This is a compilation of readings and links I recommend in the study of strategy, warfare, and military history.
Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd by Frans Osinga
Easily the best and most important book on this list. Touted as the first postmodern military treatise, this book does not disappoint. It is essentially a synthesis and exploration of John Boyd’s briefings throughout his career (the actual briefings themselves can be found here). This book is about strategy but is so much more as Boyd was an avid reader of anything he could relate to strategy, which includes virtually every work of military history but also a lot of interesting science and psychology texts. It includes a sketch of Boyd’s underlying theory, then a sketch of military history in these terms, and then the implication of all this in terms of a fairly cohesive treatise on strategy with exceptional relevance to fields including but not exclusive to military affairs. This book is worth its expensive price tag and more.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The classic treatise on strategy from Ancient China.
Strategy: The Indirect Approach by Basil Liddell Hart
The famous author uses a general but selective survey of Western military history to argue in favour of the indirect approach to strategy. The author’s argument is perhaps over-stated but certainly makes some valid points. Much of the narrative is refreshing in that it applies a new interpretation and analysis to campaigns and wars covered all too often.
On War by Carl von Clausewitz
The classic work on war and politics. This is not meant to be a treatise in its current state, as it was incomplete at time of author’s death, and is rife with misinterpretation and misapplication. It was World War I generals who took Clausewitz at his word with disastrous results. I therefore strongly recommend you read other works which discuss Clausewitz in great depth such as the books by Frans Osinga and John A. Lynn on this list.
The Art of War on Land, Illustrated by Campaigns and Battles of All Ages by Alfred H. Burne
A short yet interesting book on tactics and maneuver if you can get your hands on it.
Society Must Be Defended by Michel Foucault
After a few pages you may be wondering why this book is on this list. It is a dense, at times inaccessible text without the prerequisite knowledge, but I am sure with some helpful note can be of great use. The book is basically a transcript of the author’s lectures at a French university in the 1970s. In this particular case, the author discusses war in a broad sense, including the war between ideas in a discursive sense. One of my favourite passages is about how when William the Conqueror invaded and conquered England, he insisted he not be referred to as the Conqueror because it would imply to the people that he conquered them and there would be unrest; the act of violence that led to this regime was essentially erased. The author argues that all regimes of power are in fact built on violence, an argument difficult to dispute.
The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene
One of the most inspirational books for creating this website. The popular author shows how we can apply lessons from military history to our everyday lives and goals. It is a very enjoyable and accessible read for any reader.
Supplying War: From Wallenstein to Patton by Martin van Creveld
The perfect introduction to the too often ignored topic of logistics. The author focuses on a few examples in modern military history to illustrate how critical logistics are to any military operation. It is essential to consider logistics in discussing any campaign. For example, it is silly to discuss Rommel’s North African campaign without considering the low capacity of coastal parts, which obviously limited the forces available as well as commanders’ courses of action.
Feeding Mars: Logistics in Western Warfare from the Middle Ages to the Present edited by John A. Lynn
A collection of essays focused on logistics in Western warfare.
For Want of a Nail: Impact of War on Logistics and Communications by Kenneth Macksey
Another book which aims to draw attention to logistics in military history. There are so few of these books that this small list is a significant portion of work available for popular consumption.
Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army by Donald W. Engels
An interesting (to me at least) spotlight on the logistics of Alexander the Great’s army during his campaigns. The narrative does not describe the tactics or battles, but instead describe the movements of the army and how it fed and supplied itself. This is an extremely useful book in understanding warfare, as well as planning a canoe trip.
General Military History
Tactical Genius in Battle by Simon Goodenough
The perfect introduction to tactics and a big inspiration for this website. This book covers 20 or so battles from where the commander’s personal tactical genius decided the result. While the book covers battles from across history from Kadesh 1285 BC to the Yom Kippur War 1973, it is organized by complexity, beginning with Epaminondas’ simple tactical shift at Leuctra 371 BC, and ending with Hannibal’s masterpiece at Cannae 216 BC.
