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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
  • Author: Dr. Adam Lankford
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The history of warfare is marked by national armed forces, paramilitary fighters, and rebels across various eras and cultures who have committed sexual assault with impunity. Social norms have changed dramatically since ancient times, but it can be shocking to realize that even some well respected leaders of the past once approved of such crimes. For instance, Moses apparently gave orders to his warriors to “kill every male among them, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”1 This may not have been an overt sanction of sexual assault, but it certainly implies that the enemy's virgins should be kept as sexual companions. Furthermore, as Susan Brownmiller describes, “Among the ancient Greeks, rape was socially acceptable behavior well within the rules of warfare, an act without stigma for warriors who viewed the women they conquered as legitimate booty, useful as wives, concubines, slave labor or battle-camp trophy.”2 Joshua S. Goldstein similarly points out that “The most common pattern in warfare in the ancient Middle East and Greece was to literally feminize a conquered population by executing the male captives, raping the women, then taking women and children as slaves. The pattern…recurs even today.”3 In the last century, sexual assault has accompanied armed conflicts in countries all around the world, including Bosnia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Rwanda, and Sudan.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Sudan, Bosnia, Middle East, France, Germany, Italy, Rwanda
  • Author: Toshi Yoshihara, James R. Holmes
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Japan is an Indian Ocean power of long standing. Ten years ago, in a post-9/11 show of solidarity with the United States and to exercise a more muscular foreign policy, Tokyo committed vessels of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF, or MSDF) to the coalition naval contingent supporting combat operations in Afghanistan. JMSDF tankers resupplied coalition warships, while Aegis destroyers guarded against air and surface threats in the Arabian Sea. Japanese seamen posted impressive statistics for this naval enterprise. The Japan Ministry of Defense reported that JMSDF vessels supplied about 137 million gallons of fuel oil and some 2.8 gallons of water to customers from about a dozen countries, including the United States, Pakistan, France, Britain, and Germany. Tokyo spent over $110 million on the logistics mission in its final two years according to Defense Ministry spokesmen, even as demand for such support dwindled.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Britain, Afghanistan, United States, Japan, India, France, Arabia, Germany, Tokyo
  • Author: Gerhard Gross
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Historians and military figures, especially British and American individuals, again and again raise the question of why the German army was - at least for a time - so successful in battle in the world war era despite its inferiority in materiel and personnel. In addition to tactical capabilities, the explanations given often include the operational capabilities of the German land forces. While Geoffrey P. Megargee and Shimon Nahev are critical in their assessment of the Wehrmacht's operational achievements because of specific German command and control problems and Naveh points out that there is no coherent theory behind Germany's operational thinking, others emphasize the outstanding operational capabilities of the German army. Edward N. Luttwak describes the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as follows: “In fact it was an operation very much in the German style: elegant, full of risks, and most profitable.” Robert M. Citino goes even further. He draws a direct line from the Schlieffen Plan to Desert Storm, the most successful American military operation since World War II. The key to success lay in the decision to wage a war of maneuver, which was well-planned and thought-out, as well as the establishment of clear points of main effort - a fact any German officer is aware of. Both writers suggest that the Germans had a timeless art of command and control, the main factors of which – the establishment of points of main effort, risk awareness, speed and maneuver – were broadly adopted by American and Soviet officers. In this paper, I will present a short outline of the development of operational thinking in the German army in the world war era.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Germany
  • Author: Holger Herwig
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: On 28 June 1914 the heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne was assassinated. The Austrian government alleged official Serbian involvement, issued an ultimatum, and, rejecting negotiation, began hostilities on 29 July with a bombardment of Belgrade. In a linked series of decisions, four other major European powers—Germany, Russia, France, and Britain—joined the struggle. Ultimately, twenty-nine nations, including Japan and the Ottoman Empire, would be involved. In all instances, the decision makers recognized the inherent hazards. They knew their choices could enlarge the conflict and significantly escalate the dimensions of the struggle.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: Christine Leppard
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In 1939 Canada entered World War Two with a tiny military and obsolete kit. Four years later, Canada had raised a five division, two corps army that was defending the shores of Dover, although the immediate threat of German invasion had long since passed. Instead of joining the Allied war in North Africa the Canadian army remained, in the words of Army Commander Andrew McNaughton, the “dagger pointed at the heart of Berlin,” ready and waiting to go ashore in North-West Europe whenever the long-awaited invasion finally came. This posture pleased the Canadian public, who well versed in the laurels won by Arthur Currie and the Canadian Corps in the Great War, anticipated a similar role for the entire Canadian army in the liberation of Europe. Plus, Canada's expected role in the main invasion would bolster its esteem among its more powerful allies, Britain and the United States. Although Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King was speaking about Canadian public opinion when he told one of his cabinet minister's that “he laughed best who laughed last,” it surely also applied to Mackenzie King's view of what Canada's post-war role would be: one with a newly minted role for Canada as an independent ally, neither wholly British nor wholly American, standing independent and tall within the British Commonwealth and the United Nations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, Germany, United Nations