By Richard Overy
Their very names--Gettysburg, Waterloo, Stalingrad--evoke pictures of significant triumph and both nice soreness, moments whilst historical past appeared to hold within the stability. thought of in terms of one another, such battles--and others of much less speedy renown--offer perception into the altering nature of armed strive against, advances in expertise, shifts in procedure and notion, in addition to altered geopolitical landscapes. The most major army engagements in background outline the very nature of warfare. In his latest e-book, Richard Overy plumbs over 3,000 years of background, from the autumn of Troy in 1200 BC to th. Read more...
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Extra resources for A history of war in 100 battles
It was a textbook operation and functioned like clockwork. The Romans pressed forward into the yielding arc, only to find themselves surrounded as the Libyan infantry advanced on the flanks. C HAPTER 1 34 The Carthaginian cavalry swept aside Rome’s horsemen and plunged into the Roman rear. Cannae was a massacre, the worst defeat the Roman army ever suffered. An estimated 50,000 died that day; others were taken prisoner. Only 14,500 survived out of an army of 80,000. Hannibal lost 6,000, two-thirds of them Gauls.
On one wing were Numidian cavalry, on the other Spanish and Gallic, 10,000 experienced horsemen who greatly outnumbered the 6,000 Roman horses. His infantry were ordered to form a bulge outwards with the object of enticing the Roman legions into the arc, which would then bend inwards, giving the wings the chance to encircle and annihilate the enemy while the cavalry defeated the enemy horsemen and turned to attack the Roman army from the rear. It was a textbook operation and functioned like clockwork.
Ottoman soldiers took no prisoners, meaning that more than 20,000 Hungarians died that day, tearing the heart out of the Hungarian nation. Ibrahim’s generalship so impressed Suleiman, who had also bravely stood his ground while lances and arrows struck his breastplate, that he presented his vizier with a heron’s feather covered with diamonds as a token of his esteem. On 31 August, Suleiman noted only the following in his diary: ‘The Sultan seated on a throne of gold receives the salutations of the viziers and officers; massacre of two thousand prisoners.