Teutoburg Forest AD 9: The destruction of Varus and his legions (Anglais) Broché – 18 janvier 2011
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
- Toy Soldier & Model Figure (June 2011)
Biographie de l'auteur
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L'auteur, Michael McNally, s'efforce ici de nous faire comprendre l'enchaînement fatal des décisions de Varus qui ont conduit son armée, composée de trois légions, 6 cohortes auxiliaires à pied et 3 cohortes auxiliaires montées, à une totale destruction dans le piège tendu par les Chérusques, les Bructères et les Angrivares d’Arminius.
La cartographie de qualité, sur les opérations préliminaires comme sur le déroulement tactique de la bataille de la forêt de Teutobourg, nous aide à percevoir la complexité des « affaires de Germanie », avec son lot de manœuvres manquées et de trahisons.
Les illustrations de Peter Dennis et les nombreuses photos du site stimulent quant à elles notre imagination, afin de mieux nous transporter 2000 et deux années en arrière. Il faudra trente années à Rome pour se remettre de cet échec en Germanie et envisager une nouvelle entreprise de projection de ses forces, cette fois avec succès, en Bretagne.
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After they were decimated their legion numbers were stricken from the rolls of legions.
The excellent Osprey campaign book provides a chronology of events leading up, through and afterwards of the campaign led by Varus, comparisons of the opposing commanders and armies, description of the plans of the Roman and Germanic armies, a description of the campaign itself and the aftermath.
Included is a description of how the location of the battlegrounds was established and the German Museum's which contain relics from the battle. Illustrated with photos, artwork, maps, and graphs.
I have over 500 Osprey book titles and consider this a very welcome addition to my library.
Michael McNally’s Teutoburg Forest AD 9 is an excellent tutorial on Rome’s greatest military defeat. Only 96 pages, this Osprey publication boils this infamous Roman battle down to its fundamental essence with quick thumbnail sketches of the participants, the battle, the tactical situation and any other interesting historical minutiae. Mr. McNally provides several excellent historical maps of the region including the battle itself. Lots of photographs of the area as it is today along with actual recovered items from the battlefield and museum recreated Roman military dress. Peter Dennis’ outstanding illustrations gives the reader a true flavor of the battle’s brutality. All in all an excellent primer on the Roman army’s worst military defeat. A great companion to Roman military history.
Thanks to Tony Clunn, a British army officer serving in modern Germany and an amateur archeologist using a metal detector, we are fairly certain Kalkriese is the site of this long-forgotten battle since his finds and subsequent professional archeological digs in 1987.
The author of this work, Michael McNally, does a fairly good job of looking at the battle as a part of an overall campaign. The book does a decent job of looking at how Rome came to be on the west bank of the Rhine, Roman intentions toward Germania, previous military campaigns aimed at subduing the Germanic peoples as well as the movements and actions of Varus' legions in AD 9. As most Osprey titles, this book is very well illustrated with stills and color plates as well as technically excellent maps.
The book gives the reader a sense of the opposing commanders, the Roman forces, their size, composition, weapons and capabilities (but less in regards to the Germans). The accounts of this campaign by Roman writers are somewhat confusing and contradictory. One account has the Roman force destroyed in one day, another describes a running battle over three days. The author uses artistic license to create a narrative of the battle which, I think, is acceptable when the historical accounts are as sparse as they are for this battle. Intelligent and informed opinion can be used to tell a story and fill in a lot of blanks.
My first criticism is that the author chooses to accept certain accounts (which he admits are biased) over others. With the exception of the account by Paterculus (who most modern historians would admit to being biased against Varus), the authors of accounts wrote a century or two after the battle took place. The author accepts portions from each account without telling the reader why. The author seems have a pro-Roman bias and tends to paint the Germanic leader Arminius in a negative light. He seems to accept the three-day battle version for no good reason (other that it seems impossible for the mighty Romans to be wiped out in one day).
My second criticism is that the author makes little attempt to tell the reader who these Germans were, how their society functioned, how they lived, fought or thought. There is no anthropological viewpoint to put the Romans' opponents in context, understand how they could organize a military force or even why they would do so in opposition to Roman expansion. Germanic military prowess is overlooked even though a force of Germanic warriors defeated the 5th Legion under Marcus Lollius in 16 BC (capturing the legionary eagle) as well as bitterly contesting campaigns east of the Rhine by Drusus and Tiberius.
In conclusion, I would give this book three stars for the excellent illustrations, photos and military equipment/capabilities of the Roman legions as well as the generally good recounting of the campaign and the movements of Roman forces. I would suggest Peter Wells' work "The Battle That Stopped Rome" for a work on this battle which gives the reader a far better idea of the motivation/capabilities of the Germanic peoples.
Minor flaws however in an attractive useful, if slender piece of military history.