Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Marlborough as Military Commander (Penguin Classic Military History) Paperback – 22 Feb 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Paperback, 22 Feb 2001
£86.54 £5.98
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (22 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141390433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141390437
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

(Location: Yateley, Hants) Dr David Chandler, previously Head of the Department of War Studies at the R.M.A. Sandhurst, has published 20 books on the 17th, 18th and 19th century warfare and is the leading world authority in these fields. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Duke of Marlborough is undoubtedly one of the top five military leaders Britain has ever produced (as to others, I'd say Nelson, Wellington, Cromwell, Richard the Lionheart, but there are other claimants)
Having said that, there is a bit of a dearth of material on him currently available. The War of the Spanish Succession, where Marlborough was able to strut his not-inconsiderable stuff, does not fire the public imagination today like the Napoleonic era, or the 45 or even the Hundred Years War. It seems a very distant conflict played out with arcane rules of engagement.
Nevertheless Chandler, the heavyweight of British military history, starts off at a blinding pace with a potted history of Marlborough as a young man, surviving, plotting and generally having a whale of a time in the late Stuart court, rising as the Duke of York's favourite. (He even manages a couple of good jokes. Chandler that is.)
Then it all gets rather bogged down. There is a necessary - but rather clunky - chapter on "The Art of War" and by the time we get to campaigns in Flanders, the lightness of touch that the book started with is a distant memory. Keep a good map of Belgium by you and read slowly if you want to make sense of what is going on. (This book - a tiddly 335 pages - has taken me two weeks to read!)
The Eighteenth century mode of warfare does lend itself to slow, indecisive manouveres (which is why the Revolutionary French armies had such fun with such organised forces at the end of the century) so maybe a slow narrative is fairly inevitable. But the recently published "Crucible of War" - on the Seven Years War - shows that the juxtaposition of politics and Eighteenthy century war can be fascinating.
Read more ›
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The classic study of Marlborough's campaigns - clear and well written. Prof Chandler is the foremost authority on the great man - if the book is a bit of a hagiography, based largely on the Blenheim archive and Winston S. Churchill's work, that doesn't detract from its many fine qualities including the useful maps that enhance the text. A must own for the 18th Century historian.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful excursion into the battles of our greatest general written by a military man about the wars that saedd us from Franco-Spanish domination.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marlborough as Great Captain... 2 Nov. 2009
By HMS Warspite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An earlier era of scholarship considered that Britain had produced at least two "Great Captains". One was the Duke of Wellington, of Peninsular War and Waterloo fame. The other was John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, who shone in an earlier era of war against France. "Marlborough as Military Commander" is distinguished British historian David Chandler's well-written military biography of John Churchill.

The first third of Chandler's narrative is admittedly a bit slow. John Churchill came late to major military command, and Chandler only summarized the first 50 years of his life. The heart of the book is the description of the Duke of Marlborough's campaigns in Europe during 1702 to 1712, including his great victories of Blenheim, Ramilles, and Oudenard. Chandler establishes the Duke as a first rate military professional, adept at grand strategy, battlefield tactics, and most remarkably for his era, military administration. It was this latter skill, boldly applied, which enabled Marlborought to move his army from the Netherlands to the Austrian Danube to win his great victory of Blenheim and save the grand alliance he served.

Marlborough's battlefield successes are all the more remarkable, as Chandler makes clear, because he was simultaneously required to hold together a fragile military coalition and to serve as a member of government at home in Britain. Chandler's final assessment of the Duke of Marlborough provides remarkable insight into a man and his era. "Marlborough as Military Commander" is very highly recommended to students of the man and the era.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Military Biography on the Duke of Marlborough 8 Sept. 2014
By Justin Royal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a very engrossing military biography on one of England's greatest generals. This book goes into exhaustive detail about the Campaigns and battles of Marlborough. The very numerous and detailed maps allow you to get a better understanding of the pre-battle maneuvers and the tactical layout of the battlefield. The Chapter on the "Art of War" gives you great background information on warfare in the early 18th century. I'm very confidant in saying the this book is the best biography on the military life of the Duke of Marlborough that is available today.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homage to Corporal John Churchill 6 July 2010
By Roger Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Readers may find it surprising that the late David Chandler actually wrote about another General besides Napolean! In this military study of the great duke we find Chandler at his chatty best. He gives a nice background of the Churchills' background and origins which can be hard to keep track of among all the drama of the late Stuart Kings and Queens as well as William of Orange. To study Marborough is to study the English history of the period. This can be quite complex. This being a military bio we are spared much of the detail here, and his stormy relations with Sarah are happily left to one of the other many works out there.

Chandler provides a nice chapter on warfare of the period which does give a decent background as to how it was conducted in this transitional period. Campaigns progressed slowly in the Spanish Succession War and thus readers use to the later action packed eras of Frederick II and Napolean will find the pace much different here. Even though Marlborough sought out decisive action through battle the nature of the warfare in this period tended to be manneaver and seiges. The four great battles that he fought did not happen in rapid succession. Armies in this period fought in very linear fashion. There were no columns of assault, and little use of other formations except for squares against cavalry sometimes. The marching pace was unknown at this time, which made it difficult for troops to advance and maintain formation. Some reference to these important points would certainly aid in understanding how battles were fought. Chandler prefers a more operational and strategic perspective and thus provides only a cursory look at tactics and formations.

Chandler gets a little lost sometimes in the details of these campaigns and often he mentions surprising events without much explanation. A prime example is when Marborough was almost captured in one of his early camapaigns while traveling by river. The French took the ship, but allowed Marborough to go on because he had a river pass! Surprising information and an example how different the rules of war were in this time!

The constant politics and slow progress of seiges combined with many obscure location names makes for tedious reading sometimes despite Chandler's attempts to keep things lively. The main battles are described crisply with average detail. This is surprising considering that they occur most infrequently. Decent maps help out.

The emphasis tends to be from a British perspective even though we do get some good looks at French planning. This is a period where Marlborough tends to dominate in most English written works. Those seeking French or Austrian views might find such works harder to come by in the English langauge. Although bios of Louis XIV and Prince Eugene might fill out some of the space.

This is a classic work and a very good introduction to the warfare of this period. One gets a good idea who Marlborough was and Chandler provides good, critical analysis of his generalship. At times slow, this work rewards the determined reader with some nice details and an overall well written text.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of the War of the Spanish Succession 2 Jan. 2014
By Nicholas Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chandler's book on Marlborough is a great resource for those interested in the War of the Spanish Succession. His other earlier campaigns are also covered in this book, but the real meat and potatoes are in the his last campaigns. The book describes his army, his tactics, and his campaigns in great, albeit pro British, detail. Chandler also focuses on the French commanders who opposed him and was fairly friendly to them overall. Marlborough was clearly better is basically what he said. Yet Chandler gives the other commanders their fair due as well stated that Vendome clearly outsmarted Marlborough on several occasions. All the battles and sieges are covered in great detail and include excellent maps. If you want two different views of the Battle of Malplaquet I would suggest this one for the pro Marlborough view and "Marshal Villars and the war of the Spanish succession" for the Villars view.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the great marlborough 16 Aug. 2012
By breanna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is an excellent book on the duke of marlborough's military career in fact i would call it one of the best out there it also does a good job of rating his talent as a military commander on the whole and has a fair judgement on him outside of falkner there is no better book
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know

Look for similar items by category