More in military history

Brutality and fear. Heroism and sacrifice. Military history is a fascinating, complex, and often contradictory subject. War and fighting between tribes, clans, groups and countries has been with us forever. Great leaders, great villains, pivotal moments and events become transformative, causing political, social, and technological upheavals, which were often built on the foundation of war. The Handy Military History Answer Book is a captivating, concise, and convenient look at how the world, the United States, and the lives we lead today have been changed by war and the military. The weapons, leaders, soldiers, battles, tactics, strategies, blunders, technologies, and outcomes are all examined in this powerful primer on the military, its history—and world history.

From early Greeks and Romans to Genghis Kahn and other great conquering militaries of the past, continuing on through the civil wars and world wars that shaped the boundaries of today’s nations, and to the modern weapons, technologies, guerrilla warfare, and terrorism currently reported in the nightly news, this book investigates everything from the smallest miscalculations and maneuvers to the biggest invasions and battles, as well as the cutting-edge technologies and firepower that led to victories and helped change the world.

The Handy Military History Answer Book looks at the who, the what, the why, and the how of conflicts throughout history. It answers over 1,100 questions, from the mostly widely asked to the more obscure, such as:

Who cast the first stone (of human history)?
Who were the "Sea Peoples?"
Is there anything to the story of Ancient Troy?
Could Alexander the Great have conquered the early Roman Republic?
How wealthy would each of Alexander's men been had the treasure at Persepolis been divided?
How many Romans lost their lives at the Battle of Cannae?
Why did people underestimate Julius Caesar when he was in his thirties?
How many men, and auxiliary fighters, were there in a Roman legion?
Was the Battle of Actium truly decisive? And what way?
Which precious metal did the Vikings prefer above all others?
Do we even have his name--Genghis Khan--right?
Who employed the composite bow with greater effectiveness: the Arabs or the Turks?
Why did Pope Urban II go to central France in 1095?
Where did Richard the Lion-Heart get his nickname?
Why on earth did Hitler code-name his invasion of Russia for a German emperor who drowned?
Who was the greater wit: Voltaire or King Frederick the Great?
About whom did King George II remark: "Mad, is he? Well I hope he bites some of my other generals?"
What great poet spent years gathering food and wine for the Spanish Armada?
What was the price for King Francis' freedom, in 1526?
How long did it take to learn how to use the longbow?
What was the largest of the cannon brought by the Ottoman Turks to the siege of Constantinople
Who took over when Genghis Khan died (after a fall from his horse)?
What did the Franciscan monks say when they returned from Karakorum?
Was Napoleon really not French?
Who won the Battle of the Nile, and how?
Where was the world's first submarine deployed?
When did George Washington have to alter all his plans: and how did he go about making the change?
How many people died at the Siege of Fort Sumter?
What was the worst day of the Civil War, in the Far West?
When were balloons first deployed in warfare?
Where did the name "Uncle Sam" come from?
What signals did Paul Revere watch for on the evening of April 18, 1775?
What did Rasputin have to say about the approach of the First World War?
How close did Hitler come to victory at Moscow in 1941?
What ten days decided the outcome of World War II?
What was so special about the B-24?
When did the Cold War commence?
What was the last action of the Yom Kippur War?
What role did Colin Powell play in the run-up to war in Iraq?
The remarkable story of the French Foreign Legion, its dramatic rise throughout the nineteenth century, and its most committed champion, General Hubert Lyautey.

An aura of mystery, romance, and danger surrounds the French Foreign Legion, the all-volunteer corps of the French Army, founded in 1831. Famous for its physically grueling training in harsh climates, the legion fought in French wars from Mexico to Madagascar, Southeast Asia to North Africa. To this day, despite its reputation for being assigned the riskiest missions in the roughest terrain, the mystique of the legion continues to attract men from every corner of the world.

In At the Edge of the World, historian Jean-Vincent Blanchard follows the legion's rise to fame during the nineteenth century--focusing on its campaigns in Indochina and especially in Africa--when the corps played a central role in expanding and protecting the French Empire. As France struggled to be a power capable of rivaling the British, the figure of the legionnaire--deadly, self-sacrificing, uncompromisingly efficient--came to represent the might and morale that would secure a greater, stronger nation.

