An ancient design, emerging from Central Asia in the second millennium BC, the composite bow was adopted by a staggering variety of cultures, from madic tribal peoples such as the Huns, Turks and Mongols, to mighty empires such as the Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs and Chinese. Offering high power and portability, the composite bow was an ideal cavalry weapon, though it was also used by infantry in open battle and as a siege weapon. In this important study, an expert on Eastern military techlogy tells the story of this extraordinary piece of military hardware; how it was made and how various cultures developed differing tactics for using it. He explains why the composite bow achieved such stunning successes and how it endured as a weapon of choice for thousands of years.
Mike Loades is a respected author, broadcaster, director and action arranger who has made numerous television appearances as a historical weapons expert and military historian. He is the author of The Longbow for Osprey (2013). His book Swords and Swordsmen, published by Pen & Sword in 2010, attracted positive reviews for its knowledgeable but engaging approach. Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.