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When Field-Marshal Montgomery’s History of Warfare was first published in 1968 the reviewer in The Times Literary Supplement wrote as follows: ‘Lord Montgomery’s stimulating book must surely take its place as a classic commentary on the history of warfare. . . . lt is the fruit of a life- time spent in the study and practice of war and it bears the authority of one who will without doubt be numbered among the great commanders. Its greatest merit springs from the author’s understanding of the human factor in war. That it is permeated with his particular and well-remembered idiosyncrasies, the freshness and vigour of his approach to any subject will only enhance its undoubted value as a deeply interesting, often inspiring and intensely instructive book.’ The original volume ran to 584 pages, and was extensively illustrated by pictures, maps, battle plans and diagrams. This Concise edition has been reduced in length by a third, largely by the omission of matter relating to the political background, of maps which are available in any historical atlas and of some of the less important pictures. The basic text, however, remains unchanged and all the essential battle plans and other illustrations are included. The condensation has been carried out, in consultation with Field-Mashral Montgomery, by Alan Howarth, one of the researchers for the original edition.
This text is the fruit of a lifetime spent in the study and tactics of war by the author, Lord Montgomery. He takes account of the human factor in war and permeates the text with his particular and well-remembered idiosyncrasies