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Hannibal (Command) Paperback – February 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Command (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (February 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849083495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849083492
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dr. Nic Fields’ 64-page paperback reconstructs Hannibal’s life from his early years to his death and legacy. Eye-popping color plates created by Peter Dennis are complemented by a wealth of illustrations and photos reproduced in either black and white or color."
- Toy Soldier & Model Figure (December 2012)

About the Author

Dr. Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines. Having left the military, he went back to University and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School at Athens, Greece, and then a lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. Nic is now a freelance author and researcher based in south-west France.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on March 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
Hannibal, the famous Carthaginian general who marched across the Alps and inflicted defeat after defeat upon the Roman Republic in the Second Punic War, is one of the most easily recognizable figures in pre-modern military history. With a reputation as a cunning tactician and master of surprise, Hannibal continues to serve as a useful guide for modern military leaders. Yet Hannibal was ultimately defeated by Rome and if we recognize his work, the man himself remains somewhat obscure. In Osprey's Command No. 11, author Nic Fields provides a concise biography of this man who has been consistently ranked as one of the great generals of history. Overall, Hannibal is highly readable and well-supported with maps, photos and illustrations.

Hannibal's early years are covered fairly quickly, but the author provides background on his education (which he notes was superior to that of most of his Roman opponents), early military experiences and motivations. Unfortunately, there is virtually no personal information in the volume - the format constraints make it difficult -but his brothers Hasdrubal and Mago (also commanders) were mentioned only briefly and I've never seen any information about whether or not Hannibal had any sons of his own. At any rate, the author quickly moves into Hannibal's arrival in Spain and preparations to attack Rome via a long-march through southern Gaul and across the Alps. There are three nice battle scenes by Peter Dennis in this volume: Hannibal crossing the Alps, the Battle of Cannae and Scipio Africanus meeting Hannibal. The bulk of the volume focuses on the Hannibal's three great victories (Lake Trasimene, the Trebbia and Cannae) and his defeat at Zama. Hannibal's 13 years of punitive operations in Italy after Cannae are covered quickly.
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Format: Paperback
Fields is quickly becoming an essential step to understand warfare in the classical world and to know the main shakers of the ancient world. As always he keeps the text very readable, fast paced, with very good analysis and supported by three very good color plates by Peter Dennis (Hannibal crossing the Alps exhorting the Troops; Hannibal fighting at Cannae; Hannibal meeting his nemesis Scipio at Zama), Good battle maps of Trebbia, Cannae and Zama, wonderful descriptions of those clashes (and also Lake Trasimeno).

But I believe that the main treat is the extremely competent evaluation of Hannibal's characteristics as general. It focuses his strengths as a leader and brilliant tactician (understanding his army and his foes) and explains supposed weaknesses like the avoidance to siege Rome for example. Using a vast amount of examples, Fields makes a very valid portrait of Hannibal Barca. The author also shows insight showing the true dimension of his foe - the roman military system and its absolute obstinacy and refusal to negotiate in a position of weakness (although for several times the author falls for the same old view of the huge manpower...Carthage also had HUGE manpower sources: All western north Africa (extremely populous at the time); Almost all Hispania; huge amounts of Gauls that gladly fought for Carthage; considerable parts of southern Italy, including the second and third biggest Italian cities - Capua and Tarentum . The staggering amount of casualties Carthage sustained through the war is proof of that)
The early life of the Carthaginian general and his fabulous administration of Carthage after the war are also mentioned although in necessarily summarized form.
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