Hutchinson Atlas of Battle Plans: Before and After

Pimlott, John

Published by Routledge, 1999
ISBN 10: 1579582036 / ISBN 13: 9781579582036
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Synopsis: First Published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

From Booklist: Under the general editorship of the late John Pimlott of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, a dozen distinguished English military scholars have compiled an interesting reference book. From historical battle plans, they have identified six significant lessons that they consider timeless in that they are not affected by modern technology and tactics.

The six lessons are "Classic Ploys," "Surprise," "Misunderstanding," "Mission Impossible," "Underestimating the Enemy," and "Narrow Margins." To illustrate each lesson, there are three battles, chosen from the times of ancient Greece through World War II. For example, the "Classic Ploys" chapter covers the topics of double envelopment, flank attack, and overwhelming force, using the battles of Cannae (216 B.C.), Chancellorsville (1863), and the Second Battle of Alamein (1942), respectively. The chapter "Surprise" covers surprise against the odds, new inventions, and the shock of surprise, with the battles of Crecy (1346), Cambrai (1917), and the Blitzkrieg (1942).

Each chapter is arranged in the same format. There is a famous quotation from a military leader and a brief introduction. For each of the selected battles, there are also a military quotation and an introduction, followed by a discussion of the background, battle plans, and people involved. There is a small locator map for each battle and two half-to full-page battle maps illustrating the battle plan and outcome. Assisting users of these maps is a key showing geographic points, military units, and movements. A sidebar lists the commanding officers of each side, troop strengths, casualties, and critical moments. The discussion ends with an assessment of the results of the battle and a short bibliography listing three to six books. An examination of the bibliographies showed a preponderance of British titles with many current copyright dates. Rounding out the reference is an index, which is poorly designed and is difficult to use.

There are several excellent specialized atlases and histories that provide detailed battle plans, such as The West Point Atlas of American Wars [RBB Ja 1 & 15 1996]; but nothing that is comparable to The Hutchinson Atlas of Battle Plans: Before and After. The Hutchinson work will be popular with war-game and military enthusiasts, and libraries may wish to acquire circulating as well as reference copies. Academic, public, and some high-school libraries should consider this volume for their collections.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Hutchinson Atlas of Battle Plans: Before and...
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: HRD
Book Condition: New

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