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War has been central to the rise and fall of civilizations since the dawn of time. The history of warfare first emerges from legend in Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, around 3,000 years before the birth of Christ. The first armies that we know about fought in Sumeria, Ancient Egypt, and Syria. From these first battles, fought with spears or axes on horseback or on foot, War traces the campaigns and conflicts that have shaped world history and examines the evolution of military tactics and technology. The story of the development from these primitive battles to the global conflicts of the 20th century and the modern 'War on Terror' is the story of humanity itself, reflecting the same political, cultural and technological forces that have defined human history. From longbows to laser-guided missiles; from chariots to jet aircraft; and from Samurai warriors to SAS soldiers, War provides the definitive visual chronicle of this intense, brutal, and often heroic tale. War combines a coherent and compelling spread-by-spread historical narrative with a wealth of supporting features on weapons and technology, strategy and tactics, the experience of war, and history's fighting elites to recount the epic 5,000-year story of warfare and combat through the ages.