Download Big Wars and Small Wars: The British Army and the Lessons by Hew Strachan PDF

By Hew Strachan

This can be a interesting new perception into the British military and its evolution via either huge and small scale conflicts. to arrange for destiny wars, armies derive classes from previous wars. even though, a few armies are defeated simply because they learnt the inaccurate classes, combating new conflicts in methods applicable to the final. For the British military within the 20th century, the problem has been rather nice. It hasn't ever had the luxurious of rising from one significant eu warfare with the time to arrange itself for the following. The best army historians convey how ongoing commitments to more than a few ‘small wars’ have continuously been a part of the Army’s adventure. After 1902 and after 1918 they integrated colonial campaigns, yet in addition they built into what we'd now name counter-insurgency operations, and those grew to become the norm among 1945 and 1969. through the top of the chilly conflict, in 1982, the military used to be deployed to the Falklands. considering the fact that 1990 the dominant projects of the military were peace aid operations. this is often a very good source for all scholars and students of army background, politics and diplomacy and British historical past.

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Additional info for Big Wars and Small Wars: The British Army and the Lessons of War in the 20th Century (Military History and Policy Series)

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233. Brian Bond, ‘The labour of Sisyphus: educational reform at RMA Sandhurst’, Journal of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, September 1977, pp. 38–44; Hew Strachan, ‘The British army and the study of war: a personal view’, Army Quarterly, 1981, vol. 111, pp. 134–48. R. Henderson, The Science of War, London: Longmans, 1919, p. 49. Jay Luvaas, The Education of an Army: British Military Thought 1815–1940, London: Cassell, 1965, p. 244; see pp. 216–47 on Henderson generally.

But the danger, as David Benest shows, was that it would interpret a conflict not as it was but as those lessons led it to expect it to be. Northern Ireland revealed the dangers of learning lessons too rigidly: the failure to recognise that conclusions drawn from one environment were not transferable to another. Nor did the army prove to be quick to learn. Simon Ball highlights the principal tactical lesson from the Falklands, the infantry’s need for firepower, and particularly its reliance on the general purpose machine gun, a seemingly self-evident point to the reader of any account of the battle for Goose Green or Mount Tumbledown.

56 32 Edward M. Spiers Acknowledgements I should like to thank The Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, the Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum, Brighton and Hove City Council, and the National Library of Scotland for permission to quote from papers which are held in their archives. Notes 1 Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Lesson’, The Times, 29 July 1901, p. 6. 2 Sir James Edmonds, Official History of the Great War: Military Operations, France and Belgium, 1914, hereafter referred to as OH , London: HMSO, 1922, 1, pp.

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