THE FACE OF BATTLE
by JOHN KEEGAN 354 pages. Viking. $10.95.
For the past 14 years Military Historian John Keegan, 42, has been lecturing on battles to young British officer cadets at Sandhurst. Along the way, a thought struck him: "I have not been in a battle; not near one, nor heard one from afar, nor seen the aftermath." Sensibly, he did not try to make up for this gap in his experience by seeking out a battle and joining up. But he also found the massive literature on warfare oddly bloodless.
From the time of Caesar's Commentaries onward, military historians have tended to...