Originally written in English in 1974, this is apparently still one of the basic studies of Italian Renaissance warfare in English or Italian. Mallett spent some time studying the original sources and came to what were at the time non-traditional conclusions.

It’s a moderately-sized book split up into nine massive chapters. (Plus a very short tenth chapter that might as well be an afterword.) The relatively ‘flat’ presentation seems like it would be hard to use as reference to look up particular points later, but just reading through it is fine. Individual battles aren’t given a lot of attention, though every once in a while one comes up for discussion, and a couple campaigns are discussed when he looks at just how mobile Italian armies were.

The fact is, this is a very general book that looks at a bit of everything, mercenaries and militia, pay rates, the changes towards more permanent contracts/standing armies, and much more. So there’s no room for any one thing to be concentrated on. It is a very good introduction to the period, though having some minimal knowledge of the period going in would probably help.

I’m very glad that Pen and Sword has brought this to ebook format, and the text was in very good shape. (There were a few errors scattered about, but over this is one of the best conversions I’ve seen.)