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This book is in the public domain, so it can be downloaded for free from several websites. This translation (English from the French original) was first published in 1921. The printed version has 242 pages.

The author of this book is considered to have been a talented military analist and military historian. He was a colonel in the French army and died of wounds sustained in battle in 1870. So this book has to be written no later than 1870.

I do recommend this book to anyone who is interested in military history, history in general, or in military strategy.

CONTENTS

FRONTISPIECE--PORTRAIT OF COLONEL ARDANT DU PICQ
FOREWORD
PREFACE
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE
INTRODUCTION
A MILITARY THINKER
RECORD OF MILITARY SERVICE OF COLONEL ARDANT DU PICQ
EXTRACT FROM THE HISTORY OF THE 10TH INFANTRY REGIMENT

PART ONE: ANCIENT BATTLE

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER
I MAN IN PRIMITIVE AND ANCIENT COMBAT
II KNOWLEDGE OF MAN MADE ROMAN TACTICS; THE SUCCESSES OF HANNIBAL;
THOSE OF CAESAR
III ANALYSIS OF THE BATTLE OF CANNAE
IV ANALYSIS OF THE BATTLE OF PHARSALUS AND SOME CHARACTERISTIC
EXAMPLES
V MORALE IN ANCIENT BATTLE
VI HOW REAL COMBATANTS ARE OBTAINED AND HOW THE FIGHTING OF TO-DAY
REQUIRES THEM TO BE MORE DEPENDABLE THAN IN ANCIENT BATTLE
VII PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY AND WHAT IS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE IT

PART TWO: MODERN BATTLE

I GENERAL DISCUSSION

1. Ancient and Modern Battle
2. Moral Elements in Battle
3. Material and Moral Effect
4. The Theory of Strong Battalions
5. Combat Methods

II INFANTRY

1. Masses--Deep Columns
2. Skirmishers--Supports--Reserves--Squares
3. Firing
4. Marches--Camps--Night Attacks

III CAVALRY

1. Cavalry and Modern Appliances
2. Cavalry Against Cavalry
3. Cavalry Against Infantry
4. Armor and Armament

IV ARTILLERY
V COMMAND, GENERAL STAFF AND ADMINISTRATION
VI SOCIAL AND MILITARY INSTITUTIONS; NATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS

APPENDICES

I MEMORANDUM ON INFANTRY FIRE

1. Introduction
2. Succinct History of the Development of Small Arms, from
the Arquebus to Our Rifle
3. Progressive Introduction of Fire-Arms Into the Armament
of the Infantryman
4. The Classes of Fire Employed with Each Weapon
5. Methods of Fire Used in the Presence of the Enemy;
Methods Recommended or Ordered but Impractical
6. Fire at Will--Its Efficacy
7. Fire by Rank Is a Fire to Occupy the Men in Ranks
8. The Deadly Fire Is the Fire of Skirmishers
9. The Absolute Impossibility of Fire at Command

II HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS

1. Cavalry (An Extract from Xenophon)
2. Marius Against the Cimbrians (Extract from Plutarch's
"Life of Marius")
3. The Battle of The Alma (Extract from the Correspondence
of Colonel Ardant du Picq)
4. The Battle of the Alma (Extract from the Correspondence
of Colonel Ardant du Picq)
5. The Battle of Inkermann (Extract from the Correspondence
of Colonel Ardant du Picq)
6. The Battle of Magenta (Extract from the Correspondence of
Colonel Ardant du Picq)
7. The Battle of Solferino (Extract from the Correspondence
of Colonel Ardant du Picq)
8. Mentana (Extract from the Correspondence of Colonel Ardant
du Picq)

As an sample I copy a bit from the chapter II (on Hannibal):

[...]
A mass of seventy thousand men surrounded and slaughtered by
twenty-eight thousand foot soldiers, or, counting Hasdrubal's cavalry,
by thirty-six thousand men, by half their number.

