Flodden: A Scottish Tragedy

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Birlinn, 2003 - 208 pages
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Boosted by the success of naval campaigns in the Western Isles and support for the Danes, James IV, in a misguided attempt to support France when that country was invaded by Henry VIII's troops, ordered the Scottish army across the Border. At Flodden he faced English troops under the Earl of Surrey, and although having a big advantage in terms of numbers, suffered a defeat so humiliating that it dented Scotland's confidence for centuries. James IV lost his life at Flodden, and also took with him the flower of the Scottish nobility, in addition to as many as 10,000 Scottish soldiers, both Highland and Lowland. It was nothing less than catastrophe. In this re-assessment of one of Europe's last medieval battles, Peter Reese considers Flodden against the patterns of both countries' traditional military rivalry and the personal animosity that existed between James and Henry. He discusses the men who made up both armies, their contrasting weaponry, systems of command and military tactics, and considers the major part the battle played in the road to the unification of Scotland and England. A number of maps allow the reader to follow the events of the battle in close detail.

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About the author (2003)

Peter Reese is well known as a military historian with a particular interest in Scottish military history. He concentrated on war-related studies whilst a student at King's College London and served in the army for twenty-nine years. His other books include a biography of William Wallace and a study of the Battle of Bannockburn. He lives in Aldershot.

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