Throughout history, from Kublai Khan's attempted invasions of Japan to Rommel's desert warfare, military operations have succeeded or failed on the ability of commanders to incorporate environmental conditions into their tactics. In Battling the Elements, geographer Harold A. Winters and former U.S. Army officers Gerald E. Galloway Jr., William J. Reynolds, and David W. Rhyne, examine the connections between major battles in world history and their geographic components, revealing what role factors such as weather, climate, terrain, soil, and vegetation have played in combat. Each chapter offers a detailed and engaging explanation of a specific environmental factor and then looks at several battles that highlight its effects on military operations. As this cogent analysis of geography and war makes clear, those who know more about the shape, nature, and variability of battleground conditions will always have a better understanding of the nature of combat and at least one significant advantage over a less knowledgeable enemy.
A remarkable guide to nature's effects on the conduct of military operations... Accessible to the layman but still of considerable utility for the expert, this book belongs on the shelf of any serious student of military affairs. * Foreign Affairs * This work... underscores the importance of weather, terrain, and soil type on military operations... An intriguing perspective that goes beyond instructing plebes to engaging recreational readers of military affairs. * Booklist * Military geographer Winters and his contributors use specific case studies to illustrate the importance in military operations of five elements of physical geography: weather, climate, terrain, soil, and vegetation. The range is impressive and the examples are well chosen... These case studies will usefully expand the limited sense of military geography possessed by most readers of military history. * Publishers Weekly * An excellent book and an important addition to the library of serious students of the military art... Well written, educational, multidisciplinary, and interesting. * Parameters *