It was ironic when this book arrived as I had just returned for a sneaky side trip to Rochester, and went to see Temple Manor, a Templar house just outside Rochester. It gave me an idea for a story about a templar returning from Acre. Acre is the last siege in this book.
The first thing I need to say is the first appendix about all the sieges during the crusades is unbelievable. There were hundreds of sieges, and there is a lot of detail in the book about what used such has siege towers, or battering rams, mining or artillery use. It truly is fascinating. Certainly going to help with my short story idea.
The second thing to say this is a hugely researched and detailed book. It covers the sieges of the period and goes in to details of both the defences deployed, as well as the attacking strategies too. It then goes on to cover the weapons used to attack fortifications as well as then the defence modifications need to counteract them.
It really is a truly remarkable feat of innovation for both sides. New attacking weapons needed to be developed while at the same time new defences and counter measures where also developed.
I was also surprised by the detail of some of the naval forces used. Some of the coastal sieges had lots of Italians involved, from Venetians, Genoese to Pisans. Again something I had not thought about before.
The photos of some of the castles again are amazing to think, were built by invading forces. Castles that would not look out of place in rural England or Wales, pop up in the Holy Land.
I really enjoyed this book. I can see this book being of huge use to wargamers of this period and re-enactors too.
You can buy the book here from Pen and Sword books.
Please note I was not paid to write this review but was sent a review copy of the book. All comments are my own, and the publishers have not amended the review in any way.