Throughout history, great generals have done what their enemies have least expected. Instead of direct, predictable attack, they have deceived, encircled, outflanked, out-thought, and overcome often superior armies commanded by conventional thinkers.
Collected here are the stories of the most successful commanders of all time, among them Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Stonewall Jackson, Sherman, Rommel, and Mao Zedong. Each demonstrated the strategic and tactical genius essential for victory—a virtue that, ironically, does not come naturally to military organizations. More often than not, the straight-ahead, narrow-thinking soldier will be promoted over his more lateral-minded, devious counterpart. Yet when the latter gains control, the results may be spectacular.