Nicolle, a scholar in medieval and Islamic warfare, has brought his extensive knowledge to his latest book. The book is divided into several headings: Opposing Commanders, Opposing Forces, Opposing Plans, The Campaign, and Aftermath. He provides a balanced narrative of what went right and wrong for the opposing forces. Interspersed throughout the book are a number of photographs and color illustrations. The illustrations are by Christa Hook. Three of the illustrations are two-page ones that portray key events that occurred during the campaign. In addition, there are several maps included that show the land route that the Crusaders took on their way to the Holy Land and the battle. The battle maps help you understand how the different skirmishes related to the siege of Damascus. This book is a fine companion to the other two volumes published by Osprey that highlight the First and Third Crusades.
Jeff Grim, www.collectedmiscellany.com
David Nicholle has been the author of a number of books from this time period and is highly qualified to tell the story of this campaign, pulling the reader into the prose. Like other books in the Campaign series, there is a look at the opposing commanders and their troops. The plans of both sides are also scrutinized as well as a look at how the battles unfolded. This is followed by a section on how this affected future events and a look at the battlefields today. The superb illustrations and maps of Christa Hook further enhance the story along with photos of the various sites as they are today, period illustrations and artifacts. The 3-D maps in particular help give a sense of the flow of the various battles. It is a great book, especially for the student of the period and show that overconfidence is as much an enemy as are spears and arrows.
Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (March 2009)
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