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Thutmose III: The Military Biography of Egypt's Greatest Warrior King Hardcover – August 1, 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard A. Gabriel is a distinguished professor in the Department of History and War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and in the Department of Defence Studies at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. He was professor of history and politics at the U.S. Army War College and held the Visiting Chair in Military Ethics at the Marine Corps University. A retired U.S. Army officer living in Manchester, New Hampshire, Gabriel is the author of numerous books and articles on military history and other subjects, including Muhammad: Islam’s First Great General and Scipio Africanus: Rome’s Greatest General (Potomac Books, Inc., 2008).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books; 1 edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597973734
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597973731
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. E. Boyle on November 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book reads like a book that was cobbled together over a weekend because the author needed the money. Indeed, large chunks are cut and pasted nearly verbatim from Gabriel's other books. Worse, it is poorly executed and cries out for a proofreader. Silly errors make it difficult to have confidence in the information provided. For example: on page 54 where Gabriel writes, "[In Egypt] Except for a few places in the Nile Delta, there are no wide-open plains upon which to maneuver [chariots] *as there were in Canaan* and Syria. Yet on page 74 *"Canaan offered few smooth plains* where, the opportunities for wide-ranging maneuver and speed provided dividends." Which was it? On page 92 Thutmose captured 924 enemy chariots but on the very next page only 892 were captured. After praising the Egyptian six-spoked chariot wheel on page 59 we discover on page 75 that "The Canaanite chariot was heavier than the Egyptian vehicle *because* of its four- or six-spoked wheels." How is that exactly? These kinds of errors leave the reader wondering about the accuracy of the rest of the material. [* emphasis added]

It also fails because of unnecessary hyperbole used to build Thutmose III up and justify writing the book. Gabriel takes pains to regularly mention Thutmose's brilliance, but the most excessive hyperbole occurs early in the book. In comparing Thutmose favorably to Alexander the Great Gabriel writes; "If the greatness of a field commander is judged by the ability of the enemy he faces . . . then compared to Alexander, Thutmose must rank as the greater field commander." That is nonsense as judged by Gabriel's own criteria. The evidence provided in his book describes Thutmose's "battles" as skirmishes against inferior opposition.
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Format: Hardcover
I began reading this book after I had mentioned to a friend that I was working on some military aspects on the campaigns about Thutmose III and the Egyptian military in general. They lent this book to me and I cannot simply believe that this was ever published.

There are scores of factual errors - practically one on every page. I will point form some highlights (or rather, lowlights):

-Gabriel claims that although Thutmose III did not introduce the khepesh sword, he was the one to introduce it on a large scale to the Egyptian military (page 4). There is no evidence of this taking place and I haven't found anything the inscriptions to say otherwise. There are only 6-9 examples in the world and the artistic evidence doesn't support this either.

-Gabriel claims that the Walls of the Prince were constructed as a series of fortresses along the isthmus of Suez (29). Not really and there's no concrete evidence for such. He goes on (30) to say that it was to protect against "hit and run" raids by Canaanites. This is completely false - the logistical matters in the Sinai would have prevented any sort of sortie into this area not to mention that there's no archaeological evidence for it.

-Gabriel claims that chariots acted like a screen for infantrymen. The chariots would cover the advance while firing arrows. When infantry clashed then archers would retire to the flanks or back through the infantry ranks. He sees chariots as attacking any exposed point, with the option for dismounting and fighting as infantry (64). There's no evidence for how ancient armies at this time fought - it's completely speculation.

I could add a lot more to this list but I think you get the point by now.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author has produced another fine work detailing the exploits of Thutmose III ,pharoh of Egypt.Here we learn how Thutmose was the one who was primarily responsible for turning Egypt from a sophisticated but isolated civilization to a first rate imperial power with a sphere of influence in the middle east and Africa.The author gives a background of the situation in the area around that time including details of the Hyskos' invasion of Egypt and its affects on the Egyptians.We also learn about the militaries of the various players in the region:the Egyptians,the cannaanite and syrian city-states and the Mitanni.Thutmose through a number of unspectacular but strategic victories seized a number of strategic towns that guarded key routes first in Canaan (Meggido),then in Interior Lebanon (near the Litani River) and then along the Coast of Lebanon and Syria before he embarked on a campaign against the Mitanni.These strategic victories had the purpose of extending Egypt's buffer zone and enhanced its national security by ensuring that any attempted invasion would be fought far away from Egypt's homeland.In the process of doing this ,Thutmose became the first commander in history to use amphibious landings to acheive surprise and speed.The lessons from this book are not only Thutmose's brilliance but that the concept of a sphere of influence is a very old one and is as much about great states seeking to protect themselves by having friendly states on their borders as much as it is about imperialism (as witnessed by the British attempt to seek a buffer around India to protect it from the Russians ,the ameican Monroe doctrine and the current Russian attempt for a "sphere of priviliged interest").Read more ›
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