Book review: “Evolution of Weaponry” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Loren W. Christensen
The aim of the book is to give you an overview of the different ways mankind has found to most effective kill his fellow man. As the authors state in the introduction: any weapon that survives throughout time is the result of a Darwinian selection process. If it becomes useless in combat, it is discarded. If it keeps on working or works better than what was used before, then it is kept as a valuable weapon. Evolution of Weaponry gives you an overview of how that evolution actually went.
The book starts with a glossary of terms that will be used throughout the rest of the text. Then chapter one covers weapons as a means of overcoming physical and psychological limitations. On a physical level this means the need for force, mobility, speed and distance. Regarding the psychological aspect, the authors explain how man’s innate resistance to killing is an important factor in warfare. They go on to talk about the research behind this statement and all the ways the military have of using a psychological weapon to overcome it, which includes topics like:
- Conditioning and stress inoculation
Perhaps the most interesting part is the case study, in which these aspects are demonstrated from actual accounts.
Chapter two tackles how weapons evolved throughout the ages. This starts with the chariot and the phalanx and goes all the way to the concept of solid, fluid and gaseous phases. In part three, you’ll learn some more about the evolution of combat and domestic violent crime. This chapter explains several key concepts and offers a bunch of statistics to give you even more information. The book ends with a conclusion on the future of weapons evolution.
This book is a good primer on the topic of weapons and everything that is involved with them, primarily their use in war. It gives a solid overview of the most important historical facts and concepts you need to know to get a basic understanding of the topic. Of course, there is a lot more to all this but that’s not what this book tries to cover. You can see it as a starting point for further reading and studying, a map to help you on your way to more knowledge. In that regard, this is a most excellent source of information.