The Conquest of Granada

The final, ten-year war that ended the eight-hundred years of La Reconquista, was an epic struggle in the course of Western history.

In particular, the war was a crucial link between medieval warfare and early modern warfare in European military history.

Suggest reading An Appreciation of the War for Granada (148192).

The epic is described by one of America's preeminent historians of the nineteenth century, and analyzed in a modern context by a lengthy introduction in the recently published

Detail of engraving by M. Schongauer, c.1475.

The Conquest of Granada by Ferdinand and Isabella was the war that had to be won before Columbus could sail to the 'new world'. Most important to military historians is the critical link the war played in the evolution of Western warfare, between the Hundred Years' War and the 'Great Italian Wars' that began during the transition from the 1400's to the 1500's.

This work fills a long-standing gap in most Western military histories that ignored a significant pivotal moment prior to the dawn of Early Modern Warfare. The Spanish army's superior performance in Italy in the beginning decades of the sixteenth century has been widely recognized. However, little has been published to identify how the Spanish military machine of that era emerged from the Castilian fighting forces that had been well honed in the decade of warfare that culminated in the capture of Granada in 1492. This work makes a particular point to explain the Spanish army's adoption of large scale use of firearms, and the Granadan War's important links to the later phases of the Hundred Years' War.

An added feature is Willaim H. Prescott's rich text, which provides a colorful and dramatic narrative of the conquest of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. This dramatic and epic cultural struggle cannot be matched by any fiction. Prescott's scholarly description of this great military epic has no equal in any English publication. Extracted from Prescott's world aclaimed History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic, the Conquest of Granada remains the basic narrative account for the study of the war in English. The Greenhill Books' 1995 publication adds considerable material from works of recent Spanish, French, English and American historians on the subject. This particular 288 page work contains 110 pages of new material that examins the military aspects in context of Western European military developments at the time warfare was transitioning from late medieval to early modern periods.

The Art of War in Spain, The Conquest of Granada (1481-1492)
Greenhill Books, London (1995)
ISBN 1-85367-193-2
-- with slight modifications --

in PDF file format.

WEB BASED The Art of War in Spain, The Conquest of Granada (1481-1492)

Comments and questions are welcomed, and can be sent to the book editor.

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Page last revised 15 May 2010