Posts Tagged ‘new swedish methods of military organization’

MOMENT OF BATTLE THE TWENTY CLASHES THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by James Lacey, Williamson Murray Bantam 2013

June 21, 2013

Kirkus Review on April 10, 2013, reviewed a recently published book on how the world would be different if certain critical battles had gone the other way? Two top military historians offer answers. Excerpts below:

Institute of Defense Analyses consultants and lecturers Lacey (The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization, 2011, etc.) and Murray (Strategic Challenges for Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terrorism, 2012, etc.) are not interested in rehashing Agincourt, Waterloo or Gettysburg.

Instead, they choose battles that, they write, made a decisive difference in history. Instead of close analysis of tactics, they look at what effect they had on creating our modern world. Most of their choices are hard to argue with: An Athenian loss to Persia at Marathon would likely have cut off what we think of as Greek civilization almost at its start. Likewise, it’s hard to deny that modern European history would be vastly different without the Norman victory at Hastings.

Breitenfeld, a battle of the Thirty Years War in which Gustavus Adolphus’ new methods of military organization routed superior numbers under the banner of the Holy Roman Empire, may be even less familiar.

…often the authors take a conventional view, praising Grant’s generalship or criticizing the Allied commanders during the early stages of World War I. They also tend to criticize the decision-making of the losing generals, as in the Battle of Britain, where a German decision to stop bombing airfields allowed the RAF to continue the battle and eventually prevail. The final chapter, on the American victory in Iraq in 2003, predicts that it, too, will make a major historical difference, once its impact is fully known.