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Plataea 479 BC: The most glorious victory ever seen (Campaign) Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews


"William Shepherd concisely yet vividly recounts one of the largest and most important land battles of pre-20th century history in Plataea 479 BC: The Most Glorious Victory Ever Seen ... The author’s detailed reconstruction of Plataea campaign draws from ancient sources (predominantly Herodotus), close scrutiny of the battlefield and fairly recent studies of hoplite warfare. Wonderful
color plates by Peter Dennis highlight the illustrations and maps that enliven this 96-page paperback."
- Toy Soldier & Model Figure (July 2013)

About the Author

William Shepherd studied classics at Clare College, Cambridge, in the 1960s and then embarked on a career in publishing, which finally brought him to Osprey, retiring from the position of chief executive in 2007. He is author of The Persian War (Cambridge, 1982), translated from Herodotus. He has also written reading books for children and articles in the Osprey Military Journal, of which he was joint editor, and makes regular contributions to the Osprey blog. He lives in the Cherwell Valley, north of Oxford.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7596 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (January 24, 2012)
  • Publication Date: January 24, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,796 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Graziano on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is quite simply the best review of the key battle of Platea in existence. I've read numerous accounts of this battle as part of, or chapters in, other books, and every one, was, to different degrees, unsatistisfying with many questions raised. This one is not, it is very explanatory and very satisfying. The big problem is that we have one basic ancient account (one) of the battle, by Herodotus, along with some minor details provided from a few later sources. The author makes the most of what Herodotus provides us, combines it with a detailed analysis of the topography, uses rational reasoning and gives us a excellent view of this ancient battle. The modern day photographs, excellent maps of troop movements, and wider grasp of the larger issues in the Greek Persian wars, and the understandings of the Greek polis city states of the time are all extra gravy to an outstanding work. Make no mistake about it, this author knows his stuff--both in wide range and detail. A lot of state of the art knowledge and debate of the arms, armour, tactics, and makeup of both the Greek and Persian forces, are discussed and analyzed, as part of the excellent flow of the book.

There is also a small section (5 written pages) on the Greek victory at Mycale in Ionia, which occured on the same day as the final day's fight at Platea, according to Herodotus. There are 4 double page, color drawings of battle action that are a cut above the usual Osprey color drawings of static drawings of soldiers showing dress, arms, and equiptment.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Squirrelzilla on March 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a well-written and superbly illustrated account of the campaign. It is the successor campaign to that of Thermopylae and Salamis in 480 BC, and following the victories of Plataea and Mycale the war was carried into the Persian territories.

The Contents are -
P05: Origins of the Campaign
P17: Chronology
P18: Opposing Commanders
.Persian; Greek
P22: Opposing Forces
.Persian forces, weapons and tactics; Greek forces, weapons and tactics; Numbers
P38: opposing Plans
.Greek; Persian
P42: The Campaign to Plataea and Mycale
P50: Plataea
.Opening action; Middle phase (10-11 days); Final phase: the last 24 hours and `the most glorious victory ever known'
P79: Mycale
.Amphibious operations
P86: After the Battle
P90: The Battlefield Today
.Plataea; Mycale
P93: Further Reading and Bibliography
P95: Index

The Colour Plates -
P12: Map - Clashes and confrontations [Greece, the Aegean and the coast of Asia Minor]
P43: Map - Movement of forces
P46: Map - Attica and Boeotia
P51: Map - The Battlefield of Plataea
P52-53: Colour Plate - "The Athenian archers hold the line". This is a spectacular painting, with `a cast of thousands'. In the foreground, with their backs to us are about 17 Athenian figures, hoplites and archers, who are firing into the flank of the attacking Persian cavalry, who are wearing down the Megaran contingent, visible in the distance on the right of the picture, with hordes of Persian in the centre of the picture, in the angle between the two Greek forces.
P58-59: Colour Plate - The Persian Cavalry cut off the Greek Supply Column. This is another crowded scene, as Persian cavalry sweep in from both sides of the pages to envelop a Greek wagon train.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on February 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
While the battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis from the Graeco-Persian Wars are still well-known today, the climactic Battle of Platea (479 BC) is virtually unknown. This obscurity is a bit surprising, given that the same Spartans who have received such adulation in popular film and fiction for their stand at Thermopylae played a central (and more successful) role at Platea. Despite winning at Salamis the previous year, a large Persian army still threatened the Greek homeland in 479 BC and succeeded in burning Athens. Most, but not all, of the Greek city states rallied together for a great land battle to drive out the invaders, once and for all. Here in William Shepherd's Platea 479 BC, we see Spartans and Athenians fighting side by side, which creates a captivating image of Hellenes in their finest hour. The volume is based upon the author's interpretation of Herodotus, as well as field research on the actual battlefield in Greece. The splendid artwork of Peter Dennis, accompanied by nice maps, makes this an attractive and erudite addition to the Osprey Campaign collection.

The volume begins with a rather lengthy 11-page introduction that outlines the origins of the Graeco-Persian Wars. The relatively brief section on opposing commanders focuses on the Persian Mardonius and the Spartan Pausanias. The section on opposing forces is quite longer at 16 pages and is well suited to explaining the Hellenistic and Persian forms of warfare to newcomers. The section on opposing plans is much briefer. The next section covers the beginning of the campaign and initial moves by each side, although there was no real combat in this phase there was considerable diplomatic action with the Persians attempting to divide the Greeks with bribery.
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