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Masters of Warfare (Hardback)

Fifty Underrated Military Commanders from Classical Antiquity to the Cold War

Ancient History Military P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval History

By Dr Eric G L Pinzelli
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 336
Illustrations: 50 b/w
ISBN: 9781399070126
Published: 11th November 2022


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In Masters of Warfare, Eric G. L. Pinzelli presents a selection of fifty commanders whose military achievements, skill or historical impact he believes to be underrated by modern opinion. He specifically does not include the household names (the ‘Gods of War’ as he calls them) such as Alexander, Julius Caesar, Wellington, Napoléon, Rommel or Patton that have been covered in countless biographies.

Those chosen come from every period of recorded military history from the sixth century BC to the Vietnam War. The selection rectifies the European/US bias of many such surveys with Asian entries such as Bai Qi (Chinese), Attila (Hunnic), Subotai (Mongol), Ieyasu Tokugawa (Japanese) and Võ Nguyên Giáp (Vietnamese). Naval commanders are also represented by the likes of Khayr al-Dīn Barbarossa, Francis Drake and Michiel de Ruyter.

These 50 “Masters of War” are presented in a chronological order easy to follow, with a concise overview of their life and career. Altogether they present a fascinating survey of the developments and continuities in the art of command, but most importantly their contribution to the evolution of weaponry, tactic and strategy through the ages.

There is a good mix of leaders the reader may have heard of but knows little about, alongside those who are almost unknown today.

Military Heritage

Review as featured in:

Highlight: 'We believe that within the framework he set for this work, Eric G. L. Pinzelli completely succeeded and provided an extremely valuable and useful book, and for the same reasons we hope that in this case the English original will also find its way to the shelves of Croatian bookstores in our own translation.'

Povijest ratovanja (History of Warfare) Magazine

These profiles, whether of a genuinely overlooked commander or more familiar ones are quite good. We get an excellent thumbnail sketch of their background, careers, influence, even writings, plus some useful references.

The NYMAS Review

4 out of 5 Stars

It is a great reference book, with enough detail to sate the armchair reader. It will provide fresh ideas for anyone needing an original take on leadership studies, and it will hopefully act as a gateway to deeper reading into some of history's deserving, yet under-appreciated, military leaders.

Read the Full Review Here

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Overall, the book offers a fascinating survey of the development and continuity in the art of command, as well as the evolution of weaponry, tactics, and strategy throughout history.

Read the Full Review Here

Medieval Sword School

A really good book, one for the military enthusiasts.

Read the Full Review Here

The History Fella

About Dr Eric G L Pinzelli

Eric G L Pinzelli was raised in the wilds of Western Canada then attended the University of Provence. He is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Italian and was trained in Intercomprehension by the now defunct Latin Union while working for the Alliance française in Brazilian Amazonia. He served in the French Marines in the early 1990s. Military history, geopolitics and archaeology are his main passions. In 1998 he was given the Military History Award as the best Military research work of the year in French Language and in 2003 he completed his PhD. Student of the late Daniel Panzac, he specialized in 17th - 18th centuries military history, in particular naval and siege warfare and the epic conflicts opposing the Ottoman Empire against Venice, Austria, the Papacy, Poland and Russia.

Perfect Partner

Great Generals of the Ancient World The Personality, Intellectual, and Leadership Traits That Made Them Great (Hardback)

Of the thousands of commanders who served in history’s armies, why is it that only a few are remembered as great leaders of men in battle? What combination of personal and circumstantial influences conspire to produce great commanders? What makes a great leader great? Richard A Gabriel analyses the biographies of ten great generals who lived between 1481 BC and AD 632 in an attempt to identify the characteristics of intellect, psychology, personality, and experience that allowed them to tread the path to greatness. Professor Richard Gabriel has selected the ten whom he believes to be the greatest…

By Richard A Gabriel

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