It may be asked how seventy thousand men could have let themselves be
slaughtered, without defense, by thirty-six thousand men less
well-armed, when each combatant had but one man before him. For in
close combat, and especially in so large an envelopment, the number of
combatants immediately engaged was the same on each side. Then there
were neither guns nor rifles able to pierce the mass by a converging
fire and destroy it by the superiority of this fire over diverging
fire. Arrows were exhausted in the first period of the action. It
seems that, by their mass, the Romans must have presented an
insurmountable resistance, and that while permitting the enemy to wear
himself out against it, that mass had only to defend itself in order
to repel assailants.
[...]
07/21/2013
This book has 1810 locations on Kindle or 135 pages in the printed edition, no pictures, the table of contents is not active. At the end of the book 1682-1810 there is a 'Index op [sic] Names Cited', this is a very long list of names (8% of the book!) that is not active and has no way of telling you where to find that person in this book, so it does not refer to a chapter, page or location.

The information in this book is not reliable, just 2 examples:

-It is not generally agreed that there were 2 Homers as this author claims at location 127. The discussion about Homer is still going on and this discussion even has a name: 'Homeric Question'. It is not known whether there was just one Homer who wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey, or whether there were 2 Homers (one who wrote The Iliad and the other the author of The Odyssey), or whether both poems are the result of the joining together of many works by several poets.

-Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam was not a German as this books claims at location 859. Erasmus was born in 1666 or 1667 or 1669, almost certainly in Rotterdam, the Netherlands - died in Bazel, Switzerland on the 12th of July 1536. He was a priest, author, theologist and philosopher. He was a humanist and one of the most important Dutch philosophers ever.

This book is not only not reliable, it is also boring to read: it reads like a list of names of authors and the books they wrote. It is a bit 'lifeless'. The information given is often not very helpfull, I copy the entry 'Leibnitz' from location 868 below, so you can see for yourself.

(quote, location 868:)
LEIBNITZ.--German poetry of his period, possessing neither originality
nor power, could only interest the erudite and the searchers. The domain
of prose is more enthralling. Leibnitz, who wrote in Latin and French,
and even in German, is pre-eminently the great thinker he is reputed
to be; but though he never possessed nor even pretended to possess
originality in style, he is nevertheless highly esteemed for the purity,
limpidity, and facility of his language.
(unquote)

(Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (also spelled as Leibnitz), born in Leipzig on the 1st July 1646 - died in Hannover on the 14th November 1716. Leibnitz was one of greatest thinkers of the 17th century. Leibnitz was one of the three great rationalists of the 17th century, the other two were Baruch/Benedictus Spinoza and René Descartes. Leibnitz was a versatile mathematician, philosopher, logician, fysicist, historian, jurist and diplomat. He developed the infinitesimal calculus at the same time as Isaac Newton, but independently from Newton. His refinement of the binary number system is the foundation of most digital computers. Mei)
08/17/2012
This is a little book riddled with faults, it has no pictures in it. There is some background information about Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 or 1607-1669), but a lot of the information given is not correct (see below). This e-book edition does not have the pictures in it that the printed edition had, making this almost like a picturebook wihtout the pictures.

I do not recommend to download this book, it is not reliable. It's better to look up information about Rembrandt online (for example in the famous online encyclopedia), that information is more reliable, better-written and does have illustrations. If you read this book you will get a lot of faulty information, so it is better not to read it.

Some (not all) examples of faults in this booklet:

-At location 366 the author states that Rembrandt may have married his mistress Hendrickje Stoffels, the author is the only person to suggest this. It is generally accepted they were not married (proof of this is the trouble Hendrickje got into with the church-authorities because she lived as a 'prostitute');

-Rembrandt and his wife Saskia van Uylenburg did not get 3 children (as stated on loc. 367) but 4, only one of these -Titus- survived childhood;

-Rembrandt and Hendrickje Stoffels did not have 2 daughters (as this book says at loc. 367) but only one: Cornelia;

-Rembrandt studied for 3 years (1619-1622) as an appentrice in the studio of Pieter Lastman, and not for just a few months as this bookle claims at location 366;

-the correct spelling is: the 'Rijksmuseum' (in Amsterdam), not Ryks Museum as it is spelled at locations 412, 438 and 524 of this book;

-At several locations the name of his wife is misspelled, it should be spelled as: Saskia van Uylenburg (and not as Saskia van Uylenborch as it it spelled in this book);

-The author writes at location 102 that Rembrandt died in obscurity, but in the year of his death he had gotten a commission for an altarpiece by Cosimo III de' Medici (14 August 1642 - 31 October 1723, who reigned from 1670 to 1723 as Arch Duke of Tuscany), who had even visited Rembrandt in Amsterdam two years previously. This does not sound like 'obscurity' to me.

