Despite graduating from West Point last in his class, George Custer gained a reputation as a highly effective cavalry officer during the American Civil War. His famous 'last stand' came in 1876 when he was annihilated by a combined force of Indians at Little Bighorn. This colourfully illustrated introduction reviews Custer's career and examines how a humiliating defeat became one of the iconic moments in American history, not least because of its re-enactment in 'Buffalo Bill's Wild West' shows.
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.