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The Pursuit of Victory By Brian Bond (Professor of Military History, Professor of Military History, King's College, London)

Summary

This study discusses the successes and failures of military and political leaders in their pursuit of victory in war over the last two centuries.

The Pursuit of Victory Summary

The Pursuit of Victory: From Napoleon to Saddam Hussein by Brian Bond (Professor of Military History, Professor of Military History, King's College, London)

In Western Europe and North America the idea that war can deliberately be used as an `instrument of policy' has become unfashionable, not least because of the carnage of two World Wars and the Americans' humiliating experience in Vietnam. But wars are still fought. Those who start wars clearly believe they are worthwhile. Why? In this original and provocative study, Brian Bond discusses the successes and failures of military and political leaders in their pursuit of victory over the last two centuries. Professor Bond argues that in order to be counted victorious, a leader has to progress beyond military triumph to preserve the political control needed to secure an advantageous and enduring peace settlement. Napoleon was a brilliant general, but failed as a statesman. Bismarck, on the other hand, was a success in skilfully exploiting Moltke's victories on the battlefield to create a unified Germany. In the First World War, Germany and her allies were defeated but at such great cost that confidence in the idea that war could be controlled, and the pursuit of victory made rational, received a terrible shock. Germany and Japan exploited their military opportunites between 1939 and 1942, but lack of political control and moderation brought them catastrophic defeat. After 1945, nuclear weapons and the increased complexity of international relations blurred the identity of `victors' and `losers' and seemed to make the idea of a `decisive' victory almost unthinkable. But this study warns against the assumption that war as an instrument of policy has now been completely discarded. The Falklands and Gulf conflicts show that aggressors are still prepared to risk war for tangible goals, and that their opponents are quite capable of responding successfully to such challenges.

The Pursuit of Victory Reviews

'a judicious account of warfare, predominantly in Europe and mostly on land, over the past two and a half centuries' * Times Literary Supplement *
'impressive book' * Financial Times *

Table of Contents

1. Frederick the Great and the era of limited war ; 2. Napoleon and the decisive battle ; 3. The Napoleonic legacy: the influence of Jomini and Clausewitz ; 4. Moltke and the wars of German unification ; 5. The quest for victory in the Schlieffen era, 1890-1914 ; 6. The pursuit of victory in the First World War and the aftermath ; 7. The pursuit of victory in the Second World War ; 8. The pursuit of victory in the nuclear age ; Conclusion

Additional information

GOR002260878
9780198207351
0198207352
The Pursuit of Victory: From Napoleon to Saddam Hussein by Brian Bond (Professor of Military History, Professor of Military History, King's College, London)
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Oxford University Press
1998-03-12
250
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

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