-The author writes at locations 438 and 524 that he likes the painting 'The Syndics of the Cloth Hall'(Dutch titel: 'De Staalmeesters') beter than 'the Night Watch' (Dutch title: 'De Nachtwacht' or 'Het korporaalschap van Frans Banning Cocq en luitenant Willem Ruytenburgh maakt zich gereed'), I believe very few people will agree with the author, I certainly don't.

As a sample I copy a bit from location 366 and enclose the correct facts by brackets:

[...]to study painting under Swanenburch, and later in the studio of Lastman at Amsterdam. After a few months (incorrect: it was 3 years, form 1619 till 1622)) with Lastman he returned to Leyden, "to practise painting alone and in his own way." So much for his schooling. At the age of twenty-one he produced a picture called St. Paul in Prison, and Gerard Dou became his pupil. In 1631 he left Leyden and settled in Amsterdam. In 1634 he married Saskia van Uylenborch (correct spelling is: Uylenburg), who bore him three children (not correct: they had 4 children, three died as infants, only Titus lived long enough to reach adulthood), and Titus was the youngest. Some years later he had two daughters by his servant, Hendrickje Stoffels (not correct: they had only one child, a daughter named Cornelia). Perhaps he married her (there is no 'perhaps' about it, he did not marry her and she got in trouble with the church-officials, she was accused of 'living as a prostitute'; the only reason Rembrandt himself did not get in trouble with the church-authorities is that he was no official member of the church). She was a kind, good soul, faithful and loyal to her master. His friends do not seem to have disapproved of this irregular union, but the Consistory of her church summoned Hendrickje before them and forbade her to communicate.
[...]
08/13/2012
This translation by R. H. M. Elwes of Baruch/Benedictus Spinoza's work 'Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata' has 3493 locations on a Kindle, this is app. 250 pages in print. This edition is a very readable translation of the 'Ethica' and I did not find any typo's or other problems with this version. There are very few notes in this edition (there are 17 notes at loc. 3485-3493), no bibliography, no introduction, no epilogue. I recommend the 'Ethica' to anyone who is interested in Spinoza or in philosophy in general.

Baruch Spinoza was born in 1632 in Amsterdam to a Portugese-Jewish family. Baruch was expelled from the Jewish congregation in 1656, the exact reason is not known, the reason given being: '[...] evil opinions and acts[...]'. He changed his name into Benedictus. He died in 1677 possibly of lung-problems.

One of the most important parts of Spinoza's philosophy is that according to him God is visible in Nature, God and Nature are two names for the same reality. He was a rationalist and only believed in explanations based on reason. There are many interpretations of Spinoza's ideas about God: from atheist to pantheist. Spinoza also wrote about freedom, politics, true knowledge and more. In his political philosophy he states that the power in a state should never be given to 1 single person, because that would guaranteed lead to misuse. Other works by Spinoza are also available as free e-books online.

I give a sample below:

(the first few lines from 'The Ethica', location 6):

PART I. CONCERNING GOD.

DEFINITIONS.

I. By that which is self--caused, I mean that of which the
essence involves existence, or that of which the nature is only
conceivable as existent.

II. A thing is called finite after its kind, when it can be
limited by another thing of the same nature; for instance, a
body is called finite because we always conceive another greater
body. So, also, a thought is limited by another thought, but a
body is not limited by thought, nor a thought by body. [...]
08/11/2012
This book is well-written and gives information about some of the most important artists in history (Titian, Veronese, and others), and also gives some background information on the history of the time those artists lived in. The e-book versions do not have pictures. Recommended to anyone who is interested in art history.

