Publishers WeeklyThis handy browser's reference from retired Army officer and decorated Vietnam veteran Lanning offers brief accounts of the author's choice of the 100 most influential battles in history. The selections are wide-ranging: the first three are household words-Yorktown, Hastings and Stalingrad-while the last three are Tel-el-Kebir, which established the British protectorate over Egypt in 1882, Vyborg, the White victory over the Reds in 1918 that ensured the independence of Finland, and Little Big Horn, whose major importance is the amount of controversy it has generated since 1876. The author has impartially included wars of colonial conquest (Cajamarca, which gave Pizarro and Spain rule over the Inca Empire) and colonial liberation (Carabobo, which freed Venezuela, and Dien Bien Phu). He also offers useful perspectives on naval battles (Actium, Trafalgar, Tsushima, Lepanto and Midway, to name a few). Each article features a clearly written if brief narrative, including analyses of what is known about the tactics and weapons, and an excellent map. Some of them also have flaws, such as the article on Tsushima-not all the Russian ships were old-and the political attack on Walter Cronkite in the article on the Tet Offensive. This work is very similar to Lanning's The Military 100, a volume in the same format on the most influential commanders, but unusual and even witty insights also abound, such as the comment that the Battle of Kadesh was the first example of a general's publicity machine (in this case, Ramses II of Egypt) turning a drawn battle into a victory. The wide range keeps depth of each article limited, but these are useful introductions to many battles that are not household words. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
What is the most important battle of all time?
Library JournalRetired army colonel Lanning here ranks significant land and sea battles (e.g., Yorktown, Stalingrad, and Dien Bien Phu) that have changed the course of history. These battles have affected the balance of power and the boundaries of nation-states or, like Little Big Horn, have a special place in the popular imagination. Concise chapters present the battles in descending order of importance to create a quick ready-reference guide similar to Paul Davis's 100 Decisive Battles. Each chapter includes battle maps, battle plans, and the tactics of opposing leaders and their respective countries. Unfortunately, the maps in both Lanning's and Davis's books are not detailed enough and lack a key, and readers might find Lanning's battle descriptions too simplified or the importance he has assigned to a particular battle questionable. Nevertheless, Lanning's book will be useful as an overview of significant battles, especially for students, and teachers will appreciate the excellent bibliography and analysis of a complex historical subject. Recommended for public libraries.-Gerald Costa, Brooklyn P.L., NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library JournalGr 9 Up-Lanning has presented what, in his opinion, are the most important military battles in world history. The foreword stresses that the ranking is according to the battle's "influence on history," rather than by "decisive engagement." Each essay discusses participants, leaders, and location, and gives an evaluation of the battle's impact. The land, sea, and air battles included range in date from 1479 B.C.E. to 1967 and include such significant engagements as the battles of Yorktown, Hastings, Stalingrad, Cajamarca, Waterloo, Normandy, and Dien Bien Phu. Military jargon is kept to a minimum; however, students will need some background knowledge to fully appreciate many of the entries. While informative half- to full-page, black-and-white maps show each battle's setting, there are no world and/or regional map(s) to show the relative location of each conflict. The bibliography is extensive. This readable resource provides more information and analysis on individual battles than a general encyclopedia, and will be useful for students needing an overview on an engagement.-Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
- Sourcebooks, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.18(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.06(d)
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >