24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Illuminating, well written, relevant,
This review is from: The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme (Paperback)
"The Face of Battle" is a unique combination of military history and social history that is relevant to everyone. As enjoyable as military history is, most of it tends to be a combination of adventure story and propaganda. John Keegan accomplishes something different in this respect by illuminating the day to day experiences of common soliders in several historic battles. For example, Keegan's chapter on the Battle of Agincourt describes such details as the weight of the British soldiers' armor, their response to the cold weather, the discomfort they felt relieving themselves while dressed, and the fear they must have experienced at the thought of doing battle with numerically superior French cavalry.
Keegan does much to expose the reality of combat and the life of a common soldier throughout history in an objective and apolitical fashion. If you are a pascifist or a social historian, then by all means read this book to enhance your understanding of war's unpleasant realities. If you are a fan of military history, then read this book to gain a finer, more detailed understanding of war.