British Military Thought and Armoured Forces, 1903-1939
Author: J. P. Harris
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Men, ideas and tanks reviews the development of British military ideas on armoured forces from 1903 to 1939. Great Britain was the nation which first developed the tank, first used it in action and first gained dramatic results by employment. The British continued to be world leaders in the field of mechanised warfare until the early 1930s. Now available in paperback for the first time, J. P. Harris original work offers new interpretations of the early history of British armoured forces and explains why Great Britain had lost the lead by the outbreak of the Second World War. This work will be of interest to all those concerned with British military history in the first half of the twentieth century, with the history of mechanised warfare and with the history of military thought.
This book charts the history of armoured warfare from the first use of the tank in 1916 right through to the 21st century, adopting military, political and global perspectives. Alaric Searle explores the origins of the tank, the part it played in the First World War and its contribution to the outcome of the war. He considers its role as a tool of propaganda, the military controversies of the interwar period and the employment of armoured forces in all the major theatres in the Second World War. Since the First World War, major and medium-sized powers have invested heavily in armoured forces. Searle looks at the conduct of mechanised warfare in Korea, Indo-China and Vietnam, and during conflicts such as the Arab-Israeli Wars and the Gulf Wars. Armoured Warfare adopts a global perspective, providing the most comprehensive survey of the history of the subject currently available. With a detailed bibliography of both primary and secondary sources, it is an ideal companion for those studying armoured warfare, modern military history and war studies.
The author describes the preliminaries to the first tank v tank battle in history, which took place on 24th April 1918 near Cachy, some 2 miles SW of Villers Bretonneux; for his part in the action he received the immediate award of the MC. This is just one of the many actions recounted in this book, including that which won the first VC for the new Corps, awarded to Capt C.Robertson in Oct 1917 during Third Ypres. He describes all the tank battles beginning with their first appearance on the Somme in September 1916. But we also see the home front, the training of crews, the technology and the characteristics of the new weapon. There is a brief note on the use of tanks in Egypt, on French and American experiences. The author wrote this book in 1933 so he concludes his book with an analysis of what the tank achieved during the war, descriptions of the post-war armoured vehicles, tanks and others, and his view of tanks in the future. There is a useful glossary of tank terms.
'I thought Tank Men was a triumph ...it is a really fine piece of work' - Richard Holmes 'Some of the eye witness accounts Kershaw has collected for this comprehensive review of tank warfare have the power to chill the reader to the bone. This is warfare at the sharp end' --NOTTINGHAM EVENING POST The First World War saw the birth of an extraordinary fighting machine that has fascinated three generations: the tank. In Tank Men, ex-soldier and military historian Robert Kershaw brings to life the grime, the grease and the fury of a tank battle through the voices of ordinary men and women who lived and fought in those fearsome machines. Drawing on vivid, newly researched personal testimony from the crucial battles of the First and Second World Wars, this is military history at its very best.
From December 1915 until the armistice of November 1918, Sir Douglas Haig was commander-in-chief of the largest army his country had ever put into the field. He has been portrayed as both an incompetent 'butcher and bungler' and a clear-sighted, imperturbable 'architect of victory'. However, in this magisterial account, J. P. Harris dispels such stereotypes. A dedicated military professional, Haig nevertheless found it difficult to adjust to the unprecedented conditions of the Western Front. His capacity to 'read' battles and broader strategic situations often proved poor and he bears much responsibility for British losses 1915-17 that were excessive in relation to the results achieved. By late 1917 his own faith in ultimate victory had become so badly shaken that he advocated a compromise peace. However, after surviving the German spring offensives of 1918, he played a vital role in the campaign that finally broke the German army.
The course of events of the Great War has been told many times, spurred by an endless desire to understand 'the war to end all wars'. However, this book moves beyond military narrative to offer a much fuller analysis of of the conflict's strategic, political, economic, social and cultural impact. Starting with the context and origins of the war, including assasination, misunderstanding and differing national war aims, it then covers the treacherous course of the conflict and its social consequences for both soldiers and civilians, for science and technology, for national politics and for pan-European revolution. The war left a long-term legacy for victors and vanquished alike. It created new frontiers, changed the balance of power and influenced the arts, national memory and political thought. The reach of this acount is global, showing how a conflict among European powers came to involve their colonial empires, and embraced Japan, China, the Ottoman Empire, Latin America and the United States.
From the ideas of Clausewitz to contemporary doctrines of containment and cold war, this is a definitive history of modern military thought. A one-volume collection of Azar Gat's classic trilogy, it explores conceptions of war, strategy, and military theory and relates them to their cultural and historical contexts.
This study looks at the influence of ideas and think tanks in Britain, contemplating how ideas have shaped politics and society. The purveyors of ideas for change - the think tanks - are examined, and academics and participants vieww are recorded in a number of interviews.