Author(s): Ralph D. Sawyer
An expert in Chinese Warfare, best-selling author Ralph Sawyer, offers a compelling account of the development of incendiary and aquatic warfare tactics in ancient China as pivotal elements in turning the tides of battle. China's official histories are replete with intriguing examples of incendiary and aquatic warfare being employed (particularly by the outnumbered) in pivotal roles to turn the tide of battle. In his new book Fire and Water, best-selling author Ralph Sawyer traces the dynamic evolution and development of incendiary warfare in ancient China, from antiquity through the introduction of true gunpowder weapons, including cannon and muskets. Discussing both use and techniques, the book similarly unfolds the evolution of aquatic methodology, emphasizing the strong interconnection between the two with the inception of riverine combat. Fundamentally based upon an examination of the Chinese military writings, Sawyer examines and recounts the most important clashes and epochal conflicts in which these dramatic tactics were employed over the centuries. Although not a naval history, Sawyer does examine the extensive employment of incendiary attacks in naval conflict and explores the means for overcoming riverine obstacles, such as floating bridges.