The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme [NOOK Book]

Overview

Military historian John Keegan’s groundbreaking analysis of combat and warfare

The Face of Battle is military history from the battlefield: a look at the direct experience of individuals at the "point of maximum danger." Without the myth-making elements of rhetoric and xenophobia, and breaking away from the stylized format of battle descriptions, John Keegan has written what is probably the definitive model for military historians. And in his ...
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The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme

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Overview

Military historian John Keegan’s groundbreaking analysis of combat and warfare

The Face of Battle is military history from the battlefield: a look at the direct experience of individuals at the "point of maximum danger." Without the myth-making elements of rhetoric and xenophobia, and breaking away from the stylized format of battle descriptions, John Keegan has written what is probably the definitive model for military historians. And in his scrupulous reassessment of three battles representative of three different time periods, he manages to convey what the experience of combat meant for the participants, whether they were facing the arrow cloud at the battle of Agincourt, the musket balls at Waterloo, or the steel rain of the Somme.

“The best military historian of our generation.” –Tom Clancy
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The most brilliant evocation of military experience in our time"
—C.P. Snow

"In this book, which is so creative, so original, one learns as much about the nature of man as of battle."
—J.H. Plumb, The New York Times Book Review

"This without any doubt is one of the half-dozen best books on warfare to appear in the English language since the end of the Second World War."
—Michael Howard, The Sunday Times

"A totally original and brilliant book"
The New York Review of Books

From Barnes & Noble
Departing from the conventions of military writing, Keegan ranges across history and through an awesome body of war literature to examine from the perspective of the common soldier three famous battles waged 500 years apart--Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme. B&W illus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440673993
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/27/1983
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 108,938
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author


Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan (1934–2012), was one of the most distinguished contemporary military historians and was for many years the senior lecturer at Sandhurst (the British Royal Military Academy) and the defense editor of the Daily Telegraph (London). Keegan was the author of numerous books including The Face of Battle, The Mask of Command, The Price of Admiralty, Six Armies in Normandy, and The Second World War, and was a fellow at the Royal Society of Literature.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 11
Chapter 1 Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things 13
A Little Learning 13
The Usefulness of Military History 20
The Deficiencies of Military History 25
The 'Battle Piece' 35
'Killing No Murder?' 45
The History of Military History 53
The Narrative Tradition 61
Verdict or Truth?' 72
Chapter 2 Agincourt, 25 October 1415 78
The Campaign 78
The Battle 86
Archers versus Infantry and Cavalry 92
Cavalry versus Infantry 94
Infantry versus Infantry 97
The Killing of the Prisoners 108
The Wounded 112
The Will to Combat 114
Chapter 3 Waterloo, 18 June 1815 117
The Campaign 121
The Personal Angle of Vision 128
The Physical Circumstances of Battle 134
Categories of Combat 144
Single Combat 145
Cavalry versus Cavalry 147
Cavalry versus Artillery 151
Cavalry versus Infantry 154
Artillery versus Infantry 160
Infantry versus Infantry 162
Disintegration 195
Aftermath 197
The Wounded 200
Chapter 4 The Somme, 1 July 1916 207
The Battlefield 207
The Plan 213
The Preparations 216
The Army 219
The Tactics 229
The Bombardment 231
The Final Preliminaries 241
The Battle 246
Infantry versus Machine-Gunners 247
Infantry versus Infantry 251
The View from across No-Man's-land 259
The Wounded 268
The Will to Combat 274
Commemoration 285
Chapter 5 The Future of Battle 290
The Moving Battlefield 290
The Nature of Battle 301
The Trend of Battle 303
The Inhuman Face of War 320
The Abolition of Battle 331
Bibliography 345
Index 351
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2000

    Difficult Read

    This is a good book, however, you often need a dictionary or english textbook handy to comprehend the text. It is definatley not a book to read while the TV or kids are cluttering your background. I often found myself reading the paragraphs several times to gain the intended understanding. Yet, all these negative statements aside, I do feel like a better educated individual after reading it. I believe I have a much better grip on the occurances of the 3 battles highlighted as well as how the details of these battles can be applied as rule to all military engagements.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Forty-odd years after this book was written it still seems timel

    Forty-odd years after this book was written it still seems timely. As we watch the U.S. armed forces cracking under the strain of multiple conflicts, Keegan's conclusions about battle stress seem eerily prescient. Have Army planners ignored the studies done during WWII about battle exhaustion and soldiers' breakdown? Apparently so. As I write this a US soldier has just massacred over a dozen Afghan civilians on his fourth deployment. The Face of Battle is a fascinating and moving study of men facing death and the methods they use to cope with the terror of that experience.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2009

    Keegan isn't all that stirring

    I have read other books by Mr. Keegan. I don't find him particularly exciting to read. I do find his information good, and he does give me additional perspective on the issues he writes about.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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