History of the Art of War, 4 volumes by Hans Delbruck
Classic series on military history written in 1920. The author makes some bold revisions to some campaigns and battles, based on his extensive knowledge and simple logic. I always consult his work for a distinct view different from typical accounts.
Military History of the Western World, 3 volumes by J.F.C. Fuller
Probably the most famous series on military history of the West.
Encylopaedia of Military History by Richard Ernest Dupuy and Trevor N. Dupuy
Probably the best encylopedia of military history out there.
The Art of Warfare on Land by David G. Chandler
A perfect introductory book to military history. It covers a good mix of the changes in warfare over the ages and universal tactics and maneuvers.
War: The Lethal Custom by Gywnne Dyer
An important book on warfare generally from a psychological-sociological-anthropological view. It dispels a number of myths about warfare, and provides some interesting facts many armchair generals may not have considered, such as the study that found only about a fifth of American riflemen were firing their weapons to kill during World War II firefights against the Germans.
How Great Generals Win by Bevin Alexander
A very popular book on the common principles of the great generals. The book unfortunately spends disproportionate time on more modern generals, which obstructs the book’s intent.
Great Captains, 6 volumes by Theodore Ayrault Dodge
A series featuring extremely long and detailed accounts of the exploits of Alexander the Great, Frederick the Great, Gustavus Adolphus, Julius Caesar, Hannibal Barca, and Napoleon Bonaparte. If you are looking for more information than Dupuy’s Military Life series, look no further. This series also gains high marks for quantity of maps accompanying the narrative.
The West Point Atlas of American Wars, 2 volumes by Vincent J. Esposito and John R. Galvin
A detailed atlas of American wars 1689-1900, 1900-1918, and then another separate atlas for the American Civil War. Any reader can learn a lot from such an atlas.
Latin America’s Wars, 2 volumes by Robert L. Scheina
Definitive two-volume series covering Latin America’s military history from 1791-2001, an immense task. The author provides an excellent overview of a topic many Western readers may not know a lot about. The book is organized chronologically and reads almost like an encyclopedia with some brief articles. Without this book I would have never found the gem that is the Battle of Tuyuti 1866, the Waterloo of Latin America, which I believe is one of my most interesting animations.
A Military History of the Ottomans: From Osman to Ataturk by Mesut Uyar and Edward J. Erickson
Interesting, concise book dispels a lot of Orientalist myths of Ottoman military history.
Seven Roads to Moscow by W.G.F. Jackson
If you are very interested in Russia, this is an enjoyable look. The book explores every invasion of Russia from the Vikings to the Nazis, analyzing the common themes among them. The reader will learn a lot about Russian geography from this one. My only (but major) criticism of this book is that it ignores the German invasion in World War I, dismissing it as not really fitting in the book’s scope because the Russian regime collapsed. However, without this invasion, the book implies that Russia can never be defeated when clearly it could and was. Inclusion of this invasion could have really drawn out some even better analysis of what it means to invade Russia.
Military Life series, 12 volumes by Trevor N. Dupuy
Dozen well-written, concise books with a lot of maps about the military life of a particular general. They include Adolf Hitler, Frederick the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Hannibal Barca, Alexander the Great, Ghenghis Khan, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Gustavus Adolphus, Erich Ludendorff and Paul von Hindenburg,
100 Decisive Battles from Ancient Times to the Present: The World’s Major Battles and How they Shaped History by Paul K. Davis
Since Edward Creasy’s 1851 list of decisive battles, rightly criticized for being Eurocentric, there have been a lot of books out there with similar titles, most of which are intended for mass consumption with little thought or depth and are just an excuse to retell accounts of famous battles every military historian knows already. This book has its issues – it has a distinct recency bias, with 14/100 battles coming from the two World Wars - but is probably one of the best lists of decisive battles. The author attempts to incorporate battles outside the Western world, provides some criteria for why he chose certain battles over others, as well as writing some concise accounts of battles and their historical context.
