The Graeco-Persian Wars stand as one of the most important military engagements in World History. In this title, Jack Cassin-Scott attempts to tackle this subject by covering the feuding between the Greek City States and their Persian enemies.
The Osprey Men-at-Arms series is meant to be an introduction to the uniforms, equipment and organisation of the military forces of the period. Strangely though, this book is just a very short and very basic history of the Greeks, the kind of thing you'd expect if you were to read a chronological overview of the Hellenistic World. Beginning with the Ionian revolt and stretching to Alexander's death, this book barely even mentions the armed forces of the Graeco-Persian Wars until last few pages, where the colour plates are discussed. Even stranger is that most of the book covers the developments taking place during the Peloponnesian War, which has very little to do with Graeco-Persian fighting.
The book's contents are very puzzling in this regard. I mean, do we really need a seven page biography on Alexander the Great?
Unfortunately the colour plates are not good either. They are very basic, and they have none of the style of other Osprey artists like Angus McBride or Richard Hook. Worse still is that they seem to be based on old fashioned 19th century reconstructions, rather than modern archaeological evidence. Even though the book also covers Alexander's age, there are no reconstructions of Alexander's army.
This title was one of Osprey's earliest works, first published in 1977. As such it's become very outdated. If you want a good military overview of the Greek and Persian wars, then Osprey Publishing have created a dozen different titles on the subject since the 70's, covering evertyhing from individual titles on Hoplites, to Thermopylae and Marathon.
As for this book, it won't teach you anything about the armies or soldiers of this period. It's best avoided.
The text provides a good basic primer on the period from the Ionian Revolt to the death of Alexander , but the colour plates should be drastically revised or replaced to bring them up to date with modern scholarship .