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Hannibal (Great Captains)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  435 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Despite his status as a great general and his string of victories on the battlefield, Hannibal was defeated in the end. This story of Hannibal's tactical genius but strategic failure holds lessons today for those who are trying to understand why success on the battlefield does not always, or even frequently, lead to victory in war.
Paperback, 592 pages
Published July 16th 2005 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1891)
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Whispers from the Pirate's Ghost Whisper
Hannibal by Theodore Ayrault Dodge - Insight Into a Thousand Books
Theodore Ayrault Dodge joined the Infantry as an enlisted soldier in the New York all Volunteer infantry Regiment during the Civil War. He rose to the rank of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel and lost his leg at the Battle of Gettysburg. He had received his military education in Berlin and the University College London and the University of Heidelberg. If you’re a Heinlein “Glory Road” fan, he’s a Heidelberg man. His military carrier d
Ian Mullet
Jul 17, 2007 Ian Mullet rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are pissed that anthony hopkins co-opted the name of the baddest motherfucker ever
written by a retired union general, this is the definitive account of hannibal's campaigns. Dodge's Hannibal made me fall in love with the ancient world and was one of the first steps i took that ultimately led me to st. john's.
Jonathan H
Fair warning: I created this ebook version - but then I only do that for books I love! Dodge was a retired army officer, and puts a lot of thought into explaining Hannibal's strategic problems, and his solutions to them (many of which were "first-evers" in known history, e.g. first-ever army ambush at Trasimene, first-ever double encirclement at Cannae). He also explores the fifteen years of "small war" after Cannae, which many other authors skip over. Finally, he manages to cram in over 200 pic ...more
***Dave Hill
Sep 11, 2014 ***Dave Hill rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who read it in print, not as an audiobook
I suspect that Hannibal reads better than it listens to. As an audiobook, it is a longer, more endless drudge than the Carthaginian General's Journey over the Alps. Dodge spares no detail, and begins his book with a lengthy discussion of the history of the military of Rome and of Carthage, detailing their units and formations and how they evolved over the centuries, as well as their arms and examples of their early wars, all sprinkled with much meticulously pronounced Latin. Further, each chapte ...more
JoséMaría BlancoWhite
review in Spanish for the benefit of Spaniards

En primer lugar, si se ha leído la biografía que ya mencioné de Escipión el Africano, éste debe ser el siguiente libro, porque hay una rivalidad -sino entre los personajes históricos allá en el Olimpo- entre ambos historiadores por llevarse los laureles del primer puesto para su protegido. Dodge es un historiador bastante anterior a Lidell Hart, y le recome que su predecesor no haya otorgado el respeto que su protegido, Escipión, se merece.

Dodge es t
There are many great books on Hannibal, and this is one of them. It is difficult to get through at times, but it provides a great deal of information on this intriguing man who had such an impact on history. Reading this together with a good book on his nemesis, Scipio Africanus, is highly recommended as it puts it all into perspective. While they consider Hannibal one of the world’s greatest generals and strategists, the man who defeated him, Scipio, goes almost unnoticed in history.
Just finished this excellent book. It’s a story of a genius (Hannibal Barca) who undertook an impossible mission (defeating Rome) and in the process created what we know today as military strategy. The writer (a Union officer from the US Civil War) describes Hannibal's life in extensive detail. He is especially focused on Hannibal's 16 year war against Rome. There is a detailed and breathtaking description of Hannibal's march across the Alps leading 100,000 soldiers 10,000 cavalry and 200 elepha ...more
Tyler Windham
Just as in his classic work on Alexander the Great, Dodge against impresses, entertains, and captivates his audience with both his thorough detail and his narrative energy that, in this volume, takes the reader from Hannibal's early days fighting the rebellious tribes of the Iberian peninsula, to his daring (and almost reckless were it not so expertly done) crossing of the Alps, through all of his victories bearing testament to the Carthaginian general's near unmatched tactical prowess that shoo ...more
Excellent description of Hannibal's campaigns with a military analysis of ancient texts that provide a more vivid picture of the general. Always looking for the benefit of the doubt.
Hannibal Barca's life was incredible. This book is the third I have read on Hannibal, and I think I enjoyed it the most. The beginning was a little tedious, going through all the Roman fighting arrangements (especially over an audiobook). Once Dodge got into the 2nd Punic War, his insight was invaluable. He clearly illustrated the motives and circumstances that forced Hannibal's actions. His analysis of Hannibal and Alexander at the end was interesting as well. His insight on Hannibal's occupati ...more
This is an amazing and eye-opening book detailing the Second Punic War and one of the greatest of history's generals, Hannibal. Dodge goes to the utmost length to explain the tactical limitations of the time and how much of a military genius Hannibal truly was. It is also an interesting read in regards to the Romans of the time. I for one found the warmongering, imperialist Romans to be very interesting, as it showed the basis of why they went on to form one of history's greatest empires. All in ...more
Dodge is a great writer. Granted it takes a little while to get used to his style now since he wrote everything almost a century ago. But is exceptionally nice to read military history written by a soldier. They point things out in a way that makes sense to people I think. They emphasize the importance of strategy, tactics, supply lines etc.

