7 Seconds to Die

A Military Analysis of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War and the Future of Warfighting

Col. John F Antal (Ret).

An analysis of the first war in history won primarily by unmanned systems.
Date Published :
February 2022
Publisher :
Contributor(s) :
Dr Alexander Kott
Illustration :
B&W Illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781636241234
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Also available digitally:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Google Google
Buy From Kobo Kobo

Casemate will earn a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking a link here


The first full analysis of the second Nagorno-Karabakh War—the first war in history won primarily by unmanned systems.

The Second Nagorno-Karabakh war—fought between Armenia and Azerbaijan between September 24 and November 10, 2020—was the first war in history won primarily by unmanned systems.

This 44-day war resulted in a decisive military victory for Azerbaijan. Armenia was outfought, outnumbered, and outspent and lost even though they controlled the high ground in a mountainous region that favored traditional defense. Azerbaijan’s alliance with Turkey, and close technological support from Israel, strategically isolated Armenia. In addition, Turkey’s posturing influenced the Russians not to intervene to support Armenia. That Azerbaijan attacked Armenia during the pandemic was an additional factor. The fact that Azerbaijan won the war is not extraordinary, considering the correlation of forces arrayed against Armenia. What is exceptional is that this was the first modern war primarily decided by unmanned weapons. In this war the Turkish-made BAYRAKTAR TB2 Unmanned Air Combat Vehicle (UCAV) and the Israeli-made HAROP Loitering Munition (LM) dominated the fighting and provided Azerbaijan with a war-winning advantage.

About The Author

John Antal is a soldier, military historian, and leadership expert. He served 30 years in the US Army as a combat arms officer, senior staff officer, and commander. He has commanded units from platoon level through regiment and served on corps and multinational staffs. In his post-Army career he has become a video game producer, military consultant and author of thirteen books and hundreds of articles on military and leadership subjects.



1. Background and overview of war
2. The Domains of 21st-Century War
3. Top Attack
4. The Transparent Battlespace
5. The Desperate Need for Masking
6. The Information War
7. Training and Equipping for the Coming Drone Wars
8. Conclusion – Lessons Learned


"This small gem dissects the little-known second Nagorno-Karabakh war...Many of these dynamics are currently playing out at scale in Ukraine and have tremendous implications for the U.S. military and the future of warfighting."

- War on the Rocks

"To comprehend what is taking place in Ukraine and elsewhere and to anticipate how that will affect the future of warfare, it is essential to read Antal’s highly informative guide."

- Air & Space Power History

"....concerns an aspect of warfare that is in flux, with various armies still uncertain how new technologies and tactics will affect combined arms land tactics....Antal is an excellent guide to a subject—and a current history—whose final outcome remains uncertain. At a minimum, this concise work usefully counters the extreme claims of UAV manufacturers and observers of recent conflicts."

- Michigan War Studies Review

"Antal’s 30-year career as an armor officer and post-Army career allow him a unique analysis of the war."

- Aether: A Journal of Strategic Airpower & Spacepower

"This book reiterates that the enemy is always thinking and uses the Second Nagorno Karabakh War to expound on the future of the technology of combat. 7 Seconds to Die is an excellent primer for today’s thinking strategist and for anyone interested in understanding the changing methods of war."

- Colonel Richard Jung, US Army (Ret.)

"Enjoyed it."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

“A must read for anyone in the military and all those who want to learn about the future of war...ntal tells the story of the Second Nagorno Karabakh War and articulates the lessons learned. We must learn from this war, and the fighting in Ukraine, to fully grasp the rapid technological transformation of modern combat. Everything that is playing out in the Russo-Ukrainian War is foretold in this book.”

- Shawn Graves

More from this publisher