The Knight and the Blast Furnace: A History of the Metallurgy of Armour in the Middle Ages & the Early Modern Period (History of Warfare, 12)

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9789004124981: The Knight and the Blast Furnace: A History of the Metallurgy of Armour in the Middle Ages & the Early Modern Period (History of Warfare, 12)
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The suit of armour distinguishes the European Middle Ages & Renaissance from all other periods and cultures. Unlike flexible defences, popular everywhere else in the world, the rigid, articulated, exoskeleton of a "suit of armour" was a more extravagant and less adaptable means of personal protection. It required greater metallurgical resources to make, but offered far better protection against available weapons. This book tells the story from its invention in 14th century Lombardy, which depended on the production of the necessary steel, until its eventual decline in the 17th century, principally because of the development of another military technology, the gun. The metallurgy of 600 armours has been analysed, and their probable effectiveness in battle is assessed by means of mechanical tests.

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About the Author:

Alan R. Williams, Ph.D. (1974) in History of Science, University of Manchester, is Visiting Research Fellow, Engineering Department, Reading University. He has published extensively on the metallurgy of armour and weapons, and is the co-author of The Royal Armoury at Greenwich (1995).

Alan R. Williams, Ph.D. (1974) in History of Science, University of Manchester, is Visiting Research Fellow, Engineering Department, Reading University. He has published extensively on the metallurgy of armour and weapons, and is the co-author ofThe Royal Armoury at Greenwich (1995).

Review:

"Das technologisch ausgerichtete Werk präsentiert eine Fülle neuen Materials zur Geschichte der europäischen Rüstungsindustrie - im umfassenden Sinne des Wortes."
M.M., Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters, 2004.

"Devoted students of armor will definitely want to seek out this book and its references..."
Steven A. Walton, Sixteenth Century Journal, 2004.

"...richly illustrated work offers a detailed discussion of the scientific aspect of medieval arms production as well as taking a comparative view of countries across Europe."
K. Stöber, Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature.

"...the study represents an enormous amount of labor, and the findings are of substantial importance to scholars...The author deserves considerable credit for undertaking a vast amount of research and assembling much significant information...an important book that holds useful information for the patient and diligent reader."
William Caferro, Speculum, 2004.

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