The Pursuit of Victory

From Napoleon to Saddam Hussein

Author: Brian Bond

Publisher: Clarendon Press

ISBN: 9780198207351

Category: History

Page: 240

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In Western Europe and North America the idea that war can deliberately be used as an "instrument of policy" has become unfashionable, not least because of the carnage of two World Wars and the Americans' humiliating experience in Vietnam. But wars are still fought. Those who start wars clearly believe they are worthwhile. Why? In this original study, Brian Bond discusses the successes and failures of military and political leaders in their pursuit of victory over the last two centuries. Professor Bond argues that in order to be counted victorious, a leader has to progress beyond military triumph to preserve the political control needed to secure an advantageous and enduring peace settlement. Napoleon was a brilliant general, but failed as a statesman. Bismarck, on the other hand, was a success in skillfully exploiting Moltlike's victories on the battlefield to create a unified Germany. In the First World War, Germany and her allies were defeated but at such great cost that confidence in the idea that war could be controlled, and the pursuit of victory made rational, received a terrible shock. Germany and Japan exploited their military opportunities between 1939 and 1942, but lack of political control and moderation brought them catastrophic defeat. After 1945, nuclear weapons and the increased complexity of international relations blurred the identity of "victors" and "losers" and seemed to make the idea of a "decisive" victory almost unthinkable. But this study warns against the assumption that war as an instrument of policy has now been completely discarded. The Falklands and Gulf conflicts show that aggressors are still prepared to risk war for tangible goals, and that their opponents are quite capable of responding successfully to such challenges.
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Survivors of a Kind

Memoirs of the Western Front

Author: Brian Bond

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1441149805

Category: History

Page: 216

View: 4305

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"In this collection of essays Brian Bond brings a lifetime's study of the Western Front to the analysis of some of the best-known memoirs of the campaign. Literary and military historians alike will find the result of great value for their own studies, while for the general reader it should help destroy many long-standing myths. It is a worthy climax to a long and distinguished career." Sir Michael Howard This is a unique study of World War One memoirs from a historical perspective. It explores the tremendous effect that war experience had on writers' lives and how they came to terms with it after 1918, in deeply moving and often brilliant writing. As well as such famous literary figures as Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, it includes historically significant writers such as Lord Reith, Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan. It challenges the view that memoir writers were in any clear sense 'anti-war'. While many were appalled by heavy losses and awful conditions they were, however, determined to achieve victory and proud of their regimental service and comrades. Above all, they constitute a brilliant source for understanding the war on the Western Front.
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Staff Officer

The Diaries of Lord Moyne 1914-1918

Author: Brian Bond

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 1783834285

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 7247

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This book tells the story of Walter Guinness and his action during world war I. He served at Gallipoli and on the western front.
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The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon

Author: Gunther E. Rothenberg

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253202604

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 2113

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"... a most illuminating and readable general survey.... This book is well organized, well produced, and well written. It belongs among the ten most useful books on this period to the historian and... to the general reader." -- American Historical Review "This splendid volume fills a gap in the vast outpouring of literature on the military aspects of the era of the French Revolution and Napoleon by combining a description of the major changes and trends of warfare with a comparative discussion of the French military establishment and the armies of its major opponents.... As another contribution to 'synthetic' history, it is a very successful exercise." -- Military Affairs "... a splendid little study which will be of considerable interest both to the general student and specialist.... [it] fills a definite need for a survey of the military developments of the period and one can learn a great deal from a close reading of it." -- History "A clear, lively, and well-produced survey that relies upon the best scholarship of several languages.... " -- Library Journal In a comprehensive study of a crucial era in warfare -- from the last decades of the ancient régime to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo -- Rothenberg describes the organization, training methods, equipment, tactics, and strategy of France and its adversaries. He also explores staff systems, logistics, fortifications, medical services, and insurgency and counterinsurgency.
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Why Wars Happen

Author: Jeremy Black

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1861894155

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 1296

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Why Wars Happen is a groundbreaking inquiry into the crucial yet surprisingly understudied question of why wars occur. Jeremy Black, one of Britain's foremost military historians, presents an interdisciplinary study that draws on subjects such as history, political science, and international relations and marshals a vast range of material with global examples spanning from the fifteenth century to today. Black examines several major modern wars in their historical contexts, taking into account cultural differences and various conflict theories. He analyzes the three main types of war—between cultures, within cultures, and civil—and explores the problems of defining war. Black's investigation inspires fascinating questions such as: Do wars reflect the bellicosity in societies and states, or do they largely arise as a result of a diplomatic breakdown? How closely is war linked to changes in the nature of warfare, the international system, or the internal character of states? Black also considers contemporary situations and evaluates the possible course of future wars. Offering a valuable and thought-provoking analysis on the causes of war and conflicts, Why Wars Happen will interest historians and readers of military history alike.
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Endurance and War

