This book covers the equipment, organisation and tactics from Philip and Alexander to the Roman conquest. This isn’t just a book on big spears.
It’s also not a little book. It’s nearly 500 pages of big stabby goodness. Nearly everyone knows the early success of the Macedonian army was the Phalanx, the Pike based infantry formation that simply rolled over anything in its path.
But as the author points out in his book, it was much more that simply having large bodies of men with pike.
The book covers the soldiers armour of the time, his weaponry. There is also a big section on Phalanx drilling, which suggests a level of military professionalism that hadn’t been seen at that time in history.
It also covers how these phalanx were commanded and controlled, as well as the tactics for their use in battle. The author ties in actual battle examples to show how effective the phalanx was.
This is a great book for military historians, as it gives a huge amount of detail into the phalanx and its use. For wargammers, this will help explain how it was used in Battle
The book ends with the Phalanx being overcome by the Roman Legion. The phalanx didn’t adapt with the times, and other Empires developed a new level of professionalism and used different tactics that overcame it. We don’t really see the impact of the large pike formations again until the Swiss use in the Middle Ages.
You can buy the book here from Pen and Sword books.
Please note I was not paid to write this review but was sent a review copy of the book. All comments are my own, and the publishers have not amended the review in any way.