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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The information inside 'The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World'
I have a battered old copy of this book (published in 1996 by Oracle Publishing Ltd) I was given the book for free a few years ago and kept hold of it ever since.

I expected the grammar and vocabulary to be fairly old school considering it was first published in 1851 but once I got reading it turned out to be up to todays standards but without a biography or...
Published on 31 Aug 2011 by T.S.L Green Laddy

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Summary!
Every battle in history has mattered. Whatever the outcome, so much has been riding on that one moment in time, that one swing of the pendulum. Back in 1851 Sir Edward Creasy published his narrative about 15 battles from history. Creasy's intention was not to regale us with the story behind the 15 most famous battles at that time. Instead he shares 15 battles that he...
Published 13 months ago by D Brown


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The information inside 'The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World', 31 Aug 2011
I have a battered old copy of this book (published in 1996 by Oracle Publishing Ltd) I was given the book for free a few years ago and kept hold of it ever since.

I expected the grammar and vocabulary to be fairly old school considering it was first published in 1851 but once I got reading it turned out to be up to todays standards but without a biography or any unwanted information (even though the author Edward Creasy himself is a famous man).

The information itself is very good, the author is obviously a very intelligent man considering the amount of factual knowledge he has managed to gather and cram into an average looking paperback. He uses sources and translations to create a vivid narrative of each battle from Marathon in 490BC to Waterloo in 1815 (the book was published 36 years later). Creasy begins each battle by explaining the political situation at the time and takes you on a journey through the battle to the victory and aftermath, published pre World-War with no comparisons to the horrors or tactics the 20th century.

I have gained much knowledge and enjoyment from the information inside this book but I find the price of this particular paperback seems particularly steep.

Aged 20 England
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Summary!, 11 Jun 2013
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Every battle in history has mattered. Whatever the outcome, so much has been riding on that one moment in time, that one swing of the pendulum. Back in 1851 Sir Edward Creasy published his narrative about 15 battles from history. Creasy's intention was not to regale us with the story behind the 15 most famous battles at that time. Instead he shares 15 battles that he believes changed the course of history and had the greatest impact. There are no battles between Richard the Lionheart and Saladin here, no Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt, Bosworth Field, Thermopylae, Pharsalus, no Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Spartacus or Rameses II in sight. While these battles and individuals hold their place in history, they are not deemed decisive enough for this list. This is why Wellington's defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo features but not Nelson's victory at Trafalgar or indeed Napoleon's masterpiece at Austerlitz.

Creasy begins in Ancient Greece with the Battle of Marathon where the mighty Persian army was decisively beaten, preceded by the brave Spartan stand at Thermopylae. Creasy takes us through the timelines to include Alexander the Great's epic victory over the Persian, Darius III, at Arbela, the crucial victory at Chalons that checked Attila the Hun's assaults against Europe, the Battle of Hastings, the Spanish Armada and the Americans' victory over the British at Saratoga. Going through there is no denying how crucial each battle was and many of the choices do seem surprising at first. The Carthaginian, Hannibal, gets an inevitable mention but it is the defeat of his brother at Metaurus that Creasy deems the crucial moment, for it prevented the two brothers joining their armies and potentially bringing Rome to its knees. England enjoyed the most famous victories in the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) but it is the contribution of Joan of Arc at Orleans that Creasy puts as the key moment for Joan turned the war in France's favour. The likes of Hastings and Waterloo are obvious choices and with Creasy writing within half a century of Napoleon's final battle, he has a lot to say about this particular exchange.

Creasy's book inevitably suffers from the summary nature of each battle. This isn't his fault of course. Any war requires a book devoted entirely to it to really get a feel for the history and to understand the motivations of the individuals involved. Creasy's narratives work well and they provide enough information to give us a basic idea of what took place but many readers will certainly want to explore certain periods of history further. Creasy's book is also primarily based in and around Europe with one exchange taking place in North America and Alexander's victory in Asia. Creasy would have been limited in research beyond Europe and his book needs to be treated as a product of its time. If such a book as this was written today then battles from the World Wars would undoubtedly get mentioned and the narrative would feel more broadened than Creasy's concentrated work.

The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World: From Marathon to Waterloo is a well-written summary of 15 crucial exchanges in history where so much rested on the outcome and each one did change the course of history for better or worse. Although the 150+ years since this book have given rise to many more decisive battles this is still an interesting overview of some key events in military history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Waterloo, 15 Feb 2013
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Very detailed and an informative read, especially on describing the battle of Waterloo where I couldn't put the book down
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting stuff, 30 Jan 2013
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Very interesting and good reference Have not read it all yet but so far so good. Will help with my "Waterloo" software!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slow, 6 April 2014
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Too much focus on events around the battles rather than the battles themselves. More like a canned history of the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like Historical Books, 16 Jan 2013
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Wesley Taylor "Wes" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This was not an easy read, but it did become more interesting the more I got into it. Quite a long book but worthwhile as an educational tool
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the fifteen decisive battles of the world, 1 Sep 2012
the best book i have read all year.
an enthralling account of famous battles written in a very readable style.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star, 9 July 2014
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hate it
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 19 Mar 2014
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Aletheuon (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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Sir Edward Creasy was a barrister who became Lord Chief Justice of Ceylon, and he was also a lecturer in history at the University of London. In other words, he was no slouch! His wide historical research led him to write a number of books, of which the best known is this book, written in 1851. A typical Victorian, Creasy regarded Europe (and particularly British conquest) to be the bringers of civilisation to the barbaric peoples of the world. This influenced his choice of important battles, for he saw world history through its lens. He explains that some battles were important because they prevented Eastern nations from invading and controlling Europe, as far back as ancient Greece. Britain was the leading world power in his time and he regarded this as a very good thing for the world so he described battles which shaped Britain's history and extended her influence. At times, the book seems jingoistic, but I find this interesting in itself, coming as it does from a time of British expansion, when national pride was at its height and the world seemed a simpler and more certain place. I felt that one learnt, not only about the world events he selected, but about the England of his own time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Battles from Marathon to Waterloo, 4 Oct 2013
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Not read all yet. my husband and I enjoyed reading a chapter and researching other writers about the relevant events.
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