The face of battle john keegan summary

This style drove me crazy while reading The First World War. As a killing agent over long as well as short ranges, however, the bullet was champion. Infantrymen, however well-trained and well-armed, however resolute, however ready to kill, remain erratic agents of death.

A good rifleman could fire only 15 shots a minute to a machine-gunner's Because the decisions and acts of a commander apparently contribute more to the outcome of a battle than the decisions and acts of any single group of subordinates, it does not follow that what he does is more important than what all his subordinates do, nor that his behaviour is a more valid subject of study than theirs.

Either would have toppled him, and once sprawling, he would have been helpless; a thrust into the face, into the slits of his visor, or through the mail of his armpit or groin, would have killed him outright or left him to bleed to death. On the arrival of the first English arrows the two large squadrons of French horse on either flank walked their horses clear of the line and broke into a charge.

Why, if a historian is interested only in the outcome of a battle, should he trouble to provide any sort of narrative at all.

Book Review: The Face of Battle by John Keegan

The British, who had begun the war with an armoured division containing 6 tank regiments to a single infantry battalion, ended it with the same division having 5 infantry battalions to 4 tank regiments.

The Churchill, like the Matilda and the Valentine, was an 'infantry' tank, descending directly from the trench-crosing wire-crushing Mother of the First World War, and designed like it to destroy by fire or intimidation the resistance of enemy infantry in strong points.

The British, moreover, won no victories at Ypres, except that curious victory of the spirit which, over a half century later, still plucks back the survivors of the Salient to stand in silence beneath the tomblike arches of the Menin Gate and hear the evening last post blown Infantrymen, however well-trained and well-armed, however resolute, however ready to kill, remain erratic agents of death.

The Face of Battle Analysis

The personal bond between leader and follower lies at the root of all explanations of what does and does not happen in battle: What battles have in common is not something strategic, nor tactical, nor material, nor technical There was a problem adding your email address.

The third chapter, titled "Waterloo, June 18th, ", skips ahead four hundred years to Waterloo in after Napoleon returned from his exile in Elba to face the Prussians and the British soldiers. It offered the soldier risk in a particularly concentrated form, but it was a treatment to which his upbringing and experience would already have partially inured him.

This realization was to have important political after-effects during the Second World War The method is a description and analysis of three battles: It is startling, moreover, when one dissects any of the great tank battles themselves, to discover how little of the fighting took the form of the tank versus tank combat commonly thought typical of that particular sort of event The main work of the general, it had been accepted, now had to be done in his office, before the battle began In those two statements is an opening key to this book.

The machine-gun was to be described by Major-General JFC Fuller as "concentrated essence of infantry", by which he meant his readers to grasp that its invention put into the hands of one man the firepower formerly wielded by forty.

This was the crucial factor in the development of the battle. Waterloo wounds cannon wounds apart had been in general single and simple: Within minutes, perhaps seconds, of fighting being joined, some of them would have fallen, their bodies lying at the feet of their comrades, further impeding the movement of individuals and thus offering an obstacle to the advance of the whole column.

The machine-gun was to be described by Major-General JFC Fuller as "concentrated essence of infantry", by which he meant his readers to grasp that its invention put into the hands of one man the firepower formerly wielded by forty. It was at the back of the columns, not the front, that the collapse began, and the men in the rear who ran before those in front.

The second generation of mass political parties, populist and anti-Marxist, like the German Nazis and the Italian Fascists, would actually adopt the structure and dress of armies.

The replacement of crowd armies by unclear professional armies was one of the most important, if complex, processes in European history Aside from a few moments of existential doubt in his opening essay, he writes authoritatively and with confidence. It was the receipt of wounds, not the infliction of death, which demonstrated an officer's courage; that demonstration was reinforced by his refusal to leave his post even when wounded, or by his insistence on returning as soon as his wounds had been dressed; and it was by a punctiliousness in obeying orders which made wounds or death inevitable that an officer's honour was consummated.

This is a book unusual in its research and intelligence, to be read by everyone--and not least our military leadership.

The Face of Battle

It is possible to miscalculate, of course, as did Rommel in the Crusader battle in Novemberand then the armoured thrust must withdraw if it is not to wither where it comes to rest. It is against this background that we must view the extraordinary enthusiasm to enlist which seized the male population of the British Isles in the autumn of and provided the army, in a little under six months, with nearly 2 million volunteer soldiers Keegan covers a great deal of ground in only pages.

Keegan suggests that operations on the Somme set some limit to what men could stand on the battlefield; his thesis--and he draws imaginatively from official histories, military records, soldiers' reminiscences, and the British literature of war to demonstrate it--is that when the gulf between social life and battlefield existence has become too gaping, the.

The Face of Battle is a non-fiction book on military history by the English military historian John Keegan. “The Face of Battle†by John Keegan has become a classic in the thirty years since it was published.

The book is an attempt to examine three historical battles from the point if view of the participants: Agincourt, Waterloo, and The Somme The Face Of Battle Quotes.

― John Keegan, The Face Of Battle: A Study Of Agincourt, Waterloo And The Somme. 3 likes. Like “common soldier must fear his officer more than the enemy’: Frederick the Great)” ― John Keegan, The Face of Battle. 1 likes. The specific British victories Keegan examines are three, and take place over a period of years and a geographical range of miles: the battle of Agincourt, where Henry V fought by the side of his 6, archers and cavalrymen, each in sixty pounds of armor, man-to-man; Waterloo, where Wellington rode all day behind the cannons to stay.

The Face of Battle, Soldiers: A History of Men in Battle, The Mask of Command and other major works Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan OBE FRSL (15 May – 2 August ) was an English military historian, lecturer, writer and journalist.

The face of battle john keegan summary
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THE FACE OF BATTLE by John Keegan | Kirkus Reviews