Despite the catastrophic effects of war, wars have also proved to be instrumental to long-term change in world history This text is the first of its kind to survey how warfare has developed from ancient times to the present day and the role it has played in shaping the world we know. The periods discussed include:
* the pre-gunpowder era
* the development of gunpowder weapons and their rapid adoption in Western Europe
* the French Revolution and the industrialization of warfare
* the First and Second World Wars
* the Cold War and the wars of liberation fought across the Third World.
With in-depth examples illustrating the dominant themes in the history of warfare, Warfare in World History focuses not only on the famous and heroic, but also discusses the experiences of countless millions of unknowns who have fought in wars over time.