Moment of Battle

Moment of Battle

The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World

Book - 2013
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Two modern masters of military history make their case for the twenty most pivotal battles of all time, in a riveting trip through the ages to those moments when the fate of the world hung in the balance.
In the grand tradition of Edward Creasy's classic Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, James Lacey and Williamson Murray spotlight only those engagements that changed the course of civilization. In gripping narrative accounts they bring these conflicts and eras to vivid life, detailing the cultural imperatives that led inexorably to the battlefield, the experiences of the common soldiers who fought and died, and the legendary commanders and statesmen who matched wits, will, and nerve for the highest possible stakes.
From the great clashes of antiquity to the high-tech wars of the twenty-first century, here are the stories of the twenty most consequential battles ever fought, including
* Marathon, where Greece's "greatest generation" repelled Persian forces three times their numbers--and saved Western civilization in its infancy
* Adrianople, the death blow to a disintegrating Roman Empire
* Trafalgar, the epic naval victory that cemented a century of British supremacy over the globe
* Saratoga, the first truly American victory, won by united colonial militias, which ensured the ultimate triumph of the Revolution
* Midway, the ferocious World War II sea battle that broke the back of the Japanese navy
* Dien Bien Phu, the climactic confrontation between French imperial troops and Viet Minh rebels that led to American intervention in Vietnam and marked the rise of a new era of insurgent warfare
* Operation Peach, the perilous 2003 mission to secure a vital bridge over the Euphrates River that would open the way to Baghdad
Historians and armchair generals will argue forever about which battles have had the most direct impact on history. But there can be no doubt that these twenty are among those that set mankind on new trajectories. Each of these epochal campaigns is examined in its full historical, strategic, and tactical context--complete with edge-of-your-seat you-are-there battle re-creations. With an eye for the small detail as well as the bigger picture, Lacey and Murray identify the elements that bind these battles together: the key decisions, critical mistakes, and moments of crisis on which the fates of entire civilizations depended.
Some battles merely leave a field littered with the bodies of the fallen. Others transform the map of the entire world. Moment of Battle is history written with the immediacy of today's news, a magisterial tour d'horizon that refreshes our understanding of those essential turning points where the future was decided.

"Two world-class historians present, eloquently and persuasively, twenty battles that fundamentally changed the course of history. Moment of Battle is a must acquisition for anyone seeking to understand the nature of human development--and its turning points." --Dennis E. Showalter, professor of history, Colorado College, author of Armor and Blood
"In a single volume, James Lacey and Williamson Murray have distilled a lifetime of learning and insight into the most influential battles in world history. This is a readable and compelling primer and a feast for the student of military history." --James D. Hornfischer, author of Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345526977
Call Number: 355 L1165m
Characteristics: xv, 478 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Murray, Williamson


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Jul 03, 2018

Enjoyed reading except for the last battle description "Road to Bagdad". They compare Saddam Hussein to Hitler and Stalin and as being too great a threat to regional and global stability. After his removal the first Arab democracy was given a chance to flourish. Iraq is a nightmare created by the American invasion and abandonment. It almost as they are unware of the damage and destruction they caused.

"war is over, if you want it, war is over NOW."...then came elvis, then came Watergate, then came the troubadour club, then came co-ing your assassin to an autograph he can't even use in prison, not even to get the soap bar off his back. ahhhhh, don't forget the Monday night football episode, with Reagan.

May 17, 2017

A great book! One can skip the battle descriptions, the description of any of the twenty battles, without losing the continuity of the narrative. The descriptions are short enough to avoid boring the average reader however, long enough to be complete.
The Battle of Hastings is more complex than the Norman we know as William the Conqueror invading England and conquering the Saxon King Harold: listen to the drama of the moment. Of William's defeat of Harold he writes "Saxon England was gone . . . It was the centuries long fusion of these two cultures [ the Saxons and the Normans into a single people that permitted English greatness, a greatness that would never have manifested it self if William had not conquered at Hastings." ( page 135 ).
Our language! This is where we get English and become a world power.


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