- Series: Meridian
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Plume; 2 Revised edition (March 30, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452010713
- ISBN-13: 978-0452010710
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Strategy: Second Revised Edition (Meridian) 2 Revised Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
While somewhat unimpressed by Hart's biography of Scipio Africanus, Hart's enviable reputation and the praise he garnered from some of our century's greatest generals encouraged me to give Strategy a chance. At first it looked like another disappointment, but I have come to appreciate this as a truly worthwhile book.
The bad first: The opening section of this book is an attempt by Hart to trace the entire history of Western warfare and demonstrate that in each era of history the indirect approach has worked better than direct assaults. For 143 pages he makes this point over and over again without adding any more detail. I quickly began to feel that he was oversimplifying events, and several times he seems to make very tenuous stretches between events and his theories. At other times it feels like he is attempting to stretch events to fit his theories when there is an insufficiently strong connection. He also seems to have an inadequate grasp of some of the historical periods. His knowledge of the American Civil War seemed a bit piecemeal to me, and his assertion that McClellan's indirect approach during the Peninsular campaign failed due to Lincoln's refusal to increase McClellan's forces does not match well with what I have heard from other sources, which blame McClellan's failure on his own hesitations.
After this section Hart enters into the period of the World Wars. Here he truly starts to shine. The campaigns are described in much greater detail and readers are treated to much better examples and explanations than previously.Read more ›
Liddell Hart seems to have fallen into disfavor in U.S. military circles, to a degree that cannot be explained simply by his disagreement with Clausewitz about the necessity of destroying the main force of the enemy. While not crediting him, the U.S. applied an indirect approach, emphasizing rapid maneuver, with great success in the Gulf War. Perhaps the explanation lies in a careful reading of the last chapter, added in the 1967 edition, in which he suggests that counter-guerilla warfare must aim to disrupt the guerillas' sources of supply and liaison with allied regular forces nearby -- in short, to win, the U.S. needed to isolate the battlefield. Maybe the U.S. thinkers didn't want to hear this -- and it hasn't helped that, once again, he was absolutely right.
So, by all means, read this book carefully. But then also read
his critics. Nobody, even Liddell Hart (or Clausewitz, or Sun Tzu) had all the answers, and the art of applying past principles to future conflicts keeps changing.
The chapter on Belisarius should be committed to memory by all of the current administration's strategic advisors should, because it was Belisarius who developed the Byzintine Empires strategy of winning wars by not "fighting" them.
Belisarius realized that a defeated Roman Empire could re-emerge as a great threat to Constantinople, as could the re-energized Persian Empire and the numerous babarian states surrounding Byzantium. And even with its great position as a world culture and trading capital, neither Justinian nor his empire could afford to engage every threat directly. Therefore, surrogates, feints and his age's version of "gunboat diplomacy" was much more cost effective. In fact Belisarius was one of the most effective generals of all time, even though his actual field leadership experience in battle was relatively limited.
(As an aside -- I would not be surprised if Belisarius was studied vigorously by every Soviet general who ever served. It seems that even though their government carried out a flawed political ideal, their strategies definitely articulated many of Belisarius's military ideas.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written in a very parochial style this book has been praised by historians and military experts as the go to source to understand how certain historical events happened. Read morePublished 2 months ago by R.W. Duval
I read this book as part of my Army War College studies and highly recommend it. a good read!Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Make no mistake, "Strategy" is an extended argument for Liddell Hart's "indirect approach", using disruptive attacks or actions with the intent of creating... Read morePublished 5 months ago by E. M. Van Court
Another great read from Liddell Hart. He is such a profound theorist. Every military officer should read this book to understand strategy.Published 5 months ago by Rob Mathews
Comprehensive, thorough and convincing argument for "the indirect approach." Interesting examples, added to my understanding of those battles.Published 11 months ago by A. Nonymous
great service, except I like Liddell Hart less and less. No footnotes? I guess you don't need them when you are so authoritative.Published 13 months ago by Philippe Emmanuel von Andau