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on 8 August 1997
The technologicial and ethical evolution of warfare, succinctly dramatized in the battlefield perspectives of the English armies at Agincourt, Waterloo and The Somme. Excellent reading for the novice who wants to understand, not only the horror of battle, but the motivation of the men fighting these desperate struggles.

This book puts a very human face on three historically significant battles fought by the British Army in Flanders. It is an effective counterpoise to the otherwise dry recitation of facts presented in other histories.
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on 20 July 1998
Probably the most enjoyable book on military experience I have ever read. Taking the point of view of the soldiers who actually participated in three historic battles, it evokes a strong feeling of how it must have been to actually be there, gun smoke, battle noise and everything.
A highly readable, very entertaining and, not least, educating guide to the horror of war.
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on 14 January 1999
This book is an incredible account of the reasoning behind our motivation(s) to do battle. It reflects years of both study and training, both of which I have undertaken, which are necessary to confidently express the true reason men fight, die, and/or run. It is also very well written. This is definitely a necessary reading for any in this field of study.
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on 27 October 1998
Who else can bring you so close to battle that you actually smell it? John Keegan is a master at researching and describing the small details about warfare that most military historians ignore. I find 99% of military history droll...but Keegan adds depth and character to his battles, and he makes them smell, taste and sound REAL. Highly Recommended.
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on 16 January 1999
My copy of 'The Face of Battle' has been reread (and lent out) so many times that it's starting to come apart at the spine. By comparing three epic battles from different ages, Keegan shows us that the more warfare changes, the more it stays the same. This book that changed the way I thought about soldiers, leaders and combat.
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on 31 January 2013
The first chapter is a bit heavy going but once the battle analysis begins this book is a fascinating listen. The sounds, sights and emotions for the participants of battle are brought alive. The language is a little self indulgent but I quite like that as it gives the descriptions a certain poetry.
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on 11 September 2011
Whilst undoubtedly this book has a lot of useful information I found the written style to be awful. The sentences were far too long and convoluted to the point where it was hard work to read, hard work to grasp the intended meaning.
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on 22 June 2014
This is a very interesting and engaging book with a lot of valuable ideas and insights. The study of history can often be very dry and clinical, and the author manages to bring focus to the ordinary people who were involved in three critical engagements.
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VINE VOICEon 11 November 2003
Keegan has a real ability to write in an accessible and engaging way about warfare, which is presumably why he has found such great success. In this wonderful book he applies (more or less) the same framework to three battles fought in different time with different weapons, dividing them up into individual components (archers vs infantry and cavalry at Agincourt, machine-gunners versus infantry at the Somme) that make the whole more intelligible. And while he dispassionately discusses the tactics used by the generals at the three battles, he never loses sight of the men who fought them nor of the conditions they endured and maybe died in. This is no sanitised account with pretty arrows on diagrams - there is a real smell of fear around the pages.
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on 22 January 2013
To read and understand this book the reader should have a deep interest in military history. It gives a new perspective to actual events but at times can be quite heavy goiong
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