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About the Author

Richard Gabriel has Studied Ancient Warfare for Nearly Half a Century and Written more than 50 Books and Over 300 Articles on Various Aspects of the subject. He is also a former Soldier and teacher at various US and Canadian Military Colleges. Each Chapter Contains Professor Gabriel's Thinking on mostrar mais an Aspect of Ancient Military History, Selected For Significance Or Interest. mostrar menos

Obras por Richard A. Gabriel

Genghis Khan's Greatest General: Subotai the Valiant (2004) 61 exemplares, 5 críticas
Scipio Africanus: Rome's Greatest General (2008) 51 exemplares, 3 críticas
Philip II of Macedonia: Greater than Alexander (2010) 35 exemplares, 1 crítica
The Great Armies of Antiquity: (2002) 12 exemplares
Great Captains of Antiquity (2000) 6 exemplares
The new Red legions (1980) 6 exemplares

Associated Works

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Summer 2007 (2007) — Author "The Warrior Prophet" — 8 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



One of the better books I've ever read of this sort, this book managed to be both very readable and pretty interesting, even to someone who doesn't have that much interest in Egypt. More books should be written like this, since they make otherwise inaccessible topics worth reading about.
mrbearbooks | Apr 22, 2024 |
Obviously, Subotai is more enigma than human given the paucity of sources on his life. However, one catches a flashing glimpse of the man in his military campaigns whose legacy echoes down to us in the form of geopolitical shifts today.

Gabriel can be accused of misepitheting the title to his narrative. It should have presciently summed up the man's primacy in planning Genghis Khan's military campaigns rather than mislead readers.

By no means is this a biography of Subotai himself but rather an analytical monologue on his military campaigns. But what campaigns!

A book of biblical importance for all students of statecraft and war.
… (mais)
Amarj33t_5ingh | 4 outras críticas | Jul 8, 2022 |
Richard A. Gabriel's biography of the legendary Mongol general Subotai is a short 141 page narration of some of the great battles and campaigns in the times of Genghis Khan and Ogedai Khan. It is not by any stretch a biography of Subotai and clearly does not draw much from Eastern sources other than The Secret History of the Mongols as much of the detail in the book is about campaigns against the Rus'ians and the Magyars.

To describe this as a biography is almost a complete untruth. There is nothing here about Subotai himself other than a brief description of where he came from and some reasonable hypotheses about how he managed to build-up understanding of Mongol military tactics during his formative years. This is instead a report of campaigns and battles beginning with the conquest of Steppe tribes where Subotai does not appear to play much of a leadership role.

There are four great campaigns described in the book. The campaign against the Chin, the destruction of Khwarzem, the pillage of various Rus cities, and the defeat of the Magyars. Subotai is given credit by Gabriel for victories in all of these campaigns. It is indeed an incredible string of triumphs and Subotai clearly was an unbelievably skilled leader.

The campaign against the Chin takes up about 20 pages and is highlighted by the sack of Yanjing, with the assault from three directions and despite the Great Wall. It is an exceptional piece of military strategy and Gabriel gives it decent analysis, showing how Subotai was able to provide command over enormous distances. The campaign was also where the Mongols learned to use siege weapons, an important skill used devastatingly in later battles.

Although taking up 18 pages, the campaign against Khwarazem feels like a list of Mongol victories rather than much of a description itself. Various cities are completely destroyed, their populations largely erased but that is glossed over as psychological warfare. Great cities and the Persian Empire itself are pretty much reduced to the strategic error made by Khwarazem. The brilliance of Subotai in conquest is staked out in devastating fashion.

It is against the Rus and the Magyars that the more detailed depictions are offered. The mid-winter advance into Rus'ian lands gives the lie to the maxim [[ASIN:B001DU4B10 never launch a land war in Asia]] as Subotai did and was enormously successful. His ability to attack different Rus'ian princelings and keep a concentrated force from gathering against him is incredible. The defeat of the Rus by the Mongols is an important part of world history though Gabriel goes into boring detail later on about various Soviet war doctrines, none of which have much to do with a biography of a Mongol.

Victory over the Magyars is the final piece of the Subotai story. It is a tremendous win by the Mongols and Subotai's generalship was clearly more effective than anything Bela IV could offer in response. The fact the Magyars had become settled and lost much of their Steppe battle approach may well have been a key factory in their defeat. However, in reality is notable that the Mongols got as far as Hungary, just like the Huns and Magyars did before them with very similar approaches to warfare. The Danubian plain is part of the great Eurasian landmass that stretches out to Mongolia in the East. On familiar territory there is really no reason why the superior battle skills of the Mongols should have failed against the Magyars. Whether it would have been true of efforts to push further West into the Holy Roman Empire, Papal States, and France is optimistic speculation.

What is useful about Gabriel's work is his strategic analysis of Subotai's generalship. For those interested in military history it is a useful reminder of how a 13th century force was able to maintain its communications over such an expanse of land and with so many troops in play. It is also a reminder of the importance of agility. Some of the lessons are less applicable today but in pushing for pure victory the importance of defeating an opponent before battle commences is clear. Gabriel does not give much thought to why the Mongols were unable to impose their will on populations and come to dominate places such as China. Gabriel does not really give any analysis of Subotai's role once the Mongol Empire split into various Khanates aside from his retiring on the Danube.

This is a flawed work but it contains useful military analysis as an introduction to some of the great battles of the 13th centuries. It is a strategic overview of the campaigns and while not wholly accurate in its descriptions of what happened it is still a useful introduction. What it is not though is a biography of the man Subotai himself.
… (mais)
Malarchy | 4 outras críticas | Jan 29, 2018 |

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