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The Field Campaigns of Alexander the Great (Hardback)

Ancient History Military Biography Alexander the Great

By Stephen English
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781848840669
Published: 28th February 2011

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Alexander the Great is one of the most famous men in history, and many believe he was the greatest military genius of all time (Julius Caesar wept at the feet of his statue in envy of his achievements). Most of his thirteen year reign as king of Macedon was spent in hard campaigning which conquered half the then-known world, during which he never lost a battle. Besides the famous set-piece battles (Granicus, Issus, Gaugamela, Hydaspes), Alexander's army marched thousands of miles through hostile territory, fighting countless smaller actions and calling for a titanic logistical effort.

There is a copious literature on Alexander the Great, but most are biographies of the man himself, with relatively few recent works analysing his campaigns from a purely military angle. This book will combine a narrative of the course of each of Alexander's campaigns, with clear analysis of strategy, tactics, logistics etc. This will combine with Stephen English's The Army of Alexander the Great and The Sieges of Alexander the Great, to form a very strong three-volume examination of one of the most successful armies and greatest conquerors ever known.

For the reader who wants to discover Alexander’s great battles this book will probably be too much of a book with a point to make to be a good introduction, but for those who already have some knowledge of the topic it could be an interesting read leading to others in order to make one’s own opinion on the value of Mr English’s views.

Read full review on www.UNRV.com

United Nations of Roman Vitrix Website www.unrv.com

English begins by explaining his methodology and examining the surviving sources. This is a very valuable section of the book, allowing the reader to judge the success of the rest of the text.

The author's main aim is to produce coherent battle narratives that make sense of the often contradictory primary sources. I'm not entirely convinced by all of his conclusion, but in each case English explains his reasoning and includes the relevant primary sources, allowing the reader to come to his own conclusions. Having said hat, most of his suggested solutions make sense, and his arguments are well made. English clearly knows his material very well, giving his arguments and conclusions a great deal of credibility.

This is an excellent conclusion to a very useful series, and helps to explain why Alexander was so successful against so many different opponents.

History of War Website

Already an acknowledged expert on Alexander the Great, this third volume by English looks at the various specific campaigns in a way comparable to studies of English and American Civil War battles and campaigns. It's thorough, very readable, and scholarly.

Books Monthly

About Stephen English

Dr Stephen English was recently awarded his PhD for his thesis on the military career of Alexander the Great. His first book, The Army of Alexander the Great, was published by Pen & Sword in 2009.

He lives in County Durham.

Battle of Issus

1st May 0333 BC

The Battle of Issus occurred in southern Anatolia, in November 333 BC. The invading troops, led by the young Alexander of Macedonia, defeated the army personally led by Darius III of Achaemenid Persia in the second great battle for primacy in Asia. After Alexander's forces successfully forced a crossing of the Hellespont and defeated the Persian satraps led by a Greek mercenary in a prior encounter, Darius took personal charge of his army, gathered a large army from the depths of the empire, and maneuvered to cut the Macedonian line of supply, requiring Alexander to countermarch his forces, setting the stage for the battle near the mouth of the Pinarus River and south of the village of Issus.


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