Well, there are certain topics that demand the knowledge of all the people throughout, rather than just the people related to the particular field. One such topic can be military strategies. It is something that isn’t discussed very commonly and more importantly, I don’t think it’s a part of our regular education so it needs to be discussed externally.
As I said earlier, war strategies are something that must be known to the common population too other than the government and military as it might seem to reduce the panic of those confusing times. But if we don’t look at the grim side of this field, then military strategies might be interesting to all the people out there. There are plenty of movies and books that might provide you this particular stimulus. And one thing we must always remember is that military tactics are needed even if the country doesn’t have a war to tend to.
As a reader, I believe there is a certain ring to books because they are based on the most powerful display in the world, the human mind. Also, there are several different types of military strategy books which may be fiction or non-fiction, making the entire thing pretty fascinating. So reading any book on military strategy might be a pretty fascinating affair. This is why I’ve prepared this awesome list of best military strategy books that will blow you away.
12 Must Read Military Strategy Books:
#1. History of Peloponnesian War
This book is written by Thucidydes.
Being the first book on any list may be a different type of pressure and most books placed on top may disappoint the reader but this won’t. If you’re in for a treat of literature then you would definitely love to read this one out. It talks about a war which was long forgotten and a lot of people don’t even know about it. It isn’t just a biography for the war but moreover a strategic analysis.
The anecdotal records preserved in this book along with some stories are classically eternal. This book won’t just talk about military strategies but will also educate about politics and many other faces of war. The Peloponnesian war was really long and going through this book will be a really educational journey for the reader. Try it out for a great reading experience that educates about a long-forgotten war.
#2. The Persian Expedition
This book is written by Xenophon.
It was obviously supposed to be a great book and many of the readers like the literary style of this book. It takes revolutionary leaps in terms of conducting the message and the author, being a student of Socrates, would definitely be a philosophical genius. The book is considered to be leaps and bounds ahead of its time and I believe this too. It goes back to the 400 BC where 10,000 Greek mercenaries were hired by Cyrus the Younger as he tries to steal the throne of Persia for himself.
His attempt is successful and they finally win the battle but Cyrus, even though victorious, turns out to be dead after the fighting is over. This leaves the Greek army in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by dozens of unfriendly and unsympathetic countries. This is when these Greek forces elect Xenophon as their leader and he tells the reader the tale of how they got back to their homes by the bravery and leadership qualities shown by the author. Reading this book will definitely be a new and different experience.
#3. Boyd: The Fighter Pilot who changed the Art of War
This book is written by Robert Coram.
There are just a handful of books available out there with such innovation present in them along with so much of actual knowledge and this book is one of them. The book portrays the actual revolutionary changes brought about by Boyd, which is quite evident by the title itself. The mentioned person was a renowned fighter pilot and his works are a legend.
He didn’t just revolutionize the warfare and other strategies of the air forces but he even went on to inspire the land and the water through the process as well. He had put forward the concept of maneuver warfare which was utilized during the First Gulf War. OODA loop, a method of analyzing and solving problems designed by Boyd, is used in almost all the Boardrooms and even other places. Reading this book will give you the knowledge of a genius who didn’t just revolutionize the armed forces but also changed bureaucracy in the pentagon forever.
#4. How to Profit by One’s Enemies
This book is written by Plutarch.
As we all know, Plutarch was a philosopher in Ancient Greece who was deeply fascinated by mathematics and philosophy. He used to travel a lot and that went extremely pleasant for him as he learned a great deal through the process. This book is a small essay by Plutarch and it isn’t completely on military strategies but would rather provide the reader with life lessons on strategy.
He takes an approach to his message by addressing how educational a person’s enemies and the obstacles faced by him can be. The author tries to make us believe in our personal struggles and the knowledge promoted by them. Plutarch tries to put forward his ideas with the help of this small essay in an ironic yet real topic which helps the reader through an important life message.
#5. The Prince
This book is written by Machiavelli.
Machiavelli is a legend who is known all over the world for his skills. Although his work may sometimes be tricky to read due to his style, which is why a lot of people miss his point and don’t really love his work while others who do understand his work, love it quite a lot. He wasn’t just a skillful writer but a brilliant man who had understood a lot in his time to be grateful for.
Military strategies are something that a reader can definitely learn from Machiavelli because he didn’t believe much in mercy and tries to portray his views quite well. He also puts forward his idea of opportunity via this book and how a person should seize it and he also talks about the importance of faith and religion on the path of glory. His work on this book is extremely marvelous and reading it would make you understand a lot of his ways.
#6. The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece
This book is written by Victor Davis Hanson.
Greeks have always been revolutionary and insightful as their civilization gave us a lot of gifts like physics and even their food is remarkable. So it is quite obvious that a book accommodating the military tactics of the Greek would be interestingly insightful. It isn’t just about the country but the author too is a pretty interesting man in all and reading his book would be something you might remember dearly.
