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Osprey Men-at-Arms 256 : The Irish Wars 1485-1603

Despite the passage of more than three centuries since the initial Anglo-Norman invasion, Ireland at the beginning of the Tudor era remained an alien land, differing from Renaissance England in customs, costume, language, law and land tenure alike. The original veneer of English feudal overlords who might have hoped to anglicise the native 'wild Irish' had long since degenerated to become themselves 'more Irish than the Irish', gaelicised to the point where some could no longer even speak English. Tudor monarchs, like their predecessors, made efforts to redress this decay by attempting, at various times and in assorted ways, to dismantle Irish society, right down to the suppression of native dress and hairstyles. Such efforts inevitably met with little success, and served only to nurture Irish resentment towards the English and to emphasise the cultural gulf that lay between them. The Reformation in England distanced them further, as the majority of Irishmen adhered stubbornly to their Catholicism. Eventually, in Elizabeth's reign, both sides resorted to the use of force on a large scale in a series of bloody wars and rebellions that were to culminate in the Earl of Tyrone's 'Great Rebellion' of 1595-1603, the suppression of which was ultimately to shape the geography of Ireland as we still see it today. It therefore needs little imagination to see that Tyrone's failure was, in the long term, disastrous for both countries. Ian Heath looks at the history, organisation and tactics of the armies of the Irish Wars 1485-1603, armies which included such troops as the fearsome Irish Galloglasses, who bore a deadly axe six feet long with a blade a foot broad! Featuring eight full page colour plates by David Sque, plus many other illustrations.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • The Irish
  • Anglo-Irish Armies
  • Tactics
  • The Cavalry
  • Pacata Hibernia
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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