By Christopher Miskimon

Shivaji Bhonsle “The Great” was a warrior-lord of the Bhonsle Clan. Descended from a line of nobles, he founded the Maratha Empire in 1674. Shivaji began his struggle using guerilla warfare against the Deccan Sultanates and the Mughals, using light infantry and light cavalry to advantage in the mountainous terrain. To augment his forces, he created a network of spies and informants. Taking advantage of his enemy’s distractions with other foes, he eventually created a viable Maratha nation. To protect that nation, he created a navy and defended his country against foreign threats. Despite these accomplishments, few outside India know who he is today.

This figure is just one of the lesser known and underappreciated military leaders covered in this book. They are presented in chronological order, organized into the general era in which they lived. There is a good mix of leaders the reader may have heard of but knows little about, alongside those who are almost unknown today. The selection includes a good mix of western and eastern personalities and both army and naval commanders.

Masters of Warfare: Fifty Underrated Military Commanders from Classical Antiquity to the Cold War (Eric G. Pinzelli, Pen and Sword Books, South Yorkshire UK, 2022, 324 pp., photographs, bibliography, $42.95, hardcover)

More Military History Book Reviews for Summer 2023