Battle: A History of Combat and Culture by John A. Lynn
A thought-provoking and important book that brings culture into the study of war, using a diverse set of case studies including ancient Greece and India, medieval Europe, modern Arab-Israeli conflict, and more.The book also features a convincing interpretation of Clausewitz in the context of the decisive battle discourse.
Bring out the magnifying glass because the author has packed this book with a ton of info, covering virtually all time periods and regions. I picked this one up as a bargain book and was impressed with its quality.
Unknown Wars of Asia, Africa and the Americas that Changed History by Steven M. Johnson
If you can get over how many typos there are in this one, it is a fascinating, informative read about little-known wars outside Europe that have had a considerable impact on history. The author’s writing can be a little repetitive but overall provides some excellent narrative that will be sure to spark your interest in these unknown wars and their importance.
If you are looking to learn about Russian military history, this is the book for you. Consistently well-written and informative, this book reads as a history of Russia itself. It also remains relevant to recent events; I used this book when writing my Master’s major research paper exploring why Russia began combat operations in Ukraine in the last year.
Ancient Military History
Warfare in the Classical World: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Weapons, Warriors and Warfare in the Ancient Civilizations of Greece and Rome by John Gibson Warry
One of my most valued sources for ancient battles. It includes lots of quick maps and narratives of battles along with some sober numbers. As the title suggests, the book also covers many aspects of warfare in ancient Greece and Rome, complete with illustrations.
The Great Battles of Antiquity by Robert A. Gabriel and Donald Boose
A massive book on warfare from Megiddo 1479 BC to Constantinople 1453. I really like how the battle includes coverage of the non-Western world and mixes description and analysis very well.
Battles of the Bible, 1400 BC–73 AD: From Ai to Masada edited by Martin J. Dougherty
Two of six books originally published by Amber Books. Each book of this series includes 20 detailed accounts of battles of 10-12 pages, complete with context, pictures, information boxes, and colourful maps.
The Generalship of Alexander the Great by J.F.C. Fuller
Still one of the best accounts of Alexander the Great’s military campaigns. The only thing that bothers me is the strange organization in which descriptions of battles and sieges are essentially appendices at the end of the book instead of just appearing in their proper chronology within the general narrative.
Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy
A long and detailed account of Caesar’s life from an overall solid historian.
Scipio Africanus: Soldier and Politician by H.H. Scullard
One of the better books on Scipio.
Hannibal: Enemy of Rome by Leonard Cottrell
One of the better books on Hannibal.
Greek and Roman Warfare: Battles, Tactics and Trickery by John Drogo Montagu
Great book on a very narrow era and region. The author builds on a previous survey of all battles and campaigns during this period to draw out some general themes. The book also includes some concise yet detailed accounts of a few battles with maps.
Sun Pin: Military Methods by Ralph D. Sawyer
A good text on ancient Chinese warfare and some of the theory aside from Sun Tzu.
Medieval Military History
Armies of the Dark Ages by Ian Heath
Armies of the Middle Ages, 2 volumes by Ian Heath
Concise books packed full of information focusing the tactics and organization of military factions, including tons of images. The books also feature a chapter filled with battle descriptions of a half-page or less. The books are intended to be used to help create war games but are great little books regardless. These books are
Battles of the Medieval World 1000-1500 edited by Kelly Devries
Battles of the Crusades 1097-1444 edited by Kelly Devries
Two of six books originally published by Amber Books. Each book of this series includes 20 detailed accounts of battles of 10-12 pages, complete with context, pictures, information boxes, and colourful maps. These two are probably the best of the series, describing a good mix of battles both obscure and famous.
The Byzantine Wars by John F. Haldon
Exceptionally well-written and thought out history of Byzantine military history.
