1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Resources for military strategy

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Steerpike, Sep 22, 2011.

    In my YA Fantasy, a military engagement is going to play a critical role about a third of the way through. There isn't much of this sort of thing in the story, but in this case it will be significant.

    I'm wondering if any of you know of some good resources for military strategy. Anything that deals with situations prior to modern warfare will be good. I have Sun Tzu's Art of War, and another books that details the particulars of a few battles, such as Agincourt. Nothing apart from Sun Tzu that speaks specifically to military strategy and theory, however.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    Construct Addition Pylons.

    I remember seeing a great deal of footage showcasing how Alexander the Great's tactics won him campaigns via the history channel. Mainly cavalry, letting the enemy charge, draw them in, surround, and slaughter. The Flying wedge, I believe it was called.

    If you are looking to see strategy in action, watch some Starcraft 2 entry-level commentary. Try TotalBiscuit. Yes, it hardly can be considered an accurate representation of ancient strategy, though its professional players do have a great grasp on knowing how to win skirmishes and the overall campaign.
     
  3. cybrxkhan
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    The obvious thing to read would be to look up history books on military strategy. Depending on the culture, time period, geograhpical region, technology level, and so forth, the books might show entirely different types of military strategies - since, as you know, a vital part of military strategy is the situation, so I would suggest you look up books that deal with situations closest to yours. It would be erroneous to assume that the ancient Greeks, ancient Romans, and early knights needed to fight using the exact same strategies just because they knew how to make swords.


    As for books more on theory, a few suggestions (you can always look up Wikipedia or Google for more info; since most of these have been available for a long time, you might even find them free online):

    - On War, by Carl von Clauswitz - written in the early 1800s, and, if I remember correctly, is considered one of the classic Western military texts, so sort of equivalent to Sun Tzu's Art of War, at least in the West
    - The Prince, Machiavelli - you probably know this; I don't know how much Machiavelli actually focuses on military strategy per se as opposed to just political strategy, but I do think his ideas still have applications in the military, especially on a grander scale of things (such as how to rule a conquered populace - which might determine and influence, for instance, how you want to conquer them in the first place)
    - De Re Militari - a late Roman military treatise that was used often in medieval times
    - THe Byzantine Emperor, Leo the Wise, also wrote a somewhat well-known military treatise; I don't remember the name, but from what I know it is pretty representative of Byzantine military thought for several centuries
    - Besides Art of War, there are several other military treatises from China that are well known (to academics, at least), so you might want to look them up on Wikipedia and Google; many of them come from China's Warring States era, which might not be a coincidence as it was a militarily and politically turbulent time

    As you can see, for a number of these it might be difficult good copies given their somewhat more obscure and lesser-known nature (compared to Art of War and The Prince), and even then they probably are only translated into versions for academics rather than normal people like us. Still, I mean most big civilizations probably had at least one guy who wrote a military treatise, so it just takes some research to find these in the first place.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks for the recommendations, guys. Gives me some good places to start. Nice list of books, cybrxkhan. I'm going to look into each of those. I've heard of The Prince, but never read it. I've also heard von Clauswitz mentioned, so I'll definitely look for a copy of that.

    Cheers.
     

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