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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars British Global Strategy and Rapid Deployment 1756-63, 29 Oct 2001
Tom Pocock correctly identifies the Seven Years War (1756-63) as "The First World War" and gives a very readable account of how Britain waged it outside Continental Europe. The focus is however purely on this aspect and, as such, the campaigns on the European Continent, including the spectacular role played by Prussia, are excluded. The sheer geographic scale and the vaunting ambition of British policies are however well conveyed as well as the brilliant strategies underlying the first war to be fought with truly global objectives. As well as the better-known campaigns such as "The French-Indian War" in North America, Clives's amazing conquests in India and Byng's disastrous manoeuvres off Minorca (that led to his execution by firing squad "to encourage the others"), there are fascinating accounts of less familiar undertakings such as the operations of the author's own kinsman in the Indian Ocean and the captures of Manila and Havana by British expeditionary forces. The Havana operation, which finally succeeded at a horrendous cost in deaths from disease as well as military action, is an epic that would merit a book in its own right. Though satisfying as far as it goes, once feels that the author missed an opportunity in "Battle for Empire" in not expanding the scope to cover the whole war, on all fronts. There is a gap in the market for a readable single-volume narrative history of the war, ideally written with the easy style, lively depiction of personalities and colourful anecdotes which Mr.Pocock provides in this one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not detailed., 9 April 2008
The Battle for Empire: The Very First World War, 1756-63 is a very fast-paced work which is easy to read. In it Tom Pocock shows how the Seven Years War was really the fist worldwide conflict with campaigns raging from America to India. However, it is not a particularly detailed book and is not really a definative account. Also if you are looking for a work which includes Europe as well as the global situation I do not think this is quite appropriate. Nevertheless it is an interesting, very readable work.
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