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Castle to Fortress (Hardback)

Medieval to Post-Modern Fortifications in the Lands of the Former Roman Empire

Medieval History Weaponry Military

By J.E. Kaufmann, H.W. Kaufmann
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 248
ISBN: 9781526736871
Published: 10th June 2019

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Across western Europe the long tradition of castle-building took on its most sophisticated form in the later medieval period and then, in response to the development of gunpowder weapons, it underwent a fundamental change – from castle to fortress. This, the second volume of a highly illustrated new study of medieval fortification, gives a fascinating insight into the last great age of castles and the centuries of violence and conflict they were part of.

It traces the advances made between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries, looking in particular at the form these fortifications took in contexts as different as Italy, Wales, France and the Iberian peninsula. Many would regard this period in the history of castles as the classic age. It was followed by a phase of relative decline as the conditions of warfare changed and castles had to be adapted to cope with cannon. The conventional castle gave way to new styles of fortification. But, as the authors demonstrate, they were still essential factors in military calculations and campaigns – they were of direct strategic and tactical importance wherever there was an attempt to take or hold territory.

The Kaufmanns examine the transition from vast medieval family homes to places of safety and security in a fascinating treatise on the way such buildings were modified to provide protection from growing threats.

Books Monthly

This book follows on from its predecessor ‘Castrum to Castle’ by tracing the development of fortifications in the late medieval period through the radical rethink demanded by the increasing effectiveness of gunpowder weaponry. Designs of fortifications change to reflect the physics and power of cannon, delivering defences that looked quite different. The authors have clearly expended large amounts of time in presenting each castle/fortress with exceptional maps and photographs that give context, coupled with the relevant history. A good read and a good reference book.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About J.E. Kaufmann

J.E. Kaufmann is a retired teacher and presently an adjunct professor at Palo Alto Jr. College and H.W. Kaufmann, PhD, is a retired professor, and they live in the United States. Their most recent books on fortifications are The Maginot Line, The Atlantic Wall, The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Central States and The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Neutral States.


About H.W. Kaufmann

J.E. Kaufmann is a retired teacher and presently an adjunct professor at Palo Alto Jr. College and H.W. Kaufmann, PhD, is a retired professor, and they live in the United States. Their most recent books on fortifications are The Maginot Line, The Atlantic Wall, The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Central States and The Forts and Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945: The Neutral States.

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