The Last Full Measure
How Soldiers Die in Battle
Although the Japanese samurai prioritized agility over protection in contrast to the heavily armoured European knight, both warriors were motivated by honour and status, seeking combat with opponents of a similar caste. This book investigates how warfare has changed throughout history, how different weapons and different tactics have sealed the fate of soldiers of all ranks, from pre-history to the present day, as well as the psychological and cultural factors that have convinced them to fight and die.
Rome and the Sword
How Warriors and Weapons Shaped Roman History
Simon James takes an archaeologist’s approach to the study of Rome’s military history, telling the story of the sword – ‘the literal cutting edge of Roman power’ – from early times to the fall of the western empire. To supplement the battle narratives of ancient historical writers, he explains developments in sword-smithing techniques and military ideology, considers cultural reasons for changes in hardware and tactics and helps the reader to visualize the direct human experience of the ‘myriad individual acts of mayhem’ in battle.