It's the drama, danger, tragedy, heroism, smoke, shouts, and shellfire of historic battles, captured in one large, lavish volume. Maps, artists' renditions of battlefields, historic photos, topographic diagrams, and vivid text combine in reconstructions of 17 military conflicts that changed the course of history. From the American Civil War, author Tim Newark describes First Bull Run (1861), Chickamauga (1863), and Vicksburg (1863). From World War I he presents Verdun (1916), and Vimy Ridge (1917). Among several major World War II battles he recounts are the Battle of Britain and London Blitz (1940), rightly called by Winston Churchill England's finest hour; Arnhem (1944), which inspired the film, A Bridge Too Far; and the Battle for Berlin (1945), which marked the end of the Nazi Third Reich. Momentous battles from the more distant past are also covered, including Constantinople (1453), the Turkish offensive that brought about the Byzantine Empire's collapse; and Culloden (1746), the last battle fought on British soil between the Scots and the English. Every combat description includes- -- Eyewitness accounts -- Historic photos and illustrations -- Battle maps indicating troop movements -- Diagrams showing terrain -- A map of each site and tour route as it is todayBoth armchair history buffs and visitors to the battle sites will value this handsome volume's many features, its detailed descriptions, and its clear analysis of battle plans and operations. A directory at the back of the book lists battle museums and tour operations open to visitors. More than 300 full-color illustrations.