The course of history rarely changes so swiftly and decisively as on the battlefield. In this masterly overview, an international team of historians reconstructs and analyses seventy key clashes from 490 BC to the 21st century and appraises their impact on the world order.
Their studies encompass not only the great land battles, but sieges such as Constantinople and Tenochtitlan; naval battles at Trafalgar and Tsushima; and aerial struggles including the Battle of Britain. Truly global in scope, the collection marches from the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9, where the German tribes annihilated a Roman army, to Hakata Bay in 1281, where the Japanese defeated the Mongols, to the heart of the American Civil War at Gettysburg in 1863 and beyond. Together they show how technology and tactics advance in tandem as battlefield commanders respond to advances in mobility, communications and firepower, how certain principles endure – and how victory in battle may not win the war.
Illustrated with over 80 specially commissioned battle plans, this is an essential introduction to some of the great battles in history.
'Intelligently conceived and well written… brings out the great continuities of war'