The contents of this book:

Peface
I. VALUE OF VENETIAN ART
II. THE CHURCH AND PAINTING
III. THE RENAISSANC
IV. PAINTING AND THE RENAISSANCE
V. PAGEANT PICTURES
VI. PAINTING AND THE CONFRATERNITIES
VII. EASEL PICTURES AND GIORGIONE
VIII. THE GIORGIONESQUE SPIRIT
IX. THE PORTRAIT
X. THE YOUNG TITIAN
XI. APPARENT FAILURE OF THE RENAISSANCE
XII. LOTTO
XIII. THE LATE RENAISSANCE AND TITIAN
XIV. HUMANITY AND THE RENAISSANCE
XV. SEBASTIANO DEL PIOMBO
XVI. TINTORETTO
XVII. VALUE OF MINOR EPISODES IN ART
XVIII. TINTORETTO'S PORTRAITS
XIX. VENETIAN ART AND THE PROVINCES
XX. PAUL VERONESE
XXI. BASSANO, GENRE, AND LANDSCAPE
XXII. THE VENETIANS AND VELASQUEZ
XXIII. DECLINE OF VENETIAN ART
XXIV. LONGHI
XXV. CANALETTO AND GUARDI
XXVI. TIEPOLO
XXVII. INFLUENCE OF VENETIAN ART
INDEX TO THE WORKS OF THE PRINCIPAL VENETIAN PAINTERS
INDEX OF PLACES

The index of places at the end of the book is a list of art works and where they were at the time of writing. This list is alphabetical. Works of art are mentioned under the name of the artist. Because of the age of this book some of the works of art may no longer be in the place they were at the time this book was written.
08/09/2012
This book is written for children (I think the age-group 10-16 years olds). It was first published in 1908, so it is now in the public domain and available for free as an e-book from several sites. The printed editions have pictures, the e-books don't. There is an active table of contents. I did find some typo's in this book, but they were not really the problem. The big problem with this book is it's unreliability, see below. Another problem is the style of writing, I found this book to be 'unreadable', I copy a bit from this book at the bottom of this review so you can see the style this book is written in for yourself.

The life histories of Italian painters in this book are based on Giorgio Vasari's 'Vite de' più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a' tempi nostri' (= 'Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects'), first published in 1550. Vasari did not do any research and his life-histories of artists are for a big part made-up by himself. The biographies of his contemparies are thought to be more reliable.

Because this book by Amy Steedman is based on Vasari it is full of anecdotes and gossip and is not reliable. If you want to know more about Italian artists, you want to know that what you're reading is true, and not just a mix of myths and truth, as this book is. Not everything that is written in this book is wrong, the problem is you need to differentiate between fictive and truthful; to make this differentiation you will need another book, one that does have the facts correct. Much better to get a reliable book from the start instead of this one by Steedman.

For example, if you just look at the dates of birth and death of the painters given in this book, you will find many mistakes:

-the year of birth of Giotto stated by Steedman is 1276, but it is not known whether he was born in 1266 or 1267;
-Fra Angelico was not born in 1387 as Vasari and Amy Steedman claim: Fra Angelico was born circa 1395;
-Fra Angelico did not die in 1466 as this book claims, he died on the 18th of February 1455.
-Fra filippo Lippi was not born in 1412 but in 1406;
-Sandro Botticelli was not born in 1446 but in 1445 (and he did not die in 1610 (!) but in 1510);
-Filippino Lippi was born circa 1457, not in 1467 (and he did not die in 1604, but in 1504);
-Pietro Perugino was born c. 1446/1450, so it is not correct claiming he was born in 1446, this is possible but not sure;
–Pietro Perugino died in 1523, not in 1624;
-Leonarde da Vinci lived from April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519, not from 1462 till 1619;
-Raphaels year of birth is correct, his year of death is 1520, not 1620;
-Michelangelo lived from 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564, and not 1476-1664;
-Andrea del Sarto lived 1486–1530, not 1487-1631;
-Giovanni Bellini c. 1430–1516, not 1426 - 1616;
-Vittore Carpaccio c. 1465 – 1525/1526, not 1470?-1619;
-Giorgione, born Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco, lived form circa 1477/1478 – 1510, and not from 1477-1676;
-The correct date (or even year) of birth of Titian is still hotly debated among art-histrorians, years mentioned: c. 1488/1490, 1477, 1490. Most art-historians think circa 1488/1490 is correct. So the 1477 mentioned in this book is a minority view. Titian died in 1576, not in 1667;
-Tintoretto (real name Jacopo Comin) lived form 29th of september 1518 till 31st of May 1594, and not from 1662-1632 (sic!).

