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How to Lose a War: More Foolish Plans and Great Military Blunders    edited by Bill Fawcett order for
How to Lose a War
by Bill Fawcett
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2009 (2009)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

'In this book we look not at the brilliant strategies of history's greatest generals and leaders, but at the failures of those who lost wars they should have won, or at least made it a fight,' writes Bill Fawcett. 'Many books concentrate on what went right of the brilliant moves of the winning leaders. This one looks at what went wrong.'

The volume is divided into sections (Modern Mistakes, Little Wars, Big Mistakes, Napoleon Buonaparte, and Losing Big), in which over 20 military campaigns that badly misfired are investigated by a variety of writers and military historians. While Douglas Niles writes about how the Communists lost the Korean War in A Cold War Ignites and Mike Resvick delves into the Mau Mau Rebellion, Napoleon's fight for France (1813-1814) is discussed by John Helfers in The Lion Trapped.

Spanning the centuries you'll find fascinating arrticles on the Peloponnesian Wars, the collapse of the Spanish Armada and the American Revolution, as well as the Boer War and the more recent Six-Day War in the Middle East.

Beginning with an investigation of wars lost in the last sixty years, Fawcett explains, 'If the last century's leaders learned from history, we should see mistakes that are different from those made in the past. Really, they should be different, not the same old errors ...'

But, of course, that isn't the case. As you will see, the old cliché is all too true. History does have a nasty habit of repeating itself!

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