Per Boek Wijzer Auteur: Erik Durschmied
From the wooden horse of Troy to the Gulf War, military history has been as much marked by chance and error as by gallantry and heroism. Despite impossible odds, invincible armies have gone down to bitter defeat as their weak opponents triumphed. In battle, much depends on which side commits the biggest blunder. Many conflicts have been decided by the caprice of weather, bad intelligence, heroism where it wasn't expected, or individual incompetence — in other words, the unpredictable. In military terms, the incident which can swing a battle from victory to defeat in a moment is known as the Hinge Factor.
Drawing from the official historians' view as well as personal documents such as soldiers' letters home, Erik Durschmied discusses how and why such Hinge Factors occur.
The Hinge Factor discusses battles which demonstrate the phenomenon — some of which have had a decisive influence on history, as well as some that are of lesser importance. Some of the events described have never before been made public in any extensive way, including the circumstances behind the loss of the Holy Cross, the attack by African war bees in 1914 which was described in The Times as the Germans' secret weapon, the Libyans trying to buy a bomb from China in order to drop it on Israel in 1973, or Star Wars weaponry in the Gulf War.
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