Khalid ibn al-Waleed: Sword of Allah by A.I. Akram
The essential account of Khalid’s history-changing campaigns to spread the influence of Islam.
Military History of Medieval India by Gurcharn Singh Sandu
Gives some great information on a topic many Western readers may not know a lot about. The book includes some great maps as well.
The Mongol Art of War by Timothy May
Probably the best book on Mongol warfare that I am aware of.
Genghis Khan’s Greatest General: Subotai the Valiant by Robert A. Gabriel
An excellent, page-turning account of Subotai’s military life and campaigns written by an excellent author. Many of his campaigns read like fiction because they are so amazing.
Gunpowder Military History
Age of Battles: The Quest for Decisive Warfare from Breitenfeld to Waterloo by Russell Weigley
Explores the rise of the professional soldier as well as the quest for the elusive decisive battle in Europe 1631-1815. In the mean time, this book provides a lot of great description and analysis of warfare during this time, It also includes sufficient maps, one of my usual complaints of texts.
The Campaigns of Napoleon by David G. Chandler
The definitive work on Napoleon’s campaigns.
A Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars by Vincent J. Esposito and John R. Elting
An expensive but immersive atlas of all of Napoleon’s campaigns. West Point has also published a similarly good atlas of American Wars 1869-1900.
Battles of the Samurai by Stephen Turnbull
An excellent concise survey of samurai battles. The book is extensive in its detailed accounts of a number of battles, but also connects them in terms of themes, tactics, etc.
Battles in Britain and their Political Background, 2 volumes by William Seymour
Good survey of battles in Britain from 1066-1746. The series includes an account of each battle at tactical level as well as their political significance.
Art of Victory: The Life and Achievements of Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov 1729-1800 by Philip Longsworth
The essential and extremely readable account of Suvorov’s life and military achievements. One would be foolish to contribute to any debate regarding who would have won if Suvorov and Napoleon had fought against each other until one has read and digested this book.
Frederick the Great: A Military History by Dennis Showalter
One of the better, more recent books on the great Prussian leader. This book only includes five maps though, which is severely deficient for its scope. I would strongly recommend using another book or website to supplement the maps, but this book does go into pretty good detail I suppose.
Modern Military History
Decisive Battles of the Twentieth Century: Land-Sea-Air by Christopher Dowling Frankland
Covers battles during this period well but needs more maps.
Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy by David Stevenson
Great high-level political-military history of World War I. This book is not about the individual battles or campaigns, but about the larger factors behind them. It is about why and how this war was fought for so long or at all for that matter, and where it fits in history. For this reason, it is primarily organized thematically within the four chronological parts. If you want to read about the battles and campaigns see below.
Concise History of World War I edited by Vincent J. Esposito
The title does not lie, covers all major engagements of World War I. Accounts are brief and focuses on narrative as opposed to in-depth analysis. As an example, the Eastern Front consists of 25 pages; the Brusilov Offensive consists of two. Nonetheless, this is a solid starter book to begin learning about World War I.
Eastern Front 1914-1917 by Norman Stone
Still holds up as the definitive account of the Eastern Front during World War I. It covers politics, strategy, tactics, technology, logistics, virtually all aspects of fighting on the Eastern Front between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, in an extremely concise work.
Great account of the oft-neglected Sino-Japanese War. The book could have benefitted from a few case studies of lower-level tactical engagements to illustrate some of the author’s statements regarding capabilities of the two sides.
To qualify, I have not actually read this book but it is highly recommended by one of my best history professors. The book takes on common beliefs that the Nazis saved the German economy.
Hitler’s Blitzkrieg Wars: The Invasion and Defence of Western Europe, 1939-1940 by J.E. Kaufmann and H.W Kaufmann
One of the better accounts of Hitler’s campaign in the West, vital to my animation of the Battle of France.
When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler by David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House
A solid account of the Russo-German War 1941-1945, of which there are many.
Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War by Evan Mawdsley
Great high-level account of the Russo-German War 1941-1945. This book is big on analysis and strategic narrative, not so big on detailed accounts of battles.
Why the Allies Won by Richard Overy
A provocative book in which the author argues that the Allies won World War II because they “turned economic potential into fighting power, exploiting modernity by integrating technology and logistics into a comprehensive war effort that was sustained by moral force” (Publishers Weekly). To be clear, the author is not arguing that the Allies won because they simply possessed superior economic resources to the Axis, but because they exploited it more effectively. Many wars have been won by the side with fewer resources and so it is important we not assume this is the sole deciding factor in such a complex war.
The Pacific War 1941-1945 by John Costello
Definitive and highly detailed account of the Pacific War excluding the Chinese front.
No End Save Victory: Perspectives on World War II by Robert Cowley
Collection of 44 pretty decent essays on World War II. What is important about this book is that it makes clear that there is rarely a consensus in history. There are many aspects about World War II that historians disagree on, as is true for other wars. Some of the debates in this book are well-known, authors arguing whether strategic bombing was effective or assessing Montgomery as a commander. Some of the authors’ arguments may seem a little more controversial, such as Caleb Carr’s argument that Poland was not a walk-over campaign for the Germans on all fronts.
War in Peace: An Analysis of Warfare since 1945 by Robert Thompson
Covers wars from 1945-1980 really well. It does not offer in-depth analysis of guerrilla warfare specifically, but offers extensive analysis of war generally during this time period.
Postmodern Military History
The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century by Thomas X. Hammes
While not the first author to outline these, it is an excellent book on the four generations of war from Napoleon to present. The author argues that instead of destroying the enemy or occupying his capital, we are in a period of fourth-generation warfare (4GW) in which the goal of combatants and actors is to change the minds of enemy decision-makers. One of the author’s case examples is how Somali insurgents’ relatively small-scale defeat of United States’ special forces in Mogadishu led to the superpower’s withdrawal in 1994.
Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaysia and Vietnam by John A. Nagl
Contrary to criticisms the author misses important details of each war, the author makes clear this is not a book about the wars, but a book about how military organizations learn. There are many important lessons to be applied to other organizations here as well.
War of the Flea: The Classic Study of Guerrilla Warfare by Robert Taber
The title says it all on this one, excellent analysis of guerrilla warfare from 1965.
The New Face of War: How War Will Fought in the 21st Century by Bruce D. Berkowitz
Although it is probably by now a little out-dated, the book is an important exploration of high-tech, network-centric warfare.
Virtuous War: Mapping the Military-Industrial-Media-Entertainment-Network by James Der Derian
An interesting and thought-provoking book on recent developments in military affairs. Among other things, the author argues that the line between the real and virtual is blending together, using the First Gulf War as a convincing example. The author argues that the United States is fighting under a virtuous war doctrine, wherein its use of military force is presented as surgical, overwhelming, and even moral.
On Guerrilla Warfare by Mao Tse-Tung
The classic treatise on guerrilla warfare. Check out Thomas X. Hammes’ book on this list for a thorough discussion of Mao’s writings and their adaptation in wars after 1949 when Mao’s strategy finally paid off and he won China.
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence
The classic, even if tedious and often dull, work on guerrilla warfare based on the British officer’s experience during the Arab Revolt against the Turks during World War I.
Guerrilla: A Historical and Critical Study by Walter Laqueur
One of the most detailed surveys of guerrilla warfare across the ages. It is an important book in that it points out that historically the vast majority of guerrilla movements have failed, a fact sometimes lost in modern debates on insurgency and terrorism. The author argues that guerrilla movements only succeed under certain circumstances, which he explores. Unfortunately, the book was first published in 1977, and republished in 1997, so it is worth reading his newer work which accounts for more recent terrorist campaigns,and how they fit in the historical context. This book however is important for providing that historical context.
