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Book Review
Battle of Thermopylae 480 BC
Battle of Thermopylae 480 BC - The most unequal battle in History
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by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]

Originally published on:
Historicus Forma


The Battle of Thermopylae(480 BC) has a particular fame. Usually when historic events are described, it is the victors who are praised. In the case of Thermopylae, however, the wreath of immortal glory belongs to the defeated, and it is the victors who usually stand accused for the cowardly manner by which they gained their victory against an army that was the embodiment of valor and devotion to duty.

From the book- Battle of Thermopylae

The book Thermopylae 480 BC – The most unequal battle in History is from Squadron/Signal Publications.The book is made by Periscopio Publications-Greece for Squadron ,written in Greek and expertly translated to English.


The book is written by Dimitris Belezos and Ioannis Kotoulas, uniform research and reconstructions by Christos Giannopoulos, and other illustrations by Romilos Fronimidis and Maria Ginala. Text is clear, simple and easy to understand. Illustrations are excellent in nice details.

  • Paperback

  • 100 pages

  • 41 black/white photos

  • 16 color photos

  • 13 colorplates with explanatory text for Greek and Persian warriors of Thermopylae

  • 8 maps and battleplans for Battle of Thermopylae and naval Battle of Artemisium

    book-in detail

    The book starts with a Preface written by Nikos Giannopoulos. It contains seven main chapters divided into subtitles to make the reader understand easier. A bibliography and a glossary part are added at the end of the book. The chapters are ;

  • The preparations of the opposing forces : This chapter starts with the period Xerxes is incited to invade Greece, his decision to invade, preparatory Persian operations, the construction of Hellespont bridge which was the most importnat and impressive undertaking for the support of the invasion. It also explains the period Persians cross into Europe, they invade Thrace and Macedonia and Greek plans for the resistance and the gathering of Greek council in Corinthia.

  • The Battle of Thermopylae : This chapter explains the battle from the start till the last clash in full details and is supported with maps showing the positions of the forces day by day.

  • Artemisium : The chapters tells about the Greek Navy’s first battle against the Persian fleet. While the hopliters under the coomad of Leonidas defended the Thermopylae pass, the Greek triremes won their first naval victory against Persian fleet at Artemisium. Although these naval operations were overshadowed by the heroic sacrifice of Spartans and Thespians in Thermopylae, Greek fleet managed to succesfully protect the flanks of defenders of Thermopylae and set the tone for a final victory at the naval battle of Salamis. Maps showing the movements of Greek and Persian fleets to Euboea-Artemisium and positions of 3 naval battles are very helpful.

  • The historical picture of the Battle of Thermopylae : In this chapter, the importance of Battle of Thermopylae mentioned in historical documents and reflections of the battle to the modern ages are explained in examples.

  • The later battles at Thermopylae : Leonidas defense against Persians was not the only war at Thermopylae. This chapter mentions about the other battles at the same field from 279 BC war against Gauls to World War II Allied defense against German mountain troops on 1941.

  • The opposing commanders : This chapter gives brief information about Leonidas I, Demophilos, Xerxes I and Hydarnes.

  • Lesser-known details : Maybe the most interesting part of the book for me, it gives some small unknown details about the battle.

  • Bibliography : A bibliography including 24 resources is included for the readers who wants more information about the subject.

  • Glossary : 3 page glossary that covers most of the terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader is added in alphabetical order to the end of the book.


    The book is very informative, fastidiously prepared and well presented. Besides giving excellent historical information about the battle of Thermopylae to all readers, it is a very good painting reference for the figure painters with lots of high- quality color drawings of the both sides of the battle; Greeks and Persians.

    Very Highly Recommended

  • Click here for additional images for this review.

    Highs: High quality printing. Very nice color drawings, maps,battle plans and more. Also provides information about the naval battle of Artemisium.
    Lows: No significant low point for this book.
    Verdict: A very useful reference both as a historical book and a painting quide.
    Percentage Rating
      Scale: Other
      Mfg. ID: ISBN:9789606740114
      Suggested Retail: 22.46 USD
      Related Link: Product Page
      PUBLISHED: Jul 15, 2008
      NATIONALITY: Greece / Ελλάδα
      THIS REVIEWER: 92.20%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.83%

    Our Thanks to Squadron Signal Publications!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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    About Engin Kayral (Graywolf)

    Born in 1962,married and having 2 sons. I started modelling about 8 years old building USS Fletcher with mom. It was a model dad brought from USA., I think in those days only a few people in Turkey had info on scale model kits. Grown as an AF officer son , I built many aircraft models in years. Som...

    Copyright ©2021 text by Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


    Thanks for the review, Engin. The books appears to be quite a useful resource for the modeller - particularly those colour plates. Rudi
    JUL 16, 2008 - 11:47 PM

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