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Eight scholars - Alan R. Millett, Paul Kennedy, Earl F. Ziemke, Alvin D. Coox, Williamson Murray, Brian Sullivan, Steven Ross and Calvin L. Christman - examine the methods used by the major powers of World War II to evaluate their own and their enemies' military capacity.
The Dynamics of Military Revolution aims to bridge a major gap in the emerging literature on revolutions in military affairs, suggesting that there have been two very different phenomena at work over the past centuries: 'military revolutions', which are driven by vast social and political changes; and 'revolutions in military affairs', which military institutions have directed, although usually with great difficulty and ambiguous results. By providing both a conceptual framework and a historical context for thinking about revolutionary changes in military affairs, the work establishes a baseline for understanding the patterns of change, innovation, and adaptation that have marked war in the Western World since the thirteenth century - beginning with Edward III's revolutionary changes in medieval warfare, through the development of modern Western military institutions in seventeenth-century France, to the cataclysmic changes of the First World War and the German Blitzkrieg victories of 1940. This history provides a guide for thinking about military revolutions in the coming century, which are as inevitable as they are difficult to predict.
Hybrid warfare has been an integral part of the historical landscape since the ancient world, but only recently have analysts - incorrectly - categorised these conflicts as unique. Great powers throughout history have confronted opponents who used a combination of regular and irregular forces to negate the advantage of the great powers' superior conventional military strength. As this study shows, hybrid wars are labour-intensive and long-term affairs; they are difficult struggles that defy the domestic logic of opinion polls and election cycles. Hybrid wars are also the most likely conflicts of the twenty-first century, as competitors use hybrid forces to wear down America's military capabilities in extended campaigns of exhaustion. Nine historical examples of hybrid warfare, from ancient Rome to the modern world, provide readers with context by clarifying the various aspects of conflicts and examining how great powers have dealt with them in the past.
The Iran-Iraq War is one of the largest, yet least documented conflicts in the history of the Middle East. Drawing from an extensive cache of captured Iraqi government records, this book is the first comprehensive military and strategic account of the war through the lens of the Iraqi regime and its senior military commanders. It explores the rationale and decision-making processes that drove the Iraqis as they grappled with challenges that, at times, threatened their existence. Beginning with the bizarre lack of planning by the Iraqis in their invasion of Iran, the authors reveal Saddam's desperate attempts to improve the competence of an officer corps that he had purged to safeguard its loyalty to his tyranny, and then to weather the storm of suicidal attacks by Iranian religious revolutionaries. This is a unique and important contribution to our understanding of the history of war and the contemporary Middle East.
In this unprecedented account of the intensive air and ground operations in Iraq, two of America's most distinguished military historians bring clarity and depth to the first major war of the new millennium. Reaching beyond the blaring headlines, embedded videophone reports, and daily Centcom briefings, Williamson Murray and Robert Scales analyze events in light of past military experiences, present battleground realities, and future expectations. The Iraq War puts the recent conflict into context. Drawing on their extensive military expertise, the authors assess the opposing aims of the Coalition forces and the Iraqi regime and explain the day-to-day tactical and logistical decisions of infantry and air command, as British and American troops moved into Basra and Baghdad. They simultaneously step back to examine long-running debates within the U. S. Defense Department about the proper uses of military power and probe the strategic implications of those debates for America's buildup to this war. Surveying the immense changes that have occurred in America's armed forces between the Gulf conflicts of 1991 and 2003--changes in doctrine as well as weapons--this volume reveals critical meanings and lessons about the new "American way of war" as it has unfolded in Iraq.
