Throughout history, from Kublai Khan's attempted invasions of Japan to Rommel's desert warfare, military operations have succeeded or failed on the ability of commanders to incorporate environmental conditions into their tactics. In this volume, geographer Harold A. Winters and former US Army officers Gerald E. Galloway Jr., William J. Reynolds and David W. Rhyne, examine the connections between major battles in world history and their geographic components, revealing what role factors such as weather, climate, terrain, soil and vegetation have played in combat. Each chapter offers a detailed explanation of a specific environmental factor and then looks at several battles that highlight its effects on military operations. As this cogent analysis of geography and war makes clear, those who know more about the shape, nature and variability of battleground conditions will always have a better understanding of the nature of combat and at least one significant advantage over a less knowledgeable enemy.
Harold A. Winters is a professor emeritus of geography at Michigan State University. Gerald E. Galloway Jr., who retired as a brigadier general after serving thirty-nine years in the U.S. army, is secretary for the U.S. Section of the International Joint Committee. William J. Reynolds, a retired colonel and Vietnam veteran, is northwest regional manager for Science Applications International Corporation. David W. Rhyne, a retired lieutenant colonel, teaches at Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Hanover County, Virginia.