A Perfect Gibraltar: The Battle for Monterrey, Mexico, 1846

Christopher D. Dishman, Univ. of Oklahoma, $34.95 (268p) ISBN 978-0806141404
For his first book, Dishman examines the US Army assault on Monterrey in the early stages of the Mexican-American War, providing a detailed, comprehensive account of one of the Army's first forays into urban warfare. Dishman painstakingly recounts, with moment-to-moment precision, the campaign that resulted in the loss of 14% of the American men. Most compelling is the improvisational role Texan soldiers played in changing the way American troops approached such a conflict, ultimately revolutionizing urban fighting. Indeed, the importance of the Texans at Monterrey, in addition to the contributions of future President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis and his 1st Mississippi, are the most engrossing characters in what can be a plodding read; casual readers may be challenged, as Dishman focuses more on the actions of the battlefield than the people involved. The military historian or aficionado, however, will find much to love. Dishman literally walked the streets of Monterrey to achieve the most complete picture possible and it shows. An Epilogue summing up the steps taken by the commanders makes one wonder if the intended audience is the West Point cadet, eager to learn from his forebears. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-8061-6313-0
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