What If? Eminent Historians Imagine what Might Have Been, 2 volumes edited by Robert Cowley
Two great collections of essays on how history could have changed throughout history.
Over the Top: Alternate Histories of World War I edited by Peter G. Tsouras
The author is a prolific alternative historian with a vast collection of similar books. This is the first to explore alternative histories of World War I. While I really enjoyed reading all ten alternative history accounts, this is definitely one of his weaker collections. First, all the accounts vastly underestimate the staying power of the nations and militaries involved. While I would argue there were times when history could have deviated and a different or quicker victory could have been achieved with some luck (during the French mutiny in 1917 for example), I am not convinced by many of the points of deviation in this book, such as Greece entering the war sooner and more aggressively and knocking Turkey out of the war. Second, the best alternative histories should be based on the idea that seemingly minute, chance actions or events can have great impact, and therefore deviations should be as small as possible, such as Tsouras’ account in which the only deviation is Pyotr Stolypin not being assassinated in 1911, which affects Russian conduct of the war and the 1916 Brusilov Offensive. Too many of this book’s chapters change too much. For example, the chapter on an alternative Jutland seems to be based on the what if scenario of British admirals being omniscient, not only making all the correct decisions regarding technology before the war but also regarding tactical actions during the battle. That being said, I hope this book begins to reignite alternative histories of World War I.
Hitler Options: Alternate Decisions of World War II edited by Kenneth Macksey
Ten interesting alternative histories of how the European War could have gone much differently, edited by a renowned alternative historian known for his account of the German invasion of Great Britain.
The Moscow Option: An Alternative Second World War by David Downing
A sober and interesting account of an alternative World War II where Hitler is incapacitated temporarily and his generals decide to capture Moscow instead of turning south to encircle Keiv in 1941. I do not entirely agree with the account as I agree with recent accounts of the Eastern Front that give a lot of weight to the effect of the Soviet Smolensk operation and point out that the existence of large intact Soviet forces in the Ukraine would have greatly complicated any advance on Moscow by Army Group Center. However, I greatly enjoy the
Rising Sun Victorious: An Alternate History of the Pacific War edited by Peter G. Tsouras
Ten interesting alternative histories of how the Pacific War could have gone much differently, edited by a renowned alternative historian, known for his account of the German repulse of Allied landings at Normandy.
Cold War Hot: Alternate Decisions of the Cold War edited by Peter G. Tsouras
A collection of essays on how a history of the Cold War could have deviated, sometimes resulting in war.
Publishes three great magazines bi-monthly, all of which I subscribe and look forward to: Strategy & Tactics, World at War, and Modern War. Basically, the magazine publishes a game for each issue’s cover story, so you can read up on a battle, campaign, or war, and then play it out for yourself. The game is obviously extra and can be paid for with your subscription, from the website on a case by case basis, or not at all. I am a little bitter the editors did not include a link to my Waterloo animation in a recent article on the campaign so feel free to tell them how helpful my animations are.
This is the main page for a team of editors and contributors working to make Wikipedia better as a source for military history. If you are interested or knowledgeable in a specific aspect of military history then there are surely pages that could use your expertise and sources. You may also wish to adopt one of the start-class articles and make it your goal of writing the article from scratch, a great way to hone your research and writing skills.
This is a great forum for discussing history, which should introduce you to a lot of new information and viewpoints. It features a subforum devoted entirely to military history. If you wish to help others discover The Art of Battle, add a link to the site in your signature.
This is a great forum for discussing history, which should introduce you to a lot of new information and viewpoints. It features a subforum devoted entirely to military history. This site is famed for hosting the original Top 100 Generals thread and also features an online journal currently looking for contributors. If you wish to help others discover The Art of Battle, add a link to the site in your signature.
This is a great forum for discussing history, which should introduce you to a lot of new information and viewpoints. It features a variety of subforums devoted to military history as well as current events. It is on this forum where the wonderful HistoryNet staff discovered The Art of Battles’ predecessor and offered to host it where you view it now. If you wish to help others discover The Art of Battle, add a link to the site in your signature.
