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Military Planning and the Origins of the Second World War in Europe

Military Planning and the Origins of the Second World War in Europe (Hardback)

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This study offers a new perspective on the origins of the Second World War by comparing and contrasting military planning in seven nations in the two decades before 1939 (and, in the case of the United States and Soviet Russia, before 1941). Developing themes over time and across military cultures allows the authors to provide a comparative framework in which to survey how military planning and foreign policy were interwoven and how these connections produced divergent national strategies in the context of differing nationalities, military organizations, and societies. The contributors to this volume have consciously employed a wide interpretation of military history by emphasizing the interplay of social, political, diplomatic, and economic factors with military concerns, as well as the relationship between war and society. For example, the German army developed its concept of blitzkrieg by examining military theory generated within the General Staff before 1918, and by considering the new political circumstances in which the Weimar state and its Nazi successor found themselves as a result of the Versailles Treaty.

Despite its ultimate success, the German concept was merely abstract and theoretical until the combined use of armor and air power was employed effectively in Poland in the autumn of 1939 and in Western Europe during the spring of 1940. In contrast, the French defensive strategy built around the use of the Maginot Line was illustrative of a mainly defensive foreign policy, while British appeasement policy reflected the diminished level of military preparedness that was possible throughout the 1930s.

History & PoliticsHistory General & TheoryGeneral & world historyHistory & PoliticsMilitary HistorySecond World WarHistory & PoliticsMilitary StudiesIntelligence, Strategy & tacticsHistory & PoliticsPolitics & governmentInternational relationsHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyEuropean history Publisher: ABC-CLIO Publication Date: 30/12/2000 ISBN-13: 9780275961589  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.  

B.J.C. MCKERCHER is Chair of War Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society./e He is a specialist in 20th-century Anglo-American relations. He is the general editor of The Praeger Studies in Diplomacy and Strategic Thought and, with K.E. Neilson, general editor of The Praeger Series on Foreign Policy in the Inter-war Period. ROCH LEGAULT is Assistant Professor in the Department of History in the Royal Military College of Canada./e He is an expert on Canadian military history, especially British military history in the Canadian context, since the Colonial Period. At the moment, Professor Legault is examining the Canadian reserves and British military activity in Canada.

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