Thu, 05 Feb 2004 09:21:04 -0600
Subject: [SCA-AS] History of Espionage and Warfare---selected sites

Hallo everyone! Since last week's Links list was a little girly, I thought I should now introduce some testosterone into the proceedings. So with no further ado I present to you 17 links on Espionage and Warfare---Selected Sites. I hope you are able to enjoy them and will pass them along wherever they will find in interested audience.


Factmonster: Espionage History
(Site Excerpt) The importance of espionage in military affairs has been recognized since the beginning of recorded history. The Egyptians had a well-developed secret service, and spying and subversion are mentioned in the Iliad and in the Bible. The ancient Chinese treatise (c.500 B.C.) on the art of war (see Sun Tzu) devotes much attention to deception and intelligence gathering, arguing that all war is based on deception. In the Middle Ages, political espionage became important. Joan of Arc was betrayed by Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvais, a spy in the pay of the English, and Sir Francis Walsingham developed an efficient political spy system for Elizabeth I.

Spy Museum in Washinton DC
Worth looking at the cute intro clip, but go to if you lack flash or wish to opt out.
(Site Excerpt) The Secret History of History
Travel back through the centuries to trace the earliest moments of the second oldest profession. Uncover the stories of famous men and women, considered above suspicion, and doubly effective as spies. Be surprised by spymasters from Moses to Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth I to George Washington, Cardinal Richelieu to Joseph Stalin--all relied on intelligence to be effective leaders.

Reader's Companion to Military History: Espionage
(Site Excerpt) Espionage, usually defined as the illegal acquisition of information about an individual, group, or organization, has been called the second oldest profession. There are two types of espionage: The first is human intelligence, which involves sending spies into a group or country or suborning individuals working for a target group or nation. A second, long-established type of espionage, cryptology, involves intercepting coded or ciphered messages and decoding them.Perhaps the oldest example of human intelligence operations, allegedly based on God's advice, was Moses' decision to send secret agents "to spy out the land of Canaan." Cryptology also proved useful before the modern era-the deciphering of several messages in 1628 allowed France's Cardinal Richelieu to prevent the English navy from coming to the aid of the Huguenot bastion of La Rochelle.

Sun Tzu's Art of War (Chapter 13 is on espionage)
(Site Excerpt) A major military operation is a severe drain on the nation, and may be kept up for years in the struggle for one day's victory. So to fail to know the conditions of opponents because of reluctance to give rewards for intelligence is extremely inhumane, uncharacteristic of a true military leader, uncharacteristic of an assistant of the government, uncharacteristic of a victorious chief. So what enables an intelligent government and a wise military leadership to overcome others and achieve extraordinary accomplishments is foreknowledge.

Sir Francis WALSINGHAM, Knight (Elizabeth I's spymaster)
(Site Excerpt) He practiced most of the arts that human ingenuity has devised in order to gain political information. Knowledge is never too dear, was his favorite maxim, and he devoted his private fortune to maintaining his system of espionage in fullest efficiency.

Espionage and Intelligence from the Wars of the Roses to the Reformation
(Site Excerpt---Acrobat Reader required) In the period between the Wars of the Rsoes and the Reformation spies were used in foreign and military affairs and for reasons of domestic security.* Contrary to expectations, spies are not difficult to locate or document.

Ransoming of English Prisoners by St. Margaret Mary of Scotland
(Site Excerpt) Chapter 3, Section 25: But who can tell the number of English of all ranks, carried captive from their own land by violence of war and reduced to slavery, whom she restored to liberty by paying their ransom?
Spies were employed by her to go secretly through all the provinces of Scotland and ascertain what captives were oppressed with the most cruel bondage, ....

The Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066) and the life of Haraldr Sigur?arson, according to Theodoricus Monachus
(Site Excerpt) When Haraldr arrived in England together with the aforementioned Tostig, they made the territory of Northumbria subject to their rule. King Harold of England had at that time gone to Normandy;2 but when he heard of the arrival of enemies, he made speedy return to England, assembled a huge army and took the invaders unawares. When Harold drew near, most of the Norwegian forces, laden with booty, made for their ships. The remainder, though few, with steadfast courage prepared for battle. 'But what can a few brave men do against so many thousands.'

