In 216 B. C. Hannibal brought about the destruction of the Roman army at Cannae using the classical maneuver of the double envelopment. In 1941 the German commander von Runstedt brought off a similar maneuver against the Russians at Kiev and won an equally crushing victory. Drawing fascinating parallels between the military maneuvers of the ancient world and successful tactics in modern wars, David Chandler sets out to demonstrate the constant factors that have underlain the strategies and tactics of the great commanders, from Alexander the Great to Marshal Zhukov. Each chapter includes information on:
-- The seven classical maneuvers and the eighth gambit, guerilla warfare
-- Advances in weaponry, fortification, communications, army organization and administration
-- Strengths and weaknesses of commanders of the period
-- Analytical descriptions of two major battles from each period
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As The Face magazine's star writer of the 1990's, Gavin Hills was known and loved by a generation of club-kids, skaters, style fiends and starry-eyed, socially disaffected youth everywhere. His tragic death in 1997 denied British journalism one of its most original voices. Along with Sheryl Garratt, editor of the The Face, he was responsible for reinventing the magazine and shaking off its dated 80s poseur image. His writing spanned a breathtakingly eclectic range of topics, from El Salvador to ecstasy, football hooliganism to Sarajevo, but the uniting factor in everything he wrote was his compelling passion and involvement. In each of these pieces, Gavin's voice and personality loom large. You can feel the elation, irritation or excitement bursting through the words. His dreams and obsessions capture the zeitgeist of an age which already seems distant and nostalgic: those rose-tinted summers of the early 90s when it seemed as if the entire nation was waving their hands in the air and stomping their muddy trainers to acid house in a field somewhere outside the M25. But what sets Hills aside from the other euphoria merchants are his political and social convictions and the way he managed to get those same hands-in-the-air kids reading, and caring, about the war in Angola or famine in Ethiopia. Bliss to be Alive is a quirky, heartfelt record of an era. Read it wistfully and then parcel it for your kids.-- Rebecca Johnson
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