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Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the Past Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think Paperback – October 12, 2004
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Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Human history would have been very different had the Greek philosopher Socrates been killed at the otherwise obscure Battle of Delium in 424 BC. At the time, Socrates' most profound thinking was yet to come and Plato was only a child. If Socrates had fallen along with hundreds of other Athenians, "the entire course of Western philosophical and political thought would have been radically altered" (216).
The Battle of Shiloh was likewise a crack in time. Among other things, the fighting changed William Tecumseh Sherman from a failure to a hero and taught him that it was far less costly to wage war against civilian infrastructure than to fight a pitched battle against a modern army. The March to the Sea began with the hard lessons that Sherman learned at Shiloh.
And at Okinawa, America learned how difficult it would be to force Japan to surrender, enduring fanatical resistance and suicidal attacks that cost the lives of thousands Americans and tens of thousands of Japanese. Hanson argues that the experience yielded a cold American resolve and a willingness to use atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Whether you agree with Hanson's conclusions or not, the journey is worth the price of admission. History is often written is if key outcomes were inevitable, as if Socrates were ordained to lay the foundations of western philosphy or the north were bound to win the Civil War.Read more ›
In discussing all three battles the author covers some of the obvious consequences, like the lost of loved ones and how that affected families back home. He reviews some of the changes to military strategy after each battle and changes in politics. He also shows that there are many less obvious consequences to each battle.
In Okinawa, near the end of World War II, the Americans launched an invasion that was bigger than Normandy. The Americans saw it as a stepping stone to the invasion of the Japanese islands. The Japanese wanted to make the battle so bloody that they thought the Americans would decide Japan would be too hard and ask for peace. The Japanese lied to the civilians on Okinawa. The civilians were told that Americans would rape the women and kill the children. Many of the civilians helped in the defense of the island. The Japanese would do almost anything to kill an American solider. After awhile the marines decided that the Japanese didn't value their own lives.
The author traces the decision to use the Atomic bombs to the horrendous loses at Okinawa. Up until Okinawa the plan had been to use Okinawa as a base for close to 10,000 bombers to soften up the islands, followed by large invasion. After realizing just how expensive a normal invasion would be, the atomic bomb was more seriously considered.
The battle of Shiloh was the first battle in the United States Civil War to have a huge body count.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hansen is NOT an excellent writer. His grammer is 3rd grade. Every other sentence begins with "But".
Aggravating trying to read. Read more
I have known about Mr. Hanson for a long while, but hadn't previously picked up his books on military and classical history. I picked up this book and I am very impressed. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Narut Ujnat
Where did the Vietnam war obsession with body count come from? It came from Okinawa. Fascinating.Published 13 months ago by Wyo250in77
This is a fantastic book. I would recommend it to anyone who believes "war is good to think with" or enjoys broad history.Published 16 months ago by Jonathan L. Allred
This was one of the books that I bought from the St. Johns Booksellers, and it is the second book I have read from this author. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Nathan Albright
Initial chapter on Okinawa is the best of the book. The more you read the less convincing the author's points become. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Carlo
A very thoughtful book by an excellent author. I believe that Dr. Hanson is America's premier military / political author. Well done.Published on July 28, 2014 by William H. Johnson,M.,