Friday, June 04, 2010

Victory of the West

Subtitled; 'The Great Christian - Muslim Clash at the Battle of Lepanto'

By Niccolò Capponi

This is a recent book, which has been deliberately titled to place it into some kind of modern context (Capponi states this in the beginning). I'm not sure, why because apart from the religious aspect, there isn't much of relevance to the modern audience in contemplating the Battle of Lepanto.

The title is also misleading slightly as the book deals more with numerous Ottoman victories than the Western victory at Lepanto. In fact the biggest complaint I have about this book is it deals more with putting Lepanto into context than with the battle itself. Given that I bought and read this book in preparation for a table top war game, re-enacting Lepanto, the biggest galley engagement in history, this is slightly irritating. On the other hand, there is a wealth of technical detail, and I do now have a much better understanding of why the battle happened, what led up to it and why the Holy League triumphed after having suffered so many previous defeats at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

To be sure, this is a good book, very easy to read and quite entertaining, its just not got enough of the information about the actual battle I was hoping for. It may suffice, though I think I shall keep a weather eye open for other well recommended books on the subject.

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