If anecdotes are marginal notes on the pages of history, these will delight any reader who has ever been moved or entertained by the condition of the soldier. Few fields of human endeavor have inspired so many memorable anecdotes as warfare, from the Bible and Livy through Gibbon and Froissart, to the imperial wars of the nineteenth century and the world conflicts of the tIf anecdotes are marginal notes on the pages of history, these will delight any reader who has ever been moved or entertained by the condition of the soldier. Few fields of human endeavor have inspired so many memorable anecdotes as warfare, from the Bible and Livy through Gibbon and Froissart, to the imperial wars of the nineteenth century and the world conflicts of the twentieth. This collection is principally concerned with American and British conflicts, with, as the author says, "occasional forays among the ranks of foreign armies"--notably the Greeks, the Romans, and Napoleon's veterans. Hastings has sought stories that illustrate the military condition through the ages, both on the battlefield and in barracks: comic, eccentric, heroic, tragic. Here are Caesar at the Rubicon and the revolt of the Praetorian Guard; Alexander's horse and Prince Rupert's dog; the legendary Mother Ross enlisting in search of her lost husband in 1693; Evelyn Waugh as the least plausible of commandos; General Douglas MacArthur's good luck charm "Charlie," a lump of lava rock carved into a Hawaiian warrior; and much more. Some of the stories will be familiar to students of military history while others are less well known, but all provide fascinating sidelights to history....
|Title||:||The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes|
|Number of Pages||:||528 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes Reviews
Hampered by the fact that the author doesn't have much of a sense of humor, pithiness, or even what an anecdote is. Giving a rather dull summary of the entire battle of Thermopylae is not an anecdote. An anecdote should a a remarkable moment of wit, oddity, or blazing insight that is ideally about a paragraph or two in length but which is too slight to lend itself to chapter or book-length treatment. Hastings needs to read a book like The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes by Clifton Fadiman to get an idea about how to do this correctly.
These 384 brief tales differ in their anecdotal qualities; some are vignettes of war life, mere accounts of battles, or biographical sketches. Most, however, are amusing, enlightening, and delightful. It's a treasure trove of eccentric and notable characters. Military life is covered, from absurd, such as a WWI plan to move England's sheep inland and destroy all intoxicants in the event of an invasion; to creepy, as Wu Ch'i or Frederick the Great's draconian discipline; to inept, such as the British twit who mistakenly used the WWII invasion-of-England code word Cromwell ("I get so confused with these historical blokes"); to awe-inspiring, such as Lord Uxbridge's astonishing bravery in 1815 at the leg wound that required amputation. Great stuff.