In April 1532 a bloody civil war between two brothers ended with one of them, Atahualpa, as master of the mighty Inca Empire. Now the most powerful man in South America, his word was law for millions of subjects spread across thousands of square miles, from the parched deserts of the coast to the lush rainforest of the Amazon and along the spine of the soaring Andes Mountains. But the time of the Incas was coming to an end. In November of that year a handful of Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro seized Atahualpa at Cajamarca, extorted his treasure, murdered him, and then marched on the Inca capital Cuzco to elevate a puppet, Manco, to the vacant throne. In 1536, however, Manco roused his people against the intruders, and the Spaniards found themselves isolated and fighting for their lives. This fascinating and beautifully illustrated book brings to life the background to and progress of the desperate 10-month siege of Cuzco; the opposing commanders, their fighting men, tactics, and military technologies; the key clashes, from Sacsayhuaman to Ollantaytambo; and how the outcome shaped our world today.
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