Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare: The Triumph of the Westby Geoffrey Parker
Pub. Date: 09/29/2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Now available in a revised and updated version, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare provides a unique account of Western warfare from antiquity to the present day. The book treats the history of all aspects of the subject: the development of warfare on land, sea and air; weapons and technology; strategy and defense; discipline and intelligence; mercenaries and standing armies; cavalry and infantry; chivalry and Blitzkrieg; guerilla assault and nuclear arsenals. It places in context particular key events in the history of armed engagement, from the Greek victory at Marathon, through the introduction of gunpowder in medieval England and France, to the jungle warfare of Vietnam and the strategic air attacks of the Gulf War. Throughout, there is an emphasis on the socio-economic aspects of military progress: who pays for it, how can its returns be measured, and to what extent does it explain the rise of the West to global dominance over two millennia?
Table of ContentsIntroduction: the Western way of war Geoffrey Parker; Part I. The Age of Massed Infantry: 1. Genesis of infantry 600-350 BC Victor Davis Hanson; 2. From phalanx to legion 350-250 BC Victor Davis Hanson; 3. The Roman way of war 250 BC-AD 300 Victor Davis Hanson; Part II. The Age of Stone Fortifications: 4. On Roman ramparts 300-1300 Bernard S. Bachrach; 5. New weapons, new tactics 1300-1500 Christopher Allmand; 6. The gunpowder revolution 1300-1500 Geoffrey Parker; Part III. The Age of Guns and Sails: 7. Ships of the line 1500-1650 Geoffrey Parker; 8. Conquest of the Americas 1500-1650 Patricia Seed; 9. Dynastic war 1494-1660 Geoffrey Parker; 10. States in conflict 1661-1763 John A Lynn; 11. Nations in arms 1763-1815 John A. Lynn; Part IV. The Age of Mechanized Warfare: 12. The industrialization of war 1815-1871 Williamson A. Murray; 13. Towards world war 1871-1914 Williamson A. Murray; 14. The West at war 1914-18 Williamson A. Murray; 15. The world in conflict 1919-41 Williamson A. Murray; 16. The world at war 1941-45 Williamson A. Murray; 17. The post-war world Williamson A. Murray with Geoffrey Parker; Epilogue: the future of Western warfare Geoffrey Parker.
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Overall, this is a decent work of history. It places several key events in historical perspective and provides some insight into how and why military events transpired. However, it is a general overview with little depth on any single subject. It is required for US Army ILE, but I could only recommend it for a general starting point in any military history research.