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Face of Battle by John Keegan

Gary Smailes is a Military Historian and Writer. He studied for a Masters Degree in Military History at Liverpool University and specialises in British Military History. He has published two children's books and has eight other books due for publication later this year.
You can read Gary's blog here.

The book...
Face_of_battleIn many ways Military History has had a bad press in the past. It has been dominated by battle narratives, an obsession with the decisive battle and frankly poor writing. John Keegan's Face of Battle is none of these things. It was first published in 1976 and represents a new kind of Military History. Keegan looks in detail at three battles - Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme. However, rather than concentrating on the overall strategic concepts he looks instead at the experiences of the individual solider at the "point of maximum danger". Keegan's book marked a turning point in the way Military History was viewed and opened the door to a more modern interpretation of conflict that examines aspects beyond the traditional approach of looking at commanders and the role of grand strategy.

The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme


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Tony Bowerman

I remember seeing a review of this book when it was first published, buying it and being enthralled with the way it takes you inside the experience of each of three very different battles. What makes its so gripping is the way it helps you understand what it must have been like to be there. A real insight for me as a non expert.

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