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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scipio Africanus, the general who saved and made Rome
In their decling years Scipio met with Hannibal who he had vanquished and asked who in Hannibal's mind was the greatest general.
"Alexander" did Hannibal reply
"And second best?"
"Pyrrus"
"And the third?"
"Myself"
"And if you had beaten me?"
"Then I would have counted myself first" did Hannibal reply.
Scipio is without doubt one of...
Published on 29 April 2005 by Gisli Jokull Gislason

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps
Lidddell Hart has written firstly a very good biography of Scipio Africanus and also a good work of Military History. His understanding of battle tactics and the decisive actions that can make victory is testimony to his own great experience. However I agree somewhat with other reviewers - he belittles the achievements of Alexander and Hannibal (although not Caesar) and I...
Published on 16 Oct 2001 by Stephen Wotton


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scipio Africanus, the general who saved and made Rome, 29 April 2005
By 
Gisli Jokull Gislason "Jokull" (Iceland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Scipio Africanus: Greater Than Napoleon (Paperback)
In their decling years Scipio met with Hannibal who he had vanquished and asked who in Hannibal's mind was the greatest general.
"Alexander" did Hannibal reply
"And second best?"
"Pyrrus"
"And the third?"
"Myself"
"And if you had beaten me?"
"Then I would have counted myself first" did Hannibal reply.
Scipio is without doubt one of the greatest military geniuses of antiquity and should deserve a better place in history. Liddle Hart presents a strong case in his favor but that is rather a weakness than a strength in this book.
For the most part the book reads like a good fictional novel, its text is smooth and you feel that you get to know Scipio quite well and his brilliance shines without Liddle Hart attempting his comparisons to other generals of old. I found his comparisons unneccessary and sometimes a bit too much, regardless of their truth. But the book is good enough that this is only a minor annoyance ans for the most part I found it quite good. I read it after reading Hannibal by Ernle Bradford and I found that they complemented each other very well. Easily 4 stars and for the low price it is well worth the buy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps, 16 Oct 2001
Lidddell Hart has written firstly a very good biography of Scipio Africanus and also a good work of Military History. His understanding of battle tactics and the decisive actions that can make victory is testimony to his own great experience. However I agree somewhat with other reviewers - he belittles the achievements of Alexander and Hannibal (although not Caesar) and I don't believe a comparison with Napoleon is necessarily.
But the underrated brilliance of Africanus: his astonishing rise to command in his early twenties, his charisma, inspirational leadership and most of all his canny understanding of Strategy in an age where few could comprehend the concept is well illustrated.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten victor, 5 Jan 2003
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Bearing in mind the forthcoming movie on Hannibal, the author is right to remind us that heroic failures tend to be remembered more than humble victors.
As with all Liddell-Harts writing, it's intelligent and yet an easy read. He conveys a lot of military history without boring the general reader.
Short and to the point, I would recommend this wholeheartedly.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of military writing, 26 Jan 2003
By 
Audun H (Tromsų, Norway) - See all my reviews
As ever Liddell-Hart combines his vast knowledge of all things military with his distinctive writing style. Writing shortly after the mechanised horrors of World War I which he witnessed at first hand there is no little melancholy about the book, this is a quest for a golden age when generals displayed genius and originality rather than merely hurling wave after wave of young men against the machine of death that industrialised warfare had become. Sadly it seems Liddell-Hart seems to have used the more colourful writing of Livy as his main source, particularly when he talks of the Carthaginian forces massed at Zama for the final showdown between Scipio and Hannibal - the Army of Italy which had triumphed at Cannae this was not. However this is a masterpiece of military writing and a worthy tribute to one of the (almost) forgotten generals of history. Scipio's genius was that he learnt from a true master of the art of war and transformed Rome's military forever. Greater than Napoleon? Probably not, not even greater than Hannibal, yet militarily at least Scipio was ultimately triumphant. Hannibal stands above Alexander amongst the generals of antiquity, for all of Rome's military failings prior to his arrival in Italy, Rome and her allies, especially their total dominance of the sea, combined with the the inability of Carthage to fully support his Italian campaign meant that he faced vastly superior and far more determined opposition than Alexander ever would (sorry Alexander fans!). Hannibal did not lose the war any more than Scipio singlehandedly won it, but this is a terrific read and will greatly enhance the readers knowledge of tactics and strategy, but admirers of Napoleon should not take the title of the book as an insult, Liddell-Hart's Scipio, if not the real man, certainly surpasses any general in history. Peter Connolly and Ernle Bradford have both produced books that do more justice to the great Carthaginian and the Second Punic War and perhaps put Scipio in a truer light, a very gifted and innovative commander. The man who beats Napoleon hands down is the Mongol general Subodai, but that's another story...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book On The Great General., 26 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Liddell-Hart has delivered a godsend for military enthusiasts & readers alike,by finely narrating the campaigns & quite convincingly the achievements of this brilliant & great but quite appropriately forgotten general.
One of the greatest crimes of this book is the way the author undermines the greatness of the other three immortals of military antiquity:Alexander,Hannibal & Caesar.Though I would not go into great length to prove this,point by point,I would humbly suggest readers that after reading this book,to please look for other sources on the great generals aforementioned,so one could compare & see things in a much better,clearer,more factual light.I strongly suggest reading Theodore Dodge's books on these men.For if one were to rely on this book as a main source,one would be terribly misguided into believing Scipio as the greatest man & general in history.Which is definitely not the case.When all is summed up,comparing him to his rival,the case paves to this irrefutable fact:Hannibal was the original,innovative master,& Scipo his greatest pupil.
My other criticism,in a more technical term,is the lack of more maps in the book to detail & highlight his campaigns.Maps detailing the maneuveres in the Battle of the Great Plains,the burning of the Carthaginian camps,the battle against Andobales in Spain,The Siege Of Cartagena,etc.,would have made it a more instructive & fulfilling book.
Other than these,I would say that this is the best book on Scipio ever written,a great contribution to humanity in fact,in the sense that it brings to every reader the importance & achievement of a great man who is almost forgotten in the annals of history.And convinces him.And for this alone deserves the highest merit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, insightful, informative, 10 Sep 2006
Well, you can argue all you like about whether Scipio was really a better general than Napoleon (or Alexander, Hannibal or so forth) but it's a brave man who thinks he knows better than Liddel-Hart.

