The Oxford History of Modern War

The Oxford History of Modern War

Charles Townshend

Language: English

Pages: 430

ISBN: 0192806459

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Oxford History of Modern War

Charles Townshend

Language: English

Pages: 430

ISBN: 0192806459

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


How has war shaped modern society and vice versa? How has it changed over the centuries between the introduction of firearms and the invention of the atomic bomb? How is war waged today?
This highly informative work examines the techniques, technology, and theories of warfare from the 'military revolution' of the seventeenth century to the present day. Expert contributors explore major developments and themes, including: the extraordinary achievements of Napoleon's armies; the role of nationalism in battlegrounds as various as the American Civil War and the former Yugoslavia; colonial wars; the concept and reality of 'total war;' guerrilla warfare and 'people's wars.'
A History of Modern War offers a comprehensive overview of military conflict over several centuries, with fascinating thematic chapters covering air and sea warfare, combat experience, technology, and even opposition to war. It is the ideal supplementary text for courses on modern history and it is especially useful for anyone broadly curious about modern war.

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‘Second Military Revolution’. In resorting to war, the princes of early modern Europe could only achieve the modest results which their forces were able to deliver. Armies were usually incapable of destroying an opponent, moved slowly because of poor communications and supply, and were hugely expensive to recruit, making commanders reluctant to risk them in battle. War was fought to seize or defend land. As vulnerable areas were normally protected by castles and fortified towns, the dominant

Russo-Turkish War of 80 The Nation in Arms II 1877–8 that the Tsarist government established army corps and reserve units to hasten the process of mobilization. Some small steps were taken towards making service in the army resemble a patriotic duty rather than the penal servitude it had so often resembled in the past. But right down to 1914 the Russian state denied so many civic rights to so many of its citizens that, in reality, Russia was a nation in arms only in numerical terms. In

of 1899–1902. The advent of machine-guns did give Europeans firepower advantages in defensive situations. It appears that the Russians and Imperial Wars 99 Americans were the first to add them to the inventories of armed expeditions in central Asia and the West. However, their general use in imperial warfare was impeded by both technical and tactical factors. Early versions like the mitrailleuse and Gatling were heavy and unreliable. Most commanders realized that a weapon which jammed at

or even Thirty Years Wars. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–8 had indicated the shape of things to come: the combination of earthworks and modern weapons in the Turks’ defence Introduction 11 of Plevna held up the Russian advance for five months. This power of resistance in a state which hardly ranked as one of Moltke’s great powers showed what might be expected in fullscale war. Had Europeans been able to recognize it, a still more sobering vision of the future had been provided by the American

1848 he led the defence of the Roman Republic, and by 1859 he was an international liberal icon, yet none of his efforts had come near success. Only on the back of the French victory in 1859 did he launch his astonishing invasion of Sicily, which triumphed mainly because of local peasant grievances, not Italian national feeling. The vastly greater scale and intensity of the American Civil War foreshadowed the appearance of modern total war, reaching down to the roots of social life. For instance,

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