Includes 3 maps and 7 illustrations
The command of military forces in combat is unlike any other field of human endeavor. If war is the ultimate form of human competition, then the commander is the ultimate competitor. The commander operates in an environment of chance, uncertainty, and chaos, in which the stakes are, quite literally, life and death. He or she contends against an adversary who is using every means, fair or foul, to foil his plans and bring about his defeat. The commander is ultimately responsible for every variable that factors into military success or failure-training, logistics, morale, equipment, planning, and execution. The commander reaps the lion’s share of plaudits in victory, but also must accept the blame in defeat, warranted or not. Very often the line that separates fame and ignominy is slender indeed.
It is not difficult to identify “great” commanders, though the overwhelming majority of generals who win battles are never considered “great.” Something more than a favorable ratio of wins to losses is needed to establish greatness...The truly great commander is generally considered to be one who attains the unexpected or the unprecedented; one who stands above his contemporaries through his skill on the battlefield, or through the sheer magnitude of his accomplishments.
...The commanders selected were masters of warfare in their particular time and environment. Each capitalized upon the social, political, economic, and technological conditions of his day to forge successful military forces and win significant and noteworthy victories that profoundly altered the world in which he lived.-Dr Christopher R. Gabel.
The Great Commanders covered by this volume are Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, John J. Pershing, Erwin Rommel and Curtis E. LeMay