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The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough [Hardcover]

David Chandler
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Jun 1990
A military history which illuminates the complexities of 18th century war fare. The author draws upon a wide range of sources to explain how the regimental officer and soldier fought and manoeuvered, whether in the line of battle or in the siege trenches.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Spellmount Publishers Ltd; 2nd Revised edition edition (14 Jun 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0946771421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0946771424
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars art of warfare 18 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a book that delivers what it promises. It covers organization, technology and tactics of early 18th century warfare (a time when war was still somewhat artistic). The more casual reader will probably find this book a little boring with all the detailed information on exactly how many horsemen were in a squadron in the late 17th century French army, how that changed in the early 1710s and how this was subtly different from the Imperial army, just to name an example. On the other hand, probably most people who would even think of buying this book would get exactly what they expect. Chandler does not write extremely lively, but again you don't really expect that in a book of this nature.
I quite liked the sections on fortifications/sieges and on infantry musketry, however I would not have minded if the author would have better explained why exactly firing by platoon is more efficient than firing by line, for example, or if he had provided a bit more detail on how fortifications were actually stormed. Anyway, the section at the end summarizing all battles & sieges of this era is a real nice bonus. Overall, good marks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough 3 April 2011
By Graham R. Hill VINE VOICE
Chandler tells the lay reader everything they would want to know about the mechanics of warfare in the first decade of the eighteenth century whilst also looking at evidence from, and drawing conclusions about, the half centuries either side. The book is logically organised into sections on infantry, cavalry, artillery, engineering and sieges. The last two sections are particularly helpful in illustrating the fact that war at that time (as before and since) was as much about grand strategy and logistics as about battlefield tactics. The book is understandably focussed mainly on Britain and France, but does cover others such as Holland, Sweden, Russia and the Ottoman Empire in a limited way. There are also brief summaries of the careers of Vauban and Coehoorn.

There are a few black and white illustrations plus some schematics of fortress design of the time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough. 3 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Covers not just Marlborough but from the 1689's to the 1740's. The detail is superb covering the various arm of the military, horse,foot, artillery and engineers in depth. Also covered is the equipment,uniforms and their cost! some of the tables are a little cluttered, would have been better in landscape as opposed to portrait but the diagrams are clear with some very nice period drawings. A slow read but it is what you should expect with a book containing this much detail. If you need to know how to create and use an army in this period, then read this book I think it pretty well covers it all. Everything except why the British firing by platoon is more deadly that the French firing by line? Well written, easy to follow a must have for serious students of this period.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A seminal work by a master historian 19 Oct 2002
By A Customer - Published on
The author is an eminent military scholar and this work, first published in 1976, still gives readers an accurate and comprehensive introduction to its subject. Chandler has a nice command of the English language, is thoroughly versed in the details and arcana of the technical aspects of the military art of the age he writes of, and places the subject of the book very adeptly into the context of the times, with appropriate nods to politics, economics, and the cultural ethos. He further offers good insights into the influence of the preceding era's style of warfare on that practised in the age of Marlborough, as well as giving an idea of the impact of Marlborough's period on the subsequent evolvement of warfare later in the 18th century.
As in any work of synthesis, Chandler's work cannot replace primal sources such as drill manuals, letters, diaries, memoirs, etc., from participants in the warfare he covers. Nor should it be read in expectation of giving a book-length treatment to any one battle or campaign -- Chandler is clearly painting with a broader brush in hope of giving us the big picture, albeit one that gives enough detail to stand magnified scrutiny.
Those who come to the subject via Chandler's work may well be intrigued enough to delve into more narrowly-oriented works on specific arms, units, battles or campaigns. Those whom want a good slice more of the reality of the age than the decent but very, very brief overviews offered by, say, the Osprey series cannot go wrong with either a used or reprint version of this book. Let those who cavil at its quality offer a list of more complete, accurate and pleasurable books covering the same topic in the same fine but broad manner.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Bumper Information Harvest from Chandler 19 Jun 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Informative, entertaining and well organized, The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough is an essential work for anyone interested in the European military art of the early 18th century. The book includes detailed comparisons (including diagrams in many cases) of the competing tactical systems used by infantry and cavalry of the day; in addition, there is extensive material on artillery technoloogy and employment as well as engineering and siegecraft. The individual fortunate enough to own this work, Nosworthy's *Anatomy of Victory,* and Christopher Duffy's various volumes (alas, many are currently out of print--strong arguments for publishing-on-demand) will know about as much about 18th-century warfare in Europe as any layman really needs to know.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warfare in the Age of Marlborough 15 July 2012
By T.A.L. Dozer - Published on
Warfare in the Age of Marlborough

"The Art of War in the Age of Marlborough" by David Chandler is a detailed yet readable account of the military organization, training methods, and tactical concepts of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century European armies examines how the regimental officer and soldier fought and maneuvered, whether in the line of battle or in siege trenches. Chandler also evaluates equipment, doctrine, and training and emphasizes cavalry, infantry, artillery, and engineering developments. This book is essential for understanding the armies that made possible the achievements of Marlborough, Prince Eugene, and Marshal Saxe between 1688 and 1748.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting information. 18 July 2011
By Paul S. Teague, Major, US Army Retired - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading the Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough by David Chandler although the book could have just as easily been entitled The Art of Warfare in the Age of Vauban. While I didn't find any new information about the battles fought I found the chapters on the development of infantry and infantry weapons interesting as well as what was written about the cavalry. Most fascinating to me however were the chapters dealing with artillery and especially how the fusing of the shells was done.
While not a work I would recommend for someone interested in the campaigns of the era I would strongly encourage anyone interested in the mechanics of how soldiers fought at that time to buy this book. If you ever wondered how soldiers fired a match lock, or are interested in the use of ricochet firing in siege warfare, and many more little known tidbits then you will enjoy this book.
3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars General information that does not offer new insights 9 Nov 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Chandler's treatment of this period of warfare falls far short of what other histories and studies offer. Thus, it should be viewed as a general guide ONLY, and to serve as a basic framework from which the reader can further pursue this subject.
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