Osprey's Forces of the Hanseatic League is book 494 in their Men-at-Arms series. This book deals with the history of the Hanseatic League from the 13th to the 15th centuries. The Hanseatic League was a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages.
Addendums include a section of further reading recommendations and commentaries on the color plates.
The book starts with a historical background of the league and its formation and growth. The primary driver was joint protection of the towns in the league and the agreements, particularly trade agreements. The history covers the town involved and shows a map with specific markings for towns, trade routes and a time lime starting in 1100-1150 AD. The focus of the book is the 13th to 15th centuries. There are many Germanic terms in the book and the book includes an excellent glossary on page 2.
From a modeling standpoint, there are excellent examples of the ships used, the dress of the Knights, merchants, nobles and others and this is where this book shines. The plates are full color and well detailed. There are 10 such plates and for a figure painter, this is a gold mine of reference material. Also included are many black and white references of architecture, weapons and historical pictures.
For those interested in history or people of this time period, the book is fantastic. Richly illustrated and well written, it is both a historical and modelers reference and is recommended.
My thanks to Osprey and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it