had been killed, with many of the others wounded. Frost and the remnants of the battalion were marched off into captivity. They had held a difficult position against overwhelming odds with minimal resources. Their tenacity denied German forces in Nijmegan reinforcements that could have helped stem the Allied advance. Whilst Market Garden ultimately failed to achieve its objectives, the actions of the 2nd Battalion at Arnhem Bridge became legendary.

If you interested in reading more about Operation Market Garden, have a look at these books;

David Bennett, Magnificent Disaster: The Failure of the Market Garden, The Arnhem Operation, September 1944 (2008)

Robin Neillands, The Battle for the Rhine 1944 (London, 2005)

John Keegan, The Second World War (London, 1997)

Max Hastings, Armageddon: the Battle for Germany 1944-45 (London, 2004)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Military History and Warfare: The Thirty Years War: The military reforms of Gustavus Adolphus



By 1630 the Thirty Years War was in its twelfth year. Fearful of the creeping Habsburg encroachment into the Baltic, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden landed a small Swedish army of thirteen thousand men on the shores of Germany. For the next eighteen years, Swedish forces would play a key role in maintaining the Protestant cause. They were fortunate to be led by a man that would come to be known as the father of modern warfare.

Gustavus Adolphus

Gustavus Adolphus ascended to the throne of Sweden in 1611. In an age of religious extremism, he grew into a powerful advocate of the Protestant cause. As a child he had been well-tutored in military classics, as well as the works of Caesar and Vegetius. Crucially, he understood the organisational reforms introduced by Maurice of Nassau into the Dutch army early in the seventeenth century. Unlike many other rulers of the age, Gustavus had a firsthand understanding of the battlefield and of weapons. Early campaigns against the Poles and Russians in the 1620s gave him invaluable military experience. When he succeeded to the throne, Swedish forces were understrength, poorly organised and generally unprofessional. His reforms turned Sweden and the Swedish army into a first rate force that would later help determine the future of Europe.

Creation of a national army

In the early seventeenth century, most armies were heterogeneous compositions of various mercenary groups of different nationalities and ethnic groups. Maurice of Nassau had been one of the first to recognise that a truly professional army needed to be homogeneous. Gustavus decided to create an army that would remain Swedish at its core, but retain mercenaries in order to supplement numbers. To ensure that the mercenaries would be of high quality, he tried to retain forces that already had a proven track record of success. One of the best infantry regiments in the Swedish army was the Green Brigade, made up almost entirely of Scots.

To create the national army, he regulated the conscription process which had been gradually introduced in Sweden during the previous half-century. Drafts to supply men to the army were taken from existing militia units. He also made gifts of land for soldiers who had served for twenty years and set up administrative systems to ensure they were paid regularly whilst on active service. In order to support these military reforms, the king had to implement economic reforms at the same time. Gustavus expanded Swedish commerce, developing existing industries and natural resources. This allowed the state to operate on a regular annual budget and pay for its army.

Infantry tactics

Like Maurice of Nassau, Gustavus employed linear formations against the infantry tercios used by the Habsburg forces. He increased the number of musketeers and reduced the combat line to six ranks rather than the usual ten used by other armies. In addition, Swedish troops were equipped with the new, more reliable matchlock muskets. Gustavus also introduced packaged paper cartridges containing gunpowder and a ball. The system saved each musketeer considerable time in no longer having to worry about pouring the correct amount of powder under battlefield conditions.

The King’s reforms centred on working out effective tactics for attacking enemy infantry squares and heavy lines presenting a solid front of musket and pike. Swedish musketeers were trained to fire by volley of ranks so that continuous fire could be maintained. In preparing to receive an enemy charge, the musketeers formed up with the frontline kneeling so that they could fire a simultaneous volley. Once the enemy attack had been broken, pikeman and cavalry would advance.

Whilst pikeman were originally solely for defence (protecting the musketeers while they were reloading), Gustavus transformed them from being a purely defensive force into a means of offence. By removing most of their armour, pikeman were now able to charge across the battlefield. This aggressive use of the pike was innovative in an era where gunpowder was starting to dominate.

Reorganisation of cavalry

Gustavus made important contributions to the use of cavalry on the battlefield. His objective was to enable the cavalry to utilise its speed and impetus through a well-disciplined charge. Squadrons were eventually arrayed three ranks deep, fighting in the style of the Poles. Instead of merely harassing the enemy with pistol-fire, Swedish cavalry would now charge with swords at full speed. Only the first one or two ranks would fire their pistols, and only then before immediately attacking with their swords. Gustavus also equipped the dragoons with shorter versions of muskets, thus enabling them to fire from the saddle.

Artillery

The King’s early experiences of war in the 1620s had given him valuable insights into the science of artillery. Gustavus understood that the expert use of artillery on the battlefield would enable him to pierce enemy lines, rather than simply bombard them. Therefore the calibre of guns in the Swedish artillery train were reduced to just three varieties, the 24-pounder, the 12-pounder and the 3-pounder. Each would have a specific role. Gustavus used the 3-pound guns as light field pieces for use directly as support for the infantry and cavalry units. Each infantry regiment was assigned two of these light guns. To make these guns more mobile, lighter gun carriages were employed along with shortened gun barrels and a reduction in the thickness of metal used in the artillery tubes. This resulted in fewer wagons and horses being required to pull the artillery. In 1625 the army’s 36-gun train needed over 1000 horses and 220 wagons. By 1630, the Swedish artillery-train of 80 guns required only 1000 horses and 100 wagons.

These changes required radical technological improvements in the areas of design, casting and metallurgy. Sweden’s vast natural mineral resources made the creation of a large artillery force a realistic possibility. Through experimentation and the employment of foreign experts, Sweden artillery became the finest in Europe. Accuracy was insisted upon and gunners were given regular practice. At the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631, Swedish gunners were able to fire three shots to every one of the enemy.

Conclusion

Arguably King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was the first great modern military commander. His battlefield innovations were copied, but never bettered, by his opponents in the Thirty Years War. He took three distinctive units of the battlefield and moulded them into a force of combined arms. Arguable these tactics had not been seen in Europe since the Roman army. His contribution to military thinking and strategy dominated the age of gunpowder and pike and beyond.


Gary Dean Peterson, ‘The rise of an Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: warrior Kings of Sweden’ (Jefferson, 2007)

Lars Ericson, Martin Hårdstet, Per Iko, Ingvar Sjöblom, Gunnar Asellius, Svenska Slagfält (Värname, 2004)

Philip J. Haythornwaite, ‘Invincible Generals’ (Poole, 1991)

Herman Lindqvist, ‘A History of Sweden’ (Värnamo, 2006)

Holger Herwig, Christian Archer, Timothy Travers, John Ferris, ‘Cassell’s World History of Warfare’ (London, 2003)