The military religious orders emerged during the Crusades as Christendom's stormtroopers in the savage conflict with Islam. Some of them still exist today, devoted to charitable works. The 'Monks of War' is the first general history of these orders to have appeared since the eighteenth century.
The Templars, the Hospitallers (Knights of Malta), the Teutonic Knights, and the Knights of the Spanish and Portuguese orders were noblemen vowed to poverty, chastity and obedience, living a monastic life in convents which were at the same time barracks, waging war on the enemies of the Cross. The first properly disciplined Western troops since Roman times, they played a major role in defending the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem in the 'Baltic Crusades' which created Prussia, in the long reconquest of Spain from the Moors, and in fighting the Infidel right up to Napoleonic times.
Acclaimed on publication, this book has now been revised and updated, with a concluding chapter to take events into the 1990s.