I recently started to learn how to do German Longsword training, so this book was perfectly timed for me.
In common with the Osprey Weapons series of books, this paperback book consists of 80 pages with colorful illustrations throughout.
Swords have always fascinated me, whether it was Excalibur or Light Sabers, the thrill of sword play has spanned the history of modern man. The Longsword came into fashion in the 1300s until the 1500s as weapons and until the 1700s as sporting weapons. The study of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) has really taken off in the last few decades. This book is a great introduction of the longsword both as a weapon and a tactical, economic, and social artifact.
The book is broken down into introduction, development, use, impact, and the conclusion. The historical development is described in the first chapter. The anatomy of the sword is shown and discussed. How swords are made are discussed here as well as the nomenclature of the parts of a longsword.
The use of the Longsword is discussed along with the formal education of the armed fighting methods. German Fechtbucher are the most recognized books on teaching the use of the longsword. Johannes Liechtenauer is long held to be known for his teachings which after much traveling presented the longsword as both offensive and defensive weapon. The four basic guards and three secondary guards are illustrated. The Italian and English styles are also discussed.
The use of the longword in mounted, dismounted, armored and unarmored combat is discussed as well.
The bibliography page is really a boon for this book as well. There are a lot of good references for those interested in HEMA.
Overall, this is a very good book with a good general overview of the German Longsword and its history, development and impact. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will add it to my library of German Longsword training.
Thanks to Osprey Publishing and IPMS/USA for the review copy. You can obtain yours from their website, www.ospreypublishing.com, local hobby shop or online retailer.