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 "Incomplete and Unreliable Survey of Historic Battles",
a review by Carroll Quigley in Military Affairs, April 1972,
of a book:
DICTIONARY OF BATTLES,
by Thomas Harbottle.
Stein and Day: New York, 1971

 

"Incomplete and Unreliable Survey of Historic Battles"

 

Dictionary of Battles.
Harbottle, Thomas. Revised and Updated by George Bruce
(New York: Stein and Day, 1971, 334 pp., index, $12.50).

 

 

   This volume is so incomplete and unreliable as to be worthless. First published in 1904, it has been revised by casting the entries into a common form and by adding some of the battles which have taken place since its first publication. But the entries still remain erratic in content: sometimes the names of commanders or the number of casualties are given, but often they are left out. Rarely is there any indication of the tactical or strategic significance of any battle. Few Asiatic battles, even those of Biblical importance (such as Megiddo or Kadesh), are included. Some of the most significant conflicts of Classical antiquity are not here. For example, Chaeronea, which delivered the Greek states into the power of Macedonia in 338 B.C. or Adrianople, which opened the Roman Empire to the barbarian invasions in A.D. 378, are not listed. The new material since 1904 is no better. For example, we are told that the Anglo-French casualties in the battle of the Marne were 1,080,000 men.

-- CARROLL QUIGLEY
Georgetown University

 

 

Scan of original review

 

 

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