Above are just the mistakes in the dates of birth and death, imagine how many more mistakes there are in this book.

The contents of this book (can be found at location 29-60):

ABOUT THIS BOOK (introdruction by the author)
GIOTTO, . . . BORN 1276, DIED 1337
FRA ANGELICO, . . " 1387, " 1466
MASACCIO, . . . " 1401, " 1428
FRA FILIPPO LIPPI,. . " 1412, " 1469
SANDRO BOTTICELLI,. . " 1446, " 1610
DOMENICO GHIRLANDAIO, " 1449, " 1494
FILIPPINO LIP . . " 1467, " 1604
PIETRO PERUGINO, . " 1446, " 1624
LEONARDO DA VINCI,. . " 1462, " 1619
RAPHAEL, . . . " 1483, " 1620
MICHELANGELO, . . " 1476, " 1664
ANDREA DEL SARTO, . " 1487, " 1631
GIOVANNI BELLINI, . " 1426, " 1616
VITTORE CARPACCIO,. . " 1470? " 1619
GIORGIONE, . . " 1477? " 1610
TITIAN, . . . " 1477, " 1676
TINTORETTO, . . " 1662, " 1637
PAUL VERONESE, . . " 1628, " 1688


As a sample of the way of writing I will copy two bits from the chapter on Michelangelo (location 1259 and location 1273) below. If all the mistakes in this book has not made you decline this book yet, than the style of writing might.

(Lodovico Buonarroti was the father of Michelangelo.)
[...]
Now the day on which the baby was born happened to be not only a
Sunday, but also a morning when the stars were especially favourable.
So the wise men declared that some heavenly virtue was sure to belong
to a child born at that particular time, and without hesitation
Lodovico determined to call his little son Michael Angelo, after the
archangel Michael. Surely that was a name splendid enough to adorn any
great career.
[...]
...when he was fourteen years old, Michelangelo was sent to study as a pupil in the
studio of Master Ghirlandaio.

It was just at the time when Ghirlandaio was painting the frescoes of
the chapel in Santa Maria Novella, and Michelangelo learned many
lessons as he watched the master at work, or even helped with the less
important parts.

But it was like placing an eagle in a hawk's nest. The young eagle
quickly learned to soar far higher than the hawk could do, and ere long
began to 'sweep the skies alone.'
[...]

08/08/2012
This free e-book edition is the third edition and was first published in 1909, the first edition was first published in 1896. The same author also wrote a book 'The Venetian painters of the Renaissance', this book is also available for free online.

This book is well written and gives information about some of the best and most famous artist who ever lived, for example: Leonarde da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giotti, Ridolpho Ghirlandajo, Fra Filippo Lippi, and more. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in art history.

The contents of this book:

THE FLORENTINE PAINTERS OF THE RENAISSANCE 1

INDEX TO THE WORKS OF THE PRINCIPAL
FLORENTINE PAINTERS 95

INDEX OF PLACES 189

The index to the works of the principal Florentine artist is in alphabetical order, it also mentions where the piece of art was at the time the author wrote this book (in 1909). Some of the works will be no longer in the place mentioned in this book.

The index of places at the end of the book is a list of art works and where they were in 1909. This list is alphabetical. Works of art are mentioned under the name of the artist.
08/06/2012
This book by the Flemish author Hendrik Conscience (1812-1883) was first published in 1838. This German language edition was first published in 1919, the printed edition has 424 pages, the ebook edition has 5570 locations.

