The “In the Review Queue” series provides TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog readers with a brief look at books Brett Schulte is planning to review here on the blog. These will be very similar to Drew Wagenhoffer’s “Booknotes” series at Civil War Books and Authors.
I have long been a fan of Strategy & Tactics, the famous and long running wargames magazine which actually contains a functional wargame in each issue. S&T is now getting into publishing books as well, and the first of these is The Quest for Annihilation: The Role & Mechanics of Battle in the American Civil War. In glancing through the book, I am amazed at the number of maps (over 220 in varying degrees of quality). Author Christopher Perello seeks to explain why no decisive victories were achieved during the war. The idea seems somewhat similar to Brent Nosworthy’s recent book Roll Call to Destiny in that specific battles or smaller actions are used to as examples of various aspects of the war. To give prospective readers a better idea of wgat is covered, I’m including the topics of each chapter here:
Chapter One: Strategy
Chapter Two: Armies
Chapter Three: Infantry
Chapter Four: Battleplans
Chapter Five: Artillery
Chapter Six: Siege
Chapter Seven: Campaigns
Chapter Eight: Fieldworks
Chapter Nine: Cavalry
Chapter Ten: Pursuit
The Quest for Annihilation looks to be a strong initial effort by Strategy & Tactics Press. Wargamers especially will enjoy this one. The book is available for order on the book’s page at the S&T Press site.
Information on The Quest for Annihilation: The Role & Mechanics of Battle in the American Civil War from Strategy & Tactics Press web site is as follows:
Civil War came to the United States when the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter on 12 April 1861. Most people, including the military and political leaders of both sides, thought the war would be won or lost quickly in the Napoleonic tradition, with a great battlefield collision. Instead, the war ground on for four increasingly bloody years, inching steadily but slowly into the Southern heartland. Battles were frequent, but rarely decided more than the control of a single town or a few blood-soaked fields.
The Quest for Annihilation examines the nature of those battles and the reasons they failed to produce a decisive end to the war. The book is loaded with detail – and copiously illustrated with more than 220 maps, plus more than 100 diagrams, photographs, orders of battle, and data tables – describing the war’s unique combat, fought on the cusp between the era of single-shot muzzle-loaders and that of automatic weapons.
Each chapter uses the events of a single battle or campaign to describe the component parts of one aspect of the war: how armies were formed, trained, and moved; how commanders decided whether to fight or avoid battle; the men, their weapons and drill; the leaders and the techniques they used to bring it all together at the right place and right time. ( 320 pages )
Shipping in June, 2009
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