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Synopsis

A collection of thirteen stories that offer an inside view of fighting men poised at the edge of death. Len Deighton's only collection of shorter fiction, this dazzling array of stories spans twenty-three centuries of warfare. From Hannibal's march on Rome – when strange, moving objects terrorise the troops of one of the toughest and most skilful armies in history – to the efforts of a belittled Civil War general to get his men to face the Confederate army; to the dawn skies above an artillery-blasted French battle-line where a dogfight unfolds, to Vietnam; where two lost American soldiers stumble across an abandoned military airfield. Each story in Declarations of War explores the effects of war upon man's character, how it pushes him to act in a dehumanized, machine-like way, often leading to extraordinary deeds, both good and ill. It portrays human conflict through a series of devastating experiences and shows how great deeds are often but the smallest thread in the large fabric of war.

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