How Wars Are Won: The 13 Rules of War from Ancient Greece to the War on Terrorby Bevin Alexander
Both timely and timeless, How Wars Are Won illuminates the thirteen essential rules for success on the battlefield that have evolved from ancient times until the present day. Acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander’s incisive and vivid/b>
Even as we head into twenty-first-century warfare, thirteen time-tested rules for waging war remain relevant.
Both timely and timeless, How Wars Are Won illuminates the thirteen essential rules for success on the battlefield that have evolved from ancient times until the present day. Acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander’s incisive and vivid analyses of famous battles throughout the ages show how the greatest commanders—from Alexander the Great to Douglas MacArthur—have applied these rules. For example:
• Feign retreat: Pretend defeat, fake a retreat, then ambush the enemy while being pursued. Used to devastating effect by the North Vietnamese against U.S. forces during the Vietnam War.
• Strike at enemy weakness: Avoid the enemy’s strength entirely by refusing to fight pitched battles, a method that has run alongside conventional war from the earliest days of human conflict. Brilliantly applied by Mao Zedong to defeat the Chinese Nationalists.
• Defend, then attack: Gain possession of a superior weapon or tactical system, induce the enemy to launch a fruitless attack, then go on the offensive. Employed repeatedly against the Goths by the Eastern Roman general Belisarius to reclaim vast stretches of the Roman Empire.
The lessons of history revealed in these pages can be used to shape the strategies needed to win the conflicts of today.
- The Crown Publishing Group
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- 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.85(d)
Meet the Author
Bevin Alexander is the author of seven books of military history, including How Hitler Could Have Won World War II and Lost Victories, which was named by the Civil War Book Review as one of the seventeen books that have most transformed Civil War scholarship. He was an advisor to the Rand Corporation for a recent study on future warfare and was a participant in a recent war game simulation run by the Training and Doctrine Command of the U.S. army. His battle studies of the Korean War, written during his decorated service as a combat historian, are stored in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. He lives in Bremo Bluff, Virginia.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Bevin Alexander's book is a must read for any one interested in the principles of warfare and how future warfare is likely to be conducted. On page one he gets to the crux of the matter. 'Two unrelated developments have fused to produce a true revolution in warfare. The first is highly accurate and extremely powerful weapons. The second is the discovery that modern conventional armies can be defeated by guerilla methods.' His first chapter breaks the most new ground for how future wars will be fought by the U.S. His idea of 'swarming' using pods or clusters of small units tailored for specific missions was very much in evidence in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The use of these units to surround and attack from many different angles simultaneously using superior weaponry will be how our forces fight in the foreseeable future. He recognizes that our technological superiority will be our great advantage in warfare for years to come. Alexander's chapter on terrorist's strengths and weakness' is very illuminating since it was written after the September 11th attacks. 'Terrorism has one great strength: it makes sneak attacks on unsuspecting people, and thus is difficult to prevent. But it also has one profound weakness: it operates as a clandestine cell in an alien environment, and thus can be isolated.' He gives a good account of how to fight terrorism and why terrorists ultimately loose. This book is a great read for laymen and professional alike. In light of today's dangers that we as a nation face I highly recommend reading this book.