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Over some 1200 years, the Romans proved adept at learning from military disaster and this was key to their eventual success and hegemony. Roman Military Disasters covers the most pivotal and decisive defeats, from the Celtic invasion of 390 BC to Alaric's sack of Rome in AD 410. Paul Chrystal details the politics and strategies leading to each conflict, how and why the Romans were defeated, the tactics employed, the generals and the casualties. However, the unique and crucial element of the book is its focus on the aftermath and consequences of defeat and how the lessons learnt enabled the Romans, usually, to bounce back and win.
The 100 Worst Military Disasters in History is a fascinating collection that educators, students, and historians will all find useful in helping them understand the causes and consequences of the most infamous military failures in history. The dynamics of military disaster are equally, if not more, important as understanding how to achieve success on the battlefield. This comprehensive book covers the complete gamut of human history as it tells the compelling stories of the worst military debacles of all time. It covers battles, campaigns, and wars, starting with the ancient Persians and Greeks and finishing with the U.S. conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not limited to land warfare, however, the book also includes a number of the most disastrous naval engagements and campaigns in world history. The 100 Worst Military Disasters in History opens with a detailed introduction illuminating the role military strategy and politics played in some of the worst battlefield failures throughout history. The entries are augmented with several engaging sidebars related to various military disasters. This eclectic collection includes coverage of many lesser known military disasters such as the Taiping Rebellion, during which 20 times more Chinese died than the number of people killed in the American Civil War. Provides readers with a global collection of the worst military disasters in history Offers a broad chronological review of military disasters across multiple conflicts Includes engaging sidebars that augment the entries Provides readers with an extensive resource list for further reading
Great Military Disasters tells the dramatic stories behind the world's most calamitous conflicts. From the French army's failure to understand the impact of new technology at Crécy to Hitler's blatant overconfidence at Stalingrad, military historian Julian Spilsbury provides thrilling accounts of each disaster, covering exactly what went wrong, how and why. Of course, a disastrous outcome for one side meant victory for another, so as well as exploring the reasons the conflict ended in disaster, Great Military Disasters also reveals the key to victory. Eyewitness quotations add another dimension to this intriguing study of human incompetence of the gravest kind.
This book examines some of the worst battle defeats in military history, from ancient times through to the present day. Each story brings every battle and military mishap to life, making history come alive for readers.
Roman Disasters looks at how the Romans coped with, thought about, and used disasters for their own ends. Rome has been famous throughout history for its great triumphs. Yet Rome also suffered colossal disasters. From the battle of Cannae, where fifty thousand men fell in a single day, to the destruction of Pompeii, to the first appearance of the bubonic plague, the Romans experienced large scale calamities.Earthquakes, fires, floods and famines also regularly afflicted them. This insightful book is the first to treat such disasters as a conceptual unity. It shows that vulnerability to disasters was affected by politics, social status, ideology and economics. Above all, it illustrates how the resilience of their political and cultural system allowed the Romans to survive the impact of these life-threatening events. The book also explores the important role disaster narratives played in Christian thought and rhetoric. Engaging and accessible, Roman Disasters will be enjoyed by students and general readers alike.
Britain's 20 worst military disasters
Late Antiquity (ca. 250-650) witnessed the transition from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages in the Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds. Christianity displaced polytheism over a wide area, offering new definitions of identity and community. The Roman Empire collapsed in Western Europe to be replaced by new "Germanic" kingdoms. In the East, Byzantium emerged, while the Persian Empire reached its apogee and collapsed. Arab armies carrying the banner of Islam reshaped the political map and brought the late antique era to a close. This sourcebook illustrates the dramatic political, social and religious transformations of Late Antiquity through the words of the men and women who experienced them. Drawing from Greek, Latin, Syriac, Hebrew, Coptic, Persian, Arabic and Armenian sources, the carefully chosen passages illuminate the lives of emperors, abbesses, aristocrats, slaves, children, barbarian chieftains, and saints . The Roman Empire is kept at the centre of the discussion, with chapters devoted to its government, cities, army, law, medicine, domestic life, philosophy, Christianity, polytheism, and Jews. Further chapters deal with the peoples who surrounded the Roman state: Persians, Huns, northern "Germanic" barbarians, and the followers of Islam. This revised and updated second edition provides an expanded view of Late Antiquity with a new chapter on domestic life, as well extra material throughout, including passages that appear for the first time in English translation. Readings in Late Antiquity is the only sourcebook that covers such a wide range of topics over the full breadth of the late antique period.
History has never been more fun than it is in this fact-filled compendium of historical fiascoes and embarrassingly bad ideas. Throughout history, the rich and powerful, and even just the dim-witted, have made horrifically bad decisions that have had resounding effects on our world. From kings to corporate leaders, from captains to presidents, no one is immune to bad decisions and their lasting legacy. The fiascoes that litter our history are innumerable ... and fascinating in their foolishness. This witty collection of historical mayhem chronicles unwise decisions from ancient Greece to modern-day Hollywood and everything in between. Learn such lessons as: Never trust Greeks bearing gifts of large wooden horses. Avoid building elementary schools on toxic waste dumps, even those with sweet monikers like Love Canal. Rabbits multiply like rabbits Down Under. Even if you use brightly colored paint on the boats, it's quite easy to misplace an entire country's navy. With more than forty-five chapters of mind-boggling flubs and follies, fans of history, trivia, and those who just want a good laugh will adore this intriguing and fun read.
