By Richard Overy
Their very names--Gettysburg, Waterloo, Stalingrad--evoke photos of serious triumph and both nice affliction, moments while historical past looked as if it would hold within the stability. thought of on the subject of one another, such battles--and others of much less quick renown--offer perception into the altering nature of armed wrestle, advances in expertise, shifts in method and inspiration, in addition to altered geopolitical landscapes. The most major army engagements in background outline the very nature of warfare. In his most recent booklet, Richard Overy plumbs over 3,000 years of heritage, from the autumn of Troy in 1200 BC to th. Read more...
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Additional resources for A history of war in 100 battles
It is easy to be sentimental about Harold’s defeat, but he, like William, was just one of a long line of warrior noblemen, with Norse blood in their veins, who fought to the death for land and wealth. What made William different was his sharp military mind, shown in his ability to ‘manage’ the battlefield in an age of primitive combat. Crude though the fighting was, William’s victory rested on solid military understanding and bold leadership. NO. 6 BATTLE OF ZHONGDU 1215 T here are few military leaders in world history with a more elevated reputation than the Mongol tribesman Temüjin, better known to history as Genghis Khan, or Chingghis Khan.
His army left their horses and proceeded early on the morning of 14 October to take up position at the top of a long but shallow slope, protected on both sides by swampy ground, where Harold set up a solid shield wall some ten or twelve men deep and perhaps 7,000-strong in total. Although he had successfully used a cavalry charge at Stamford Bridge, Harold chose to fight without cavalry and with very few archers. The shield wall, in contrast, was a primitive tactic to choose against William and left very little flexibility.
Modern accounts suggest a possible atmospheric phenomenon which Constantine interpreted as he wished, but since he claimed to have had visions often, he may have been the victim of hallucinations caused, experts now think, by a particular form of migraine. Whatever the truth, Constantine knew how to use the vision to his advantage; in this case it must have reinforced the confidence of his men in a leader who had already proved his qualities on numerous occasions. There are times in battle when a perceptive leader can see how the supernatural might help, as Alexander had at Gaugamela.