My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Being a war gamer and casual student of strategy and tactics, I was really looking forward to reading this book. The first half of the book dives into the phalanx formations with a significant amount of historical exegesis combined with a fair amount of practical examination of the science/rationale behind them. The author inserts numerous references to historical descriptions of how these formations where reported used in famous battles to support his various hypotheses. While I had a good working knowledge of the over-all battle field strategies from this time period, I was a little fuzzy of the how the individual within the formation actually contributed to the battle. This book pretty much covers this in exhausting detail ... I must admit that I did not completely understand why these formations were so consistant before ... however, at times I still found myself skimming the detailed battle descriptions. One new detail that I learned was how the shield design facilitates or impedes a shield push before. Unfortunately we don't get the same detail for the non-Infantry formations (chariots and cavalry), either because the book is already big enough or because we don't have enough information to fully examine or compare various hypotheses.
This book is a solid, if somewhat narrow, reference book and highly recommended for anyone interested in historical warfare.
I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
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