The National Sources of Military Cohesion

Author: Jasen J. Castillo

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 0804790728

Category: Political Science

Page: 328

View: 8068

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Scholars and military practitioners alike have long sought to understand why some country's militaries fight hard when facing defeat while others collapse. In Endurance and War, Jasen Castillo presents a new unifying theory—cohesion theory—to explain why national militaries differ in their staying power. His argument builds on insights from the literatures on group solidarity in general and military effectiveness in particular, which argue that the stronger the ties binding together individuals in a group of any kind, the higher the degree of cohesion that a group will exhibit when taking collective action, including fighting in war. Specifically, he argues that two types of ties determine the cohesion, and therefore the resilience, of a nation's armed forces during war: the degree of control a regime holds over its citizens and the amount of autonomy the armed forces possess to focus on training for warfighting. Understanding why armed forces differ in their cohesion should help U.S. military planners better assess the military capabilities of potential adversaries, like Iran and North Korea. For scholars of international politics, cohesion theory can help provide insights into how countries create military power and how they win wars.
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NATO and Peace Support Operations, 1991-1999

Policies and Doctrines

Author: Henning Frantzen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134270313

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 2513

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This new book addresses the key question of how NATO and three of its member states are configuring their policies and military doctrines in order to handle the new strategic environment. This environment is increasingly dominated by 'new wars', more precisely civil wars within states, and peacekeeping as the strategy devised by outside actors for dealing with them. The book seeks to explain how this new strategic environment has been interpreted and how the new conflicts and peacekeeping have been fitted into 'defence' and 'war' - key concepts in the field of security studies.
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Confrontation, Strategy and War Termination

Britain's Conflict with Indonesia

Author: Dr Christopher Tuck

Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 1409471845

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 264

View: 1287

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At the heart of this book is the problem of war termination. Britain won an almost unbroken string of tactical military victories during an undeclared war against the Republic of Indonesia in the 1960s, yet it proved difficult to translate this into strategic success. Using conflict termination theories, this book argues that British strategy during Confrontation was both exemplary and flawed, both of which need not be mutually exclusive. The British experience in Indonesia represents an illuminating case study of the difficulties associated with strategy and the successful termination of conflicts. The value of this book lies in two areas: as a contribution to the literature on British counter-insurgency operations and as a contribution to the debates on the problems of war termination in the context of strategic thought.
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Understanding Victory and Defeat in Contemporary War

Author: Jan Angstrom,Isabelle Duyvesteyn

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134137656

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 4374

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Bringing together leading contributors in the field, this new volume analyzes how victory and defeat in modern war can be understood and explained. It does so by confronting two inter-related research problems: the nature of victory and defeat in modern war and the explanations of victory and defeat. By first questioning the extent to which the concepts of victory and defeat are meaningful to describe the outcomes of modern wars, and whether the contents of these concepts are changing, it then evaluates different theories purporting to explain the outcomes of war and the impact of variables, ranging from technology to culture. The book tackles several key questions: What is the definition of victory in the ‘War on Terror’? What is the meaning of victory and defeat in contemporary insurgencies, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are the counterstrategies that were developed in the mid-twentieth century valid in order to deal with present and future conflicts? With case studies ranging from the Malayan Emergency to the current conflict in Iraq, Understanding Victory and Defeat in Contemporary War will be of great interest to students of war and conflict studies, security studies, military history and international relations.
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Hitler's Panzers East

World War II Reinterpreted

Author: R. H. S. Stolfi

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 9780806125817

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 2714

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How close did Germany come to winning World War II? Did Hitler throw away victory in Europe after his troops had crushed the Soviet field armies defending Moscow by August 1941? R.H.S. Stolfi offers a dramatic new picture of Hitler’s conduct in World War II and a fundamental reinterpretation of the course of the war. Adolf Hitler generally is thought to have been driven by a blitzkrieg mentality in the years 1939 to 1941. In fact, Stolfi argues, he had no such outlook on the war. From the day Britain and France declared war, Hitler reacted with a profoundly conservative cast of mind and pursued a circumscribed strategy, pushing out siege lines set around Germany by the Allies. Interpreting Hitler as a siege Führer explain his apparent aberrations in connection with Dunkirk, his fixation on the seizure of Leningrad, and his fateful decision in the summer of 1941 to deflect Army Group Center into the Ukraine when both Moscow and victory in World War II were within its reach. Unaware of Hitler’s siege orientation, the German Army planned blitz campaigns. Through daring operational concepts and bold tactics, the army won victories over several Allied powers in World War II, and these led to the great campaign against the Soviet Union in summer of 1941. Stolfi postulates that in August 1941, German Army Group Center had the strength both to destroy the Red field armies defending the Soviet capital and to advance to Moscow and beyond. The defeat of the Soviet Union would have assured victory in World War II. Nevertheless, Hitler ordered the army group south to secure the resources of the Ukraine against a potential siege. And a virtually assured German victory slipped away. This radical reinterpretation of Hitler and the capabilities of the German Army leads to a reevaluation of World War II, in which the lesson to be learned is not how the Allies won the war, but how close the Germans came to a quick and decisive victory?long before the United States was drawn into the battle.
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