This book accommodates a lot of knowledge about war and military strategies but what it does more is it challenges the preconceptions of the given field. It doesn’t just talk about the basics but it even sparks through the simplest questions that a person might have about wars. He tries to set in different tropes and assumptions that we have about war and tries to answer them. This book must be read at least once in your entire lifetime because Hanson takes the reader through the reality of war rather than fiction.
#7. The Campaigns of Alexander
This book is written by Arrian.
If we talk about military strategies and war and leave out Alexander the Great from the mix then it will be cruelly unfair. As we all know, Alexander was a conqueror unlike anyone else and he was most successful out of all. His military tactics, his understanding of war, his fighting techniques, and everything else was just impeccable when you focus on it.
The author, Arrian, has gifted mankind with this great document along with another important one which would be the lectures of Epictetus, the philosopher. This book talks about the boldness of the great conqueror and how he was so ambitious to conquer the whole world. It talks about the history of his wars and how this warrior was always victorious in every battle he faced. Reading this book might teach you a thing or two about life from the great conqueror himself.
#8. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
This book is written by Jack Weatherford.
Most empires are famous for their brutality, not in a good way though. One such empire is of the Mongols. They were vicious and brutal and never cared about anything other than themselves but one thing about them was that their military tactics and their siege strategies were ingenious. Their simplest strategies could make the enemy weep.
One of the smartest warriors of the Mongols to ever walk this planet was Genghis Khan. He used to intimidate his opponents to a level that they had to surrender before even considering a fight. They were a race that turned war into a science. They used to utilize the scholars and scientists first after conquering a certain kingdom. Their enemies could never see them coming and that is why they can be included in the people whose military strategies were most interesting to encounter. So try giving this book a read for a good and knowledgeable time.
#9. The Book of Five Rings
This book is written by Miyamoto Musashi.
A number of people wonder when The Art of War isn’t included in a list of war books. I agree that it does have certain credibility but I prefer The Book of Five Rings over it. This is because the author, Miyamoto Musashi was a samurai warrior. Even though he wasn’t a soldier or a general, I believe that he must’ve seen a lot of combat in his days so his accounts are much more accurate to actual battles rather than what a civilian thinks.
Musashi has fought one of the best warriors around the world he has somewhat seen an endless state of war which makes him credible along with his book. The best thing out of this book is his teachings of the most common and understandable differences between Perceiving Eye and Seeing Eye. He discusses how we must know our enemies better than their own companions which is what I think is one of the best philosophical approaches to military strategies, which is why this book is a commendable read.
#10. Civil War Stories
This book is written by Ambrose Bierce.
How can we ever forget the Civil War when it comes to war or military strategies? It has been one of the most tragic events that our world had to undergo and leaving it out of the mix would be wrong. It was one of the most stretched out warfare that tensed its surroundings for a major amount of time. Of course, there are other authors like Stephen Crane and Mark Twain, who have written books about the Civil War but they can’t compete with Bierce.
Ambrose Bierce has seen and even fought in the Civil war himself as he was an officer in the army of Sherman. He has put forward his experience into the war in a fictional way which makes it even more disturbing and would spellbind the reader. The book contains one of the best short stories about the Civil war that are available to us. And I think it is extremely essential for any dedicated reader to go through this book in order to know the Civil war deeply.
#11. Napoleon: A Life
This book is written by Paul Johnson.
Napoleon Bonaparte was another great conqueror and was remarkable as a person himself. He had a strong stature and anyone would be foolish to question it. He had to be on this list because of his brilliance and bravery. He always saw the entire aspect of anything before powering through, which is what made him great success throughout human history.
Although most people don’t know a lot about him and this book is just an introductory biography of the legend but it is still great to start with. The stories from his life introduced in this book would be something that everyone should read and his military strategies are ineffably fascinating to read. Napoleon has made his name through history and I think it is beneficial for any reader to know more about him.
#12. Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American
This book is written by B. H. Liddell Hart.
We have already listed a book that accommodates certain stories from an officer who was a part of Sherman’s army, so how could it be fair to not include Sherman himself on this list. And Liddell was a great author and the best one to capture the military genius into a single book. This book would be one of the best books that anyone could read about military strategy as it is the story of Sherman himself.
The author has tried to explain some of the offense strategies of Sherman and I think he has done it with utmost brilliance. Sherman was one of the greatest tactical minds that we have ever seen and this is why reading this book would be a great win-win situation for the readers. They would get to know more about this genius and his military strategies in the war along with a great experience. Reading this book isn’t just recommended because of the success of Sherman in the war but instead due to his overall success throughout the world.
I hope I was able to provide you with fantastic reading material that might help you know more on the topic of military strategy. These books are a part of my personal preference so giving them a chance might not be disappointing at all. If the content was helpful, please leave a like on our post or drop a comment below.