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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book, just not an essential one, 20 Sep 2011
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Army of the Punic Wars 264-146 BC (Battle Orders) (Paperback)
This is an interesting enough introductory volume to the subject, but any `proper' book will probably tell you just as much for a considerably lower price. This doesn't even have colour plates - the trademark of Osprey volumes - although it has the usual quality of photographs and maps and battle-plans (which use NATO icons!). There are a couple of pages of formation diagrams of the deployment of the manipular legion, along with its cavalry turma.

The Contents are -
P04: Introduction
.Conquest of Italy; First Punic war
P16: Roman Military Organization
.The Livian legion; The Polybian legion; Maniple; Light infantry; Cavalry; Citizen-militia
P28: Socii military organization
.Ala; Cohors; Cavalry
P31: Command and control
.Legion command; Centuriate; Junior officers; Command and control in action
P41: Roman army in battle
.Roman tactical doctrine and practice; Legion; Socii; Light troops
P52: Engineering
.Marching camps; Roads; Siegecraft
P57: Second Punic War
.Hannibal's revenge; Hannibal's aims; The long struggle; The Trebbia, genius at work; Lake Trasimene, the perfect ambush; Cannae, a lesson in annihilation; The Metaurus, the beginning of the end; Ilipa, Iberia lost; Zama, a lesson learnt
P86: Military superpower
P88: Chronology 264-200 BC
P91: Ancient Authors
.Appian; Cassius Dio; Diodoros Siculus
P93-P96: Bibliography, Glossary, Index

Diagrams:
Two pages for the legion deployment, one for the maniple, one for the centuria, one for the cavalry turma.
Two pages of Manipular tactics.
There are some really unimaginative Roman army structure diagrams using NATO symbols - Spring 218, Spring 217, Spring 216, Spring 207, Spring 206 BC

The maps are
The Italian Peninsula, 3rd century BC.; The Mediterranean basin, 3rd century BC.; The Trebbia, December 218 BC.; Lake Trasimene, June 217 BC.; Cannae, August 216 BC.; The Metaurus, June 207 BC.; Ilipa, spring 206 BC.; Zama, October 202 BC.

This is really only for Osprey `completists'. As I said above, there are other books at a cheaper price that will tell you the same information, and probably a lot more. The use of NATO symbols is unimaginative for a book on an ancient army, and I found them alienating for that reason. If you can find a cheap copy, by all measnd buy it - it is not a bad book, just not an essential one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Punic Wars, 13 July 2008
By 
D. Evans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Roman Army of the Punic Wars 264-146 BC (Battle Orders) (Paperback)
The Wars between Rome and Carthage were the bloodiest and most destructive in the ancient world. In this book Nic Fields presents some information on the battle orders of the time, with an overview on the command, deployment, organisation, tactics and equipment of the Roman Army.

The author describes in detail the armies of the Punic Wars, but most of his attention is drawn towards the Second Punic War, as this was the most famous phase of the conflict. The book charts the evolution of the Roman army from the Livian to the Polybian Legion, with sections dedicated to the organisation of the maniple, the use of light infantry and cavalry, as well as subjects like Socii military organisation.

Other sections look at the Roman army in battle, military engineering, and the command structure of the legions during the Second Punic War at Trebbia, Trasimene, Cannae, the Metaurus, Ilipa and Zama.

This is certainly not for novices in the subject. I believe that a good grounding in knowledge of the Punic Wars is needed to get some enjoyment from the book, but that doesn't mean that interested amateurs like myself won't find anything of use in it. Those who have studied the Punic wars at length will no doubt find this book a treasure trove of information.

Features such as organisation charts help give you better idea of how the Roman legion or maniple operated in battle. Full colour maps help show the deployment of the armies in the field, as well as giving you a broad overview of the whole campaign. Small sections also cover the biographies of some of the leading generals of the war, while photographs help complete the title.

Overall this a brilliant short book that oozes with quality and deeply researched scholarship. It might be heavy going for those who have no prior knowledge of the history of the Punic Wars, but those who do will find it invaluable.
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The Roman Army of the Punic Wars 264-146 BC (Battle Orders)
The Roman Army of the Punic Wars 264-146 BC (Battle Orders) by Nic Fields (Paperback - 10 May 2007)
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