The medieval period was a singular epoch in military history--an age profoundly influenced by martial ideals, whose very structure of society was organized for war, and whose leaders were by necessity warriors. Now, the richly illustrated Medieval Warfare illuminates this era, examining over seven hundred years of European conflict, from the time of Charlemagne to the end of the middle ages (1500). Twelve scholars examine medieval warfare in two sections. The first section explores the experience of war chronologically, with essays on the Viking age, on the wars and expansion of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, on the Crusades, and on the great Hundred Years War between England and France. The second section traces developments in the art of warfare: fortification and siege craft, the role of armored cavalrymen, the use of mercenary forces, the birth of gunpowder artillery, and the new skills in navigation and shipbuilding.
Compiled from official records and unpublished material, the author builds a unique and fascinating social history of the U.S. Navy's officer corps between its establishment in 1794 and the end of the War of 1812.
In Patton, Montgomery, Rommel, one of Britain's most accomplished military scholars presents an unprecedented study of the land war in the North African and European theaters, as well as their chief commanders--three men who also happened to be the most compelling dramatis personae of World War II.Beyond spellbinding depictions of pivotal confrontations at El Alamein, Monte Cassino, and the Ardennes forest, author-scholar Terry Brighton illuminates the personal motivations and historical events that propelled the three men's careers: how Patton's, Montgomery's, and Rommel's Great War experiences helped to mold their style of command--and how, exactly, they managed to apply their arguably megalomaniacal personalities (and hitherto unrecognized political acumen and tact) to advance their careers and strategic vision. Opening new avenues of inquiry into the lives and careers of three men widely profiled by scholars and popular historians alike, Brighton definitively answers numerous lingering and controversial questions: Was Patton really as vainglorious in real life as he was portrayed to be on the silver screen?--and how did his tireless advocacy of "mechanized cavalry" forever change the face of war? Was Monty's dogged publicity-seeking driven by his own need for recognition or by his desire to claim for Britain a leadership role in postwar global order?--and how did this prickly "commoner" manage to earn affection and esteem from enlisted men and nobility alike? How might the war have ended if Rommel had had more tanks?--and what fundamental philosophical difference between him and Hitler made such an outcome virtually impossible? Abetted by new primary source material and animated by Terry Brighton's incomparable storytelling gifts, Patton, Montgomery, Rommel offers critical new interpretations of the Second World War as it was experienced by its three most flamboyant, controversial, and influential commanders--and augments our understanding of each of their perceptions of war and leadership.
Following the success of his recent book on Navy SEALs in Iraq, The Sheriff of Ramadi, bestselling author and combat veteran Dick Couch now examines the importance of battlefield ethics in effectively combating terrorists without losing the battle for the hearts of the local population. A former SEAL who led one of the only successful POW rescue operations in Vietnam, Couch warns that the mistakes made in Vietnam forty years ago are being repeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the stakes are even higher now. His book takes a critical look at the battlefield conduct of U.S. ground-combat units fighting insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the prize of the fight on the modern battlefield is the people, he warns every death has a consequence. Every killing has both strategic and moral significance for U.S. warriors.
From his unique and qualified perspective, Couch examines the sources and issues that can lead to wrong conduct on the battlefield, and explains how it comes about and what can be done to correct it. He considers the roles of command intent and the official rules of engagement, but his primary focus is on ethical conduct at the squad and platoon level. Tactical ethics, according to the author's definition, is the moral and ethical armor that should accompany every American warrior into battle, and these standards apply to the engaged unit as well as to the individual. A harsh critic of immoral combat tactics, Couch offers realistic measures to correct these potentially devastating errors. He argues that as a nation, we must do all we can to protect our soldiers' humanity, for their sake, so they can return from service with honor, and for our sake as a people and for our standing in the world.
A fascinating narrative-and a bold new thesis in the study of the Civil War-that suggests Robert E. Lee had a heretofore undiscovered strategy at Gettysburg that, if successful, could have crushed the Union forces and changed the outcome of the war.
The Battle of Gettysburg is the pivotal moment when the Union forces repelled perhaps America's greatest commander-the brilliant Robert E. Lee, who had already thrashed a long line of Federal opponents-just as he was poised at the back door of Washington, D.C. It is the moment in which the fortunes of Lee, Lincoln, the Confederacy, and the Union hung precariously in the balance.
