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Essential Militaria: Facts, Legends, and…

Essential Militaria: Facts, Legends, and Curiosities About Warfare Through…

by Nicholas Hobbes

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1466128,912 (3.11)None
Collected here for the first time is a fascinating and compulsively readable assortment of facts, figures, lists, and other various curiosities about warfare throughout history, from ancient times to modern-day combat.



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While browsing this book can be fun, it is arrogant of both author and publisher not to include either a contents or an index - their assuming that one will just read it page by page is plain silly. I bought the book in a remainders book shop and that seems about right! ( )
  lestermay | Dec 8, 2018 |
Mielenkiintoinen ja hauska kirja, joka avaa pienten tarinoiden ja tilastotiedon avulla sotien historiasta aivan uskomattomia puolia. ( )
  JonPoh | Dec 14, 2014 |
A quick fun read. Various facts and trivia on militaries, past and present. It could have used an index or table of contents to look up selected trivia without skimming the whole book again.
  Landshark5 | Jun 12, 2008 |
They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist-"
- Union General John Sedgewick 1864

The Good: War and the struggle for military supremacy has existed ever since one caveman jabbed another with a pointy stick. In this book Hobbes gathers important dates, speeches and strange but true facts spanning the length of recorded history from the Greeks to the present.

I liked the diversity of the time periods covered. It provided variety both geographical and in terms of the equipment as well as the development of war.

One usual drawback to military books is the risk of slipping into the beige of boring. This isn't the case with Hobbes as he provides readers with a host of facts bizarre and ridiculous enough to keep your attention. For example, did you know that in 1898 a war started over French pastries, sort of. Apparently Mexican leader Santa Anna took some from a restaurant in Mexico and in return, France sent warships to extract reparations for French business losses during recent rebellions. The resulting conflict was called the "War of the Cakes". There was also Operation Mongoose, where attempts on the life of Fidel Castro included booby-trapping a seashell. Supposedly it would explode if he lifted it from the seabed while diving. This brought up a whole host of questions, as you can imagine, about the illogicalness and stupidity of it all.

The Bad: The organization in this book is non-existent. When skimming back through the book for examples I couldn't find what I was looking for. It would have been nice if Hobbes had presented the information in chronological order. It would have been nice to have all the facts about WWI in one place.

The Ugly: As can be expected with most books on the military and war, there are some violent and gruesome parts. If you're on the squeamish side you may want to avoid Animals in War, Torture Techniques, Ill-Treatment of Prisoners and A History of Biological Warfare. ( )
  theduckthief | Jun 4, 2008 |
Not life-shatteringly important or life-or-death but a good teaser for further research on the topics covered in the book. Good source of military trivia. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Apr 17, 2006 |
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