David Flintham - Military Historian

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Welcome to the home page of David Flintham BA FRGS CITP. 

I am a military historian, specialising in 17th century fortifications and sieges.

The 17th century was a watershed in European history: it was the century where the superstitions of the medieval period were largely laid to rest, to be replaced by scientific reasoning. The origins of the great transformations of the 18th and 19th centuries (the Enlightenment, and the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions) can be traced to the 17th century. The transformation on the battlefield was no less dramatic – military engineering which was regarded as an ‘art’ during the 16th century was very much a science by the end of the 17th.

The military history of Western Europe in the 17th century is dominated by the Eighty Years’ War, the Thirty Years War, the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (misleadingly, but commonly, known as the ‘English Civil Wars’), and the wars of Louis XIV. The common perception of these conflicts is of big battles: cavalry charges on the wings whilst in the centre, massed infantry formations slugging it out. Yet the reality is rather different as it was the siege rather than the set-piece battle which dominated 17th century warfare.

This site is home to my research into the sieges and fortifications of the 17th century.

Latest News

Civil War London: A Military History of London Under Charles I and Oliver Cromwell has been published by Helion.

Perspectives on the Art of Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77), (Brepols Publishers) has recently been published.  I have contributed a chapter to this book.  Titled 'Useful for all Commanders', this considers Hollar's views of castles, fortifications and sieges, and their usefulness to the study of 17th century fortress warfare.

On Saturday, 15 September, and audience of nearly 40 learnt about King's Lynn's role in the English Civil Wars from "The Strongest Fortress in East Anglia". For those who missed this talk, it can be downloaded here.  I would like to thank Mike Osborne for the drawing of King's Lynn's defences through the ages.