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Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913 Hardcover – 5 Sep 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 430 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger Publishers (5 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275978885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275978884
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,238,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Dr. Ed Erickson is a retired regular US Army lieutenant colonel of field artillery, who served with the 3rd Armored Division in Operation Desert Storm (1991), headquarters IFOR in Operation Joint Endeavor (Bosnia, 1995) and the 4th Infantry Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). He spent seventeen years in overseas assignments, seven of which were in Muslim countries. His PhD is in history from the University of Leeds in the UK. Dr. Erickson is a associate professor of military history at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia, where he teaches in the command and staff college. He can be reached at

Product Description


?[E]xceptionally well produced....Erickson fills a gap in the literature with a detailed consideration of the reasons for Ottoman defeat through reviewing operations at a micro level from the perspective of their corps. No one is more qualified than he to undertake such a study....[a]s a campaigns history this volume is hard to fault. It builds its case brick by brick, and the sectionalized approach renders it easy to follow. Highly recommended. builds its case brick by brick, and the sectionalized approach renders it easy to follow. Highly recommended.?-Middle East Journal

About the Author

Edward J. Erikson teaches social studies at Norwich High School in Norwich, New York.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
After the Crimean War, the Balkan Peninsula became the focal point of both Ottoman domestic and Ottoman diplomatic problems. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jon Peters on 10 Aug. 2003
Format: Hardcover
This title is long overdue in my opinion, with Lt. Col. Erickson demonstrating a masterful handling of a complicated and little understood subject.
'Defeat in Detail' admirably illustrates, in impressive minutiae, the trials and tribulations of the Ottoman Army of the period 1877 - 1913 during the Balkan conflicts. The work is further supported by a comprehensive bibliography with fascinating appendices and copious tactical maps etc.
My only 'niggle' being the sometimes poor translation of German works and a few typos (also German). Other than that, a 'must buy' book for military students everywhere and very reasonably priced; for anyone with only a passing interest of the subject then expensive and content probably much too 'dry'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Written in Detail 13 Nov. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the story of the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars using mainly the Turkish resources. Well researched in great detail and covering many aspects of these wars, it is an important contribution to that period of the European history. Although there are many typographical errors (mostly Turkish) and missing a general area map showing all the critical geographical names mentioned in the book, it completes Richard C. Hall's recent book on the same subject.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive military history of the Ottoman armies in the Balkan Wars 9 Mar. 2013
By Christopher Deliso - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Defeat in detail – a title with a clever double meaning - refers both to the author’s exhaustive treatment of a little-known yet vital part of modern European history, as well as to a more technical military definition. “Defeat in detail, “the author says in his introduction, “is a doctrinal military term that means to defeat and enemy by destroying smalls portions of its armies instead of engaging its entire strength” (p. xvii).Erickson, who happens to be both an ex-military man and a historian with an excellent knowledge of the Ottoman source material, makes a compelling case in this book that the Ottoman failure in the First Balkan War owed precisely to this factor: “the Ottoman Empire split its field armies into groups and thereby created the conditions necessary for its enemies to achieve numerical superiority on the battlefield” (p. xvii).

There has been no comprehensive account of the specific decisions and actions made by the Ottoman army leading to its defeat in the First Balkan War of 1912-1913. Defeat in Detail fills this vacuum, while also putting to rest some of the prevailing myths about the late Ottoman army, particularly, that it was a ragged band of incompetents resistant to modernization efforts and doomed from the start. Erickson shows clearly that this was not the case, that the Turks by 1911 were not only in a ramped-up phase of military modernization, but that they had in fact been devoted to acquiring new European war technology and especially know-how, since at least the humiliating conclusion of the war against Russia in 1877, which brought Czarist forces to the gates of Constantinople and resulted in the permanent loss of Bulgaria.

(This is a partial review excerpt. The full review is available at
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Sick Man of Europe heading to World War I 13 Dec. 2013
By Edward E. Wieben - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent book on a little know subject. The Ottomans where just over powered and had neighbors took advantage of the "Sick Man of Europe" before World War I. It also shows that the Ottomans were trying to reform their army but were caught in mid stream.
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