"The Face of Battle" is military history from the battlefield: a look at the direct experience of individuals at the "point of maximum danger." Without the myth-making elements of rhetoric and xenophobia, and breaking away from the stylized format ...
of battle descriptions, John Keegan has written what is probably the definitive model for military historians. And in his scrupulous reassessment of three battles representative of three different time periods, he manages to convey what the experience of combat meant for the participants. Whether they were facing the arrow cloud of Agincourt, the musket balls at Waterloo, or the steel rain of the Somme.
Keegan focuses on three battles: Agincourt (Medieval), Waterloo (Napoleon), and the Somme (WWI). This is an inside look at what the battles would have been like for an ordinary solider, which is something that is not often treated in militaryKeegan focuses on three battles: Agincourt (Medieval), Waterloo (Napoleon), and the Somme (WWI). This is an inside look at what the battles would have been like for an ordinary solider, which is something that is not often treated in military history (at least not before the World Wars). I liked this aspect of it.
What I didn't enjoy about the book was that Keegan spends a great deal of time discussing what should and should not go into a military history and what makes a military history good or bad. At times, this was less a book of military history than a book about the practice of military history. Although in retrospect, it was valuable to me to look into the writing to question how well it actually captured the details of real events and to allow me to read with a bit more critical eye in the future....Continua Nascondi