Book Reviews of The Face of Battle 3

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When my method of choice for misspending my youth was playing wargame simulations when practically the only way to do this was with cardboard counters on a 28 by 32 inch hexagonally gridded map, I stocked up on all sorts of glossy picture books on maps and descriptions of classic battles. One of the most common statements in these books was the importance of `mixed arms’, meaning that a combination of infantry, mobile (horsepower or motorized), and indirect fire (slings, archery, artillery, rockets) was always more effective than one type of force going it alone. Unfortunately, none of these books did a good job of explaining how this really worked. Keegan’s book addresses this and many other similar important aspects of military operations. Good essay writer will help you with your review.

And, he addresses these matters for battles in three very different eras of military technology and sizes of military forces. The most salient difference between the three battles is that each later battle took place with forces and venue easily a whole order of magnitude larger than the one before. The French and English forces at Agincourt, for example, faced one another across a front of about a third of a mile. The Napoleon’s French and the allies commanded by the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo faced one another on a front of about 3ý miles (not including the curl of the right flank when the Prussian IV Corp. arrived in the evening. On the Somme, the British faced the Germans on a front of at least 15 miles. The weapons were also different by a less precise order of magnitude. The queen of the battlefield at Agincourt, which famously beat the much larger French army was the English longbow. The dominant weapon at Waterloo was the artillery which, in battles up to the American Civil War, was a direct fire weapon, placed in front of the infantry or at least interspersed with infantry battalions. The dominant weapon at the Somme was the indirect firing artillery and the machine gun. The tank did not play a major role in the battle of the Somme and it is clear in this book that the original objective of the tank was as a counter to the deadly effectiveness of the machine gun, which dominated infantry battles even more than the famous artillery of the time.

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