Top War Strategy Books to Read

by Donald Gray 2 years ago in book reviews

Whether it's beating a friend in Catan, or debilitating your opponents on the battlefield, these are the best war strategy books that will be of the most assistance.

Top War Strategy Books to Read

Much like within the games of chess, or even checkers, strategy is one of the most important concepts upheld in war, for having the upper hand in any bout is key, to not only surviving, but also winning. This doesn't mean having the bigger army or the best guns, it's about having the guts and wherewithal to take extreme risks and to conquer your own inner demons before your foe uses them to your advantage. That's what most of the must read books written by veterans talk about; the depths soldiers go in debilitating their enemies make for some of the hardest decisions.

They're mostly well-known identities, those who wrote the best war strategy books and proliferated from this knowledge in a number of ways. For instance, the notes made by Ulysses S. Grant are some of the most detailed pieces of information that deal with the American Civil War, yet of those strategies recorded from Alexander the Great's long list of conquered foes make for interesting, if not powerful reads in of themselves. Each add their own level of ability, knowledge, and overall level in strategy across a variety of different types of warfare.

Over the course of many decades, The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World is a work of literature unlike any other. It showcases stories and strategy from written accounts way back in 1851, in addition to how the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo spelled a drastic change for both Britain, and Europe as a whole.

What the Battle of Marathon details is the way in which history inadvertently led to the creation of a triumphant Western civilization over that of the East, which then allowed for democracy to rise out of the fold. It's no surprise to find it among the best war strategy books ever conceived, since there's loads of data on a variety of war types and geographical considerations.

Most notably detailing that of the American Civil War, Memoirs and Selected Letters written by the one and only Ulysses S. Grant is among the best war strategy books not only for its detailing of this internal conflict between our own country, but also for the indication of America's own struggle with identity and meaning.

Though others may want a more fleshed-out or even specific formulation in the strategies of war, Memoirs actually paints a different image, since it is written by Ulysses himself and discusses his long life in the military (it was also edited by the one and only Mark Twain).

Some readers even appreciate this book more than they do Art of War, which isn't to say the latter is bad, but that Miyamoto Musashi's powerful work on the evolution of military strategy and how best to enact it in a multitude of ways is among the most unique war strategy books.

This is probably the very best detail you'll get on the overall samurai warrior, as Musashi unearths his own personal and historical presence as one of the most fearsome warriors of the samurai way. He talks about moves and dueling, as well as how to know the difference between a "seeing eye" and a "perceiving eye." He also discusses enemies with almost more respect than his own generals.

It's quite clear this is no book about reconnecting with your spouse, as everyone should know and have read Sun Tzu's The Art of War, as it paints one of the most detailed and eye opening presentations of war strategy as ever conceived and is one that doesn't grow old, since it was written and published in the 5th century, after all.

Besides being among the most influential war strategy books. The Art of War might well be the most educational piece of literature that deals with battling one's enemy (even if that enemy is oneself), for which Sun Tzu makes a point of fighting not only with brawn, but with skill and heart. It's chock-full of various strategies that are, for the most part, immediately applied to real life.

Most consider this an epic classic within the field of war strategy books, but there's a great many opinions one can take on this berth of a collection. Greene combines a variety of concepts from across all kinds of different research and written literature, most of which can then be epitomized into what he calls The 33 Strategies of War.

There is no doubt it's among the best war strategy books, but there's almost too much to take from this gargantuan tale that surrounds strategy, execution, and even campaigning, These lessons can all be applied to practically anything, from finding a job, to launching a product, or even carrying out your own war.

Probably one of the greatest military books of all time, The Prince tells a story of deception like no other. A war general and a political mind of untold dimensions, Niccolo Machiavelli's award winning and praiseworthy detailing of policy, strategy and commitment is among the best war strategy books.

While it may not be the typical form of war strategy, Machiavelli still incites a wide range of ideologies based on how princes should act. He tells much about policy and philosophy (it is regarded as among the first works of modern philosophy after all), but it's actually telling of one's overall quality or ability to command.

No one would ever guess how important the Peloponnesian War really was in context to military strategy and the unveiling of various concepts in the ways of outsmarting your foe to the best of your ability. This is where History of the Peloponnesian War comes into play as one of the best war strategy books, since it shows how the Spartans adapted their eccentric battling styles.

The Peloponnesian War is anything but similar to any of the world wars, yet it still acts as a fundamental and groundbreaking arena upon which two epic identities clashed: Athens and Sparta. There's a wide variety of politics, rhetoric, and even skills on leadership that make this piece more of a work of art than anything else.

Very similar to the likes of Greek Tragedy, or the stories of Thermopylae, and Rome, The Persian Expedition is a gaze into the past, wherein one will not only be welcome to the realities of intelligent strategy, but will also find just how these individuals of the past applied these strategies in their era.

The account of nearly 10,000 Greeks hired by Cyrus in 400 BC is enough to make any fan of strategy fascinated. That's why it's one of the best war strategy books, for it evokes a wide range of concerns, like how troops fight and march in unison, or the way leaders operated as encouragement for the force. While tactics alone are at the heart of this amazing retelling of history, there's much more to learn of our ancient past which can only be found in this book.

As it highlights one of the darkest and gruesome showcasings of war yet, A Rumor of War is a powerful detailing of the ways the Vietnam War taught us on fighting in a variety of different locations, most of which have harsh conditions in the form of ecological layouts and temperamental weather.

Caputo's awesome work also points out that his sole duty as a soldier in the Vietnam War was to kill as many people as possible. There was no general rule of thumb as to objectives and key findings. That's why it's among the best war strategy books, since it details how one man invented his own forms of strategy in the heart of his own jarring destruction.

Rather eccentric to the list of must read war strategy books, Daring and Suffering isn't the same as either The Prince of even Art of War. Pittenger's elongated detail of the creation of the railroad amid Confederate territory and even far more terrifying Native Americans is rather special in terms of literature on military strategies.

So it doesn't explicitly unearth the foundation of strategy, more or less, but it does help one to look into the history of this rather chaotic design and production in the development of our railroad system. These men were captured after being chased for 50 miles and the following tail is something far bigger than even the Trans-American Railroad system.

Thermopylae is actually one of the most intricate forms of strategy ever conceived (besides maybe the influential Trojan horse), despite it being somewhat of a fictional story. Gates of Fire puts these details onto paper like never before, thanks to Steven Pressfield, whose unearthing of secret strategical concepts and ancient forms of warfare have made it among the best war strategy books.

We all know the story, though—at least we should. There's a limited number of Spartans (300 to be exact) and the Persian force looks more like the right hand of God. As the inevitable fall of Thermopylae nears, it's up to the small force of brave warriors to act in the most crucial and defensive way they know possible, if not to survive, then to diminish the Persians as much as possible.

book reviews
Donald Gray
Donald Gray
Read next: My Review of "Da 5 Bloods"
Donald Gray

Politics may be a disgusting battlefield, but it is a necessary vice in our country, and a particular fancy of mine, like productivity and success. These are important facets in the modern world, and must be expounded upon.

See all posts by Donald Gray