What I do know is, the insights of one of the greatest military analysts of the 20th Century are well worth reading. Hart has a pleasant writing style which makes the book nicely readable. Besides that, it's a good history book and tells you a lot about that period.

Incidentally, for those that aren't aware: Liddel-Hart made very significant contributions to accepted modern military doctrine, particulary as it relates to the influence of tanks on strategy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hannibal Lost, But We Forget the Victor....., 17 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Hannibal's feat in crossing the Alps with his elephants and Africans will never again be replicated in actual war. He was a spectacular failure. There is something in all of us that lionizes the underdog, the loser, the man or woman who flies in the face of conventional wisdom. But in Scipio's case why do we not commemorate his victory? Liddel-Hart makes the case for Scipio's greatness. His nobility of spirit suffuses the pages. I'd think that a man as gifted, generous, and thoughtful as Scipio would be someone we could emulate. Scipio saved Rome from a defeat that may have profoundly affected the course of world history, yet he was treated like refuse by the ruling party in Rome. One would think that we'd identify with the heroic outsider, but I guess the cornicen hasn't been blown enough for Publius Cornelius Scipio africanus, a man for all seasons.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Underated Military Leader, 28 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Drawing on the extant ancient histories told by the Roman, Livy, and Polybius the Greek, Hart makes a compelling argument for Scipio's greatness as both a military leader and a compassionate human being. Hart succesfully rebuts many historian's underated view of Scipio's abilties and convincingly esablishes him as one of the greater if not greatest military leaders of the western world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant ancient general is brought to life., 2 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Liddell Hart brings to life the savior of the Roman empire and conqueror of the legendary Hannibal. Scipio rises from a young, unknown quantity who is sent to salvage Rome's position in Spain to the consumate ancient general who forces Hannibal home, to Carthage, to defeat. By the end of the volume the reader could easily wonder why Scipio's name is not as familiar as Ceasar's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superb book!, 5 Mar 2011
This review is from: Scipio Africanus: Greater Than Napoleon (Paperback)
Commander Liddell Hart, the greatest military prophet and philosopher of the XX century, takes you for a ride around the II century BC, a ride you will not forget. Based mainly on two ancient trustful sources (a Roman and a Greek) and his gigantic military-historical knowledge and perception, Liddell Heart not only manages to masterfully capture the heat of the past, but wraps the reader in a spiral of astonishing descriptions concerning ancient and present History and how they connect, strategy, detailed battle tactics and battle psychology, biographical indications, and so on... You just cannot stop reading. You want to reach the end and at the same time you want it never to stop, so beautiful and serious is the lesson given by this amazing "professor". After finishing, you just feel like dropping the sword and helmet yourself, so intense was this journey into the heart of the Second Punic War. You also feel very thankful to Liddell Heart and his splendid achievement.
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Scipio Africanus: Greater Than Napoleon
Scipio Africanus: Greater Than Napoleon by Hart (Paperback - 10 Mar 2004)
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