Top 5 Favorite Osprey Books on Medieval Warfare

I love collecting Osprey books. Their neat format, fantastic color plates, and of course – historical research make them perfect for the wargamer, even if I’m not collecting and painting a particular army. They’re about 64 pages long each, so they don’t drag the reader with unnecessary, too-deep details. I think I have about hundred or so of them in total, and recently reading the book about Varangian Guards (my Jomsvikings would be perfect as these mercenaries working for the Byzantines), I decided to write a short overview of my top titles focused on medieval warfare. Here they are:

“Medieval Siege Weapons: Western Europe AD 585–1385” by David Nicolle: This book provides a comprehensive overview of siege weapons used during the medieval period in Western Europe, including their development, design, and deployment. There are some epic illustrations of trebuchets, catapults and ballistas inside, such as the one on the cover. And David Nicolle is one the most prolific authors of Osprey books, writing at least two dozens of titles.

“Armies of the Crusades” by Terence Wise: This book explores the diverse armies that participated in the Crusades, including their organization, tactics, and equipment. It offers insights into the clashes between Western European forces and those of the Middle East during this period.

“The Hundred Years’ War: Trial by Battle” by Jonathan Sumption: Focusing on the early phases of the Hundred Years’ War, this book delves into the key battles and campaigns that shaped the conflict between England and France in the 14th century. It provides detailed analyses of military strategies and tactics employed by both sides.

“Azincourt 1415: Triumph Against the Odds” by Matthew Bennett: This book examines the Battle of Agincourt, one of the most famous battles of the Hundred Years’ War, where a vastly outnumbered English army achieved a remarkable victory over the French. It explores the factors that contributed to the English triumph and the significance of the battle in medieval warfare.

“The Varangian Guard 988–1453” by Raffaele D’Amato: Focusing on the elite Byzantine Varangian Guard, this book offers insights into the composition, training, and role of this renowned mercenary unit throughout the Middle Ages. It also examines their participation in key battles and their impact on Byzantine military history.


Do you have your favorite book? Next up, I’ll compile a list on my favorite ancient warfare Osprey books.

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