Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Fornovo Essential Reading Part One

So, with my enthusiasm rekindled I reached for a few, now rather dusty books from my bookshelf, not only to strengthen my feel for the battle via a vis the demo game but for building up a solid background to The Great Italian Wars in general. After all, it is a truism that wars cannot be understood in isolation. This is particularly pertinent regarding what we artificially call The Late Medieval/Early Renaissance period of history. It is simply not the case that one 'period' (man, I hate that term though I do seem to use it a lot!) ended suddenly and another altogether different segment of technological and military strategy began. As wargamers it is one of the ironies of our hobby that we are instinctively aware of this fluidity but at the same time we drive history into convenient brackets in order to make sense of it all. Not only that but we are very particular about doing the exact same thing in terms of  what we like to call "Troop types" etc. That being said, this is not a history lesson but rather an expression of my interest in this fascinating span of history.

Regarding the literature; I would be very interested in hearing about anything that I might have missed out so please feel free contact me if you think their is anything. glaring or otherwise, missing from the short list of books below.

So, without further ado, the books in no particular order:

The Artillery of the Dukes of Burgundy 1363-1477
(Robert Douglas Smith, Kelly DeVries)


I've just ordered this from Amazon. Although the scope of the book falls short of the sum of the actual date of the battle it is interesting in that both the French Kings Charles VI and Charles VII of France realising the importance of artillery in relinquishing the Plantagenet dynasty of their rich lands in France had started to gather together a substantial artillery train. Thus so the Dukes of Burgundy. This was a continual process and for my purposes the book should be very informative in what these military captains were trying to achieve with their firepower, that apart from the obvious advantage that may be gained. I'm hoping for a more nuanced study. The book seems like a good starting place for getting to grips with the types of artillery used at Fornovo and their actual battlefield use.

Fornovo 1495, Osprey Books
(David Nicolle)

With a view to putting on a demo game of Fornovo, it probably goes without saying that I have read this book and view it as essential reading, at least from the meagre offerings in English! For those that have not read the volume then it's fair to say that it follows the standard formula traditional for Osprey. It is a decent outline of the events leading to the battle and the battle itself.

The Italian Wars Volume 1: The Expedition of Charles VIII into Italy and the Battle of Fornovo (Retinue to Regiment), Helion Books
(Predonzani Massimo, Vincenzo Alberici, Irene Maccoloni)

A Full Review of this Book will Follow



Another book on order from the Retinue and Regiment Series. I cannot comment on how useful this may be for obvious reasons. It is Volume I in the series covering The Italian Wars and I'm hoping that Helion follow through and manage to study the other major conflicts of the time, especially the ones that appeal to me; Ravenna, Cerignola, Garigliano and Ravenna.

That's it for now due to time constraints but I'll be back tomorrow with more literature pertinent to the battle.

Kind Regards