A History of War in 100 Battles by Richard Overy

By Richard Overy

A heritage of struggle distilled into a hundred momentous battles – epic moments that experience formed our world.

From the earliest recorded skirmishes of the traditional global to the automatic conflicts of this day, popular army historian Richard Overy dramatically brings to lifestyles the points of interest and sounds of the main major battles in global historical past: the flash of metal, the thunder of weapons, the shrieks of the death, and the unusual, eerie calm that descends at the bloodstained battlefield while the combating is done.

Each of the a hundred battles featured within the e-book – from the autumn of Troy to Operation desolate tract hurricane – indicates how the character of armed wrestle has replaced as know-how, approach and strategies have developed over time.

Yet, both strikingly, the result of virtually the entire battles around the a while were made up our minds via an analogous mixture of management, braveness, deception, innovation and, repeatedly, a second of excellent fortune. instead of prepared chronologically, the battles are prepared lower than those assorted topics to bare extraordinary connections throughout centuries and cultures.

In Richard Overy’s personal phrases, ‘Battle isn't a video game to plug right into a desktop yet a section of dwelling historical past: messy, bloody and real.’ no matter what else has replaced over the past few millennia, that a lot is still an analogous.

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While some of the 40 The Theatre of War scenes focus on the soldiers’ lives (and deaths), most of them are set in a working-class district of Accrington, where the women, mill workers or market-stall owners, attempt to cope with the crises of the wartime situation, being drawn together but also reacting violently against each other. 47 The most moving moment in the play is a scene where they hold a hen party and where, under the influence of drink, their sexual instincts grope blindly for some kind of outlet.

A typical scene from drawing room comedy, with a violent quarrel between Julia and her husband Philip, is here interrupted when sirens sound the air raid alarm. Denis, the officer home on leave, is frightened out of his wits. When Philip sees this, he gives up his superior attitude (‘Justice! Freedom! Dying for one’s country! It passes my understanding how anyone can swallow such bunk’, 128) and decides to volunteer, because he realises that the soldiers at the front are just as afraid as he is.

The outstanding example, because of its author’s prestige both as a dramatist and as a controversial figure in the public debate on the War, is Shaw’s Augustus Does His Bit (1916). The subtitle, A True-to-life Farce, characterises the nature of the play: while the farcical plot is exaggerated to the point of absurdity, it nevertheless contains the seeds of attitudes that Shaw, and undoubtedly many others too, knew from wartime reality. Lord Augustus Highcastle, who has been sent to Little Pifflington to set up a recruiting office, is a pompous ass whose professed patriotism is only equalled by his painfully real stupidity.

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