History of War: 50 Ideas You Really Need To Know

Author(s): Robin Cross


Human history - from the empires of the ancient world to the superpowers of the 21st century - has been inextricably shaped by conflict and the weapons that have been used to wage it. The technologies that have produced advanced civilizations have also been harnessed to the grim business of warfare. This short history, stretching from the chariot to the Stuxnet virus which disabled Iran's nuclear enrichment programme in 2007, charts some of the most significant weapons, fortifications and tactics that have been developed in the last 2,500 years. It is a scintillating introduction to the world's most enduring phenomenon. The 50 events include: The Egyptian New Kingdom; Heavy infantry tactics; Grand strategy of Alexander the Great; Naval warfare; Legion versus phalanx; The army on the march; Roman siegecraft; Kingship and command; Cavalry and castles; The age of chivalry; The changing battlefield; Siege trains and siegecraft; The age of Vauban; The age of Frederick the Great; The Seven Years' War; Colonial conflict; Napoleon, tactics and grand strategy; Nelson and naval tactics; The rise of the Dreadnought; Steam and steel; Firepower; Mobilization; Trench warfare; Air warfare; The Manhattan Project and Cyberwar.


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Robin Cross is an historian specializing in the Second World War. He is the author of over 30 books including, VE Day and We'll Meet Again - both Sunday Times best-sellers - and Citadel: The Battle of Kursk, now a Penguin History Classic. He has also written scripts for over 150 television programmes, mostly focusing on 20th-century history.

Introduction. MILITARY EMPIRES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD: The chariot; The Macedonian phalanx; Helepolis ('The City Taker'); The trireme; The Roman legion; The legions in the field; Roman siegecraft. THE DARK AGES: Heavy cavalry and chain mail; Viking longship; The shield wall. MEDIEVAL WARFARE: The castle; Medieval siege engines; The sword; The longbow; Early cannon. THE GUNPOWDER REVOLUTION: Naval warfare; The Vauban revolution; The age of artillery; Firepower and shock action. BIRTH OF MODERN WARFARE: Brown Bess; Mobile artillery; Napoleonic corps d'armee; Naval firepower. INDUSTRY AND WAR: Mass production; The machine gun; The all-big-gun battleship. THE FIRST WORLD WAR: Trench warfare; Chemical warfare; Air warfare; The arrival of the bomber; The tank. THE SECOND WORLD WAR: Blitzkrieg; Radar; Strategic bombing; Armoured warfare; The U-boat war; D-Day; Nazi secret weapons; Escort fighter; Aircraft carrier; Codebreaking; The atom bomb. COLD WAR AND AFTER: Ballistic missiles; Helicopters; Assault rifle; Jet fighter; Stealth; Cruise missile; Unmanned aerial combat; Cyberwar. Index.

General Fields

  • : 9781780872643
  • : Quercus Publishing
  • : Quercus Publishing
  • : March 2012
  • : 200mm X 170mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : May 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 355.0209
  • : 208
  • : Illustrations
  • : Robin Cross
  • : Hardback