Military Reconnaissance

The Eyes and Ears of the Army

Alexander Stilwell

A revealing look at the art of military scouting and reconnaissance, going from the earliest recorded military history to modern warfare and everything in between.
Date Published :
September 2020
Publisher :
Series :
Casemate Short History
Illustration :
30 black and white photos and diagrams
No associated books available.


Since the earliest recorded military history, scouting and reconnaissance have been key tools employed by military commanders to obtain a picture of the tactical situation and make informed decisions. Scouts known as sciritae were deployed by the Spartans and had a privileged position in their order of battle. The Spartans were so aware of the advantage their scouting operations gave them that they went to great lengths to keep them secret. As military tactics, weapons and equipment developed over the centuries, methods of scouting and reconnaissance evolved and adapted but were never discarded.

This Short History provides a concise but revealing picture of the art of military scouting and reconnaissance, always remaining true to the spirit of the scout – light on their feet, taking only what they need and returning with information that can make the difference between victory and defeat. From the highly toned Spartan warriors through the scouts employed by Julius Caesar, through the middle ages to the Napoleonic Wars and the mass warfare of the modern era, this book gives you all you need to know, and nothing that you don't.

Scouting and reconnaissance responsibilities are sometimes carried out by other military units. For example, the US Marines call their snipers Scout Snipers since snipers are often in a good position to gather intelligence covertly. Special forces units tasked with a particular mission also bring back valuable intelligence information. This book focuses on units whose mission is to move covertly without engaging with the enemy.


Introduction; Timeline; Ancient Warfare; Medieval Warfare; Napoleonic Wars; The American Wars; The Anglo-Afghan Wars; The Matabele and Boer Wars; First World War; Second World War; The Modern Age

More from this publisher