Janet, My Mother, and Me is a charming, captivating memoir about a boy growing up in a household of two extraordinary women. William Murray was devoted to his mother, Natalia Danesi Murray, and to his mother's longtime lover, writer Janet Flanner. Even as a teenager, he accepted their unconventional relationship. His portrait of the two most important people in his life is unforgettable. Janet Flanner was already celebrated as the author of a new style of personal journalism for her "Letter from Paris" in The New Yorker when she met the Italian-born Natalia Murray on Fire Island, New York, in 1940. Their encounter, writes William Murray, was a "coup de foudre, a thunderbolt that instantly sent them rushing into each other's arms and forever altered their lives, as well as mine." Murray was already growing up in two cultures on different continents, in New York and Rome, when his mother's life changed so dramatically. He quickly accepted Flanner and the unusual household in which he found himself. (Natalia's mother, Mammina Ester, also lived with them in New York.) His memories of the women and of his own boyhood and adolescence are touching and often hilarious. Janet, My Mother, and Me offers a look at the world in which gay professional women moved in the decades before such relationships became more open and accepted. Murray's mother was a publishing executive and a broadcaster, and Murray, who originally hoped to become an opera singer and trained for that profession, eventually moved into the professions of both his mother and Flanner, becoming a novelist and then for many years an editor and writer at The New Yorker. This is an exuberant, warm, and often poignant memoir with a memorable cast of characters. Beguiling and unusual, it will remain vivid in readers' minds for years to come.
Most writing about strategy has focused on individual strategic theorists or great military leaders. This book focuses instead on the messy processes by which rulers and states have framed strategy in the past - a subject of vital practical importance to strategists, and of great interest to students of strategy and statecraft. It consists of 17 case studies that range from fifth-century Athens and Ming China to Hitler's Germany, Israel, and the post-1945 United States. The studies analyse, within a common interpretive framework, precisely how rulers and states have made strategy. The introduction emphasises the constants in the rapidly shifting world of the strategist; the concluding essay tries to understand the forces that have driven the transformation of strategy since 400 BC and seem likely to continue to transform it in the future.
Military Adaptation in War addresses one of the most persistent, yet rarely examined, problems that military organizations confront: namely, the problem of how to adapt under the trying, terrifying conditions of war. This work builds on the volume that Professor Williamson Murray edited with Allan Millett on military innovation (a quite different problem, though similar in some respects). In Clausewitzian terms, war is a contest, an interactive duel, which is of indeterminate length and presents a series of intractable problems at every level, from policy and strategy down to the tactical. Moreover, the fact that the enemy is adapting at the same time presents military organizations with an ever-changing set of conundrums that offer up no easy solutions. As the British general, James Wolfe, suggested before Quebec: "War is an option of difficulties. " Dr. Murray provides an in-depth analysis of the problems that military forces confront in adapting to these difficulties.
In 1914, the armies and navies that faced each other were alike right down to the strengths of their companies and battalions and the designs of their battleships and cruisers. Differences were of degree rather than essence. During the interwar period, however, the armed forces grew increasingly asymmetrical, developing different approaches to the same problems. This 1996 study of major military innovations in the 1920s and 1930s explores differences in exploitation by the seven major military powers. The comparative essays investigate how and why innovation occurred or did not occur, and explain much of the strategic and operative performance of the Axis and Allies in World War II. The essays focus on several instances of how military services developed new technology and weapons and incorporated them into their doctrine, organisation and styles of operations.
Two modern masters of military history make their case for the twenty most pivotal battles of all time, in a riveting trip through the ages to those moments when the fate of the world hung in the balance. In the grand tradition of Edward Creasy's classic Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, James Lacey and Williamson Murray spotlight only those engagements that changed the course of civilization. In gripping narrative accounts they bring these conflicts and eras to vivid life, detailing the cultural imperatives that led inexorably to the battlefield, the experiences of the common soldiers who fought and died, and the legendary commanders and statesmen who matched wits, will, and nerve for the highest possible stakes. From the great clashes of antiquity to the high-tech wars of the twenty-first century, here are the stories of the twenty most consequential battles ever fought, including * Marathon, where Greece's "greatest generation" repelled Persian forces three times their numbers--and saved Western civilization in its infancy * Adrianople, the death blow to a disintegrating Roman Empire * Trafalgar, the epic naval victory that cemented a century of British supremacy over the globe * Saratoga, the first truly American victory, won by united colonial militias, which ensured the ultimate triumph of the Revolution * Midway, the ferocious World War II sea battle that broke the back of the Japanese navy * Dien Bien Phu, the climactic confrontation between French imperial troops and Viet Minh rebels that led to American intervention in Vietnam and marked the rise of a new era of insurgent warfare * Operation Peach, the perilous 2003 mission to secure a vital bridge over the Euphrates River that would open the way to Baghdad Historians and armchair generals will argue forever about which battles have had the most direct impact on history. But there can be no doubt that these twenty are among those that set mankind on new trajectories. Each of these epochal campaigns is examined in its full historical, strategic, and tactical context--complete with edge-of-your-seat you-are-there battle re-creations. With an eye for the small detail as well as the bigger picture, Lacey and Murray identify the elements that bind these battles together: the key decisions, critical mistakes, and moments of crisis on which the fates of entire civilizations depended. Some battles merely leave a field littered with the bodies of the fallen. Others transform the map of the entire world. Moment of Battle is history written with the immediacy of today's news, a magisterial tour d'horizon that refreshes our understanding of those essential turning points where the future was decided. Advance praise for Moment of Battle "A riveting human story about how a few remarkable individuals changed 2,500 years of history."--Victor Davis Hanson, author of Carnage and Culture and The Savior Generals"Two world-class historians present, eloquently and persuasively, twenty battles that fundamentally changed the course of history. Moment of Battle is a must acquisition for anyone seeking to understand the nature of human development--and its turning points."--Dennis E. Showalter, professor of history, Colorado College, author of Armor and BloodFrom the Hardcover edition.
