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Recommended Books on Eighteenth Century Warfare

If you have navigated this far in, you probably share an interest in this period of history, and are always on the lookout for some worthwhile books to read.

I have collected some of the works which I particularly enjoyed reading into this page.  It's not so much a review, as a mark of approval, since it would take far too long to go back and re-read enough of all of them to make a decent review.

There is no particularly order, and some will prompt me to add a few words, while others will not, but do not take that as any particular measure of quality.  Presence here indicates a book worth looking out for, according to me.
This could easily be the Christoper Duffy appreciate page, so I shall restrain the overload from that particular author.

 Franz Szabo

The Seven Years War in Europe 1756 - 1763

Quite recent, this has provoked a bit of negative nonesense about 'bias' from some quarters - which I completely fail to see anywhere in the text.  I guess some people see bias anywhere if it fails to support their own prejudices.

For me, this is an excellent overview of this pivotal conflict.

Highly recommended


 Christoper Duffy

Instrument of War

2 volumes on the Austrian Army under Maria Theresa - part 2, By Force of Arms, contains all the battles themselves, while this covers the background to the army.


 Christopher Duffy

Russia's Military Way to the West

Long out of print, and very hard to find, this is well worth looking out for if you ever do see it.


 Brent Nosworthy

The Anatomy of Victory

Battle Tactics 1689 - 1763

An excellent detailed study from the drill manuals of the time of the mechanics of 18th century warfare at a tactical level.

Worth adding to your Amazon wish list, since every now and then a cheapie reprint appears for a month or so - which is where I got mine from.

highly recommended


 Christopher Duffy

The Wild Goose and the Eagle

An excellent biography of one of the best generals to serve under Austrian colours in the Eighteenth Century.

Some great ideas for small campaigns in the north of Italy too.      


Christopher Duffy

 The Military Experience in the Age of Reason

An excellent place to start on this period of change in military history.

Some other excellent Duffy's:

Prussia's Glory (Frederick's 1757 Victories)

The Army of Frederick the Great

Eagles over the Alps (Suvarov in Italy)


 Robert Quimby

The Background of Napoleonic Warfare: The Theory of Military Tactics in Eighteenth-Century France

This details the wirtings of French Military theorists through the 18th Century, before concluding with how great their influence was on developing the tactical approach which the French used during the Revolution and Napoleonic periods.

Quite dry in places, especially the semingly intermindable orde profund debate, there are large parts which look like armchair theory at the opening of the century, but this is soon revised in light of actual battle experience to form something recognisable.

The concluding 15 pages are particularly good for showing just how wrong Oman was - even when he was writing.

Subpages (1): Eighteenth Century Books