Great Military Disasters

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Military history is overflowing with successful campaigns by celebrated commanders. Less well known are the wartime tragedies of incompetence, miscalculation and misfortune that have dishonored the names of once-proud generals, wasted the lives of thousands of soldiers, and resulted in the loss of precious territory and power.

From the carnage at the Battle of Mount Tabor in 1125 BC to the humiliating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, Julian Spilsbury chronicles the most ...

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Overview

Military history is overflowing with successful campaigns by celebrated commanders. Less well known are the wartime tragedies of incompetence, miscalculation and misfortune that have dishonored the names of once-proud generals, wasted the lives of thousands of soldiers, and resulted in the loss of precious territory and power.

From the carnage at the Battle of Mount Tabor in 1125 BC to the humiliating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, Julian Spilsbury chronicles the most disastrous military operations of all time. Why did Napoleon fail to conquer Moscow in 1812? Which generals were responsible for such shocking losses on the battlefields of WWI? And what prevented Hitler’s 6th Army panzers from capturing Stalingrad?

A host of factors can lead to military disaster. In 1876, at the Battle of Little Bighorn, General Custer’s 7th Cavalry paid the price of his overconfidence and complacency, suffering a shocking defeat by the largest gathering of Native American warriors ever witnessed. At Tannenberg in 1914, technological ineptitude and bad luck spelled disaster for the Russians, when the interception of an un-coded message led to German victory and General Samsonov’s suicide. Detailed here are 20 absorbing accounts of how the misguided actions of just a few men, be it through arrogance, ignorance or gross stupidity, brought about the downfall of some of history’s greatest armies.

Accompanied by eyewitness quotations and 50 dramatic illustrations, Great Military Disasters is both an absorbing overview of the world’s major conflicts and an intriguing study of military incompetence of the gravest kind.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435124455
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 10.76 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Julian Spilsbury is the military obituarist for the Daily Telegraph and a script writer for The Bill, Taggart, and Casualty. He is the author of The Indian Mutiny and The Thin Red Line: An Eyewitness History of the Crimean War.

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