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Thermopylae 480 BC: Last stand of the 300 (Campaign)
Osprey's study of the most epic battles of the Greco-Persian Wars (502-449 BC). Thermopylae resonates throughout history as a battle involving extreme courage and sacrifice. It was in this rocky pass in northern Greece that Leonidas, king of the Spartans and commander-in-chief of the Greek force, delayed the Persian hordes for three days against overwhelming odds. Finally overcome by treachery, the remaining Spartans refused to retreat in the face of inevitable defeat, being slaughtered by the elite Persian 'Immortals' down to the last man. Nic Fields vividly describes the battle for the narrow gateway to southern Greece as the combined Greek forces held off the army of Xerxes and Leonidas's sacrifice bought time for the retreat and tactical and political regrouping that would save Greece. Full color artwork, detailed maps and dramatic battle scenes complement clear and authoritative text to provide an in-depth analysis of one of the most famous acts of sheer courage and defiance in the face of overwhelming odds in history.
978 1 84176 000 1 CAM 108 Marathon 490 BC
978 1 85532 659 0 ELI 66 The Spartan Army
978 1 84176 358 3 ESS 36 The Greek and Persian Wars 499-386 BC
Proves that Osprey volumes are not all `lightweight' summaries
By R. A Forczyk
- December 21, 2007
One of the most gratifying qualities about Nic Field's Thermopylae 480 BC: Last Stand of the 300, number 188 in Osprey's campaign series, is that it does not try to make any cheap tie-ins with the recent cartoonish film entitled 300. Furthermore, Dr. Fields is not satisfied with merely recounting Herodotus' ancient account of the Battle of Thermopylae for the umpteenth time or re-synthesizing more modern secondary sources, but sets out to write a `good' military history of this legendary battle. The result is a clear success - this volume not only has attractive maps that makes it easy to follow the action but the author genuinely offers fresh insight in a lucid fashion that has somehow eluded other scholars. Indeed, I am tired of some reviewers constantly suggesting that Osprey campaign volumes merely `summarize' battles and that the real historical heavy lifting can only be accomplished through more substantial works. This 96-page volume actually provides 28 pages on the battle,... read more
By Madro Bandaries
- January 13, 2008
Nic Fields has reduced the Thermopylae battle to the shortest, most well-written and concise version that exists today. After the 2007 "movie", which introduced Thermopylae to the US and UK public, (I say introduced, as most people I spoke to, who saw the movie, were so uninformed that they were unaware it was based on a real event. SAD).Fields, to his great credit, does not bind himself to the traditional sources or re-writes as found in recent publications. He takes the material available, reduces it to a readable and entertaining story, giving a overview of what probably happened in the best fashion available. In essence, this is a stand-alone version of Leonidas' sacrifice, which should be a lesson for today. Sadly, we live in a society raised on the belief that self-sacrifice is for someone else. Fields' short book cannot be added to, because in the end, he tells us all that is known, and in splendid fashion.
Historic Last Stand
By David J. Borsheim "History Nut"
- January 7, 2008
"Thermopylae 480 BC" is probably the best available introduction to this famous battle that money can buy. Like the other books in Osprey Publishing's Campaign series, the material is thoroughly researched including a background history of events leading to the Persian invasion.
Dr. Nic Fields provides this little history book with a vivid narrative while Steve Noon's illustrations help provide a feeling for being there. A copious collection of photographs and maps completes this most effective presentation.
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