- This paste focuses on written and electronically-available sources in the public domain, with a preference for primary sources. My resources are limited by my own reading ability (old/middle/modern English, Latin, Italian, and some French, Dutch, German and Japanese) but I welcome contributions in the comments or in the /htg/ thread - especially for non-European works. I will also be collecting fechtbuchs in another paste.
- Notes: Please follow the format laid out below, just to keep this readable.
- *******Period (major wars/gaming eras)*******
- • (this character may be typed by holding ALT and pressing 7) "Name" - date, author.
- Link or links (see below) - Translator (if any), language, publishing date
- A brief description of the work and its contents. Note any significant historical impact and artistic value in the edition linked; try to use the clearest, best-quality or most-modern translations in the public domain. Original or important variations of the text are always appreciated, as well as links to any translations you find helpful or necessary.
- *******The Martial Classics (all eras)*******
- • "Art of War" - ~300BC, Sun Tzu.
- https://archive.org/details/TheArtOfWarBySunTzu - Giles trans. English, 1910. 2004 PD reprint.
- https://archive.org/details/bookwarmilitary00wugoog - Calthrop trans. Eng, 1908
- https://archive.org/details/AArteDaGuerra - Portugese, unknown date and translator. Textbook format?
- Do I really need to explain?
- Giles' version takes some liberties with the text, and contains interpolations from the Chinese commentaries. Still one of the best on the public domain, and provides an interesting perspective on the looming World War. Heavy commentary.
- Calthrop uses a slightly more archaic form, but presents the text much closer to its original layout and format. Less commentary. Calthrop's includes Wu Tzu's "Art of War", a lesser-known and more "grounded" work than the Master's.
- • "Book of Five Rings" (Go Rin no Sho) - Miyamoto Musashi
- https://archive.org/details/MiyamotoMusashi-BookOfFiveRingsgoRinNoSho - English, Harris translation.
- Harris has some annoying habits (translating "Bushido" invariably as "the Way of Strategy"), but the work is accessible and direct. The original "Win-at-all-costs" advocate, Musashi still makes many useful points for the wargamer. Like, "Keep your objective in sight at all times. Don't change your plan just to be flashy"..
- *******Early Modern Period - Pike and Shotte*******
- Generally held to begin with the development of effective musketry and pikes in the mid-to-late sixteenth century, and end with the development of the bayonet towards the end of the seventeenth. The first drill-books were published in this era; most of our information about drill previous to De Gheyn comes from private correspondence and strategic works. (~1550-1690)
- Major Conflicts: English Civil Wars (1641-1651), Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)
- • "Maniement d'armes, d'arqvebvses, mousqvets, & picques" (Manual of Arms, Musketry, and Pikes) - Jaques/Johann De Gheyn.
- https://archive.org/details/gri_33125010852511 - Original Text, edition of 1619. ME, MF, MG, Dut
- THE book for matchlock drill. This book is the basis of nearly every modern illustration of a musketeer, and a great many period illustrations as well. The woodcuts and plates from this work were repeatedly recycled into other works on the subject.
- The edition linked contains the original engravings (rather than many later editions' woodcuts), is hand-tinted, and translated into Middle English, French, and German as well as the original Dutch text. The typography is excellent.
- • "Les Discours Militaires" - 1617, Du Praissac.
- https://archive.org/details/lesdiscovrsmilit00dupr - Original French
- Useful even if you don't speak French. Discusses military drill and the operation of a campaign. Heavily-illustrated, with formations drawn both symbolically and in perspective; sections on fortification, drill, discipline, artillery, &c. Has an appendix each on the Greek and Roman armies as understood at the time.
- • "Les Questiones Militaires" - 1618, Du Praissac
- https://archive.org/details/lesquestionsmili00dupr - Original French.
- Another book from the same author: This is much more a strategic work, intended for a general or colonel.
- • "Militarie Discipline, or, The Yong Artilleryman" - Willaim Barriffe, 1635
- https://archive.org/details/militarydiscipli00barr - Middle English
- This is the book the London Trained Bands used in the English Civil War. Many in-line diagrams and ASCII-style illustrations of combat formations, full drill instructions, and practical info on running a camp. Note that "Artillerie" was commonly used in-period to refer to all Foot-soldiers; "Infanterie" was still in the process of being borrowed from French at the time.
- Begins with the development of the bayonet, ends as Napoleon begins to eye world conquest. (~1690-1800)
- Major conflicts: War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714). War of Austrian Succession [1740-1748]. Seven Year's War (AKA French and Indian War) [1754-1763]. American War of Independence/Revolution [1775-1783], French Revolution [1792-1802]
- • "A Compleat System of Military Discipline" - John Gittens
- https://archive.org/details/acompleatsystem00gittgoog - 1735, original English
- Written by an experienced English junior officer - and it shows. This is basically an NCO/JO training manual, with decent illustration (though some of the foldouts are, alas, cut off), and much information on running a camp - both in theory and in practice. After going through this, you'll have a newfound appreciation for just how much of a pain in the ass moving formations around actually was..
- • "The Military History of the Late Prince Eugene of Savoy, and of the Late John Duke of Marlborough" - Claude Du Bosc
- http://books.google.com/books?id=zJc0AQAAMAAJ&dq=editions:LlXNzssX5S0C - Volume 1. John Campbell trans., 1736
- http://books.google.com/books?id=95c0AQAAMAAJ&dq=editions:LlXNzssX5S0C - Volume 2. Same. Both English.
- Intensely detailed account of the War of Spanish Succession, though told mostly from the Anglo-French perspective on the war. This is one of the primary sources for the period, and eminently readable. Includes notes on the disposition and use of forces in major battles, war reporting, and discussions of the political maneuvers and motivations of the war. Strongly recommended.
- • "The Life & Military Actions of His Late Highness, Prince Eugene of Savoy" - ???, 1738
- Faps a little hard to how awesome Ol'Gene was, but has a slightly different perspective on several of the battles. Even if he cribs heavily from the preceding books.
- • "A Plan of Discipline, Composed for the Use of the Militia of the County of Norfolk" - William Windham - 1759
- https://archive.org/details/aplandiscipline00towngoog - Modern English.
- Another militia manual, describing slightly archaic drill in the Colonial era. Several copies are known to have been exported to the American colonies. More importantly, it was published in the midst of the Seven Year's War (AKA the French and Indian War in the USA), and was used widely in the latter years of the war.
- *********American Civil War*******
- "The Militiaman's Manual, & Sword-play Without a Master" - 1861, Cpt. M. Berriman
- Seen as slightly old-fashioned in its day, this book describes smallsword, rapier, and saber fencing techniques. Its real value, however, lies in the extensive drill sections in the back - which describe military training exercises from the individual to the company level, on the eve of the ACW. Covers both cavalry and infantry operations. Does NOT cover the Gatling gun, however, which explains some of the outcome of that war for the militias..
Historical Tactical, Strategic, and Military Drill treatises
Doc_Schott Oct 25th, 2014 (edited) 8,111 Never
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