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Books > History > Americas > United States > 0306806533
  1. Amateurs, To Arms!: A Military History Of The War Of 1812 (Major Battles & Campaigns)
    Amateurs, To Arms!: A Military History Of The War Of 1812 (Major Battles & Campaigns)
    Amateurs, To Arms!: A Military History Of The War Of 1812 (Major Battles & Campaigns)
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  2. Amateurs, To Arms!: A Military History Of The War Of 1812 (Major Battles & Campaigns)

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (24 reviews)
    Price R645.00

Product Description

  • ISBN13: 9780306806537
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
Additional Information

Begun in ignorance of the military reality, the War of 1812 was fought catch-as-catch-can with raw troops, incompetent officers, and appallingly inadequate logistics. The odds against the American fighting forces—woefully unrealistic preparations and expectations, British military might, a feckless Congress and administration, the treason of many citizens who fed and praised the enemy—were overwhelming. American soil was invaded along three frontiers, the national capital was occupied and burned, and the secession of the New England states loomed as a definite possibility. Amateurs, to Arms! examines in succession the campaigns of "Mr. Madison's War": the U.S. invasion of Canada; the key naval battles on Lakes Erie and Champlain; the British invasion via the Chesapeake Bay and its repulse at Baltimore; and the campaign leading to the American victory at New Orleans, fought and won after the war was over. Elting describes the planning and preparations (or lack of them) for the campaigns, tells how they were fought, and analyzes the battlefield performance of both sides. Specially prepared maps and numerous illustrations complement Elting's vivid, penetrating account of how the young republic fought and nearly lost its "Second War for Independence."

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John R. Elting
Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press
19 photographs, 16 maps
19 photographs, 16 maps
Da Capo Press
Da Capo Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This is an excellent history of the War of 1812, strictly from the military point of view. It does not go into the political aspects or the causes of the war, except in passing. Elting emphasizes the numerous blunders of inexperienced militia commanders. Some of the "regular army" officers were just about as bad.
THE TWO TAKEAWAYS ARE: One, don't declare a war unless you are actually prepared to wage it (a bit late to tell James Madison), and, two, it is vital for a nation of any size to have well trained, professional soldiers.
WHO'S THIS BOOK FOR? Military history buffs, professional officers, and those who want accounts of the battles and campaigns as a good compliment to books which concentrate on the war declaration debate, partisan politics, or international diplomacy.
WHO'S THIS BOOK NOT FOR? Those who don't care for military history, preferring politics and personality (biography).
Colonel John Elting was a wonderful writer, but an opinionated one who brilliantly skewered historical figures he did not like. His writing rippled with passion and a wry, sardonic sense of humor. His analysis was always perceptive and his prose always muscular and decisive. I love it, but he certainly spawned a few well placed detractors. The War of 1812 represents the nadir of American military prowess and Elting does not hesitate to point this out frequently. The USA was never less prepared for a war that almost did not happen. This concise history is the best book I have read about the war that actually explains WHY, rather than merely recounting events. If you want a bland, plodding, thoroughly comfortable recitation of events, this is not the book for you. But if you seek a smart, amusing, incisive analysis delivered by the hand of a master, then this book is a must read.
Excellent! John Etling writes with a clear, emminently readable style and occasionally allows a very sophisicated dry wit to surface as well. He gives detail without bogging the reader down in minutiae. This is basically a military history, but he never neglects the personalities of the protagoninsts or the political background for events. Indeed some of the most interesting passages shed light on events and/or people you only thought you knew all about. After reading Henry Adams account of the war, reading "Amateurs to Arms" was almost like a vacation. If you read one book on the military history of the War of 1812, this should be it.
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