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The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 B.C.  Volume II: Battles & Tactics by Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts ...

The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 B.C. Volume II: Battles & Tactics by Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 B.C. Volume II: Battles & Tactics by Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Mike Roberts




The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 B.C. 

Volume II: Battles & Tactics

by

Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts








 Alexander's last words were recorded in several different versions. One of them was that he wished he could see his 'funeral games'; another version says he left his empire "to the strongest". If he did actually say either, it was pretty astute of him. The 'funeral games' and the fight for primacy took up the next four decades. The wars after Alexander's death occupied the Hellenistic World until the end of the Hellenistic Age. The main antagonist of these wars was Antigonus Monophthalmus (the one-eyed). According to Plutarch he was the "oldest and greatest" of the Diadochi (Successors). The wars and battles continued for so many years because a few of the Diadochi were trying to be the last one standing, and conquering the entire kingdom that Alexander had held at his death.

  This book is Volume II in the series. The first volume dealt with Wars of the Diadochi. This volume deals with their battles and the tactics used in them. The greatest battle of the age and one of the largest battles in Ancient History is described here. That would be the Battle of Ipsus. It was fought in 301 B.C. On one side you had Antigonus, Demetrius, and Pyrrhus. The other side was populated by troops from all of the other Diadochi. Seleuces was there along with his 400 elephants! Lysimachus was also present on the field. Ipsus ended the Antigonid dream of reuniting the empire. Antigonus was killed and Demetrius was forced to flee. 

 Just as in Volume I, the information in this book is priceless for both the history lover and wargamer. To see how exactly the great generals of the time used their elephants, phalanxes, and cavalry in battle is eye opening, and sometimes different then what we think their use was. Many of us also believe that when an ancient battle was being lost there was not much a general at the time could do about it. The fact that Antigonus twice pulled his irons from the fire and came up with victories puts paid on that score. 

 Thank you Casemate Publishers, for letting me review this great second volume. No one with an interest of the military history of the period should be without the set.

Robert

Book: The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 B.C. : Volume II Battles & Tactics
Authors: Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 BC Volume I: Commanders and Campaigns by Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts ...

The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 BC Volume I: Commanders and Campaigns by Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 BC Volume I: Commanders and Campaigns by Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Mike Roberts





The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323-281 BC


Volume I: Commanders and Campaigns

by

Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts





 Their names resound down through the ages: Perdiccas, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Antogonus 'Monopthalmus' (the One-eyed, the greatest of them all). You also have a large supporting cast that includes  Cassander, Antipater, Demetrius 'Poliorcetes', with even Pyrrhus making an entrance. These are the wars and campaigns of the Diadochi (Successors) for the realm that Alexander left on his death. Alexander had famously said that he wished he was able to see the 'funeral games' which would take place after his death. This is about those very funeral games.

 The book was one of the first in 2008 of a spate of books on the Hellenistic period after Alexander's death. This book and Volume II are still two of the best on the subject (I am doing a review of the newly released paperback copy). The authors gave themselves a tall order. They wanted to do an overview in the time period of almost fifty years since Alexander's death. They also wanted to show the military aspect of that time period in greater depth than other books had to date. Luckily for us they succeeded beyond the readers hope. From the first breakout of hostilities between the various 'Satraps' to the assasination of Seleucus, the full history of the era is included.

 The various dealings and double dealings between the different power players are shown. The book's main area of expertise is on the military history of the period. From Perdiccas's invasion of Egypt, to the ultimate battle royale of the Diadochi at Ipsus, the panoply of the times is painted for the reader. The history of the different successors to try and reconquer the entire empire, and the final realization that no one man was able to actually do this is shown. The fact that Alexander was probably the luckiest general ever to have this many great to very good generals under him is also shown to the reader. 

 If you have any interest in the Hellenistic period, as far as historically and especially militarily, this is the first book that should be in your library. However, it is written in a style so that even the novice to the time period can follow along easily. 

