Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review of Adrian Glodsworhty Cannae

So this is the first time I've read book about an ancient battle, and it was quite diffrent from the usual Napoleonics I read, this book is a thin 178 pages pluss pages sources, compear that to the good and nice 500ish pages of James R. Arnold Eylau. Ofcourse this has nothing to do with lazyness of Goldsworthy it's simply a lack of sources, there really is only two main sources, and Livy is at best iffy half the time, So while Arnold got hundreds of sources, from commen soldiers wringing journals, to Napoleon him self.

So there isn't that much to actualy put down in the book, hell even Hannibal one of the all time great generals of history we know little about. So the book is a lighter read then most Napoleonic books, but thats not all bad, I read the whole book in two eveings, I kinda wanted it to last longer. So the book is a cracking good read, Over half the book is actualy showing the campaign.
Then seval pages are used to talk about the armies and tactics, deployment ect.

The battle is actualy just about 30 pages, and some of those pages give a very good decription of mele combat in the ancient times. and talks about just how silly hollywood movies are when it comes to mele combats, which I enjoyed.

I did learn alot from the book, I learned that the romans deployed in an extremly deep formation, sacreficing moblity for sheer weight of numbers. I learned thay my spanish were painted in the wrong color, I also learned that while Carthaganian sosiaty was very class based, with very few actualy having much to say of anything, the carthaganian army was more like a band of brothers. The spanish "merceranries" seem to actualy have bonded with their carthaganian officers and commanders. They seem to have trusted them, they weren't just cannon fodder, even tho the gallic and spanish did take the brunt of the force, it dosn't seem like Hannibal was just throwing their lives away.

It was a very entertaining read, but there is alot of unsertenty. I don't think any other ancient batteles that we have anymore detail on.

So a solid book, an easy book to read.

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