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War in European History
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War in European History

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  171 ratings  ·  15 reviews
First published over thirty years ago, War in European History is a brilliantly written survey of the changing ways that war has been waged in Europe, from the Norse invasions to the present day. Far more than a simple military history, the book serves as a succinct and enlightening overview of the development of European society as a whole over the last millennium. From t...more
Paperback, 171 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1976)
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Howard's little book on European military history is still a classic in the field. Although some of this minor contentions are revised, he wrote at a time when historians revised our notion of the "Feudal age" as a monolithic period—he attends to subtle differences in the political and economic systems of Western Europe during the Middle Ages.

Howard offers a chronological and thematic reading of major shifts in military thought and practice from the mounted knight to nuclear war. Weighing in at...more
Данило Судин
Оцінюючи цю книжку, я вагався, кому ставити оцінку - лише автору, чи і перекладачу також. Робота останнього вражає "перлинами" перекладацької майстерності: і Карл Лисий (замість Карла Сміливого - Bold), і Густавус Адольфус (замість Густав Адольф), і династія Васа (замість Ваза), і неперевершена французька кузина (замість кухні - cuisisne). Проте я все ж вирішив, що оцінку треба ставити автору.

І мушу образу зазначити: попри невеликий обсяг, автор подає дуже цілісну і глибоку картину розвитку вій...more
Howard gives a broad outline of war in European history, therefore he chose a good title. He covers from just after the fall of Rome through present day, all in less then 150 pages. A good survey of the period that is more then just a military history, Howard shows how society has been changed by warfare and how changes in society have been reflected in military developments as well. The book was originally written in 1976, this updated version was published last year and has been updated to inc...more
This book was perfectly phenomenal. In 144 pages, Howard packed in so much, without making it appear over-packed. 1,000 years of warfare, with all the attendant strategies, tactics, and developments, are presented in a readable and thorough fashion, without coming across as simplistic or factoid laden. Howard finished the book in 2001 (I’m thinking in the pre-9/11 2001) and in the last page he nailed some of the major issues the world would be dealing with in the early stages of the 21st century...more
Matt Ely
A quick, readable overview of the primary elements that forced Western armies to change military tactics and equipment from the medieval period to present. Great for getting a basic idea of the foundation of so much that is now common without getting too deep into detail that may not be relevant. Great in drawing attention to the things we still use today that have traditions from centuries ago and how they've adapted to new economies and cultures.
Howard plynule popsal fenomén války od začátku věků až do poloviny 20. století. Plynule navazující kapitoly, kdy se Howard nezabývá detaily ale vývojem válečnictví. Nejedná se o klasickou bitvologii, naopak Howard hodnotí válku z mnoha pohledů od ekonomického, sociálního a psychologického. Už jen názvy kapitol války rytířů, žoldnéřů, války obchodníků, války národů dokazuje, že autor propojuje znalosti mnoha oborů a předkládá čtenáři velmi celistvé a úplné čtení.
Ted Gault
Very brief but concise overview of developmental trends in warfare from the Dark Ages to the modern era (although there is a tapering off of analysis post 9/11). Really, Howard could not have done a better job of taking complex military developments and breaking them down to their absolute bare essentials within a socio-economic and geopolitical context. It's really unfair of me, but I docked one star because while this book is an introduction to European warfare, it also assumes a fair knowledg...more
Ben Sweezy
Dec 30, 2009 Ben Sweezy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ben by: PWAD 50
And I have now read this 3 times. It is a great book to have around. ACtually this time I re-read it in tandem with my course pack notes from a military history class senior year, as well as with my Atlas of World Military History. This is great stuff. Even though this is only restricted to Europe, it gives you compelling trends and explains why certain shifts in warfare happened. It is a great companion to more specific or broad histories which overlap with this period.

I greatly enjoy the combi...more
Zachary Moore
A good summary treatment of the historical development of war from the Middle Ages to today. Most of the chapters are about twenty pages long and the reader not familiar with the general outline of European history might be confused by the rapid mention of figures, conflicts and states with which they might not be aware. I couldn't be sure how much of the book's content was new as I had come across similar points before in other sources, but it is certainly a good reference work.
Trashy Pit
Excellent little overview of warfare in European history. Covers some 8 centuries in a book you can read in a day. This kind of summarization can only be pulled off by someone who is really knowledgeable about their subject matter, and this guy pulls it off. A pleasure to read. Europe looks pretty peaceful today, but take a look at its history!
This is a very quick look at warfare from knights to nukes. Not enough room for more than a brief listing of major revolutions in military affairs and some of the social, political, and economic causes and effects, but still a good review of the big picture.
Jeffrey Cavanaugh
An examination of the cultural, economic, and political forces that have shaved warfare over the past 500 years of European history. Well written and well paced, Howard's book is a good introduction to the subject.
Excellent overview, focusing particularly on the interaction between military technology and strategy of countries and their political and social conditions.
Very quick and enjoyable read on the basic socio-technological-economic progression of armies and warfare throughout European history.
Erlich Lõwi
An outstanding overview that skillfully manages to condense 1000 years of European military history into less than 200 pages.
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Sir Michael Eliot Howard, OM, CH, CBE, MC, FBA, is a British military historian, formerly Chichele Professor of the History of War, Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University, and founder of the Department of War Studies, King's College London.
More about Michael Eliot Howard...
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