Some of the battles in this book are familiar to us all—Bunker Hill, which prevented the American Revolution from being stillborn, and Marathon, which kept the world's first democracy alive. Others may be less familiar—the naval battle at Diu (on the Indian Coast), which led to the ascendancy of Western Civilization and the discovery of America, and Yarmuk, which made possible the spread of Islam from Morocco to the Philippines.
With remarkable accounts of both famous and lesser-known clashes, 50 Battles provides impressive insight into the battles that shaped civilization as we know it.
William Weir was an army MP, and later served as an army combat correspondent in the 25th Infantry Division during the Korean War. He was a newspaper reporter in Missouri and Kansas, which included being military editor at the Topeka State Journal. While a public relations specialist for a large telephone company, he wrote some 50 magazine articles, many of them on military history and weaponry. Since retiring from his public relations job, he has written four books, Written With Lead: Legendary American Gunfights and Gunfighters, Fatal Victories, In the Shadow of the Dope Fiend and A Well Regulated Militia: The Battle Over Gun Control. He now lives in Connecticut where he and his wife, Anne, watch with pride the activities of their three children, Alison, an Air Force officer, Joan, a special education teacher, and Bill, a newspaper reporter.
This is the exciting—yet little known—story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.
The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father’s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.
This thrilling adventure—based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors—depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.
In war, whenever one side outnumbers and outguns the other, the outnumbered and outgunned side often resorts to guerrilla warfare to address the asymmetry and frequently achieves victory. The twentieth century produced scores of such conflicts, whether as sideshows of the world wars or as the main events in wars of revolution or liberation. Guerrilla Warfare examines twenty-one of these conflicts, shedding light on the remarkable capabilities of unconventional fighters to outlast and defeat their enemies.