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eBook 50 Battles That Changed the World ePub

eBook 50 Battles That Changed the World ePub

by William Weir

  • ISBN: 0753714248
  • Category: Historical Study and Educational Resources
  • Subcategory: History
  • Author: William Weir
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Octopus Publishing Group (2006)
  • ePub book: 1188 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1974 kb
  • Other: lit azw mobi rtf
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Votes: 397

Description

William Weir, a former Army combat correspondent and photographer in the Korean War, has written eight previous books, including 50 Weapons that Changed Warfare and 50 Battles that Changed the World.

William Weir, a former Army combat correspondent and photographer in the Korean War, has written eight previous books, including 50 Weapons that Changed Warfare and 50 Battles that Changed the World. In addition to his Army service, Weir has been a newspaper reporter and a public relations specialist.

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.

This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or hereafter invented, without written permission from the publisher, The Career Press. 50 battles that changed the world : the conflicts that most influenced the course of history, by William Weir. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-56414-491-7 (h.

ark:/13960/t9863hj9p.

An important look at the military conflicts that most altered the course of history.

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William Weir, author of New Page Book's 50 Battles That Changed the World, takes another look at the history of warfare, focusing on the hardware that served those famous battles, as well as others not as glorious. Included are:, Individual weapons-from spears to the submachine gun.,

William Weir, author of New Page Book's 50 Battles That Changed the World, takes another look at the history of warfare, focusing on the hardware that served those famous battles, as well as others not as glorious., Crew-served weapons-from battering rams to "Big Bertha". Unmanned weapons-from punji stakes to "Bouncing Betty" landmines and trap guns

Comments

Binthars Binthars
I bought this book for my son for an advanced History class book report but decided to read it myself. I have to admit that the summaries were somewhat disappointing. The author spent too much on areas that did not need to be covered in that much detail. For example, he lists the name of a soldier that stood up while digging a trench and his head was blown off. Was that necessary? I am sure that there was at least one soldier in every one of those battles in that book who's head was decapitated in one form or another. The editing of the book was questionable. Noted misspellings and grammar. One poor army was "attacked in the rear" (oh my) instead of " attacked from the rear". It made me laugh at least.

The selection of battles will always be argued and for the most part I understand why the author chose the ones he did. The battles that I did take keen interest in, I found myself going to the internet for clarification of the events. I wanted a more streamlined account of the build up, actual actions and the follow up. The author does add interesting detail at times that does clarify how the commander of a particular army developed his plan of attack. But I felt that this info would have been better placed in a more lengthy account of the battle.
Zicelik Zicelik
This book is an excellent beginning for anyone who wants to gain a knowledge of global military history. Each battle is roughly four to six pages, and takes enough time to describe who was fighting, why, who won, and how. It is just long enough to learn something specific, but just short enough to keep each battle unique. I highly recommend having a computer or phone handy while reading this though, you will need to look up some maps, names etc. of cultures you may have never heard of!
Bolv Bolv
A really informative book. I recommend it be read in chronological order, not in the order of the chapters. That order made it easier for me, rather than bouncing around history.
Ice_One_Guys Ice_One_Guys
useable
Aurizar Aurizar
William Weir's "50 Battles that Changed the World" is a compilation of short blurbs on some of the most famous or important battles in world history. Although the book is informative and highlights some lesser-known battles, the battles lack context and he fails to explain why or how some of these battles "changed the world."

Each battle blurb is well-written, short, and informative. Each also includes a small entry on "What was at stake" in the battle. While well-written and informative, Weir too often makes minor factual errors or baseless assertions. For example, under "Cannae" he said that the "survival of Rome" was at stake; but Rome lost the battle and survived. His sole Civil War battle is Chickamauga, and he said that the "survival of the United States" was at stake; but again, the Union forces lost (an indecisive battle) yet the United States of course survived. He claims (falsely) that Hitler was treaty-bound to declare was on the US after Pearl Harbor, and he discusses the Battle of the Atlantic without discussing the key role played by the Ultra intercepts.

But ultimately where this book fails to deliver is that the 50 battles listed didn't change the world; or, if they did, Weir doesn't explain how. Was Chickamauga really history-changing? Or Cannae? (Especially because, as mentioned above, the winner of both of these battles lost the war.) Or the Battle of New Orleans, which was fought after the Treaty of Ghent had set the terms ending the War of 1812? Or many of the myriad lesser-known battles that he lists?

This book is a decent read with some nice, succinct histories of the various battles. However, this is amateur history written by an amateur historian.
Zargelynd Zargelynd
Like the other of William Weir's books that I have read, this one is well written and informative. It gives a history of what he feels are the 50 battles that changed the world. Each battle is covered in about 6 pages, so only a general overview is provided. All in all I liked this book, but with some reservations.
Pros:
1) More important than the battles is the preliminary discussion of the history leading up to the battle, a capsule history of the commanders and the importance of the battle.

2) Good if you just want a general review of the subject, written in an entertaining style.

3) While centered the western world, it also covers a few battles in the rest of the world (Mexico, China, Middle East).

4) Several interesting appendices are included. Weir provides a capsule history of all of the important leaders discussed in the book, a glossary of military terms and five different timelines (which compare the battles discussed in the book in terms of things like the development of democracy, East versus West and the development of European nationhood.)

5) This book is written for a general audience rather than experts in military history.

6) There is a lot of interesting information provided in this book and I gained new insights into many areas of history. For instance, I had always viewed the blue versus green conflicts in Constantinople as being akin to the rivalry between supporters of different sports teams in the same city. I learned from this book that the blues and greens were primarily Christian religious factions, who also supported different chariot teams.

While this book is very interesting it has several shortcomings that a potential reader should be aware of.
Cons:
1) This book does not give a detailed discussion the battles or of the tactics and strategy that were employed. If that is your primary interest then Fuller's "Military History of the Western World" or Liddell Hart's "Strategy" are better choices.

2) There is no overriding theme to the book, such as the development of tactics and weapons. (If this is your interest, then Weir has books on the 50 most important weapons and important turning points in military history that you will find of interest.)

3) While there are a few non-Western battles, but all are told from the perspective of their importance to Western Civilization. There are no battles that are important just to Asian Civilization, Indian Civilization, or Latin American Civilizations.

4) This book lists the 50 battles that Weir thinks are the most important and the battles are discussed in what he feels are their order of importance. Students of history will no doubt disagree with Weir's choice of battles and his listing of their importance. For instance, few students of the American Civil War would rate the battle at Chickamauga as being more important than Antietam or Gettysburg. I suspect that Chickamauga was included because he had already written the chapter for a previous book (see below).

5) Basing the book on the Weir's idea of the order of importance of the battles that are discussed makes the book very disjointed. For instance, the battle of the Atlantic during WWII is succeeded by Cannae in 216 BC, which is followed by Malplaquet in 1709, which is then followed by Carrhae in 53 BC. There is no chronological continuity and, in my opinion this makes it difficult to follow the historical development of nations, weapons, tactics or anything else. Weir does provide an appendix that lists the battles in chronological order, so the reader could read the chapters in that order instead of that given in the book, but it is cumbersome to do so.

6) This book will probably disappoint experts in military history as being too superficial, but then again it was not written for that audience.

7) There is a considerable overlap with a previous book of Weir's, "Fatal Victories". That book is focused on victories that ultimately lead to unwanted consequences. Ten of the 14 battles discussed in the previous book were also, verbatim in parts, chapters in this book. If you liked the previous book, you will like this one, but you get only 40 new battles, without the emphasis on the fatal aspects of the 10 battles that are also included in this book.