Thursday, October 14, 2010

Great Captains

Great Captains
by Theodore Ayrault Dodge

A course of six lectures showing the influence on the art of war of the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus Adolphus, Frederick, and Napoleon. These lectures were delivered in Boston in 1889. Dodge rose to the rank of brevet lieutenant-colonel during the Civil War, losing his right leg at the Battle of Gettysburg. From 1890 to 1907 he published twelve volumes of his History of the Art of War: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus Adolphus, Frederick the Great, Napoleon, although the volumes on Frederick the Great were not completed before his death. Dodge is considered the foremost military historian of the nineteenth century.

These lectures are a great survey of the campaigns of the great captains. They are a summary of his larger works. Dodge like Plutarch, compares the commanders to each other pointing out there strengths and weaknesses. Dodge is not shy about giving his opinions and is one military historian that has actually been in a cavalry charge.


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