The Age of Battles: The Quest for Decisive Warfare from Breitenfeld to Waterloo

Russell Frank Weigley, Author Indiana University Press $35.95 (579p) ISBN 978-0-253-36380-0
From Gustavus Adolphus's 1631 victory at Breitenfeld in the Thirty Years War to Napoleon's 1815 defeat at Waterloo, the primary instrument of military strategy was the grand-scale battle waged with the goal of winning a political as well as military decision. In this first-class study of the battles of Gustavus, Charles II, Louis XIV, Marlborough, Nelson, Napoleon and Wellington, Weigley ( The American Way of War ) brings into sharp focus the irony that warfare throughout the period was most often a matter of prolonged, indecisive struggle that expressed a bankruptcy of national policy. The book traces the development of the professional officer class during the two-century era and the evolution of command and control techniques in the field. Weigley discusses the limitation of violence in battle through the restraints of international law and custom, and analyzes the surprising fact that military tactics, technology and organization remained essentially the same from Breitenfeld to Waterloo. History Book Club main selection. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 579 pages - 978-0-253-21707-3
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