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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $38.50

400 pp.
6.125" x 9.25"


Publication date:
April 2013

Imprint: OUP US

Masters of the Battlefield

From the Classical Age to the Napoleonic Era

Paul Davis

In Masters of the Battlefield, Davis turns his attention to military leaders from throughout history who stand out for their abilities - indeed, individuals who were destined for success or even born to command, challenging the prevailing view that movements, rather than individuals, have determined the progression of history. In short, this is unapologetically Great Man history.

Each chapter opens with a brief biography that reveals or outlines the subject's character, followed by an overview of the methods of warfare of his time. A concise overview of each subject's military career leads to a more in-depth look at the battles that reveal precisely how each commander was able to achieve victory, often against great odds. Finally, Davis analyzes each individual's contribution to tactical warfare and offers an assessment of how his personality shaped his leadership style.

Readership : General/trade, readers interested in history.

1. Alexander (356-323 BC)
2. Han Xin (?-196 BC)
3. Hannibal (247-182 BC)
4. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (235-183 BC)
5. Belisarius (505?-568)
6. Chinggis Khan (1162?-1227)
7. Jan Zizka (1360?-1424)
8. Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582)
9. Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632)
10. John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722)
11. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (April 29, 1769-1852)
12. Napoleon Bonaparte (August 15, 1769-1821)
13. Lessons Learned

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Paul K. Davis is a senior scientist and Research Leader at RAND and a Professor of Policy Analysis in the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His many books include Besieged and 100 Decisive Battles: From Ancient Times to the Present, published by Oxford University Press, as well as Deterrence and Influence in Counterterrorism: A Component in the War on Al Qaeda, published by the RAND corporation.

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Special Features

  • Will be irresistibly appealing to the audience for military history generally and Paul Davis' work specifically.
  • The choice of subjects mixes the well-known - Napoleon - with the more obscure - Jan Zizka.
  • Lively, informative, and occasionally revisionist.