Drawing from rare, archival memoirs and testimonies of legionnaires from the period and tracing the fascinating career of Hubert Lyautey, France's first resident-general in Morocco and a hero to many a legionnaire, At the Edge of the World chronicles the Foreign Legion at the height of its renown, when the corps and its archetypically handsome, moody, and marginalized recruits became both the symbols of a triumphant colonialism and the stuff of legend.
War was epidemic in the late Middle Ages. It affected every land and all peoples from Scotland and Scandinavia in the north to the southern Mediterranean Sea coastlines of Morocco, North Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East in the south, from Ireland and Spain in the west to Russia and Turkey in the east. Nowhere was peaceful for any significant amount of time. The period also saw significant changes in military theory and practice which altered the ways in which campaigns were conducted, battles fought, and sieges laid; and changes in the leadership, recruitment, training, supply and financing of armies. There were changes in the relationship between those waging warfare, from generals to irregular troops, and the society in which they lived and for or against which they fought; the frequency of popular rebellions and the participation in them by townspeople and peasants; changes in the desire to undertake Crusades, and changes in technology, including but not limited to gunpowder weapons. This collection gathers together some of the best published work on these topics. The first section of seven papers show that throughout Europe in the later Middle Ages generals led and armies followed what are usually defined as "modern" strategy and tactics, contrary to popular belief. The second part reprints nine works that examine the often neglected aspects of the process of putting and keeping together a late medieval army. In the third section the authors discuss various ways that warfare in the fourteenth and fifteenth century affected the society of that period. The final sections cover popular rebellions and crusading.
"A badly needed addition to public and military libraries and to the shelves of every military writer … a definitive job." — Army Times
Megiddo, Thermopylae, Waterloo, Stalingrad, Vietnam … nothing has dominated man's attention, challenged his energy, produced more heroes — and destruction — than war. This monumental one-volume work traces the long history of that uniquely human activity in vivid, accurate accounts of over 1,500 crucial military conflicts, Spanning more than 3,400 years, it encompasses a panorama of warfare so complete that no single volume like it exists.
All the essential details of every major battle in recorded history on land and at sea — from the first battle of Megiddo in 1479 B. C. to Grenada in 1984 — are covered. For added convenience, this work lists the engagements in alphabetical order, from "Aachen," the first entry, to "Zutphen," the last.
You'll find painstakingly researched, objectively written descriptions of the Persia-Greek conflicts of the fifth century B. C., Roman Empire wars, Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War, World Wars I and II, and many more. Also included are penetrating analyses of the roles played by commanders of genius — Alexander, Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Khalid ibn al-Walid, and other momentous figures. Updating this already comprehensive resource, a new Appendix deals with more recent conflicts: the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq War, the Falkland Islands clash, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and the U. S. invasion of Grenada.
Each entry includes states, strategic situations, military leaders, troop numbers, tactics, casualties and military/political consequences of the battles. In addition, you'll find cross references at the end of each entry, 99 battle maps and a comprehensive index containing titles and alliances and treaties, famous quotations, slogans, catch phrases … even battle cries.
An Encyclopedia of Battles is an entire library of military history in one convenient space-saving volume. Students, historians, writers, military buffs … anyone interested in the subject will find this inexpensive paperbound edition an indispensable reference and a fascinating study of the world's military past.
DIVOutnumbered but not Outmatched./divHow did Hannibal’s 55,000 Carthaginians turn the tables on an 80,000-strong force of the ancient world’s most efficient military machine, the Roman army? What allowed 6,000 Englishmen to overcome 30,000 French at Agincourt in 1415? Which errors in judgment doomed a Russian army twice as large as its opposing German force at the Battle of Tannenberg during World War I?Author Cormac O’Brien’s powerful and vivid recreations of history’s most surprising military victories illuminate the cunning strategies, secret weapons, fateful decisions, and changes of fortune that turned the tide of battle in the most extraordinary and unanticipated ways: the risky Greek ruse that trapped the Persian Fleet at Salamis in 480 BCE; the snowstorm that helped a Swedish force destroy a Russian army four times its size at the Battle of Narva in 1700; the newly introduced firearm that enabled 150 British soldiers to hold off an attacking horde of 4,000 Zulus at Rorke’s Drift, Africa, in 1879.Even a commander as fearless, self-assured, and battle-hardened as Alexander the Great, leading 40,000 Macedonian troops, must have quailed at the sight that met him as he neared the village of Issus, Asia Minor, in 333 BCE: an unexpectedly and unimaginably vast Persian force of some 100,000 men, spanning the Mediterranean coastal plain as far as the eye could see. For warfare had already demonstrated, and has confirmed ever since, that numerical superiority consistently carries the day. And yet, every once in a while, such lopsided engagements have had an unexpected outcome, and proved to be a crucible in which great leaders, and history, are forged.Outnumbered chronicles fourteen momentous occasions on which a smaller, ostensibly weaker force prevailed in an epochal confrontation. Thus, Alexander, undaunted, devised a brilliant and daring plan that disoriented and destroyed the Persian force and, consequently, its empire. Likewise, during the U.S. Civil War, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, despite being outpositioned and outnumbered more than two to one by Union forces at Chancellorsville, Virginia, hatched an audacious and surprise strategy that caught his enemy completely unawares. Other equally unexpected, era-defining victories are shown to have derived from the devastating deployment of unusual weaponry, sheer good fortune, or even the gullibility of an enemy, as when Yamashita Tomoyuki, commander of 35,000 ill-supplied Japanese troops, convinced the 85,000-strong British Commonwealth army to surrender Singapore in 1942.Together these accounts constitute an enthralling survey that captures the excitement and terrors of battle, while highlighting the unpredictable nature of warfare and the courage and ingenuity of inspired, and inspiring, military leaders. A thrilling tour of the battlefields of history, replete with dramatic encounters, sudden twists of fate, and intriguing character studies, Outnumbered demonstrates that, even when the odds seem insurmountable, the path to glory can still be found.
From the introduction of gunpowder to the reigning era of nuclear weapons, military technological advances have been at the forefront of change. These changes in weaponry have influenced the outcome of many historical events and the downfall or success of major civilizations. All nations have sought to improve military technologies in the hope of gaining the upper hand in conflict. The developments in guns, cannon technology, warships, tanks, and airborne and space weapons, have been crucial in the ever-changing face of war. While it is inherent in human nature to seek better weapons for survival, the use of this weaponry will continue to make an impact on history. Through careful examination of the science and engineering of these weapons, persons can continue to venture into the field of military weaponry with an outlook towards the future.

