This compendium fleshes out the century's best known military mishaps. In a series of short chapters, Coffey shows how even relatively small misjudgments have become historical turning points, such as how a driver's poor knowledge of Sarajevo's streets in 1914 helped lead to World War I. He reminds us of some of the bigger blunders, including detailing how the Treaty of Versailles laid the groundwork for the Second World War. More recent events receive coverage, too. Here is the Bay of Pigs and Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Also underscored are the unexpected ways things go wrong, either from the design of a weapon, friendly fire, or complacency.
This book is the official companion volume to the riveting History Channel 26-part documentary series.
"Like the best general history volumes, Coffey's book, in clean, muscular prose, expertly informs as it artfully entertains." (
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- Rolf Bonde Bondeson
Good but not great