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Comment: Condition: Excellent condition., Binding: Trade Paperback. / Publisher: University of California Press / Pub. Date: 01 February, 1981 Attributes: xiv, 194 p. : maps ; 24 cm. / Stock#: 2056185 (FBA) * * *This item qualifies for FREE SHIPPING and Amazon Prime programs! * * *
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Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army Paperback – December 29, 1980

ISBN-13: 978-0520042728 ISBN-10: 0520042727 Edition: New Ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (December 29, 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520042727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520042728
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Donald W. Engels is Professor Emeritus of History at University of Arkansas.

Customer Reviews

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It is a must for any fan of Alexander the Great or anybody into military history.
Michael Valdivielso
How Alexander surmounted such problems of logistics--the supplying and transporting of his army--is the subject of Engels's fine book.
Mike Baum
I've read many books on Alexander but this offers a fresh perspective, explaining not only what happened but why it happened.
"davidak"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Mike Baum on March 8, 2001
Imagine this:
You're Alexander the Great, setting out on campaign with your mighty army. Glory and profit await you if you succeed, and as you know from history, the real Alexander did succeed. His army was renowned for its efficiency, speed and lethality; his expedition through Asia was the longest military campaign ever undertaken; he fascinates military historians to this day.
But when you put yourself in his place, ask yourself what was required of Alexander to realize his achievment. Was his fame won through superior force of men and arms alone? Could he take his army anywhere he desired, at any time? Had he merely to set his stern, clear gaze upon a point on the horizon and say: "There we shall go"--or was there more to it?
Start with a mundane consideration: how do you feed your men? It's not as clear-cut as it might seem. Suppose you have an army of 10,000 men. Suppose, further, that each man's consumption rate is 3 pounds of grain per day's march. Now realize that this must mean just what the numbers tell you: each man of your 10,000 needs 3 pounds of grain daily, 3 times 10,000 is 30,000--so you need an incredible 30,000 pounds of food, each and every day. If you don't get this food, your men will weaken and die. There's no way around it.
A quarter million pounds of food over the course of a week's march isn't easy to come by, especially in Alexander's day, is it? After all, you can't have the food airlifted to you. You have no motorized vehicles to speed you along, either, bear in mind. Your own feet must take you, slowly and over rough terrain in hot weather, to your destination.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By annibus on January 9, 2007
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i would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in military strategy or ancient history. i read it in a day because i simply could not put it down. engels provides a case for alexander's movements based on what is logistically possible through the movement of troops and supplies. well researched (he pulls from sources as diverse as ancient greek text and us. army records), the book opened my eyes to what warfare in those days must truely entail.

this is not an introductory book on alexander's campaigns, however. the author assumes you have good knowledge of what the pervailing theories are of the routes that he took, and doesn't waste time explaining details that might not be known to someone who hasn't already read and studied this time period.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Janoda on November 19, 2006
Engel's little book is one the best investigations into the effects of logistical factors on warfare that I've ever read. Reducing the energy needs of any body of men and animals to a formula,applying logical constraints to deductions about the movement and function of these groups, and by rigorous historical investigation into the geography, history and climate of the relevant places involved, Engels picked out the motivations and concerns of Alexander (and his enemies) as he marched across the shuddering corpse of the Persian Empire.

Don't be put off by the implied technical details above. This is a very readable book, a story, even. It's one of my favourite reads. Engel's conjectures are thought provoking, but always backed up by hard evidence. Anyone studying warfare in any time prior to the modern period (where trains and the internal combustion engine changed everything) needs to read this book to understand how things worked.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on October 5, 2002
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This book is very important. Supply and logisitics are VERY important to any military history and here it is! The book starts out with a general chapter on the Macedonian army and its logistic system (such as how much food the army needed, the time needed to rest and feed the animals, how fast it moved and the methods that could be used to deliver and transport such supplies needed by the men and animals). The other chapters deal with each region, for example Chapter 2 deals with how the system worked in Greece and Turkey, based on archaeological work done in Asia, careful study of the landscape, climate and the military operations carried out by Alexander. The Appendixs deal with such subjects such as rations and routes taken by the army. Along with 16 maps in the end, the tiny book, only about 194 pages long, is STUFFED full of data. It is a must for any fan of Alexander the Great or anybody into military history.
A great book to read along with J.F.C. Fuller's 'The Generalship of Alexander the Great'.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By "davidak" on July 18, 1998
Despite the somewhat obscure title, this is a great read. Engels traces the journey of Alexander and his army across Asia and, using mostly quantitative analysis, explains how they managed to keep themselves fed through it all. In some cases, as in the Gedrosian desert, they didn't -- with devastating results. I've read many books on Alexander but this offers a fresh perspective, explaining not only what happened but why it happened. If only more history were written this way.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By lordhoot on August 22, 2004
Logistics, probably one of least glorious part of military history get its just rewards in this short but superbly written book which in clear and determined way, showed why Alexander the Great earned that coin, "the Great". The book showed us nicely how well organized the logistic system of the Macedonian Army was and the hand of Alexander was everywhere.

But the lesson the book shows also reflects the reality of today as well. Even this modern age, how well a military forces performed in combat reflects directly on how well that military forces is supported logistically.

A mandatory reading material for any military historian and just about any professional soldiers out there.
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