RICHARD OVERY War: A History in 100 Battles

ISBN 13: 9780007452514

War: A History in 100 Battles

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9780007452514: War: A History in 100 Battles

Their very names--Gettysburg, Waterloo, Stalingrad--evoke images of great triumph and equally great suffering, moments when history seemed to hang in the balance. Considered in relation to each other, such battles--and others of less immediate renown--offer insight into the changing nature of armed combat, advances in technology, shifts in strategy and thought, as well as altered geopolitical landscapes. The most significant military engagements in history define the very nature of war.

In his newest book, Richard Overy plumbs over 3,000 years of history, from the Fall of Troy in 1200 BC to the Fall of Baghdad in 2003, to locate the 100 battles that he believes the most momentous. Arranged by themes such as leadership, innovation, deception, and courage under fire, Overy presents engaging essays on each battle that together provide a rich picture of how combat has changed through the ages, as well as highlighting what has remained consistent despite advances in technology.

The battles covered here offer a wide geographic sweep, from ancient Greece to China, Constantinople to Moscow, North to South America, providing a picture of the dominant empires across time and context for comparison between various military cultures. From familiar engagements like Thermopylae (480 BC), Verdun (1916), and the Tet Offensive (1968) to lesser-studied battles such as Zama (202 BC), Arsuf (1191), and Navarino Bay (1827), Overy presents the key actors, choices, and contingencies, focusing on those details--sometimes overlooked--that decided the battle. The American victory at the Battle of Midway, for example, was determined by only ten bombs. It was, as Wellington said of Waterloo, a "near run thing."

Rather than focusing on the question of victory or defeat, Overy examines what an engagement can tell us on a larger level about the history of warfare itself. New weapons and tactics 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. Overy offers a deft and visually captivating look at the engagements that have shaped the course of human history, and changed the face of warfare.

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About the Author:


Richard Overy is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. In 2001 he was awarded the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize of the Society for Military History for his contribution to the history of warfare. He has published over twenty books on the subject, including Russia's War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941-1945 and Why the Allies Won.

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Richard Overy
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007452514

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007452514

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