This is the story of the 'Battle of the Golden Spurs' (also known as the Battle of Courtrai) which was fought on July 11, 1302, near Kortrijk (Courtrai) in Flanders. The background is a revolt by the Flemish against their French rulers. In this historical novel there is also a lovestory as a second theme. Conscience did extensive historical research before writing this book, he does make one mistake though: he writes in this book that Robrecht III of Béthune fought with the Flemings, while in reality the real historical Robrecht imprisoned was by the French.

Hendrik Conscience was a convinced Fleming (even though his father was French, his mother was Flemish). His sympathy for the Flemings is very clear in this book: the Flemings are the good guys and the French are the bad guys (but the worst are the Fleminsh traitors). The language is a bit dated, the book has a slower pace than modern books. The battle itself is descibed with a lot of details, it is very bloody, This book is a historical novel, based on real facts, that is entertaining and worth your time. I recommend this book to anyone who likes historical stories.

08/05/2012
This is a biography of the famous German artist Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98-1543) written by Beatrice Fortescue, first published in 1904. The printed edition had 46 illustrations, this ebook-edition has no illustrations. The printed edition has 139 pages, this ebook-edition has 2302 locations. This book is in the public domain and can be downloaded for free from several sites. There is a free e-book version with the illustrations available online (Gutenberg).

Hans Holbein is an interesting painter, not just because of his art but also because of his life and the people he knew. Unfortunately this book is poorly written, making this a book that I cannot recommend to anyone exept people who are very interested in Holbein. It is a struggle to read, some of the sentences seem to go on forever, there is no clear story line, the whole story and style of writing is rambling. To show you what I mean I will copy a few sentences at the bottom of this review. At the end of this book there are some footnotes, 'A catalogue of the pincipal existing works of Hans Holbein the Younger arranged, so for as can be known, in chronological sequence', a long list of references and an interactive Index.

Copied from location 196:
The springs of Helicon were the monk's also, as witness Tuotilo and
Bernard of Clairvaux; but it was by the waters of Jordan that his
miracles were wrought. As Johnson somewhere says of Watts, "every kind
of knowledge was by the piety of his mind converted into theology." And
for the rest,--by the labour of his hands, by his fasting from the
things of the flesh, by his lofty faith--however erring or forgotten or
betrayed, in individual cases,--by every impressive lesson of a hard
life lived unto others and a hard death died unto himself, century
after century it was the monk who taught and helped the barbarian of
every land to turn the desolate freedom of the wild ass into a smiling
homestead and the savage Africa of his own heart into at least a better
place.[...]

08/05/2012
This book was first published in 1909, it is in the public domain and can be downloaded for free from several websites. This edition is collected and arranged by Mrs. Laurence Binyon with a preface by George Clausen, R.A. The printed edition has 109 pages, the e-book edition has 1639 locations. The printed edition has illustrations in it, the e-book edition has no pictures.

This is a book full of quotes by painters and sculptors. There are 243 quotes in total, they are numbered. At the beginning of the book there is an active tabel of contents (at location 6) so you can go directly to a subject that interests you (to 'activate' this table: first use the 'arrow go up' key, and than 'click' to place the cursor in the table, and then move the cursor to the subject you want to select). You can look up quotes by artist in the 'Index of Artist' at the end of this book (at location 1548). This is also an active index, you can click on a number. This is an interesting book for anyone who wants to know more about artists. You can pick and chose the bits you want to read.

08/05/2012
Stephen C. Perkins - Thrilling, Entertaining and Thought Provoking Sci-Fi/Fantasy
FEATURED AUTHOR - In less than two years as an independent author, Massachusetts native Stephen Perkins’ thrilling, entertaining and thought provoking novels Sorcerers’ Dynasty, Raging Falcon, American Siren, and Escape to Death have gained a loyal and rabid audience. As our Author of the Day, Perkins tells us all about his book, Sky Parlor. Please give us a short introduction to what Sky Parlor is about. Sky Parlor, my latest release – available at Amazon in both ebook and print formats, which are available… Read more