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RTK and history

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:03 am
by XuanPin
I recently began Graff's Medieval Chinese Warfare (download it free at https://de.slideshare.net/JohnnyHillier ... nload-free) and was shocked to learn that the RTK account, with its Homeric battles of individual heroes, apparently didn't happen. It seems to have been huge conscript forces moved around like chessmen by general and experts far from the front.

I'm wondering what other books would help me get the facts behind the story. Particularly as regards the practical details of weapons, training, tactics and camp life?

Re: RTK and history

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:28 pm
by Sun Fin
Graff's book is outstanding and is very unusual in that it actually focuses on the military history which is a hugely understudied part of Han history. :(

This thesis might be a good starting point.

Prof De Crispigny does a section on units in his book Generals of The South which is well worth reading.

This thread contains a list of many of the history book written about the period and you might find some good books to read there too.

Re: RTK and history

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:35 pm
by XuanPin
Thank you! By the by, do you know how RdC manages to make his work accessible in free PDFs while so many online scholarly journals do all they can to make even book reviews inaccessible to independent scholars?

Re: RTK and history

Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:47 pm
by Sun Fin
Rafe's books start off for sale only, but once they stop printing them he makes them free to access. As to why he takes that approach unlike many others I'm clueless. However he comes across as a really great guy - many people here have sent him emails over the years and received helpful, pleasant responses in reply!

Re: RTK and history

Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:34 am
by XuanPin
Thanks for the reference to Talons and Fangs! I bought it on Kindle. It is exactly what I was looking for, and I am devouring the chapters! I will check your other recommendations as well, but the first one is a real winner!

Re: RTK and history

Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:08 am
by Sun Fin
Good! I'm glad its what you wanted :D.

I don't know if you read the thread itself, but I would urge caution when reading the officer biographies, they don't necessarily agree with other sources.