Robert

Book: The War of Alexander's Successors 323-281 BC Volume I: Commanders and Campaigns
Authors: Bob Bennett & Mike Roberts
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers




 

Two Deaths at Amphipolis Cleon VS Brasidas In the Peloponnesian War by Mike Roberts   Ah, the Peloponnesian Wa...

Two Deaths at Amphipolis by Mike Roberts Two Deaths at Amphipolis by Mike Roberts

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Mike Roberts


Cleon VS Brasidas In the Peloponnesian War

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 Ah, the Peloponnesian War; what would be a better day than to sit back and just read a book about it. What would make it better is to read a great book about it, like this one. Firstly, it is misnamed. The book goes back into history before the Peloponnesian War, and then continues with a full history of the war up until the duel at Amphipolis. The book then naturally goes through the history of the war in that period. What follows is an epilogue about what happened right after the death of both men.


 In the book, Brasidas is described as pretty much an unusual Spartan. He has many ideas that are not very Spartan in nature. He also appears to be rather quick thinking. This is another trait that the Spartans were not known for at the time. Cleon, on the other hand, shows up as a typical Athenian crowd pleasing type of politician. 

 Brasidas is really the main character in the book once he shows up in the war. The clash between Brasidas and Cleon is at the end of the book, right before the epilogue. Brasidas and his very un-Spartan ways of conducting war, and his successful campaign in the north of Greece to attack the Athenian allied cities there, is gone into detail. Brasidas is an explorer and a man who seems to love adventure. He has in many ways an Athenian outlook, and not a Spartan one. The Athenians were very lucky that Brasidas died when he did. They were also lucky in that no other Spartans were willing to take up his mantle at the time. 


 I have actually read this book about two times in the short time I have had it. This was mainly because it really gives the best information on the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. The book is also very clear and concise on the above history. I have read other books by the author and am looking forward to reading many more. Mr. Roberts co-wrote the two volume 'The Wars of Alexander's Successors'. He also wrote 'Hannibal's Road', a history of the Second Punic War in Italy. Do yourself a favor and pick up a book of his; you will not be let down. 

Robert
Author: Mike Roberts
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Hannibal's Road The Second Punic War In Italy 213-203 B.C. by Mike Roberts   This is a book that has been...

Hannibal's Road The Second Punic War In Italy 213-203 B.C. by Mike Roberts Hannibal's Road The Second Punic War In Italy 213-203 B.C. by Mike Roberts

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Mike Roberts





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 This is a book that has been sorely needed. We hear about Hannibal's trek to Italy, and across the Alps. This is followed by his first battles culminating in the Battle of Cannae which is usually all we find. The next years from 213-203B.C. are mostly completely glossed over until his return to Africa and loss at Zama. Reading some of the accounts of the Roman generals during this time leaves us in a quandary. Invariably they have Hannibal losing battle after battle with the accumulated losses in the hundreds of thousands. Yet we know this cannot be true. So many losses are patently false, and the cities that went over to him would have switched sides to save their own hides. In actual fact his generalship, while superb in the first years in Italy, put him in the elite of ancient generals. It is the decade of 213-203 B.C. that cements his claim to fame to be the greatest of them. Carthage was no longer a naval power, so the help he received from home was minimal at best. It was his own brain and skills that kept a motley mercenary army together, and dangerous to the very end. In actual fact he was not forced from Italy, but left to deal with Scipio's threat to Carthage.

 Mr. Roberts cuts through all of the cobwebs and untruths to give us what really happened during all those years. He shows us that the Romans did have their triumphs and successes, but that Hannibal remained a tiger pent up in a smaller and smaller cage. On the Roman side the author shows us the exploits of Gaius Claudius Nero (what an unfortunate name) whose generalship has mostly been forgotten. 

 The book casts a piercing light into a time that is shaded in much shadow. I have read some of the author's earlier works and they, along with this book, makes me hope for many more. 


Robert


Book: Hannibal's Road The Second Punic War In Italy 213-203B.C.
Author: Mike Roberts
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers
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