Hot Best Seller

Roots of Strategy: Book 1 - The 5 Greatest Military Classics of All Time

Availability: Ready to download

Writings of Sun Tzu, Vegetius, Marshal Maurice de Saxe, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon.


Compare

Writings of Sun Tzu, Vegetius, Marshal Maurice de Saxe, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon.

30 review for Roots of Strategy: Book 1 - The 5 Greatest Military Classics of All Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Everyone talks about The Art of War by Sun Tzu as if they had read it, but have you really? This book provides the (translated) source documents for five strategic thinkers (Sun Tzu, Vegetius, De Saxe, Frederick, and Napoleon) with only the bare minimum of editorial comment, and lets you make your own judgement. Now that I've read them, I have to agree that it's true, we are doomed to repeat the past, but only because people don't change. Everyone talks about The Art of War by Sun Tzu as if they had read it, but have you really? This book provides the (translated) source documents for five strategic thinkers (Sun Tzu, Vegetius, De Saxe, Frederick, and Napoleon) with only the bare minimum of editorial comment, and lets you make your own judgement. Now that I've read them, I have to agree that it's true, we are doomed to repeat the past, but only because people don't change.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pritam Chattopadhyay

    War, which has been history’s illogicality, has its own ghastly, spellbinding story of fifteen thousand years. Stone Age people lived in diminutive, feuding societies and stood a one-in-ten or even one-in-five chance of dying brutally. In the 20th century, by distinction, despite two world wars, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust, fewer than one person in a hundred died violently. The justification: War, and war alone, has created bigger, more complex societies, ruled by governments that have stamped War, which has been history’s illogicality, has its own ghastly, spellbinding story of fifteen thousand years. Stone Age people lived in diminutive, feuding societies and stood a one-in-ten or even one-in-five chance of dying brutally. In the 20th century, by distinction, despite two world wars, Hiroshima, and the Holocaust, fewer than one person in a hundred died violently. The justification: War, and war alone, has created bigger, more complex societies, ruled by governments that have stamped out internal violence. Strangely enough, killing has made the world safer, and the safety it has produced has allowed people to make the world richer too. Thus, little as modern historians like to admit it, great nations have been built by war, and it has been by war that they have been overthrown. Much history has been stultified by the failure of civilian students to pay any attention to the modification of military ideas and the improvements in military possibilities. This collection contains the most significant military classics written prior to the 19th century. The book has been divided into five sections, each dealing with one classical military strategist and/or the person’s greatest tome on strategy. The divisions are: Chapter 1: SUN TZU Chapter 2: VEGETIUS Chapter 3: SAXE Chapter 4: FREDERICK THE GREAT Chapter 5: NAPOLEON The opening chapter deals with ‘THE ART OF WAR’ by Sun Tzu. Written about 500 B. C., this is the oldest military work in existence and probably the best ever written. Sun Tzu’s book still is held in great esteem in China and in even greater reverence in Japan. Chinese literature is thought compressed; as a result THE ART OF WAR deals with principles and fundamentals which are ageless. To the military student able to adapt its principles to conditions of modern warfare, it even now, 2400 years after its preparation, is quite up to date and a most precious guide to the conduct of war. Sun Tzu said: “There is no instance of a country having been benefited from a long war.” Sun Tzu explains how to estimate the situation quite as well as the most modern texts. “All warfare is based on deception,” he proclaims and proceeds to elucidate how to mislead and surprise the enemy by methods as good today as they were in China, 500 years before Christ. Chapter 2 is an in-depth study on ‘THE MILITARY INSTITUTIONS OF THE ROMANS’ by Vegetius. Vegetius’ collection of the military wisdom and customs of the Romans has been the most