Scotland's reputation as a nation proud of its military history betrays the fact that the past is littered with catastrophes and failures. From the time of the Roman invasions until the Korean War, Scotland's military history is testament to the fact that victories are always talked up and recorded, but disasters are quietly forgotten. In all some 32 episodes of Scottish battlefield ineptitude are investigated by journalist Paul Cowan. These are: A Desolation Called Peace: Mons Graupius 83 or 84AD; Dance If You Can: Falkirk 1298, The Fool Killer: Faughart 1318; The Loser: Vermeuil 1424; Renaissance Man: Flodden 1513; Massacre in Norway: Kringen 1612; The Death March: Dunbar 1650; The Braw Lads: Namur 1695; The Auld Enemies: Culloden 1746; Death Prophesied: Ticonderoga 1758; Headless Horror: Fort du Querne 1758; No Tea Party: Boston 1776; King George and Broadswords: Moore's Creek 1776; Rocketmen: Pollilur 1780; The World Turned Upside Down: Cowpens 1781; The Will of Allah: El Hamet 1807; The Stonewall Highlanders: New Orleans 1815; Women and Children First: The Birkenhead 1852; Walpole's Folly: Ruiya 1858; Mountain Madness: Majuba 1881; Highland Humiliation: Magersfontein 1899; In Dublin's Fair City 1914; Infirmary Blues: Bedford 1914; A Signal Disaster: Gretna 1915; Blooding the Pups: Gully Ravine 1915; Courage is Not Enough: St Valery 1940; The Fighting French: Lebanon 1941; The Fleet of Foot: Hong Kong 1941; The Cossacks: Austria 1945; Malaysian Massacre: Batang Kali 1948; A Hill in Korea: Nantong River 1950.
A remarkable compendium of the worst military decisions and the men who made them The annals of history are littered with horribly bad military leaders. These combat incompetents found amazing ways to ensure their army's defeat. Whether it was a lack of proper planning, miscalculation, ego, bad luck, or just plain stupidity, certain wartime stratagems should never have left the drawing board. Written with wit, intelligence, and eminent readability, How to Lose a Battle pays dubious homage to these momentous and bloody blunders, including: Cannae, 216 B.C.: the bumbling Romans lose 80,000 troops to Hannibal's forces. The Second Crusade: an entire Christian army is slaughtered when it stops for a drink of water. The Battle of Britain: Hitler's dreaded Luftwaffe blows it big-time. Pearl Harbor: more than one warning of the impending attack is there, but nobody listens. How to Lose a Battle includes more than thirty-five chapters worth of astonishing (and avoidable) disasters, both infamous and obscure -- a treasure trove of trivia, history, and jaw-dropping facts about the most costly military missteps ever taken.
An account of historical military defeats born of blunders, ineptness and other obstacles to victory, unlimited to any one country or empire.
In the first half of the fifth century, the Latin-speaking part of the Roman Empire suffered vast losses of territory to barbarian invaders. But in the Greek-speaking half of the Eastern Mediterranean, with its capital at Constantinople, there was a stable and successful system, using Latin as its official language, but communicating with its subjects in Greek. This book takes an inside look at how this system worked in the long reign of the pious Christian Emperor Theodosius II (408-50), and analyzes its largely successful defense of its frontiers, its internal coherence, and its relations with its subjects, with a flow of demands and suggestions traveling up the hierarchy to the Emperor, and a long series of laws, often set out in elaborately self-justificatory detail, addressed by the Emperor, through his officials, to the people. Above all, this book focuses on the Imperial mission to promote the unity of the Church, the State’s involvement in intensely-debated doctrinal questions, and the calling by the Emperor of two major Church Councils at Ephesus, in 431 and 449. Between the Law codes and the acts of the Church Councils, the material illustrating the working of government and the involvement of State and church, is incomparably richer, more detailed, and more vivid than for any previous period.
One of the great European publishing centers, Venice produced half or more of all books printed in Italy during the sixteenth-century. Drawing on the records of the Venetian Inquisition, which survive almost complete, Paul F. Grendler considers the effectiveness of censorship imposed on the Venetian press by the Index of Prohibited Books and enforced by the Inquisition. Using Venetian governmental records, papal documents in the Vatican Archive and Library, and the books themselves, Professor Grendler traces the controversies as the patriciate debated whether to enforce the Index or to support the disobedient members of the book trade. He investigates the practical consequences of the Index to printer and reader, noble and prelate. Heretics, clergymen, smugglers, nobles, and printers recognized the importance of the press and pursued their own goals for it. The Venetian leaders carefully weighed the conflicting interests, altering their stance to accommodate constantly shifting religious, political, and economic situations. The author shows how disputes over censorship and other press matters contributed to the tension between the papacy and the Republic. He draws on Venetian governmental records, papal documents in the Vatican Library, and the books themselves. Originally published in 1977. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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