Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World
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With no other options, Datis gave the orders for the next day—prepare to break camp and return to the ships. It was the most dangerous operation conceivable, one that invited attack. It would take all night to break camp and move the ships into place. The job was made more difficult by the necessity of hiding these preparations from the Athenians. From past experience, Datis knew that getting the cavalry on board ship was the most difficult task ahead, so they would have to board before daybreak, as the rest of the army stood guard.
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If that went well, he would collapse his perimeter back toward the narrow strip of beach where the marsh protected one flank and the ocean the other. Here his elite Persians and Saka elite Scythian troops, usually cavalry could hold the line, protected by thousands of archers, while the rest of the army boarded ship. As Datis studied the Athenian line that the Great King had ordered destroyed, he must have thought one more time, If only the Athenians would attack.
One must always be careful what one asks for. That night, the Athenians heard unusual sounds coming from the Persian camp. Callimachus and Miltiades must have guessed what was happening, but they needed to be sure. They sent out spies, and soon enough confirmation came back: The Persians were preparing to depart. The Greek generals understood that they must not allow the Persians to leave with their strength intact. The next actions of such a force would be unpredictable and dangerous, as the Persians had a number of options available to them, none of them pleasant from the Athenian perspective.
They might sail north to Thebes, never a friend to Athens, which had offered the requisite pledges of submission to Darius. From there, they could have enlisted Theban hoplites to provide the heavy infantry they lacked and together march on Athens. Alternatively, they could land elsewhere and march on Athens before the Athenian army could assemble to counter them; or they could attack any number of vulnerable points along the coast to scour Attica with damaging raids.
Even joining with Argos and removing the Spartan threat was a possibility. Considering all these scenarios, it was clear to Callimachus that if Athens was ultimately to survive, the Persian force needed to be severely damaged while still on the shores of Marathon. Athens could not keep its men under arms forever. It was now or never. See All Customer Reviews.
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Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Overview Two modern masters of military history make their case for the twenty most pivotal battles of all time, in a riveting trip through the ages to those moments when the fate of the world hung in the balance. In gripping narrative accounts they bring these conflicts and eras to vivid life, detailing the cultural imperatives that led inexorably to the battlefield, the experiences of the common soldiers who fought and died, and the legendary commanders and statesmen who matched wits, will, and nerve for the highest possible stakes.
But there can be no doubt that these twenty are among those that set mankind on new trajectories. Each of these epochal campaigns is examined in its full historical, strategic, and tactical context—complete with edge-of-your-seat you-are-there battle re-creations. With an eye for the small detail as well as the bigger picture, Lacey and Murray identify the elements that bind these battles together: the key decisions, critical mistakes, and moments of crisis on which the fates of entire civilizations depended.
Some battles merely leave a field littered with the bodies of the fallen. Others transform the map of the entire world. Moment of Battle is a must acquisition for anyone seeking to understand the nature of human development—and its turning points. This is a readable and compelling primer and a feast for the student of military history.
Navy at Guadalcanal.
About the Author James Lacey is the author most recently of The First Clash, about the battle of Marathon, and is a widely published defense analyst who has written for Time, National Review, Foreign Affairs, and other publications. Williamson Murray is the author of a wide selection of articles and books, including, with Allan R.
Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. Anonymous More than 1 year ago Wonderfully eclectic, if arguable, selection of battles, from Athens to Baghdad. Sharp analysis of each engagement and a valiant attempt to place each within the context of the subtitle. Otherwise, would have been 5 stars. Anonymous More than 1 year ago. Anonymous More than 1 year ago Very hard to find the information you want. Touch the Chapter, nothing happens.
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I had to go page to page looking for the information I bought the book for and never found it. I'm sure what I am looking for is in this book, but there is a real accessibility problem. I should have taken the sample and I recommend that for anyone who doesn't want to read this monster page by page. I plan to shop for a Red Book of values today at one of the local shops and archive this thing. Would not buy it if I had known. Great book. Related Searches. Almost a Bride. In this spectacular new romance from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jane Feather, fate deals one stubbornly single young woman and one deceptively heartless man a shocking hand in a high-stakes bet.
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Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World
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