Decisive Battles: From Yorktown to Operation Desert Storm

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A&C Black, Aug 11, 2010 - History - 238 pages
What makes a battle decisive? Jonathon Riley draws on his personal experience as a soldier and historian to explore the definitive battles of the modern era from Yorktown in 1781 to Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Each battle included is a turning point, the outcome of which has changed the face of history. The battles at Ligny, Quatre Bras and Waterloo in 1815 concluded more than twenty years of war with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and instituted alliances that dominated Europe until 1860. The Ardennes in 1944 was decisive because Hitler threw away the last army he had which could have stalled the Allied advance into Germany. The war ended less than five months later. Dien Bien Phu confirmed the collapse of French colonial power in Indo-China, and paved the way for US involvement in Vietnam to stem the tide of Communist expansion.

Since Operation Desert Storm no battle can be said to have been decisively concluded and the closing chapter looks to 21st century emergencies where opponents abandon conventional conflict.
 

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Contents

1 What Is Decisive?
1
The World Turned Upside Down
13
The Hundred Days
29
Confederate High Tide
57
Birth and Death of Empire
83
Strategic Diversion Tactical Deception
105
The Black Day of the German Army
117
Smashing the Myth
141
Hitlers Last Gamble
161
Wind of Change
181
Desert Storm
197
Is Decisive Victory Still Possible?
211
Bibliography
227
Index of Persons
231
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Jonathon Riley was appointed as Director General and Master of the Armouries in June 2009. Before that he held military commands on operations in the Balkans as a battalion and brigade commander, in Sierra Leone as Joint Task Force Commander, in Iraq as Divisional Commander, and in Afghanistan as Deputy Commander of all NATO forces. He has an MA and a PhD in history and has published eight books including Napoleon as a General (Continuum 2007)

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