2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 January 2013
This is the companion to 'Giant of the Grand Siecle' the rise of the army of Louis XIV. Here we see the army in action as Louis XIV attempts to realise a 'greater France'. It is the age of Marlborough for the English, so it is essential that we have some knowlege of Louis XIV and his generals to understand fully what Marlborough and the Duke of Savoy achieved. It is a comparatively slim volume but complete with all the detail you need to follow a half a century of warfare at a time when mobility was limited and siege warfare was perhaps at its height. Here we see the comparative styles of Coerhoorn and Vauban in fortress building and the efforts of Louis XIV to establish defensive lines after suffering prohibitive losses while Marlborough sought to turn the flanks of such lines. Echoes of the Maginot Line following the end of World War One and the German offensive through the Ardennes in 1940.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Louis XIV seems to have been left behind by history. Few French books cover his reign compared to say Napoléon Bonaparte. In the Anglo-Saxon world he is probably better known for persecuting protestants or wearing preposterous wigs. Yet the power of France in his reign rose, fell and then ultimately triumphed as he abolished the Pyrenees.
John Lynn's book, based mostly on Quincy, views each war and each campaign on a theatre by theatre basis. This pattern allows one to see the enormous effort required of these early modern states in maintaining armies in excess of 100,000 men over many theatres, and supplying them with money and victuals. No matter how glorious war was felt to be it was ultimately a matter of intendants and wagons. This is an excellent one volume summary from an excellent series.
5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 25 November 2010
Key points about this book:
Good: this book covers a number of wars (most of which were fought on different theaters) very very extensively. No march and no countermarch is left out. The coverage is complete and highly detailed.
Bad: for the general reader, this book might simply be too dull. It would have been good if the author had tried a little harder to juice up the book a bit (I do admit that most of these wars were painfully slow and uneventful most of the time, but still). Then again, maybe the book wasn't really intended for the general reader.