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The Anatomy of Victory: Battle Tactics, 1689-1763 Paperback – 1 Jan 1992

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 395 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books Inc.,U.S.; New edition edition (1 Jan. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870520148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870520143
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,807,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
A superb book that seamlessly guides you through how how war was waged in the age of Malborough, Vauban and Turenne. It brings together how the technology dictated the drill and from then on the battle tactics. Of use to military historians, re-enactment groups and wargamers. Highy recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential information for understanding 18th century warfare 15 Mar. 2012
By David Sullivan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nosworthy has provided in one volume the definitive examination of the nuts and bolts of 18th century linear warfare. He explains the hows and whys of the tactics in a way that has not been equaled or excelled in the 20+ years since this book was first published. This is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand why the armies of Marlborough and Frederick were so successful. Nosworthy looks beneath the surface of brilliant leadership--no small factor itself--and shows how successful tactics actually worked at the micro level.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must-Read" for serious students of 18th Century tactics 25 Jan. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The very fact that this book seems to have stirred up a nest of controversy speaks well of Brent Nosworthy's pioneering efforts in analyzing the "brass tacks" of 18th century military tactics. This is an exhaustive study of how the various national armies of the period deployed and fought in line of battle. Many of those elements normally associated with Napoleonic warfare had their genesis in the period from 1688 to 1793 including the effective use of skirmishers, columns of attack, and infantry squares.
Brent Nosworthy does a brilliant job of analyzing the similarities as well as differences between the tactics and drill regulations used by the great powers of Europe with special attention placed on the French, English, Austrian, and Prussian developments. From the introduction of cadenced marching (appearing very early in the Prussian system and much later in that of the French) to the various methods used to deploy from column into line and back, the details and problems confronting the armies of the time are discussed in great detail.
A series of diagrams at the end of the book complement the richly detailed text enabling the reader to gain new insights into the nuances of the 18th century firing line. For anyone who wishes to know why the Prussians under Frederick the Great marched so well or why the English volley was so effective, this book is a "must-read." Brent Nosworthy should be complemented for his thoroughness in using a mass of primary resources to produce such a useful work for the military historian, wargamer, and historical re-enactor alike! -James J. Mitchell
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Study of 17th & 18th Century Warfare 6 Dec. 2002
By Roger Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Not many books on military history dare to cover such topics as troop deployment and formations. Most works on warfare from these periods tend to assume that the reader would not be interested in such topics. Mostly what we tend to read are strategic overviews, strategy and helpful hints on how to win battles from the military top 100 generals. But how many books really tell us what was techically involved in depolying regiments on to battlefield. Not many. But this is one of them.
Mr. Nosworthy has performed a valuable service in helping to re-define our understanding of 17th and 18th Century warfare. The book covers the period from 1685-1763, showing us the important military technological innovations that would change war forever. Most noteably these were the introduction of the socket bayonet and the flintlock musket. While seemingly minor events by today's standards, these weapons would have far reaching influence on the battlefields of Europe and beyond. Their use forced a modernization of field tactics which would have profound impact on the battlefield. Any serious student of the period who wants to learn the nuts and bolts of how Marlborough and Frederick the Great employed their armies successfully needs to read this book. There are also interesting chapters about the tactical experiments the French army was conducting in this period which was destined to influence later Napoleanic warfare. Although out of print at the moment, keep your eyes on when this title might get re-printed. It's a classic of its kind and deserves to be in every serious collection on warfare. Try and and get a copy from any second hand source or just read it in the library!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Study 16 Jun. 2004
By Roger Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Not many books on military history dare to cover such topics as troop deployment and formations. Most works on warfare from these periods tend to assume that the reader would not be interested in such topics. Mostly what we tend to read are strategic overviews, strategy and helpful hints on how to win battles from the military top 100 generals. But how many books really tell us what was technically involved in deploying regiments on to battlefield. Not many. But this is one of them.
Mr. Nosworthy has performed a valuable service in helping to re-define our understanding of 17th and 18th Century warfare. The book covers the period from 1685-1763, showing us the important military technological innovations that would change war forever. Most notably these were the introduction of the socket bayonet and the flintlock musket. While seemingly minor events by today's standards, these weapons would have far reaching influence on the battlefields of Europe and beyond. Their use forced a modernization of field tactics, which would have profound impact on the battlefield. Any serious student of the period who wants to learn the nuts and bolts of how Marlborough and Frederick the Great employed their armies successfully needs to read this book. There are also interesting chapters about the tactical experiments the French army was conducting in this period, which was destined to influence later Napoleonic warfare. Although out of print at the moment, keep your eyes on when this title might get re-printed. It's a classic of its kind and deserves to be in every serious collection on warfare. Try and get a copy from any second hand source or just read it in the library! Hopefully this one will get back into print soon!
15 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inaccurate and Off the Mark 8 Oct. 2000
By Kevin F. Kiley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book was disappointing. It is full of inaccuracies, such as naming French tactics of the Napoleonic period 'impulse tactics,' which neither the French nor their opponents called them, as well as either over-generalizing the tactics and capabilities of the period armies, and totally missing the point on Frederick the Great's method of waging war and his success, and lack of it, during the period.
In my opinion, the author gives us a very cursory glance at the tactics of the period, and he is not a master of his subject matter. There are useful parts to the book and some interesting points made, but the inaccuracies are threaded through the entire narrative which renders this book unreliable, especially for the novice.
I would recommend the excellent work by Christopher Duffy instead of this book. Duffy is accurate, and his work is based on solid research, where this one is not. There is a total misread of Folard's work and recommendations, a lack of understanding of the use and employment of light troops, and an abject failure to adequately explain the evolution of tactics during the stated period.
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