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Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars I wish there were more tactics and less strategy, May 6, 2012
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This review is from: The Generalship Of Alexander The Great (Paperback)
JFC Fuller's account of Alexander the Great's conquest is a classic on the subject - as of this writing it is over 50 years old, yet remains in print because of his scholarship. The book is exhaustive in its detail - the first 80 pages (of a 300-odd page book) discusses Alexander's world in terms of military capabilities and the political lay of the land prior to Alexander's ascention. The following 80 pages cover the strategic narrative. While this is admittedly crucial to understanding the brilliance of what Alexander did (and to provide some context for his decisions), it was of less interest to me - and frankly, the writing showed the book's age. The concluding half of the book was very good, explaining the logistical and political climate in addition to the (as best as can be determined) tactical lay of the land as well as Alexander's leadersip in seige and guerrilla warfare.

As good as this book is - and it is good - it is not "excellent", hence the 3-star review. The maps are poor. When discussing decisons at the tactical level, detailed, accurate maps are a must. The maps that are provided give only the barest of geographical information, instead focusing on the order of battle and troop movement. I would have also liked to have seen greater analysis on the "whys and hows" of Alexander's decisions given the terrain, morale and choice of battle site. Fuller provides some information here, but given the length this book has been in print and the credential of the author (Maj. Gen., DSO) I expected more.

There is certainly much to recommend here: the depth and detail of Hellenistic military history is exhaustive, and Fuller's chapters on Alexander's world (from a military standpoint) is excellent. In terms of a strategic overview, the book is solid, but it really falls apart on the tactical level.
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