James Q. WhitmanThe Verdict of Battle: The Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War

April 29, 2013

James Whitman wants to revise our understanding of warfare during the eighteenth century, the period described by my late colleague and friend Russell Weigley as the “Age of Battles.” We commonly view warfare during this period as a remarkably restrained affair, dominated by aristocratic values, and while we recognize their horrors for the participants, we [...]

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Stanley PayneThe Spanish Civil War

March 13, 2013

The Spanish Civil War is one of those events that I have always felt I should know more about. Thanks to Stanley Payne’s concise, lucid new work on the subject, I feel less that way. I do not exaggerate when I say that Payne, a Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, is the nation’s [...]

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Sanders Marble, ed.Scraping the Barrel: The Military Use of Substandard Manpower, 1860-1960

January 28, 2013

Sanders Marble, senior historian of the United States Army’s Office of Medical History, presents a collection of essays related to the problems of substandard manpower as defined at different times in Western militaries over the modern era. Accordingly normally rigorous peacetime entrance standards have established conditions for the exclusion of certain individuals on the basis [...]

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Frank EllisThe Damned and the Dead: The Eastern Front through the Eyes of Soviet and Russian Novelists

December 5, 2012

Frank Ellis’ The Damned and the Dead: The Eastern Front through the Eyes of Soviet and Russian Novelists (University Press of Kansas, 2011) introduces to English-language readers the riches of Soviet war literature and argues that much of that literature constituted a meaningful form of resistance to the Soviet state. Refusing to write stories that [...]

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John C. McManusSeptember Hope: The American Side of a Bridge Too Far

November 4, 2012

This past September saw the sixty-eighth anniversary of one of the European Theater of Operations’ most familiar operations. Conceived by Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, MARKET GARDEN was the Western Allies’ great gamble in the fall of 1944. With the Nazi war machine appearing to be on the ropes following its ignominious collapse in France, [...]

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Ben ShepherdTerror in the Balkans: German Armies and Partisan Warfare

September 26, 2012

With Terror in the Balkans: German Armies and Partisan Warfare (Harvard University Press, 2012), Ben Shepherd, a Reader at Glasgow Caledonian University, offers us insight into the complex and harrowing history of the German Army’s occupation of the former Yugoslavia from 1941-1943. By analyzing the command structures at the divisional and regimental level, Shepherd helps [...]

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Steven JaffeNew York at War: Four Centuries of Combat, Fear, and Intrigue in Gotham

August 11, 2012

Many people – including myself – are no doubt surprised to learn about New York City’s rich four hundred year military history. I teach in Flushing, New York, deep in the heart of Queens, at one of the country’s largest public universities. And in my American History survey classes, I strive to bring as much [...]

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Gregory DaddisNo Sure Victory: Measuring U.S. Army Effectiveness and Progress in the Vietnam War

June 17, 2012

Ask any student or aficionado of the Vietnam War (1965-1972) for a top ten list of artifacts “unique” to the war, and chances are the phenomenon of “body counts” as a tool for measuring success in the field will come up. Indeed, the use of casualty metrics, while not the sole means of calculating progress [...]

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Raymond JonasThe Battle of Adwa: African Victory in the Age of Empire

May 1, 2012

Raymond Jonas‘ The Battle of Adwa: African Victory in the Age of Empire (Harvard UP, 2011) places Menelik alongside Napoleon and other greatest strategists. The Ethiopian emperor carried out a brilliant maneuver across hundreds of miles, essentially defeating his Italian adversaries without battle. That battle came was the colossal blunder of the Italians and one that [...]

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Jörg MuthCommand Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901-1940, and the Consequences for World War II

March 12, 2012

This week we’re continuing our focus on the Second World War, as our guest author, Jörg Muth, chats about his recent book Command Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901-1940, and the Consequences for World War II (University of North Texas Press, 2011). Muth’s book, which has recently been selected [...]

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