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"Wars and Soldiers in the Early Reign of Louis XIV" Topic

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Lilian11 Aug 2019 10:58 a.m. PST

Bruno Mugnai's serie at Helion's Century of the Soldier launched this year
After the Volume 1 about the Dutch

the forthcoming Volume 2 about the Imperial Austrians expected at the end of 2019

During the 17th century, Europe experienced only four years of general peace: 1610 and 1680-82. This scenario of almost continuous strife provided the terrain for the rise of the standing professional armies. The states were eager to avoid a repetition of the chaos and destruction that had plagued Europe during the Thirty Years' War, and therefore invested in these larger, more powerful armies to reduce the risks and costs of war. Some historians considered this act to be one of the most important institutional developments of the early modern world. The permanent armies became an organic feature of the Old Regime, a symbol of its power and strength, the means by which the prince could defend his interest and play an active role in the International policy.

In the opinion of many contemporaries, it offered an opportunity to exploit strategic knowledge, to examine the effectiveness of military tactics and become aware of the increasing importance of the overall organization of the army. It would allow the military classes to occupy a significant place alongside the major European powers.

In this scenario, the Imperial Army represents an interesting laboratory, which involved the multicultural Habsburg's domains and the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire in the birth of one of the major standing army of Europe. The history, organization, uniforms and ensigns of the Imperial army and the ‘Reichsarmee' are here presented for the first time in a single book, with a lot of unpublished iconography and data.

In the 17th century, the Hungarian military structure comprised three sections: nobles troops, Militia Portalis, and general levies (called insurrectionis). Every Hungarian and Croatian aristocrat was obligated to military service, the so-called Primipilus, and was also charged with the duty of recruiting certain soldiers dependent on the value of his property. For every 20 farms or masserias – portae – one cavalryman and infantryman had to be equipped for the Militia, and these troops were originally identified as Militia Portalis. If the Hungarian Parlament voted for a general call to arms, each farm would add an additional horseman and one foot soldier to join the army. Historically, the Austrian Hofkriegsrath had tried to progressively reduce the aristocrat's influence on the militia, maintaining only the formal existence of the ‘Insurrection'. The long period of peace from 1606 to 1663 influenced the Kingdom of Hungary's defence policy, causing a deep stagnation in military matters. If, theoretically, the Insurrectionis could assemble more than 80,000 men in 1660, only 15-20,000 were actually suitable for a campaign. On 14 July 1663, the Hungarian army, assembled on the left bank of the Danube between Bratislava and Érsekújvár, totalled just 9,000 poor equipped men. Imperial General Raimondo Montecuccoli described them as "for the most part inexperienced villains, forcibly detained and therefore ready to escape from the field, or not accustomed to facing the enemy, poorly armed and obliged to stay in the country for only a few days".[1] The military discipline of this hastily equipped and trained levy remained erratic and often low. However, on some occasion, particularly in defensive actions and led by capable officers like the banus Miklós Zrínyi, the Hungarian and Croatian militia behaved valiantly, fighting alongside the best equipped and trained Grenzer bordersmen or professional soldiers.

Bruno Mugnai

Lilian11 Aug 2019 11:23 a.m. PST

And first half of 2020 a big 360 pages Volume 3 covering a larger period The Armies of the Ottoman Empire 1645-1719

This book deals with the organization, the composition and the history of the army of the Sublime Porte, starting from the information contained in Western sources. This approach, despite the partial origin of the information, allows a critical examination of the sources and the formulation of a vision that is not conditioned by the clichés that often occur about such topics, returning us to a a neutral vision of the complex Ottoman ‘Military' represented with all its refined and sumptuous costumes and weapons apparatus.

A larger part of the work is dedicated to the different types of clothing and insignia of the different corps, their evolution and the meaning of the different symbols

Editorial Plan
two volumes per year until 2022

4- Soldados del Rey The Spanish Army of Philipp IV and Charles II (including appendix for the Portuguese Army & Independance/Restoration War)

5- The Italian Armies (including Savoy-Piedmont, Venice, Papal States, Genoa, Tuscany, Lucca, Modena, Parma, Mantua, Malta)

6- The German Armies (including Brandenburg, Saxony, Bayern, Münster, Palatinate, HolsteinGottorp, Württemberg, Braunschweig-Lüneburg, Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, Hessen-Kassel, Hessen Darmstadt, Mecklenburg, Mainz, Cologne, Trier, Lorraine, Hanseatic Towns and other)

7- ‘Soldiers of the North': Denmark-Norway and Sweden

8- The French Army: the ‘Giant of the Grand Siècle' part one

9- The French Army: the ‘Giant of the Grand Siècle' part two

rmaker11 Aug 2019 9:24 p.m. PST

Seems to me that there are some serious gaps in the coverage. Most notably, Russia, Poland, and Great Britain.

Phillius Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 3:14 a.m. PST

Already covered by other Helion publications rmaker.

Lilian12 Aug 2019 6:32 a.m. PST

Indeed Russia there is already one title and for Great Britain, well, I would say that UK has the rest of the books as it is a British Editor, among the 16 expected known titles in Century of the Soldier Serie for 2019 11 concern the British isles and 5 others (Austrian, French, Saxon, Swedish Armies and Poltava)

…but not for Poland…I think they wished to publish two volumes but not in Bruno Mugnai's sub-serie

so you have a Tour d'Europe of the Armies c.1660-1690 here, only waiting Poland

Lilian12 Aug 2019 8:46 a.m. PST

…the only gap will be Switzerland…

dbf167612 Aug 2019 2:51 p.m. PST

Rmaker, also note the time frame ends in 1687. Russia's army was not really beginning to be a "modern" army until the late 1690s. Helion has a great book on the army of Peter the Great. They also have book on the army of James II, as well other books on the English army of this period.

Lilian13 Aug 2019 11:36 a.m. PST

the Russian period until 1689 has been covered by this title
Great Britain alone has so many titles around the ECW Armies and campaigns or after 1685 even if none specifically for Charles II's small Army 1660-1685 of two couples of infantry and cavalry regiments, so it is a gap but certainly a light temporary gap, British Editor oblige

HillervonGaertringen Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Aug 2019 11:19 p.m. PST

We do have books in development that will cover these gaps. Do bear with us, we can only publish so many books a year!!

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2019 10:38 p.m. PST

I'm thrilled about the upcoming "Soldados del Rey" volume, but will snap up the others in the meantime- thank you!

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