The 1165 Levy for the Army of Wales
By Paul Latimer
(Site Excerpt) The Pipe Rolls allow us to reach an imperfect estimate, in financial terms, of the resources raised for, and devoted to, the campaign. Identifying as campaign expenditure monies allowed against the sheriffs' farms or against other debts on the rolls is a problem. There were expenses associated with the movement of the king and his retinue, whether he was on campaign or not. Where 25s. was allowed against the farm of the borough of Gloucestershire pro corredio Regis portando ad Wirecestriam et ad Salopesberiam in 1164-65, it would be wrong to treat it as extraordinary expenditure, even though it was clearly associated with the king's presence on the Welsh border.

Warfare in the History of William the Marshal
(Site Excerpt--leads to more links on the subject) William the Marshal, earl of Pembroke, was one of the most noteworthy knights of the Middle Ages. After almost being killed by King Stephen when he was a child, William grew up to be a prominent tournament competitor, and then a soldier, serving in several campaigns. After the death of King John in 1216, William fulfilled the task of regent for the young Henry III, and led English forces to victory at the Battle of Lincoln in 1217

Letter from the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, with news of the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Falkirk, 22nd July, 1298
(Site Excerpt) "To his dear friends, the Mayor and the Barons of London, Walter, by the grace of God, Bishop of Chester (1), greeting and true friendship. Because we well know that you willingly will hear good tidings of our Lord the King and of his affairs in Scotland, we give you to understand that on the Monday next before the Feast of Saint James (July 25th), there came tidings unto the Lord the King where he was staying, six leagues beyond Edeneburg, that the Scots were approaching directly towards him. As soon as he had heard this, he moved with his host towards the parts where the Scots were; and on the morrow the King arrived in good time, and found his enemies prepared to give battle.

Medieval London's Military History
A list of links to articles

Battles and Campaigns from The Chronicle of Adam of Usk
(Site Excerpt)
In the same year the king passed into Scotland with a great and glorious host to tame the fierceness of the Scots. But they, fleeing to places of refuge, laid waste and stripped their fields and houses and farms, lest they should profit our king; and, lurking in thickets and in hiding places of secret caves and woods, they withdrew before the king's face. Yet did they often issue forth from these lairs, and in lonely deserts and by-paths they slew and took prisoners very many of our men, doing us more harm than we did to them.

Medieval Military History in the British Isles
A List of links to articles and sites.

The Towton Mass Grave Project
(Site Excerpt) In August 1996, workmen disturbed a portion of a mass-burial pit during building work at the location of the Towton battlefield (near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire). At the request of North Yorkshire County Council Heritage Unit, a team of osteoarchaeologists and archaeologists from the Department of Archaeological Sciences and members of the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service recovered the mostly complete remains of 43 individuals from the interment which measured 6m x 2m and was only 50 cm in depth. These tightly-packed individuals were recovered through the application of three-dimensional recording of the deposit and its contents, scaled photographs, and in situ sketch drawings. The original appearance of the deposit and associated entangled arms and legs with discrete individuals has been recreated using computer-assisted design software.

Secrets of the Norman Invasion by Nick Austin
(Site Excerpt) Over the last six years I have tried to read everything important associated with Norman landings and the battle and have spent many months carrying out detailed searches of the documents contemporary with the battle. I have become increasingly alarmed at the discrepancies between the texts and the lie of the land where the landings were supposed to have taken place. In this work I attempt to explain how all these discrepancies can be reconciled only if the contextual references are applied to a landing site different from Pevensey.

Edward III's Letter detailing his campaign in France, 1339
(Site Excerpt) On Monday morning had we news that the said Lord Philip and all his allies were scattered and withdrawn in great haste. And so would our allies no longer afterwards abide. And touching what is further to be done we shall take counsel with them at Antwerp on the morrow of St. Martin [November 11]. And from thence afterwards [we will send news] speedily of what may be meanwhile done. Given under our privy seal, at Brussels, the 1st day of November.