Everything that I've read by Dodge has been exceptional and this is no different. I recommend this to all fans of military history.
This is not just a history of Hannibal and his famous battles. It;s a history of the warfare of the times. Dodge goes out of his way to set the events up in a strong framework by first explaining Roman and Carthaginian tactics and history and then addresing their clashes. Like all of Dodge's work this is invaluable in it's presentation and it's ability to grab the reader. READ IT!
There's a lot of bias, which is to be expected since it was the norm for "history" related material when it was originally written (1890's). Many blanket conclusions spoken as fact, are just a couple of the drawbacks that come to mind.

Pretty decent on telling us how the Consul armies were formed & operated as well as the tactics & strategies used at the time.
John Warren
very interesting outlook on hanibal from theodore dodge a retired union gerneral. his insights on hannibal i really enjoyed plus the use of ancient historical sources bad this book a very enjoyable read. i like how he compares alexander and hannibal and the the legin vs the phlanx chapter was cool as well. will definitely have to read his book on alexander
Dodge wrote this as a retired US Civil War general, giving him an insight to his writing that isn't found in many other accounts. This perspective brings his narrative to vibrant life. Two of his other accounts on Julius Caeser and Alexander of Macedon are near hypnotic in bringing their stories to life.
Cato the Younger
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars, but I couldn't. It is an excellent book no doubt about it; however, there is a obvious presence of bias. Dodge idolizes Hannibal, and I think it affects his writing somewhat. Nonetheless, it is a book worth reading if you enjoy the Punic Wars.
On my humble opinion Hannibal is in a top 3 best generals ever walk the surface of the Earth. This book gives very detailed account of the Hannibal Barks's life and attachments. Must read for every fan of the Creates carfaginian captain.
Mark Dunstan
A very detailed account of Hannibal and the Second Punic War - a very entertaining read despite being written in the late 19th century - Dodge's bias and hero-worship aside, this is one of the best books on Hannibal.
I actually only read the beginning about the way the Carthaginians and the Romans set up their armies, and that was fascinating. One of these days I'll get around to reading the part about Hannibal!
Very interesting book about a brilliant leader who almost triumphed over the up and coming Roman Empire. Read it to find out how close we were to speaking Carthaginian instead of Latin.
Denice Hogan
Very gruesome but held my interest. Not my usual read, but I stuck with it and it was good, if you like that kind of book
Disturbing! - partially because of the storyline and partially because I couldn't put it down.
Very long, but very good - almost like Shelby Foote's account of the Civil War.
Peter Hopkins
Arguably one of the best books about Hannibal and his campaigns. A must read.
Marred by bias but further cements the great Carthaginian's legend.
A good account of Hannibal's daring generalship.
Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2014
Sven marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2014
Camille Stein
Camille Stein marked it as to-read
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Theodore Ayrault Dodge was an American officer and military historian. He fought as an Union officer in the American Civil War, and lost his leg at the Battle of Gettysburg; as a writer, he devoted his writings to both the American Civil War and the great generals of Ancient and European history.
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“I. Carthage. 900–200 B.C. In the third century B.C., Rome and Carthage divided the power of the Mediterranean world. Rome was first on land, Carthage first at sea. Intolerant of powerful neighbors, Rome quarreled with Carthage, and in the First Punic War brought her to her knees. The Carthaginians were of Phœnician origin, one of the early settlements of Tyre. By their energy and intelligence they succeeded in acquiring the hegemony of all the Phœnician colonies on the Mediterranean, as Tyre had done at home. The government was an aristocracy of capitalists, controlled by a senate. This “London of antiquity” gradually extended her conquests all around the western Mediterranean. The city was strongly walled and beautifully built; and in addition possessed vast commercial works, harbors and arsenals. Agriculture was as highly esteemed and practiced as commerce, and the land was worked by rich planters. The prosperity of the city was equally indebted to either art. Carthage was really the capital of a great North African empire, as Rome was of the Italian peninsula.” 0 likes
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