Invading armies from Germany - the Holy Roman Empire - saw the creation of the defensive Lombard League of northern Italian city-states. These struggles resulted in conflicts between rival confederacies, which in turn proved to be the catalysts for developments in organisation and tactics. Italian urban militias became better organised and equipped, the Imperial armies went from being mostly German to multi-national forces, and both sides became reliant on mercenary forces to prosecute their wars.
After the 1260s, France, relying mainly on armoured cavalry, and Spain, with their innovative light infantry, vied for control of southern Italy. On the seas, the great naval powers of Genoa, Pisa and Venice became fierce rivals, as they created great trading empires, bringing the treasures of the east into feudal Europe.
Gabriele Esposito is an Italian freelance author on military history, specialising in uniformology, who has written a number of titles for Osprey Publishing, Pen & Sword, Winged Hussar Publishing and Partizan Press, and is a regular contributor to many magazines such as Ancient Warfare, Medieval Warfare, Classic Arms & Militaria, Guerres et Histoire, History of War and Focus Storia Wars. He is Professor of Modern History at the Second University, Naples.
Giuseppe Rava was born in Faenza in 1963, and took an interest in all things military from an early age. Entirely self-taught, Giuseppe has established himself as a leading military history artist, and is inspired by the works of the great military artists, such as Detaille, Meissonier, Röchling, Lady Butler, Ottenfeld and Angus McBride. He lives and works in Italy.
Used with permission, copyright 2019 Osprey Publishing. Copyright 2019 Brey Corp. t/a Hobby Works.