Battle Zones is a new historical series presenting warfare across a variety of historical periods. Every aspect of warfare is explored by looking at the structures of armies and the individual roles of the different ranks within them. Photos and stunningly realistic illustrations show how warfare changed throughout different periods of history. A chronological timeline brings each book to a close, indicating all the main dates and developments in warfare across specific periods. Perfect for research and browsing, these book focus on the structure and politics of war, rather than on grisly details. Supplements school curriculum in history.
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Andrew Robertshaw taught history before joining the National Army Museum, Chelsea, in 1984. He is currently responsible for the Museum's education services, lifelong learning programme and special events as Head of Learning Services. He is also an author, military historian and battlefield guide. He lives in Surrey with his wife and daughter.
Reviewed with Bergin's Warfare in the 16th to 19th Century.
It's hard to believe that books as old-fashioned as these are still being published. Together, these two volumes in the Battle Zones series claim to cover "every aspect of warfare" in the world during the last 500 years, from the sixteenth through the twentieth century. Certainly, there's nothing wrong with writing a history of military warfare, and these books provide lively overviews of Europe and the U.S. at war, with exciting double-page spreads filled with facts, pictures, and color reenactments about the Revolutionary War, the Indian Wars, the Civil War, the Crimean War, World War I, World War II, the Russian Revolution, the cold war, and much more. The British author, a military historian, includes fascinating information about how weapons and technology have changed the face of war, from the M.A.S.H. units of the Korean War to the Stealth Fighter in the Gulf War.
But the subtitle for Warfare in the 20th Century reads, "The Age of Global Conflict." Yes, the twentieth century ushered in the age of world war, and this volume certainly devotes plenty of space to World Wars I and II. But the coverage, both here and in the other volume, is anything but global in the sense of covering the topic around the world. The only war covered in Africa is the Boer War--fought between the white Afrikaners and the white British at the turn of the twentieth century, with a passing mention of German colonialism in Africa. There's nothing else, not even in the detailed time lines--nothing about Africans, their many wars among themselves and with the colonials who "discovered" them. You can see why we need a Black History Month.
Then there's the term America. In this series "America" apparently means the U.S. (mostly white male if you go by the illustrations). There's nothing about Latin America during the last 500 years, except for a reference in the time line to Britain's intervention during Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands. If the Civil War in the U.S. is discussed, why not one of the many civil wars in Latin America? Asia gets slightly more attention, including a dramatic double-page spread on the Samurai, but China isn't brought up, and the twentieth-century Asian focus is on Western involvement in Korea and Vietnam. Almost the only reference to the Middle East is a paragraph on the great Arab revolt, which is illustrated with a picture of British historian Lawrence of Arabia on a camel.
Both military history buffs and peace activists will find much to talk about here, especially given the current raging debate about "global" war. Who's the enemy? What are the causes? The glossary definition of guerrilla war in both books says it all: "a war fought in a secret or underhanded way." Underhanded, as in Nelson Mandela and the war against apartheid? Are we going back to the age of chivalry with rules for "decent" warfare? At least weapons of mass destruction aren't underhanded. Or does it depend on who uses them? Hazel Rochman
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Book Description Book House, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Shipped from the UK within 2 business days of order being placed. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000117639
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Book Description Book House, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1904194788