You've heard of the Battle of New Orleans, which ended the War of 1812. You may have heard of the Battle of Cowpens, a key engagement in America's war for independence. But you've likely not heard of the battles of Zama, Carrhae, Badr, Stamford Bridge, Sinop, and Khalkin Gol, nor of the Sack of Khwarezmia, nor of Israel's brilliant and epoch-making Operation Isotope in 1972.
They all deserve to be remembered today, however and all are discussed in a book I've just published; the press release follows:
Ten Battles is an exciting new book from Military Writers Press designed for the enjoyment and information of all those interested in history, the military, and important battles.
This is a striking exploration of history that can be enjoyed by both the academic and the general audience. Immediately and with enjoyable prose, author James J. Krefft takes his readers through the story of ten of history’s most important but least known battles. In a field replete with discussion of well known battles, Ten Battles examines seldom-discussed engagements that had lasting and important consequences of global significance. The book examines each of its case studies in detail and in context, discussing the prelude, actual engagement, aftermath and result with equal vigor. Readers are dazzled right off by the discussion of two Classical battles that were essential in Roman History.
The first of these is Zama, a keen engagement fought at the end of the 2nd Punic War that ended Carthage and catapulted Rome to Empire. Ten Battles then takes its readers to the desert of Iraq, where over 2000 years ago a battle was joined between horse and sword for the fate of Persia and perhaps the long term survival of the Roman Empire. Carrhae leaps off of the pages and engages the reader in one of histories most asymmetric battles, on that had lasting implications for Rome, Persia and the progress of Western Civilization in general. Next on the list of Ten Battles is Badr, an obscure and small scale affair that would have epic consequences for one of today's most prolific religions: Islam. At the time no more that a skirmish between desert tribes, Badr was still drastic as it set the context that Islam would use for expansion for the next 1000 years.
Next comes 1066, and an important battle fought in the wilds of England between Anglo-Saxon and Viking. Angry Vikings and angry Saxons clash at Stamford Bridge with nothing less then the future of the Vikings, England and even the Norman conquest at stake. The first half of the book is finished off with a discussion of the fame and infamy of Genghis Khan and his Mongol horseman. The Sack of Khwarezmia is a tragic tale, one of siege warfare, indirect theater based warfare and shameless slaughter. But Khwarezmia is also an important turning point in the course of Central Asia and the wider Mongol conquest.
Ten Battles starts you with 5 interesting and important battles but then gives you five more. In the second half of the book readers are taken through: Cowpens in the American Revolution, New Orleans in the War of 1812, then the Russians and Ottomans face off at Sinop, the Japanese and Soviets at Khalkhin Gol and finally the IDF and Terrorists during Operation Isotope in 1972. Ten Battles is a fast paced and entertaining book that informs readers on battles that might otherwise slip through the cracks. In elegant word in gives the reader a detailed and manageable course in the basics of battle, military campaign, and historical repercussion. Ten Battles answers fundamental questions about the progress of history by looking at root causes and the results of the formative events of some of histories most important trends. By understanding why things happened as they did we get a better idea of how to move forward with our future.
Excerpts from Ten Battles
** Just as an argument can be made for his brilliance, another can be made that Hannibal was another general whose spectacular tactical and strategic ability took him the length of the field, but not into the end zone. Unable to finish, he was betrayed far from home and died to join the likes of other spectacular but likewise unsuccessful commanders such as Rommel, Lee, Napoleon, and Attila.-Ten Battles, Zama
** A contingent of 40,000 Turks and slave soldiers had been supplemented by 60,000 irregular conscripts, and city fathers had amassed over three years of provisions in granaries and stores. Containers with water had been placed throughout the city, and the streets had been widened to inhibit the spread of fires. With all this said, it would take the Mongols only three days to take Samarkand.-Ten Battles, Khwarezmia
** Some Japanese units made it out of the Soviet encirclement, but when Komatsubara reached the safety of Japanese territory he had only four hundred survivors, meaning the 23rd Division had suffered over 90 percent casualties.-Ten Battles, Khalkhin-Gol
** In a world rife with Jihad, today’s governments would not have special-forces CT without this one small-scale battle fought in May 1972 at Lod Airport east of Tel Aviv, Israel. Operation Isotope pioneered the strategy, tactics, and toolkit of special-forces CT, and the engagement should be credited for what it accomplished and what it launched.-Ten Battles, Operation Isotope