Princeton Shorts are brief selections excerpted from influential Princeton University Press publications produced exclusively in eBook format. They are selected with the firm belief that while the original work remains an important and enduring product, sometimes we can all benefit from a quick take on a topic worthy of a longer book.
In a world where every second counts, how better to stay up-to speed on current events and digest the kernels of wisdom found in the great works of the past? Princeton Shorts enables you to be an instant expert in a world where information is everywhere but quality is at a premium. On Victory and Defeat does just that.
Originally published in 1992.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
Both timely and timeless, How Wars Are Won illuminates the thirteen essential rules for success on the battlefield that have evolved from ancient times until the present day. Acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander’s incisive and vivid analyses of famous battles throughout the ages show how the greatest commanders—from Alexander the Great to Douglas MacArthur—have applied these rules. For example:
• Feign retreat: Pretend defeat, fake a retreat, then ambush the enemy while being pursued. Used to devastating effect by the North Vietnamese against U.S. forces during the Vietnam War.
• Strike at enemy weakness: Avoid the enemy’s strength entirely by refusing to fight pitched battles, a method that has run alongside conventional war from the earliest days of human conflict. Brilliantly applied by Mao Zedong to defeat the Chinese Nationalists.
• Defend, then attack: Gain possession of a superior weapon or tactical system, induce the enemy to launch a fruitless attack, then go on the offensive. Employed repeatedly against the Goths by the Eastern Roman general Belisarius to reclaim vast stretches of the Roman Empire.
The lessons of history revealed in these pages can be used to shape the strategies needed to win the conflicts of today.
From the Trade Paperback edition.