The Face of Battle: : A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme - John Keegan

The Face of Battle was written back in 1983 and remains one of the best of its kind to examine. At the time, it was ground breaking work as it tries to understand what it was like to be in a battle, not from a general's perspective, not from a squad's perspective, but from an individual's perspective. What was it like to face a cavalry charge? How about marching in formation toward the enemy who is firing at you? Running toward enemy trenches with machine gun fire? From the mundane to facing immediate threat to you life, the question is asked what would a person do. In many ways, you will be asking yourself what would you do? While the prose can descend into academic speak at a few places, it is only minor annoyance given the questions poised and his analysis are so fascinating. Keegan passed away in 2012, leaving a good body of original military historical analysis. While he has written many other fine histories, I highly recommend this one if you are interested in the experience of warfare.