Warrior: A Visual History of the Fighting Man

Overview

Focusing on the frontline soldiers who fought for their tribes, their cities, their overlords and their countries-from the Ancient Greeks who repelled the invading Persians in the 5th century to the US Marines in action in Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, this visual history paints a compelling portrait of the frontline soldier through 2,500 years of history. The third in a series of illustrated military history books, following the highly successful Battle and Weapon, Warrior features vivid accounts of daily...
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Overview

Focusing on the frontline soldiers who fought for their tribes, their cities, their overlords and their countries-from the Ancient Greeks who repelled the invading Persians in the 5th century to the US Marines in action in Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, this visual history paints a compelling portrait of the frontline soldier through 2,500 years of history. The third in a series of illustrated military history books, following the highly successful Battle and Weapon, Warrior features vivid accounts of daily life, training, and tactics of the ordinary fighting man.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

The first thing to note is that this is a beautiful book, with illustrations on every page; most are in color, and many are spectacular. The primary subject is the equipment of fighting men-members of both organized armies and warrior bands. Some of the images used are familiar, and others have been specially commissioned, such as impressive two-page color spreads of the arms and clothing of given types of soldiers from ancient Greece to the present. In many cases, the author provides diagrams of tactical formations, such as those employed by Roman legions and their constituent units, or the modern procedure for entering and securing a room. The main focus of the book is land warfare, but it also looks at iconic services and eras in naval and air warfare, such as the Royal Navy of Nelson's era, and the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Battle of Britain. Non-Western militaries are represented by, among others, Maori, Zulus, and pre-Columbian American peoples. The book is organized chronologically, with detailed models of troop types during the given periods. The organization is a bit cumbersome, but this is a minor quibble. The wealth of visual content makes reading a delight, while the text neither promises nor delivers any new insights but provides a concise and informative overview of the development of military equipment and related tactics. Recommended for public libraries as a standalone or in addition to Grant's previous entries in this handsome DK series, Battleand Weapon.
—Richard Fraser

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756665418
  • Publisher: DK Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/19/2010
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 360,591
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

R.G. Grant is a history writer who has published more than 20 books, including titles on the Revolutionary War, World War I and II, and the Vietnam War. He's also the author of DK's Battle, Weapon, and Flight: 100 Years of Aviation.
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2011

    Incomplete, non-existent bibliography and research notes

    The entire book is completely devoid of research notes and bibliography to attach to the points the author makes. For example, on page 71, stating that a knight's sword was "broad and heavy, used to hack through chainmail [chainemaille]. As plate armor improved, swords grew longer and more sharply pointed for thrusting."

    This is in direct contradiction to evidence at hand from the Higgins Armory Museum, as well as others that can clearly define the typology of the european sword to be within 2 to 4 pounds in weight until the renaissance, where the 6 pound greatsword begins to accompany the pikeman in war. In fact, the Talhoffer and Liechtenauer longsword typologies for the Kunst Des Fechtens martial art (as well as Fiore's Armizare) clearly show that 3 pounds was the upper limit of a longsword, which puts it in a lower weight class than many other weapons of the era. 2 pound 8 ounces is the upper limit for a single-hand sword of the era.

    Thrusting swords are designed to pierce the rings of mail and force them open, as shown by type XV and XVa swords from the period. Alternatively, cutting blades of type XVI and XVI are designed to cleave armor. Swords became more flexible for halfsword play, they did not taper. In fact, thrusting swords are thicker due to the stiffening diamond cross-section. Grant clearly hasn't even bothered to do a single mote of proper research.

    The author makes no mention of the Medieval martial arts involved with chivalric knights. He is quick to make mention of knights leaving formation in earnest and being cut down because they are outnumbered, but does not provide any historical reference or proof of his research in such areas.

    In reality, there are many battles where teutonic knights won battle where they were greatly outnumbered. An example would be the battle of Grunwald. 27,000 knights against 39,000 soldiers. The knights won the battle with 400 casualties, causing 5,000 casualties to the opposing side while wounding a further 8,000 and capturing an even greater 14,000. Such was the true prowess of the knight.

    Elsewhere in the book he mentions that gunpowder is first seen in the east at the beginning of the renaissance. However recent documents show that cities such as florence had, in their armory, 500 rifles as early as the 1300s. This is presented (with proper research and bibliography) in "Arms & Armor of the Medieval Knight: An Illustrated History of Weaponry in the Middle Ages". The modern understanding of the medieval arms race is that the rapier fell into style after the outlawing of swordplay due to brigands wreaking havoc in london. The knight fell out of style because of the pikeman and halberdier, not gunpowder. In fact, tracing the usage of gunpowder through the middle ages shows that as it's price lowered, armor increased in frequency and quality on the battlefield until cannon was used as a siege weapon.

    Grant clearly shows that his material may as well have come from a history book from the last century, and is entirely outdated on hundreds of fronts.

    Perhaps what bothers me more is that many people review this publication in high esteem, when they clearly do not have the experience to make a reliable statement regarding it's legitimacy. Such things only help to further confuse our understanding of ancient human history with faulty assumptions and biased "facts" from modern media.

    Please stay away from this public

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    THE HEART AND MIND OF THE SOLDIER!

    Grant takes us throughout all of history and shows us the tools, traditional warfare, techniques, technology and cultures of many warriors from primitive tribes and samurai to the redcoats and yanks and so much more. This book is not one I refer to a lot mainly because I am busy reading Grant's more relevant books, COMMANDERS and BATTLE.
    If you do not own one of Grant's titles then you should get one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2010

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    Posted August 19, 2010

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    Posted October 7, 2010

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    Posted February 16, 2009

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