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Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army
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Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  198 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
"The most important work on Alexander the Great to appear in a long time. Neither scholarship nor semi-fictional biography will ever be the same again. . . .Engels at last uses all the archaeological work done in Asia in the past generation and makes it accessible. . . . Careful analyses of terrain, climate, and supply requirements are throughout combined in a masterly fas ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published December 29th 1980 by University of California Press (first published 1978)
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Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reveiwed
Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army by Donald W. Engels

This is a great book, full of facts, dates, maps, tables and a extensive bibliography. Engels does a wonderful job explaining what it took to move the Macedonian army from point "A" to point "B". I found one of Alexanders rules interesting NO carts, No Oxen. Oxen move slower than Horses mules and camels so they had no place in his army except maybe on the menu. Baggage also slow down the army, so no carts, if you cou
I should preface this by saying that I am a logistics officer in the United States Army. This is . . . not entertaining. This is a good study on the art of ancient logistics and supplying an army in the field and on the march but a absolutely terrible book. This should probably be categorized as a reference book, not a normal one. This is the kind of book that you'd be required to buy at a military logistics course or in a college course and then the professor would only require you to read a te ...more
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
A bit dry and academic, but really interesting, if only for the very specific population that I work in. Unless you have a fondness for calculating the feed and lift ratio of mule trains, then it's scintillating. Semper Logistics.
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Not nearly as dry as you might assume from the title. Quite informative.
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Incredibly useful information on speeds of march and how long it takes to move various types of pack animal, also how much forage they would need. Plus a good overview of the Afghanistan campaign.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
(The maps are actually in the back, but I'm still giving it my map-in-the-front tag. It has maps, is what I'm saying.)

I found this book fascinating. I had never thought much about how much a military campaign - especially an ancient military campaign - would depend on its ability to supply its troops with food and water while passing through often-hostile territory. I enjoyed reading about Alexander's strategies for ensuring that his army had food an water.

I also liked getting a sense of how muc
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Megan Whalen Turner mentioned that it wasn't too hard a read on her Tumbler feed. I was curious, and it was in the library.

I noticed that it was written before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and (I think?) the Iranian Revolution, so some sources and sites may have been more accessible then than they are now to American Scholars.

It felt more like reading science fiction than another genre - because I know nothing of horses, and the only logistics I've practiced are getting 5 people out the d
Darrell E.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This a good study of logistics; not the most captivating read.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly interesting and detailed, if you need to have info about moving a large army on foot through areas where supplies are going to be scarce.
George Nap
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Should be mandatory reading for all logistics officers. As a former US Army logistics officer, this book helped me immensely in doing my job and analyzing and choosing courses of action.

Read this in college and used the data therein the attempt to calculate which pass Hannibal used to enter Italy in the 2nd Punic War. Three credit college independent study project as a senior, finishing out my minor in History. Really solid information on what it took to supply ancient armies and what logistica
Steve Bivans
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ancient-history
Engels adds a great deal to the understanding of how Alexander’s army managed to accomplish what it did, and how issues of logistics sometimes dictated the route that it took. Engels’ examination of the physical requirements of men and animals in conjunction with the limitations of transport and communications is an important model for anyone studying pre-modern armies, especially those of the ancient and medieval periods.
Thomas Harlan
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good detail of the logistical issues faced by Alexander; reasonable explanations of what must have been done at each stage of the campaigns to overcome them; useful information on rates of march, and ability of the Macedonian army to carry/transport supplies. Interestingly, the rates of march of the phalanges equal or exceed those of WW1 and WW2 armies also relying on foot/horse/wagon technologies to move them in battle.
Jane Bigelow
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm using this as a reference for a novel I'm writing rather than reading it straight through. It's a marvelous resource! The information is clearly presented, and where the author is hypothesizing he gives his reasoning in careful detail. It's a boon to the writer of fantasy or historical fiction.
Dec 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Yup, I read it over 20 years ago, and I remember that I loved it. Logistics are cool.
John Brown
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This kind of history is gold for me as a writer. But it's also fascinating in its own right.
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Not just a great learning tool, but written by my favorite college professor! He taught a whole class on Alexander's logistics, and it was amazing!
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
More of a resource for someone wanting to write a biography of Alexander than a read itself. Reads like a dissertation.
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