Badon and the Early Wars for Wessex, circa 500 to 710 (ePub)
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David Cooper’s book reappraises the evidence regarding the early battles for Wessex territory. It charts the sequence of battles from the c. AD 500 siege of Badon Hill, in which the Britons defeated the first Saxon attempt to gain a foothold in Wessex territory, to Langport in 710, which consolidated King Ine's position and pushed the Britons westwards. Discussion of the post-Roman British and Germanic factions provides context and background to Badon Hill, which is then covered in detail and disentangled from Arthurian legend. In considering how the opposing commanders are likely to have planned their campaigns, enduring principles of military doctrine and tactics are discussed, using examples from other periods to illustrate how these principles applied in Dark Ages Britain. Going on to follow subsequent campaigns of the West Saxons in southern Britain, a credible assessment is made of how these resulted in the establishment of a viable Wessex kingdom, two centuries after Badon. Grounded in the latest academic and archaeological evidence, David Cooper offers a number of new insights and ideas.
I appreciate that this isn’t a book for everyone and certainly isn’t a primer, but it’s an interesting and thought provoking read about one of the great historical mysteries.Ripperologist, June/July 2018 – reviewed by Paul Begg
As featured 'ON THE BOOKSHELF'Wargames Illustrated, July 2018