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  • Author: Bent Ole Gram Mortensen
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The importance of resources for any country does not require much introduction. History is filled with exhaustively described examples of where the need for access to various kinds of resources – drinking water, agricultural land, various minerals – has been geopolitically important and has even led to war. War strategies themselves can be affected by the need for access to resources. Germany's and Japan's needs for oil and World War II are prime examples.
  • Political Geography: Japan, Germany
  • Author: Helmut R. Hammerich
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Military historians love studying battles. For this purpose, they evaluate operation plans and analyze how these plans were executed on the battlefield. The battle history of the Cold War focuses first and foremost on the planning for the nuclear clash between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Although between 1945 and 1989-90 the world saw countless hot wars on the periphery of the Cold War, the "Cold World War," as the German historian Jost Dülffer termed it, is best examined through the operational plans of the military alliances for what would have been World War Three. To conduct such an analysis we must consider Total War under nuclear conditions.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Mark Shannon
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Germany's defeat in the First World War came as a profound shock. While the nation was stunned by the peace settlement that followed, the military was faced with the inescapable reality that their approach to fighting a prolonged industrialized conflict was flawed. The years following Germany's defeat found the army in search of reasons for its failure. The officer corps sought to analyze its experience with "total war" and to draw the correct lessons from it. In this way, the army could prepare for the war of the future, secure in the knowledge that any repetition of the First World War could be avoided. In short, the German armed forces began the detailed process of distilling relevant military lessons from the conflict and applying them to their perception of a future war. While many of the lessons learned and studied had to do with tactics and technology, it is the purpose of this analysis to examine the strategic debate that ensued. Regardless of how strategy would be formulated in the coming years, it maintained at its heart one simple objective that is best summarized in a conversation between General Walther Reinhardt and Colonel Albrecht von Thaer in January 1919. Thaer expressed his pessimism for the coming years but Reinhardt, a liberal officer who was about to assume command of the War Ministry disagreed. He openly stated that "the goal is and remains a free Germany, hopefully restored to its former borders, with [the] strongest, most modern army with [the] newest weapons. One must not let this goal recede from view for even one moment." Rearmament and conscription would return, he declared, but when Thaer suggested this might be possible in the distant future, Reinhardt assured him that "We must and will be in position to do so in 15 years." Clearly, planning for the next war began at the moment defeat in the First World War was realized.
  • Political Geography: Canada, Germany
  • Author: Deji A. Oguntoyinbo
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: All through the ages, Shakespeare's literary oeuvre has occupied a canonical status in world literature, primarily because of its universal relevance in terms of thematic preoccupation, characterization, and setting amongst several literary components. Though widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre- eminent dramatist, Shakespeare has been translated into every major living language and is performed more often than any other playwright. His dramatic works have been repeatedly adapted and rediscovered by new movements or perspectives in scholarship and performance. Even now, his plays remain highly popular and are constantly studied, performed and reinterpreted in various social, cultural and political contexts throughout the globe. One of these contexts is the Second World War. Regarded as the longest, bloodiest and deadliest conflict in history, World War II was fought predominantly in Europe and across the Pacific and Eastern Asia, pitting the Axis powers of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and Japan against the Allied nations of Great Britain, France, China, United States and the Soviet Union. It is the most widespread war in history with more than one hundred million people serving in military units from over thirty different countries, and death tolls estimated to be between fifty and eighty-five million fatalities. Despite the fact that theatre stands as a “simulacrum of the cultural and historical process itself, seeking to depict the full range of human actions within their physical context, has always provided society with the most tangible records of its attempts to understand its own records” (3), the role of Shakespeare during the Second World War had not yet been given sustained, critical and detailed scholastic documentation. Herein lies the relevance and necessity of Shakespeare and the Second World War – as a writers' quota to fill the scholastic lacuna. Most of the war's belligerents showed affinity with Shakespearean works as a depiction of their society's self-image. Divided into fifteen illuminating, diverse, and yet coherent essays by seasoned and erudite academics, Shakespeare and the Second World War is a small sampling of reviewed and extended essays from “Wartime Shakespeare in a Global Context/Shakespeare au temps de la guerre” – an international bilingual conference that took place at the University of Ottawa in 2009. Within the spatial and temporal context of the war, Shakespeare's oeuvre is recycled, reviewed and reinterpreted in the chapters. In a Manichean manner, these essays cannot be collectively pigeonholed as either pro or anti–war. In fact, there is a sort of ambivalence with vacillating opinions by the writers.
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Japan, China, France, Soviet Union, Germany, Italy
  • Author: Paul M. Ramsey
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: For understandable reasons, historians have consistently tried to clear the waters by reducing the complexities of the First World War. This process has been vital in understanding the origins of the war, its conduct, victory and conclusion, and in shaping the historiography. Moving beyond earlier fixed interpretations, for the last twenty years the idea of a 'learning curve' has played a major role in explaining British success in the autumn of 1918. Yet, its explanative power is limited in three significant ways. Firstly, war and strategy is reciprocal; the battlefield is an interactive play of forces, and not simply the play of one side. Secondly, friction resulting from this and multiple other interactions means war is complicated and winning is difficult. Thirdly, learning is often uneven within large institutions and dynamic problems cannot be solved with single solutions. With this in view, Jonathan Boff's book addresses these fundamental issues and reanimates the complexities of the First World War, challenging many assumptions about victory and defeat on the Western Front in 1918. Boff expertly navigates these muddy waters and demonstrates how explaining complexity trumps earlier monocausal explanations; showing as Clausewitz made clear that everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult, especially winning.
  • Political Geography: Germany