A History of War in 100 Battles

 
9780007452507: A History of War in 100 Battles

The object of this book is to introduce readers to a whole range of military history which has all the drama, dangers, horrors and excitement that we associate with Stalingrad or the Somme. Battles are acute moments of history whenever and wherever they have been fought. Through them we can understand how warfare and world history have evolved. Choosing just one hundred battles from recorded human history is a challenge. Not just because it is necessary to cover almost 6,000 years of history, but because men have fought each other almost continuously for millennia. Anyone who knows anything about the history of war may be disappointed at what has had to be left out. However, each of the 100 memorable battles described shows both how the nature of armed combat has changed over human history, and also how, despite changes in technology, organisation or ideas, many things have remained the same. It is an old adage that you can win a battle but lose a war. The battles featured here almost always resulted in victory for one side or another, but the victor did not necessarily win the war. Some battles are decisive in that broader historical sense, others are not. The further back in time, the more likely it is that an enemy could be finished off in one blow. The wars of the modern age, between major states, have involved repeated battles until one side was battered into submission. Some of the great generals of the recent past -- Napoleon, Robert E Lee, Erich von Manstein -- have been on the losing side but are remembered nonetheless for their generalship. Some on the winning side have all but disappeared from the history books or from public memory. Equally, in many battles, the issue is not victory or defeat, but what the battle can tell us about the history of warfare itself. New weapons, new tactics, new ways of organising armed forces can have a sudden impact on the outcome of a battle. But so too can leadership, or the effects of a clever deception, or raw courage. That is why the book has been divided up into clear themes which apply equally to the battles of the ancient world as they do to the battles of today. As Professor Richard Overy laments: "Battle is not a game to plug into a computer but a piece of living history, messy, bloody and real. That, at least, has not changed in 6,000 years."

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Product Description:

A history of warfare distilled into 100 momentous battles – epic moments that have shaped our world.

From the earliest recorded skirmishes of the ancient world to the computerized conflicts of today, renowned military historian Richard Overy dramatically brings to life the sights and sounds of the most significant battles in world history: the flash of steel, the thunder of guns, the shrieks of the dying, and the strange, eerie calm that descends on the bloodstained battlefield when the fighting is done.

Each of the 100 battles featured in the book – from the Fall of Troy to Operation Desert Storm – shows how the nature of armed combat has changed as technology, strategy and tactics have evolved over time.

Yet, equally strikingly, the outcome of almost all the battles across the ages have been decided by the same mix of leadership, courage, deception, innovation and, time and again, a moment of good fortune. Rather than arranged chronologically, the battles are organized under these different themes to reveal surprising connections across centuries and cultures.

In Richard Overy’s own words, ‘Battle is not a game to plug into a computer but a piece of living history: messy, bloody and real.’ Whatever else has changed over the last few millennia, that much remains the same.

Review:

Praise for ‘The Times Complete History of the World’:

‘One of the great works of historical reference in the English language. If you were allowed only one history book in the whole of your life, The Times Complete History of the World would be hard to beat because it conveys a sense not only of time, but also of place’ Niall Ferguson, Professor of History, Harvard University.

‘Wonderfully told history … comprehensive and utterly accessible’ Jon Snow

Praise for ‘The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945’:

‘This is a tough, hardheaded and meticulous work of military history … worth reading’ Dan Jones Telegraph Books of the Year

‘Magnificent … must now be regarded as the standard work on the bombing war … It is probably the most important book published on the history of he second world war this century’ Guardian

‘Monumental … this is a major contribution to one of the most controversial aspects of the Second World War … full of new detail and perspectives … hugely impressive’ Literary Review

‘This tremendous book does what the war it describes signally failed to do. With a well-thought-out strategy and precision, it delivers maximum force on its objectives … The result is a masterpiece of the historian's art’ The Times

‘My book of the year … A staggering amount of research … provides a sober and realistic assessment of [the bombings'] impact on the warring nations and on the civilians who bore the brunt of its impact … It's hard to imagine a more thorough account: a masterpiece’ Richard J Evans New Statesman Books of the Year

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Book Description William Collins. 1 Cloth(s), 2014. hard. Book Condition: New. From Alexander the Great's 331 BC rout of Darius III to Great Britain's 1982 re-conquest of the Falkland Islands, the author of the Second World War Experience series examines some of history's pivotal battles to determine the human factors that decided their outcomes. Stressing the importance of leadership, courage, deception, and good fortune, Richard Overy reappraises such conflicts as those at Thermopylae, Marathon, Austerlitz, Pearl Harbor, Little Big Horn, Gettysburg, Kursk, and the Tet Offensive, as well as Hernán Cortés's siege of Tenochtitlán. More than 150 color and black and white illustrations appear throughout, including vintage photographs and period art. 384. Bookseller Inventory # 60399

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Book Description 2014. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 252mm x 195mm x. Hardcover. A history of warfare distilled into 100 momentous battles - epic moments that have shaped our world. From the earliest recorded skirmishes of the ancient world to the computerized conflict.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 320 pages. 1.291. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007452507

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Book Description William Collins, London, United Kingdom, 2014. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 384 pages, profusely illustrated in colour and b&w, bibliography, index. A history of warfare distilled into 100 momentous battles - epic moments that have shaped our world. From the earliest recorded skirmishes of the ancient world to the computerized conflicts of today, renowned military historian Richard Overy dramatically brings to life the sights and sounds of the most significant battles in world history: the flash of steel, the thunder of guns, the shrieks of the dying, and the strange, eerie calm that descends on the bloodstained battlefield when the fighting is done. Each of the 100 battles featured in the book - from the Fall of Troy to Operation Desert Storm - shows how the nature of armed combat has changed as technology, strategy and tactics have evolved over time. Yet, equally strikingly, the outcome of almost all the battles across the ages have been decided by the same mix of leadership, courage, deception, innovation and, time and again, a moment of good fortune. Rather than arranged chronologically, the battles are organized under these different themes to reveal surprising connections across centuries and cultures. In Richard Overy's own words, 'Battle is not a game to plug into a computer but a piece of living history: messy, bloody and real.' Whatever else has changed over the last few millennia, that much remains the same. Bookseller Inventory # 343069

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