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.
This book analyzes the origins, nature, dynamics, and ruinous end of the Italian and German dictatorships. Emphasizing themes of aggression, fighting power, and staying power, it offers a comparative overview of the two countries' trajectories from unification in the 1860s to national catastrophe in 1943-45. It evaluates Mussolini's foreign policy, a subject still inadequately explored and poorly understood, and offers a novel and compelling interpretation of the synthesis of Prusso-German military tradition and Nazi revolution, which was a key factor in Germany's ability to fight to the bitter end.
Exploring the usefulness of the study of history for contemporary military strategists, this volume illustrates the great importance of military history while simultaneously revealing the challenges of applying the past to the present. Essays from authors of diverse backgrounds--British and American, Civilian and Military--present an overwhelming argument for the necessity of the study of the past by today's military leaders in spite of these challenges. Part I examines the relationship between history and the military profession. Part II explores specific historical cases that reveal the repetitiveness of certain military problems.