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The Devil's Horsemen: The Mongol Invasion of Europe Hardcover – July, 2003


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Hardcover, July, 2003
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Book Sales (July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785815678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785815679
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,707,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Chambers was born in Northern Ireland and educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford. After reading for the Bar he researched and wrote documentary film scripts and worked in film production. A life-long interest in military history led to The Devil's Horsemen. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I am very lucky to have found this book.
Matthew B Stevenson
Overall, I enjoyed James Chambers' book and recommend it for anyone interested in this time period or military history.
Curtis G Bower
The reader comes away with a great sense and a fine argument.
Bruce E. Jurin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Matthew B Stevenson on June 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I had been in the dark about the Mongols, relegating them to the endless and anonymous Steepe invaders of European history. I learned the Mongols stood out as one of the most impressive armies in history. They rank as the most powerful army (in relative terms) ever, perhaps rivaled only by the American forces in 1945, and as the most brutal, even more ferocious and destructive than the Japanese Imperial Army. They are the standard for which all other armies should be measured, yet strangely they have been relegated to as asterisk in history. I am in awe of the Mongols under the supreme command of Genghis Khan and his peerless generals Subedai and Obedai. This book was one of the most concise, chronological, and logical historical books that I have ever read about any historical subject. This hidden treasure of a book owes much to the brilliant subject, the well-studied author and the unpretentious storytelling. It gets my highest recommendation; prepare to be impressed. I am very lucky to have found this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dirk MEESEN on February 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read the french translation of this book "les cavaliers du diable". It is an excellent book about the invasion of europe by the Mongols. It gives an idea of the strength of their armies compared with the european armies of poor armed conscripts but also compared with the elite knights. The important battles like Liegnitz are vividly written. You almost think you are participating in it. The first chapters of the book describe the conquest of the Kwarezm empire, georgia, the Bulgarian empire and the Russian principalities. The book closes with the defeat of Hulagu by the Mamluks. The way of warfare is also well detailled.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This was one of the all-time greatest military history books which I have ever read. When I was in high school in Alexandria, General Richard Thompson (a 4 star US Army general who was a mentor of mine when I was in high school), strongly recommended that I buy a copy of this book and read it. This was the best book recommendation I ever received, and I have enjoyed reading and re-reading the book on multiple occassions in the decade+ since I initially bought the book. I later gave a copy to a close friend, who was so inspired by this book, that he wrote his college history major thesis on the Mongols.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
While researching for books about the Mongol conquests, I came upon this book first. I read several original academic reviews of the book (e.g. Choice, the journal for university libraries) and they indicated that Chambers's scholarship was not reliable. Instead the reviews steered me to the book by Saunders. There is not much on the Mongols, but I thought readers should be aware that of the few books available, some might be more useful than others.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joe Schmoe reviewer on April 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like to read about periods in human history that are like gray areas in my knowledge. This book is a pretty quick read and explains the Mongol's invasions of Europe form their point of view and the Europeans'. Not a lot of details about weaponry or even tactics, but plenty of discussion about the individual leaders on both sides. I banged this one out and now I know who they were and how they affected Europe. I recommend it if you want that kind of quick summary.

I only gave it four stars because I did not want anyone to think that this is the be all and end all of books about the Mongols. It is what it is.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Curtis G Bower on October 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Devil's Horsemen is a short book (about 160 pages)on the Mongolian conquest of most of the known world during the 12th and 13th centuries. As the title says, it centers on their push toward Europe. It also has a lot of information on Genghis and Batu Khan. The military tactics of Genghis Khan have been studied and used throughout history(Napoleon and Rommel come to mind). The thing I liked about this book was the information on Genghis Khan and the Mongols' tactics, survival skills, how they practically lived on their horses. Their organization and discipline was second to none. Drawbacks to this book are that you want more, more info on Genghis Kahn would also be nice. While reading the second half, I kept having to flip back to see what year we were in, so more dates would also be nice. What the Mongols accomplished can only be compared to Alexander the Great. Overall, I enjoyed James Chambers' book and recommend it for anyone interested in this time period or military history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Murphy on February 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A great source on the conquering Mongol Armies of the 13th Century, focusing on their infamous invasions of Eastern Europe and the Islamic West. It probably wouldn't be a good first book on the Mongols (it runs pretty dry in some sections), but it is fairly well-written and is obviously very well researched.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bruce E. Jurin on February 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure if I should give this 4 stars or 5. Its hard to rate because it is, well, just different from most history books.

The book is just a plain, great read. I read a decent number of history books. Now, most scholars go out of their way to present their case, and back it up with quotes, research, confirming details, archaeology, etc. The reader comes away with a great sense and a fine argument.

This book is history, but it doesn't give supporting details. It is fast and fun to read -- in that respect, it reminds me of Livy or Herodotus!

The lack of supproting material does not necessarily mean he is wrong. I think he is best when speculating on motives, explaining the why's of the mindsets of the leaders of the West and of the Mongols. I actually bought the arguments better than a lot of the scholarly works I read. However, there are clearly times he discusses topics for which his knowledge is inferior as other reviewers have said.

The book is also weird in its subject matter. What exactly is the focus of the book? When I read the first chapters, I thought the book was a de facto tribute to the brillaint general Subudai. But this changes. It also isn't just about the campaigns in the West, but thre is more material about Western Campaigns.

My conclusion is that the author loves the period of time, and is fascinated by the Mongols, and wishes to talk about them. If you want to learn a lot about the period, and really ENJOY reading a book, this is as highly recommended a book as I can think of. If, however, you want history presented with well deveolped arguments and theory, pass.
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