Through the many advancements made in military weaponry, our civilization is one that continues to change in the face of war. Technological advancements made in this area improve upon current war tactics and often are the basis behind military warfare. Technology has proven to transform history, lending itself to be one of the most powerful assets of the human race. Breakthroughs in military technology prove to be at the forefront of war and in many cases the result of war is directly connected through these advancements. In history, major civilizations have seen their rise or downfall through the elevation of weapon technology. Lee delves into the engineering and science behind major weapons such as: guns, cannons, fighter and stealth aircrafts, various types of missiles, attack helicopters, aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, main battle tanks and future weapons. He comprises the knowledge behind the weapons along with an understanding of how the weapons are used and applied to modern warfare. By showing how weapons have changed military warfare, he explains the human nature to seek better weapons for survival, protection, and domination of resources.

Napoleon delayed his attack at Waterloo to allow the mud to dry. Had he attacked earlier, he might have defeated Wellington before Blücher arrived. In November 1942, Russian mud stopped the Germans, who could not advance again until the temperature dropped low enough to freeze the mud. During the Vietnam War, "Project Popeye" was an American attempt to lengthen the monsoon and cause delays on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Soldiers have always known just how significant mud can be in war. But historians have not fully recognized its importance, and few have discussed the phenomenon in more than a passing manner. Only three books--Military Geography (by John Collins), Battling the Elements (by Harold Winters et al.), and Battlegrounds) (edited by Michael Stephenson)-- have addressed it at any length and then only as part of the entire environment's effect on the battlefield. None of these books analyzed mud's influence on the individual combatant. Mud: A Military History first defines the substance's very different types. Then it examines their specific effects on mobility and on soldiers and their equipment over the centuries and throughout the world. From the Russian rasputiza to the Southeast Asian monsoon, C. E. Wood demonstrates mud's profound impact on the course of military history. Citing numerous veterans' memoirs, archival sources, personal interviews, and historical sources, soldier-scholar Wood pays particular attention to mud's effect on combatants' morale, health, and fatigue. His book is for all infantrymen--past, present, or the clean, dry, comfortable armchair variety.
Loyal Gunners uniquely encapsulates the experience of Canadian militia gunners and their units into a single compelling narrative that centres on the artillery units of New Brunswick. The story of those units is a profoundly Canadian story: one of dedication and sacrifice in service of great guns and of Canada.

The 3rd Field Regiment (The Loyal Company), Royal Canadian Artillery, is Canada’s oldest artillery unit, dating to the founding of the Loyal Company in Saint John in 1793. Since its centennial in 1893, 3rd Field—in various permutations of medium, coastal, and anti-aircraft artillery—has formed the core of New Brunswick’s militia artillery, and it has endured into the twenty-first century as the last remaining artillery unit in the province.

This book is the first modern assessment of the development of Canadian heavy artillery in the Great War, the first look at the development of artillery in general in both world wars, and the first exploration of the development and operational deployment of anti-tank artillery in the Second World War. It also tells a universal story of survival as it chronicles the fortunes of New Brunswick militia units through the darkest days of the Cold War, when conventional armed forces were entirely out of favour. In 1950 New Brunswick had four and a half regiments of artillery; by 1970 it had one—3rd Field.

Loyal Gunners traces the rise and fall of artillery batteries in New Brunswick as the nature of modern war evolved. From the Great War to Afghanistan it provides the most comprehensive account to date of Canada’s gunners.

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