Alexander the Great: Conqueror, Commander, King (Casemate Short History)
Paperback – January 18, 2019
Much of Alexander’s success can be traced to the Macedonian phalanx, a close-ordered battle formation of sarissa-wielding infantry that proved itself a war-winning weapon. The army Alexander inherited from his father was the most powerful in Greece, highly disciplined, trained and loyal only to the king. United in a single purpose, they fought as one. Alexander recognized this and is quoted as saying, “Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.” Cavalry was also of crucial importance in the Macedonian army, as the driving force to attack the flanks of the enemy in battle. A talented commander, able to anticipate how his opponent would think, Alexander understood how to commit his forces to devastating effect, and was never defeated in battle. He also developed a corps of engineers that utilized catapults and siege towers against enemy fortifications. Alexander led from the front, fighting with his men, eating with them, refusing water when there was not enough, and his men would quite literally follow him to the ends of the (known) world, and none of his successors was able to hold together the empire he had forged. Although he died an early death his fame and glory persist to this day.
This concise history gives an overview of Alexander’s life from a military standpoint, from his early military exploits to the creation of his empire and the legacy left after his premature death.
About the Author
Born in 1953, John Sadler has law degrees from Northumbria University and the University of Westminster. A part-time lecturer in military history at Sunderland University Centre for Lifelong Learning, he is currently studying toward a PhD in history and is soon to begin an Imperial War Museum Fellowship in Holocaust Studies. He is the author of over 20 books, including Scottish Battles, published by Birlinn in April 2010. He is married with two children and lives in Newcastle.
Rosie Serdiville is a social historian and re-enactor with a particular interest in the wider impact of war on civilian populations. She delights in spending time in archives: some of the most interesting characters in this volume have emerged from archival materials.