General Warfare

If you visited Horseshoe Bend battlefield today

by Scott Manning March 27, 2014
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Sun Tzu tells us that if we put our troops “in the most desperate straits, they will have no fear,” and having “nowhere else to turn, they will stand firm” (9.37). Some interpretations indicate this means putting one’s back to a river, an unorthodox and typically disastrous move for armies throughout history. However, for the […]

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Time to give Hans Delbrück’s work an honorable burial?

by Scott Manning March 12, 2014
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In previous articles, we covered how historians have heaped praise upon Hans Delbrück and why that praise was warranted. However, it would be misleading to leave out the fact that many of Delbrück’s principles have not maintained any prominence in military history whatsoever. For example, he believed that historians should only focus on history where […]

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Were these wars worth fighting over sovereignty?

by Scott Manning March 5, 2014
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With a potential war over Ukraine’s sovereignty looming, it is important to understand the kind of war such a dispute could bring.  Some of the largest wars started over what later seemed like a trivial matter. Before Thucydides recounted the dispute between Athens and Sparta leading up to the Peloponnesian War, he stated that he considered “the […]

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Culloden Battlefield and Hallowed Ground

by Scott Manning February 21, 2014
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We Americans treat many of our battlefields as sacred and weep for the ones that are lost to development. Groups such as the Civil War Trust do a superb job organizing people and money to buy up ground, fight development, transfer land to the National Park Service, and do whatever is necessary to preserve battlefields […]

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Hans Delbrück’s Timeless Principles: Troop Estimates, Topography

by Scott Manning February 18, 2014
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In a previous article, I covered how military historians have stumbled over themselves to heap praise upon Hans Delbrück. Now I will demonstrate why that praise is warranted. In a future article, I will demonstrate why it is not. The overarching question for these articles is why military historians should care about Hans Delbrück. Quite simply, Delbrück has […]

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Is Hans Delbrück worthy of this praise?

by Scott Manning February 14, 2014
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Why should military historians care about Hans Delbrück? Like it or not, the legacy of Delbrück as a military historian is still strong even 85 years after his death. Before we get into that, consider some of the praise heaped upon him by other military historians, dubbing him as “the first modern military historian” – […]

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If you visited the Chalmette battlefield today…

by Scott Manning January 8, 2014
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Winston Churchill described the Battle of New Orleans (1815) as the “most irresponsible British onslaught” and “one of the most unintelligent maneuvers in the history of British warfare.”1 The battle was a classic, horrific march of infantry across an open field into well-entrenched guns. The Americans inflicted over 2,000 casualties on the British while suffering […]

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Martin Dempsey knows how to define war

by Scott Manning September 6, 2013
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Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey has read , even quoted him in speeches. He knows that when a state uses force to impose its will on an enemy, then that state is at war. Throughout the Senate Hearing on Syria earlier this week, Secretary of State John Kerry continually emphasized that he was not asking […]

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“War is not some sort of hokey-cokey concept”

by Scott Manning August 30, 2013
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During the 10-hour debate in the UK Parliament over whether to use military intervention in Syria, MP Jim Sheridan from Scotland stood up and offered some wisdom. For those of you who without video or who may not understand Scottish accents: Does he agree with me that any reckless or irresponsible action could lead to […]

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War is war. Stop rebranding it.

by Scott Manning August 28, 2013
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Although war has had many names over the years, never let anyone rebrand that which has had an unchanged nature throughout human history. Growing up, I recall my parents cynically tossing around the term “police action,” mocking its many uses to describe what eventually became known as the Korean War. Hundreds of thousands of troops […]

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