- 80 pages
- 7.25" wide x 9.5" height
- Heavily illustrated throughout
SHELBY'S GREAT RAID 1863McLachlan
In July 1863, with the Confederacy still reeling from the defeats at Vicksburg and Gettysburg, Union forces pushed deep into Arkansas, capturing the capital of Little Rock. In response, Colonel Joseph O. Shelby launched a daring raid to disrupt the advance. Taking 600 men and a section of light artillery, he slipped behind enemy lines. Moving by night to confuse the enemy, Shelby captured a series of small outposts, collecting weapons and recruits as he went. As they continued their ride, the rebels tore up railroad tracks, burned bridges, and cut telegraph lines. Despite these successes, the Union troops slowly closed in on the raiders. Shelby fought a series of bitter skirmishes, until he found himself surrounded. Unwilling to surrender, Shelby led a charge through the Federal lines, bursting out into the open country and onto the road back to the Confederacy. While the results of this raid are still debated by historians, no one has ever doubted its boldness, and west of the Mississippi it became common to boast, "You've heard of Jeb Stuart's ride around McClellan? Hell, brother, Jo Shelby rode around MISSOURI!"The siege of Constantinople in AD 717--18 was the supreme crisis of Western civilization. The Byzantine Empire had been reeling under the onslaught of Arabic imperialism since the death of the Prophet, whilst Jihadist armies had detached Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Carthage from imperial control and were in the process of imposing their ascendancy at sea. The Empire had been reduced to its Anatolian and Balkan heartland, and Arab incursions threatened even this--Arab naval forces had appeared under the walls of Constantinople every year from 674 to 678. But all this was only a prelude to the massive combined-arms invasion force that advanced on the capital in 717.This title offers a comprehensive study of the ensuing clash between the ascendant Caliphate and the Empire at bay. It details the forces available to each side, with their respective advantages and vulnerabilities, evaluating the leadership qualities of the rival commanders and assessing their strategic and tactical initiatives. It also accounts for the trajectory and outcome of the campaign and emphasizes the fundamental significance of the struggle. By holding the line, the Byzantines gave Europe enough time to develop at its own pace and emerge strong enough to face down its Islamic counterpart on equal terms. If Constantinople had fallen in 717, could Europe have endured as an independent entity? Could Christianity have survived as major religion? What would the future course of world history have been?