The Battle of Catalaunian Fields AD 451

The author, a keen re-enactor, has taken a new approach to cover the key battle of the Catalaunian Fields. Many know the name ‘Attila’, but few known much more about this important conqueror. This highly readable account will correct the deficiency. – Much Recommended

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NAME: The Battle of Catalaunian Fields AD 451
FILE: R2869
AUTHOR: Evan Michael Schultheis
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES: 262
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Attila, Attila the Hun, Rome, Alan, Visigoth, Germania, France, Atlantic 
coast, tactics, weapons, organization, deployment,federates, allies

ISBN: 1-52674-565-8

IMAGE: B2869.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y5j84prh
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: The author, a keen re-enactor, has taken a new approach to cover 
the key battle of the Catalaunian Fields. Many know the name 'Attila', but few 
known much more about this important conqueror. This highly readable 
account will correct the deficiency. –   Much Recommended

Very few characters in history have achieved the global recognition of Attila the Hun, 
yet that knowledge does not go far beyond the name. This is surprising because he 
swept into Western Europe, appeared unbeatable and posed a direct threat to Rome 
in its dying days.

The author is a keen re-enactor of the period and this book benefits from a selection 
of colour photographs of re-enactors with the arms and armour of the period. There 
is a significant volume of information in text and illustrations, both maps and 
photographs. Although the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields is the focus of this 
account, the author has taken an interesting approach to presentation that covers a 
great deal more than the battle itself and sets out this wealth of information in a very
easy reading format.

The battle marked the point where Attila's rapid advance across Western Europe 
was halted short of the Atlantic coast. This is described well. However, the author 
has corrected some of the myths and omissions of earlier works and provided a 
series of sections that offer much fascinating detail. Attila and his Army have not 
generally been credited with the sophistication and the complex all-arms force that 
in many respects matches the blitz krieg approach so successfully followed by the 
Germans in the early part of WWII. There may not have been armoured fighting 
vehicles and close support aircraft, but the basic tactics were remarkably similar. 
The army advanced very quickly as a mounted force and, where a static defence 
could be bypassed and left for following troops to invest, Attila kept moving. This 
was very different from the traditional military approach of a large infantry force, 
with cavalry mainly in a reconnaissance and communications role, that sought set 
piece battles and sieges of fixed fortifications as a step by step process.

Just as the author has presented the sophistication of the Huns, he has presented the 
reality of the Roman Army which was very different from the Roman Army as 
popularly understood. By the 5th Century, the Romans depended heavily on allies 
and federated forces. These allies had developed their own tactics, armour and 
weapons.

There is a very complete bibliography and glossary which, together with the very 
able case study of the battle, provides a good grounding for the reader and a starting 
point to develop knowledge further.