Warriors: Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield by Max Hastings - review by Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes

Bellicose and Brave

Warriors: Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield


HarperCollins 384pp £20

Readers of Max Hasting’s most recent book, Armageddon, will not need reminding that long before becoming a newspaper editor he was a remarkably fine military historian. Having laid down the editorial red pencil he has returned to his first love, and we should be grateful for it. Warriors, as he declares at the very beginning, is concerned with people rather than things, and with men (and one woman) who actually do the business of battle. 'Warriors', he notes 'are unfashionable people in democratic societies in periods of peace.'

This book is about a collection of warriors - most of them soldiers, but including one sailor and two airmen - who participated in conflicts ranging from the Napoleonic Wars to the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. They are very much a mixed bag, with heroes (conventional and accidental), near-psychopaths, misfits, and

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