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Tietoja tekijästä

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Tekijän teokset

The Campaign of Chancellorsville (1999) 27 kappaletta
Napoleon's Invasion of Russia (2007) 3 kappaletta

Associated Works

The Civil War: The Third Year Told by Those Who Lived It (2013) — Avustaja — 144 kappaletta
The Arabian Horse in Fact, Fantasy and Fiction (1959) — Avustaja — 10 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, USA
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA (birth)
Berlin, Germany
New York, New York, USA
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Paris, France
University College London
Heidelberg University
private soldier
Major, United States Army
Brevet Lieutenant Colonel
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
National Institute of Arts and Letters (Literature ∙ 1908)
Lyhyt elämäkerta
Theodore Ayrault Dodge was an American officer and military historian. He fought as a Union officer in the American Civil War; as a writer, he was devoted to both the Civil War and the great generals of ancient and European history.



This was a long but ultimately very rewarding read. There is almost overwhelming detail on the crossing of the Andes, tactics and formations of the era though not enough about Hannibal himself. That is hardly the author's fault as source material is incredibly scanty on him apparently. The author obviously admired Hannibal Barca immensely and this may balance the existing material all written from the Roman point of view. It would been nice to see the actual references he used although Livy and Polybius are cited throughout the work. The maps are hand-drawn but still useful in their way and there are a huge number of interesting and cool sketches. A most unique book! Now to retrace the steps of Hannibal from Cartagena to the Po River!… (lisätietoja)
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PCorrigan | Jul 30, 2013 |
A series of lectures, presumably to American soldiers or cadets. Each Captain gets about 30 pages of detail and analysis, which gives room for only the briefest and general details. Alexander and Hannibal are examined primarily through the lenses of Hydaspes and Cannae, while the rest have their campaigns more completely described--I think Napoleon is described the most successfully, Gustavus or Frederick the least.
In general the Captains are compared only indirectly, with few declarations of one or the other's superiority. (Frederick, for example, is proclaimed the best tactician.) The most interesting parts of each lecture are usually the last 8 or 10 pages of analysis, where there a few gems, while the overviews of campaigns and battles are too rushed and generalized to be satisfying, unless a quick overview is all that's desired.… (lisätietoja)
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ShaneTierney | Aug 29, 2012 |
This book is out of date on two fronts. First, if you are interested in a history of the life of Alexander there are many works of modern scholarship from which to choose. If these do not suffice, you can cut out the middle man and read Arrian, Quintus Curtius or Plutarch in excellent modern translations (or the original if your Latin isn't too rusty). Second, as a work on military tactics, it is written from the perspective of the Civil war era. Thus we get discussions of cavalry techniques which apparently hadn't changed much from Alexander's day to Dodge's.

That said, this is still one of the best histories of the Alexandrine age I have read. It is written with clarity and force and doesn't skimp on details. It concentrates mostly on military matters although it gives enough political and social background to provide an understanding of the strategic significance of events. The book opens with a discussion of military force predating Alexander and tries to make the point that, prior to Greeks, there had been no real use of tactics on the battlefield - a questionable conclusion, I think. There follows a discussion of Persian and Greek arms and tactics and then, at about two hundred pages, it begins a discussion of Alexander proper. The battles of Granicus, Issus and Arbela are all discussed with considerable attention to tactical detail. Dodge then follows Alexander through Persia to Afghanistan and ultimately India. Small maps detail this journey and the myriad small, mopping up battles that ensued. The maps occasionally seem a little suspect given that the first-hand knowledge available to a Civil War veteran of that part of the world was probably small. It seems unlikely Dodge really knew much about the places he describes here. In his two works on ancient generals, Caesar and Hannibal, he visited most of the places he describes. This seems unlikely for the passes of the Hindu-Kush or the courses of the Oxus river. Its hard to get there these days, never mind in the 19th century.

For the most part, however, I really enjoyed Dodge's use of small and very clear diagrams throughout - both as maps and as drawings of equipment etc. These hand drawn items greatly improve the clarity of the book and help you to follow the tactical details of the actions described in the text.

The book closes with a discussion of the Indian campaign, Alexander's return to Persia and his eventual death and successors. Dodge clearly thought highly of Alexander - and perhaps rightly so. He does, however, excuse many of his errors, personal and tactical. Alexander's choice of route for returning to Persia is not seen as the tremendous strategic and tactical blunder that it was, for example. A final interesting question raised by Dodge is whether Rome would have stood against Alexander. His answer - no.

If you want great depth or modern scholarship this is not the place to find it but, while the book has its flaws, it is a great read for those unfamiliar with Alexander or those wanting a basic understanding of the tactics and strategy that made him so successful.
… (lisätietoja)
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Neutiquam_Erro | Mar 18, 2008 |

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