This site features detailed articles regarding a wide spectrum of military history. The site also accepts articles from viewers.
This site features Colonel John Boyd’s invaluable presentations; Boyd is known for his description of the OODA loop but his work provides us with so much more insight. Frans Osinga summarizes Boyd’s presentations and illustrates why Boyd is one of the most important (post)modern strategists in his pivotal work, Science Strategy and War (see Readings).
This site features a ridiculous amount of links on various military subjects. Unfortunately, some of the links are dead but this should not stop you from being trapped in the mass of information for a while.
This is an online military history encyclopaedia with over 4,000 articles, 1,000 of which cover specific battles. The site covers a wide variety of regions and time periods but has excellent coverage of the World Wars, the American Civil War, the Napoleonic Wars, and most recently, the Peloponnesian War.
This site features information on medieval armies of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Unfortunately, its author does not seem to have updated recently and the site is somewhat incomplete. I sincerely hope he returns to continue his project as it has a lot of potential.
This site features maps from ancient warfare to the current wars in the Middle East, all created by the United States Military Academy.
This site features a great number of historical maps. Some maps depict battles, campaigns and wars, while others depict the political context of regions. The site offers other historical content but its best feature is definitely its collection of maps.
This site offers free access to Parameters, the US Army’s Senior Professional Journal, from 1971 to the present. While obviously concerned with American concerns and issues, it features an abundance of valuable insights from various perspectives, especially in regards to postmodern warfare.
Our like-minded friends at this site provide animations for predominantly American wars. It currently features comprehensive animations of the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War, the Pacific during World War II, and Europe during World War II.
This link used to feature animations of some great battles such as Agincourt, Balaclava, Normandy, and Stalingrad. It was a good inspiration to me when I was first starting out and helped me develop the method I use to animate battles today. Why they removed its content is beyond me. Contact the History Channel and harass them in the hopes of bringing it back!
This site features an interactive animation of the Great Patriotic War (better known in the West as the Russo-German War 1941-1945). The animation is the product of an initiative by Russian historians to tell the stories of its many veterans.
This is currently the game I devote the most time and effort to. The game is a turn-based, play by e-mail (PBEM) digital simulation of ancient and medieval battles. It is based on the Field of Glory rules for miniatures and is a fantastic adaptation. It is one of those games that is easy to learn but very difficult to master, with 141 different unit types and 7 expansions. While the graphics are reminiscent of a past time, they are good enough to give you a feel of the various units you command, and the real enjoyment is the depth of the gameplay and the friendly community which organizes leagues and tournaments. It is also only $20 to purchase and try out. Feel free to send me a challenge if you decide to try it out; my Slitherine profile is Jonathan4290.
This is a free turn-based strategy game based on Axis and Allies and Risk board games. The TripleA community has continued to create new maps, based on Ancient Rome, American Civil War, World Wars I and II, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and many more. Check out all the recent map additions here.
This is an extremely impressive real-time strategy simulation of Cold War conventional warfare between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces 1975-1985. It also features 2 expansions and a bunch of downloadable content to bring the game to China and Korea. This is a truly beautiful game which is also extremely detailed and accurate. If you wish to fight modern conventional war at the tactical-operational level, there is simply no better game.
This is a small-scale gaming company which produces an unprecedented amount of board games for its size. Its games are reasonably priced and many are designed for solitaire play. If you buy a game, learn it, and wish to find more opponents, the game is likely featured on Vassal, a free program for online gaming. My favourite game from this company is Ancient Battles Deluxe, albeit with some alterations.
This site hosts modifications for the renowned Total War series for PC, a mix of turn-based and real-time strategy. Assuming you own the particular Total War game being modified, all the modifications are free and fairly easy to install. Modifications may be as minor as new historical battles or as major as a complete overhaul of new context, units and map.
Weider History Group