Within a variety of historical contexts, The Shaping of Grand Strategy addresses the most important tasks states have confronted: namely, how to protect their citizens against the short-range as well as long-range dangers their polities confront in the present and may confront in the future. To be successful, grand strategy demands that governments and leaders chart a course that involves more than simply reacting to immediate events. Above all, it demands they adapt to sudden and major changes in the international environment, which more often than not involves the outbreak of great conflicts but at times demands recognition of major economic, political, or diplomatic changes. This collection of essays explores the successes as well as failures of great states attempting to create grand strategies that work and aims at achieving an understanding of some of the extraordinary difficulties involved in casting, evolving and adapting grand strategy to the realities of the world.
Successful Strategies is a fascinating new study of the key factors that have contributed to the development and execution of successful strategies throughout history. With a team of leading historians, Williamson Murray and Richard Hart Sinnreich examine how, and to what effect states, individuals and military organizations have found a solution to complex and seemingly insoluble strategic problems to reach success. Bringing together grand, political and military strategy, the book features thirteen essays which each explores a unique case or aspect of strategy. The focus ranges from individuals such as Themistocles, Bismarck and Roosevelt to organizations and bureaucratic responses. Whether discussing grand strategy in peacetime or that of war or politics, these case studies are unified by their common goal of identifying in each case the key factors that contributed to success as well as providing insights essential to any understanding of the strategic challenges of the future.
This collection of articles represents Professor Williamson Murray's efforts to elucidate the role that history should play in thinking about both the present and the future. They reflect three disparate themes in Professor Murray's work: his deep fascination with history and those who have acted in the past; his fascination with the similarities in human behavior between the past and the present; and his belief that the study of military and strategic history can be of real use to those who will confront the daunting problems of war and peace in the twenty-first century. The first group of essays addresses the relevance of history to an understanding of the present and to an understanding of the possibilities of the future. The second addresses the possible direct uses of history to think through the problems involved in the creation of effective military institutions. The final group represents historical case studies that serve to illuminate the present.
In the course of the twentieth century, no war looms as profoundly transformative or as destructive as World War II. Its global scope and human toll reveal the true face of modern, industrialized warfare. Now, for the first time, we have a comprehensive, single-volume account of how and why this global conflict evolved as it did. A War To Be Won is a unique and powerful operational history of the Second World War that tells the full story of battle on land, on sea, and in the air. Williamson Murray and Allan R. Millett analyze the operations and tactics that defined the conduct of the war in both the European and Pacific Theaters. Moving between the war room and the battlefield, we see how strategies were crafted and revised, and how the multitudes of combat troops struggled to discharge their orders. The authors present incisive portraits of the military leaders, on both sides of the struggle, demonstrating the ambiguities they faced, the opportunities they took, and those they missed. Throughout, we see the relationship between the actual operations of the war and their political and moral implications. A War To Be Won is the culmination of decades of research by two of America's premier military historians. It avoids a celebratory view of the war but preserves a profound respect for the problems the Allies faced and overcame as well as a realistic assessment of the Axis accomplishments and failures. It is the essential military history of World War II-from the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 to the surrender of Japan in 1945-for students, scholars, and general readers alike.