Conventional wisdom has held to date, almost without exception, that on the third day of the battle, Lee made one profoundly wrong decision. But how do we reconcile Lee the high-risk warrior with Lee the general who launched "Pickett's Charge," employing only a fifth of his total forces, across an open field, up a hill, against the heart of the Union defenses? Most history books have reported that Lee just had one very bad day. But there is much more to the story, which Tom Carhart addresses for the first time.
With meticulous detail and startling clarity, Carhart revisits the historic battles Lee taught at West Point and believed were the essential lessons in the art of war-the victories of Napoleon at Austerlitz, Frederick the Great at Leuthen, and Hannibal at Cannae-and reveals what they can tell us about Lee's real strategy. What Carhart finds will thrill all students of history: Lee's plan for an electrifying rear assault by Jeb Stuart that, combined with the frontal assault, could have broken the Union forces in half. Only in the final hours of the battle was the attack reversed through the daring of an unproven young general-George Armstrong Custer.
"Lost Triumph" will be one of the most captivating and controversial history books of the season.
Like Machiavelli's The Prince and the Japanese Book of Five Rings, Sun Tzu's The Art of War is as timely for business people today as it was for military strategists in ancient China. Written in China more than 2,000 years ago, Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War is the first known study of the planning and conduct of military operations. These terse, aphoristic essays are unsurpassed in comprehensiveness and depth of understanding, examining not only battlefield maneuvers, but also relevant economic, political, and psychological factors. Indeed, the precepts outlined by Sun Tzu regularly applied outside the realm of military theory. It is read avidly by Japanese businessmen and was touted in the movie Wall Street as the corporate raider's bible.Providing a much-needed translation of this classic, Samuel Griffith has made this powerful and unique work even more relevant to the modern world. Including an explanatory introduction and selected commentaries on the work, this edition makes Sun Tzu's timeless classic perfectly accessible to modern readers.
So you're walking out of school and parked at the gate is a new, bright red Ford Mustang with a hulk of a man in the front seat. He's sporting a razor cut and wraparound shades. Before you can pass he's out of the car and blocking your path. "Mind if I take a minute"--he has you by the arm now--"to tell you about the great life in today's Army and why you should seriously think about signing up?"The armed forces are having a tough time attracting new recruits lately, in no small part due to the mess in Iraq. Young people are getting wise to the many excellent reasons not to join the U.S. military, and this handy book brings them all together, combining accessible writing with hard facts and devastating personal testimony. Contributors with firsthand experience point out the dangers facing soldiers, describe the tricks used by recruiters, and emphasize that there really are other options, even in a sluggish economy. It's essential reading for anyone thinking of signing up.
This book explains what network-centric warfare is, and how it works, using concrete historical naval examples rather than the usual abstractions. It argues that navies invented this style of warfare over the last century, led by the Royal Navy, and that the wars of that century, culminating in the Cold War, show how networked warfare worked - and did not work.These wars also illustrate what net-on-net warfare means; most exponents of the new style of war assume that the United States will enjoy a monopoly on it. This account is important to all the services; it is naval because navies were the first to use network-centric approaches (the book does take national air defense into account, because air defense systems deeply influenced naval development). This approach is probably the only way a reader can get a realistic feeling for what the new style of war offers, and also for what is needed to make it work. Thus the book concentrates on the tactical picture which the network is erected to help form and to disseminate, rather than, as is usual, the communications network itself.This approach makes it possible to evaluate different possible contributions to a network-centric system, because it focuses on what the warriors using the picture really want and need. Without such a focus, the needs of networked warfare reduce simply to the desire for more and more information, delivered at greater and greater speeds. Although it concentrates on naval examples, this book is of vital importance to all the services. It is the first book about network-centric warfare to deal in concrete examples, and the first to use actual history to illuminate current operational concepts.It also offers considerable new light on the major naval battles of the World Wars, hence ought to be of intense interest to historians. For example, it offers a new way of understanding the naval revolution wrought in the pre-1914 Royal Navy by Admiral Sir John Fisher.
Bizarre military history: In 1979, a crack commando unit was established by the most gifted minds within the U.S. Army. Defying all known laws of physics and accepted military practice, they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and--perhaps most chillingly--kill goats just by staring at them. They were the First Earth Battalion, entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back--and they're fighting the War on Terror.An uproarious exploration of American military paranoia: With investigations ranging from the mysterious "Goat Lab," to Uri Geller's covert psychic work with the CIA, to the increasingly bizarre role played by a succession of U.S. presidents, this might just be the funniest, most unsettling book you will ever read--if only because it is all true and is still happening today.