prominent military work written in the western world. Compiled for the Emperor Valentinian II about 390 A. D., just before Rome was captured and burned by Alaric, King of the Goths, it was circulated in manuscript for 1000 years and served the purpose of a field service and training regulations throughout Europe. As soon as printing was discovered it was published in Italian, French, German, Dutch, and English within the space of 16 years. Caxton printed the first English edition in 1489. To Vegetius can be attributed the organization of the modern division, even to ponton equipment, a description of which is given in his book. The corrective practices of any modern army can be traced to him. It was from study of Vegetius that Marshal de Saxe rediscovered cadenced marching, an art that had been lost in modern armies for 1000 years. “In war,” wrote Vegetius, “discipline is superior to strength; but if that discipline is neglected there is no longer any difference between the soldier and the peasant.” And he proceeds to enlighten how to insure discipline. No officer can understand modern military institutions who have failed to read Vegetius. Chapter 3 is a study conducted on ‘MY REVERIES UPON THE ART OF WAR’ by Field Marshal Maurice de Saxe. One of the greatest generals of all time, and a military radical, wrote this protest and call for reform. “War,” he wrote, “is a science covered with shadows in whose obscurity one cannot move with an assured step. Routine and prejudice, the natural result of ignorance, are its foundation and support.” And then he proceeds to indicate the reforms in organization, discipline and strategy required to build effective armies. His work had much to do with the advances in military art made by Napoleon. De Saxe is one of the great links in military development between Vegetius and Napoleon. Many of his propositions now are military commonplaces, but when written they were considered meaningless. He understood the human heart, interested himself in his soldiers and, unique in his time, did not treat them like cannon-fodder. The modern soldier still can learn from him and no one can understand the evolution of armies who has not read the famous REVERIES. Chapter 4 looks at the secret instructions of Frederick the Great to his generals. In an unimportant battle, February 21, 1760, Major General Czetteritz, of the Prussian army, was captured. In examining his baggage a small volume entitled Military Instructions for the Generals was discovered. This was the instruction for the generals of Frederick the Great, which they were religiously bound to keep secret. It was duly prized and immediately translated into English, French, Polish and Russian. In it is synthesized the wisdom of the great soldier-king. Prussian discipline and Prussian military methods were adapted from it by all armies, for it contained the secrets of Frederick’s military success. Next to Clauswitz this small volume is the most influential work in founding the German military system of today. Most of the great Frederick’s observations apply to modern war. Understanding of German military success and the development of German methods is impossible without this book. The concluding chapter of this book takes an in-depth look at ‘THE MILITARY MAXIMS OF NAPOLEON’. Napoleon’s Maxims need no recommendation. Stonewall Jackson carried them in his haversack and consulted them constantly throughout his campaigns. This little volume contains a fairly complete exposition, in Napoleon’s own words, of the grand principles of war. They are now out of print and purchasable only in this edition of the greatest military classics. The Maxims of Napoleon, it is said, are the distilled wisdom of the greatest warrior of the western world. Since the time of Napoleon, one writer on warfare has exerted or may exert an influence as great as those in this collection. Clausewitz’ great work, On War, can be considered to have supplied the abstract theories for the conduct of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and World War I. Admiral Castex, of France, had also produced strategical studies of significance. It was Napoleon’s ability to use the military possibilities of his time that set the course of history in Europe. This book, though a primer, woud encourage the reader to research more into the subject. Grab a copy if you choose.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lyra Meurer

