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Command in War

ISBN-10: 0674144414
ISBN-13: 9780674144415
Edition: 1985
List price: $35.00 Buy it from $0.99
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Description: Many books have been written about strategy, tactics, and great commanders. This is the first book to deal exclusively with the nature of command itself, and to trace its development over two thousand years from ancient Greece to Vietnam. It treats  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 1985
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 1/1/1987
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Many books have been written about strategy, tactics, and great commanders. This is the first book to deal exclusively with the nature of command itself, and to trace its development over two thousand years from ancient Greece to Vietnam. It treats historically the whole variety of problems involved in commanding armies, including staff organization and administration, communications methods and technologies, weaponry, and logistics. And it analyzes the relationship between these problems and military strategy. In vivid descriptions of key battles and campaigns--among others, Napoleon at Jena, Moltke's Kouml;niggrauml;tz campaign, the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, and the Americans in Vietnam--van Creveld focuses on the means of command and shows how those means worked in practice. He finds that technological advances such as the railroad, breech-loading rifles, the telegraph and later the radio, tanks, and helicopters all brought commanders not only new tactical possibilities but also new limitations. Although vast changes have occurred in military thinking and technology, the one constant has been an endless search for certainty--certainty about the state and intentions of the enemy's forces; certainty about the manifold factors that together constitute the environment in which war is fought, from the weather and terrain to radioactivity and the presence of chemical warfare agents; and certainty about the state, intentions, and activities of one's own forces. The book concludes that progress in command has usually been achieved less by employing more advanced technologies than by finding ways to transcend the limitations of existing ones.

Introduction: On Command
The Nature of Command
The Evolution of Command
The Study of Command
The Stone Age of Command
The Parameters of Strategy
The Nonevolution of Staffs
The Conduct of Battle Conclusions: Mars Shackled
The Revolution in Strategy ""The God of War""
Inside Imperial Headquarters 1806
The Campaign 1806
The Battle Conclusions
Mars Unshackled 4.

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