November 2009

Eight battles that changed history

By Peter and Dan Snow
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Originally published in the United Kingdom as a companion to a BBC television series, this informative history covers eight battles, stretching from World War I to the first Gulf War. Father-son authors Peter and Dan Snow have chosen battles based on both interest and significance, whether in terms of military developments or political impact.

The title, 20th Century Battlefields, could be considered a bit of a misnomer, since this is not a guide to battlefields, but rather to the actual battles themselves. In three cases the “battlefields” encompass entire wars, albeit brief ones (the Yom Kippur War, the Falklands War and Desert Storm). Also included are Midway and Stalingrad from World War II, and battles from the Korean and Vietnam wars.

The Snows offer an insightful examination of changing military technology and tactics. They also delve into the events leading up to each battle, as well as the progress of the fight and the aftermath, revealing how even seemingly minor conflicts have influenced world events in crucial ways. The book includes basic maps of the various actions as well as photos from each of the wars covered. The Snows’ book is a highly readable and entertaining compilation, of special interest to military history buffs, as well as those who fought in the battles and their descendants.

Howard Shirley is a writer in Franklin, Tennessee.

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20th Century Battlefields

20th Century Battlefields

By Peter and Dan Snow
BBC Books
ISBN 9781846072864

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