    It feels weird trying to rate a book that's mostly a collection of other books, especially classic military manuals, so I'll just comment on the specifics what this book does and doesn't have to offer. First of all, it doesn't offer much context or explanation, so it's certainly not for beginners in the field. Phillips provides little introductions at the start of each book, but it's often not clear from those how much these authors' advice was used, how useful or insightful it actually was. A fu It feels weird trying to rate a book that's mostly a collection of other books, especially classic military manuals, so I'll just comment on the specifics what this book does and doesn't have to offer. First of all, it doesn't offer much context or explanation, so it's certainly not for beginners in the field. Phillips provides little introductions at the start of each book, but it's often not clear from those how much these authors' advice was used, how useful or insightful it actually was. A funny example of this is just casually not mentioning the French invasion of Russia in the introduction to Napoleon's Military Maxims and then coming across the part in those maxims where Napoleon insists that armies can march just fine in any climate. Hahaha...oops. A glossary would've been helpful, but it's quickly clear that this book is for people who have some background knowledge on what abatis and entrenchments and redoubts are and how they would've been used at the time, not for aspiring fantasy writers trying to learn about military history. Even taking into account that I don't know much about warfare in the 1700 and 1800s, it felt like some of the translations chosen were maybe not the best, especially in the case of the Maurice de Saxe section. The language felt needlessly obscure and unclear at times, but maybe that's just how de Saxe was expressing himself while high as a kite. There's also the compiler's annoying choice to leave out two volumes of Vegetius' work with the argument that it's not useful for modern purposes and only of interest to historians. Part of de Saxe's work is omitted for the same reason. That being said, there's still lengthy portions of Frederick the Great's work that rely on an intimate knowledge of 18th century Germany that would've made a lot more sense if there was a map. One of the fun things I actually enjoyed about this book was the way the different personalities of the authors inevitably showed through -- Sun-Tzu feels grizzled and infinitely perceptive, Vegetius feels like a nerd trying to save his neck through excessive obsequiousness, de Saxe feels like a bossy know-it-all blowing out clouds of opium smoke in between his insistence that soldiers wear such and such uniforms and sandals are of the utmost importance. As it is, I'm sure it will be a useful reference in the future, when I've brushed up on the history that surrounds these texts. All that being said, I should also mention that Philips totally praised Hitler in the introduction to the Frederick the Great section. Just a casual bit of proof that the American military initially sided with Hitler and the Nazis. So, that's an unpleasant taint on the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Collecting the thoughts of Sun Tzu, Vegetius, Maurice de Saxe, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon in one volume, this edition from 1943 - interesting rereading these and rediscovering their ideas and experiences of war. Focusing on the art of command, I found all had something to offer though perhaps Sun Tzu and Frederick the Great were the most useful on this. Enjoyed Vegetius' discussion of how the Roman Legions coped with elephants. Collecting the thoughts of Sun Tzu, Vegetius, Maurice de Saxe, Frederick the Great, and Napoleon in one volume, this edition from 1943 - interesting rereading these and rediscovering their ideas and experiences of war. Focusing on the art of command, I found all had something to offer though perhaps Sun Tzu and Frederick the Great were the most useful on this. Enjoyed Vegetius' discussion of how the Roman Legions coped with elephants.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jwduke

    Novice to professionals should read this book. If you consider yourself a disciple of the discipline of arms, obviously the art of war is a must. Lesser known Vegetius and De Saxe are just as valuable. Frederick and Napoleon basically apply de Saxe and Vegetius, resulting in a how to manual. There is no reason to read this book if you are not involved in the profession of arms.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Craig Wanderer

    Undoubtedly helped me to become a master at destroying my competition while Gaming from Risk to Online Conquest games. Thou Shall Fall

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mom's Books

    Not sure which volume she has, my image is too blurry. This color matches, though

  8. 4 out of 5

    Corey

    A great primer for a student of the art of war.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fred

    wow, what a book. so many wonderful strategems.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jimmacc

    Excellent compilation

  11. 5 out of 5

    marged harris

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nightweave

  13. 5 out of 5

    Myomin Thant

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vikingberserker

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brenton Horrillo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jared

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vali Paun

  18. 4 out of 5

    William Denn

  19. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Wade

  20. 4 out of 5

    Konrad

  21. 4 out of 5

    Book

  22. 5 out of 5

    Renee Knight

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andy Morgado

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexander

  25. 5 out of 5

    Greg Sheridan

  26. 4 out of 5

    Russell E McKelvey IV

  27. 4 out of 5

    Phlak

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alex Nemchenko

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Coons

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...