Journal of Military History
Vol. 81, No. 2
April 2017


“Bruno of Merseburg’s Saxon War: A Study in Eleventh-Century German Military History,” by David S. Bachrach and Bernard S. Bachrach, The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 341-67
Medieval Germany was wracked by civil war throughout the 1060s–1080s. Among our best sources for this conflict is Bruno of Merseburg, whose historical work The Saxon War treats many aspects of the wars between King Henry IV (1056–1106) and his opponents. Unfortunately, neither this text nor the military history of Germany in the eleventh century have received much attention from scholars focusing on the nature and conduct of war. The burden of this study, therefore, is to illuminate Bruno’s treatment of military matters, and consider how his work can be used to understand warfare in eleventh-century Germany.
“‘Where there was no Signs of any Human Being’: Navigating the Eastern Country Wilderness on Arnold’s March to Quebec, 1775,” by Daniel S. Soucier, The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 369-93
Benedict Arnold’s expedition through the wilds of Maine in 1775 during the American Revolution is typically discussed in two common tropes: the praise for Arnold’s leadership and bravery to overcome insurmountable odds, and the privation and suffering experienced by the soldiers in the face of the howling wilderness. This article complicates this narrative by examining how soldiers examine, interact with, impose order over, and find pleasure in the natural world. It argues that all soldiers have complex ideas about the environments in which they serve and that quite often—despite intense privation—they feel fear, consternation, intrigue, invigoration, and awe.
“The School of Experience: George W. Goethals and the U.S. Army, 1876–1907,” by Rory M. McGovern, The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 395-424
At the end of a distinguished career, George W. Goethals completed the construction of the Panama Canal (1907–1914) and managed logistics for the U.S. Army in the final year of World War I. This article examines Goethals’s professional development prior to his arrival in Panama in 1907. It finds that Goethals was a product of an unsystematic developmental model that privileged experiential learning above all else, and that his successful development was more a function of talent, personal connections, and chance than of institutional design or formal training and education.
“‘Done My Bit’: British Soldiers, the 1918 Armistice, and Understanding the First World War,” by Alexander Nordlund, The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 425-46
British soldiers greeted the Armistice on 11 November 1918 with mixed reactions, according to their various personal testimonies from the First World War. By integrating studies of how soldiers understood the war in 1918 with their reactions to and later remembrances of the Armistice, this study argues that an explanation for such mixed attitudes can be traced to the experience of combat in 1918 rather than a general sense of disillusionment with the war itself. In the end, soldiers mixed triumph and tragedy into the idea of having “done my bit” to articulate a positive interpretation of the conflict.
“Battle of Warsaw, 1920: Was Radio Intelligence the Key to Polish Victory over the Red Army?” by Jerzy BorzÄ™cki, The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 447-68
The Battle of Warsaw decided the outcome of the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1920. The Red Army suffered what Lenin called a “catastrophic” and “unheard-of defeat.” Historians have often found it difficult to explain the astonishing Polish victory—the “Miracle on the Vistula.” The latest English-language literature on the topic is confusing. Ian Johnson asserts the battle was won thanks to the cracking of Soviet ciphers by the Polish radio-intelligence service. Adam Zamoyski does not even mention radio-intelligence as a factor. This article resolves the problem by looking at the recent Polish literature on the subject.
“Allied Special Forces and Prisoner of War Recovery Operations in Europe, 1944–1945, “ by Neville Wylie, The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 469-89
This article investigates the efforts made to protect prisoners of war (POWs) in German hands at the end of the Second World War. Challenging contemporary and historical judgments, it argues that Allied plans were reasonable, realistic, and reflected a widespread belief in the importance of protecting the lives and well-being of Allied POWs. Although only two operations were ultimately mounted, the process of raising and equipping specialized recovery units provided a valuable learning experience for Allied planners, which later went on inform recovery operations in the Pacific, and set a precedent that arguably extends to influence attitudes towards POW recovery today.
“Ghost Guerrillas: The CIA and ‘Tiger General’ Li Zongren’s Third Force during the Early Cold War,” by Roger B. Jeans, Jr., The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 491-512
After a protracted struggle, in 1949 the Chinese Communists defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist armies and took control of the mainland. After the possibility of recognition of the new regime was dashed by Communist mistreatment of American diplomats and other U.S. citizens, the U.S. government adopted a strong anticommunist position. Disgusted with Chiang and his Chinese Nationalist Party, it also turned its back on its wartime ally. Thus opposed to both Communists and Nationalists even before the final Communist victory, it launched a search for viable “third forces” (neither Communist nor Nationalist) it could support instead. Far from an “abstraction,” this quest constituted a powerful theme in the approaches of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and State Department to China during the early 1950s.
“Francisco Franco as Warrior: Is It Time for a Reassessment of His Military Leadership?” by Lisa Lines, The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 513-34
Although he was the military leader of the winning Nationalist side during the Spanish Civil War, Francisco Franco’s place in history has been largely defined by his subsequent long-term political role as head of the Spanish fascist state. Up to now, those historians who have assessed his military acumen have tended to give him low marks, particularly on the grounds that his poor grasp of strategy and tactics unnecessarily prolonged the Civil War and led to an inordinately high number of casualties. Recently, however, some historians have begun to reconsider Franco’s skills as a military leader, by viewing his performance within the context of his own cultural and political environment, rather than that of a later era or of other national military traditions.
“To Drone or Not to Drone,” by F. G. Hoffman, The Journal of Military History, 81:2 (April 2017): 535-38

Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History, by Wayne E. Lee, reviewed by Matthew Oyos, 539-40

Strategy: Context and Adaptation from Archidamus to Airpower, edited by Richard J. Bailey, Jr., James W. Forsyth, Jr., and Mark O. Yeisley, reviewed by Gary C. Cheek, Jr., 540-42

The Eurasian Way of War: Military Practice in Seventh-century China and Byzantium, by David A. Graff, reviewed by Gwyn Davies, 542-44

The Reunification of China: Peace through War under the Song Dynasty, by Peter Lorge, reviewed by Yongguang Hu, 545-46

The Prehistory of the Crusades: Missionary War and the Baltic Crusades, by Burnam W. Reynolds, reviewed by William Urban, 546-48

Hattin, by John France, reviewed by Corliss Slack, 548-49

Distributing Status: The Evolution of State Honours in Western Europe, by Samuel Clark, reviewed by Tobias Harper, 549-51

Front Lines: Soldiers’ Writing in the Early Modern Hispanic World, by Miguel Martínez, reviewed by Iana Konstantinova, 551-52

The Culture of the Seven Years’ War: Empire, Identity, and the Arts in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, edited by Frans de Bruyn and Shaun Regan, reviewed by Mark H. Danley, 553-54

The Russo-Turkish War, 1768–1774: Catherine II and the Ottoman Empire, by Brian L. Davies, reviewed by Lucien J. Frary, 554-56

Fatal Sunday: George Washington, the Monmouth Campaign, and the Politics of Battle, by Mark Edward Lender and Garry Wheeler Stone, reviewed by Steven E. Siry, 556-58

Grand Forage 1778: The Battleground around New York City, by Todd W. Braisted, reviewed by James K. Perrin, Jr., 558-59

Napoleon: Soldier of Destiny, by Michael Broers, reviewed by Thomas Dodman, 560-61

Napoleon 1813: Decision at Bautzen, by James R. Arnold, reviewed by Gregory Vitarbo, 561-63

A Bungled Affair: Britain’s War on the United States, the Final Years 1814–1815, by Geoffrey M. Footner, reviewed by Wade G. Dudley, 563-64

Riding for the Lone Star: Frontier Cavalry and the Texas Way of War, 1822–1865, by Nathan A. Jennings, reviewed by Gerald D. Saxon, 564-66

Last Outpost on the Zulu Frontiers: Fort Napier and the British Imperial Garrison, by Graham Dominy, reviewed by Blake Duffield, 566-67

A Short History of U.S. Interventions in Latin America and the Caribbean, by Alan McPherson, reviewed by Ellen D. Tillman, 568-69

“Hang Them All”: George Wright and the Plateau Indian War, by Donald L. Cutler, reviewed by John P. Bowes, 569-71

Powder River: Disastrous Opening of the Great Sioux War, by Paul L. Hedren, reviewed by Paul Beck, 571-72

Militarizing the Border: When Mexicans Became the Enemy, by Miguel Antonio Levario, reviewed by Benny Andres, 572-74

Australian Soldiers in South Africa and Vietnam: Words from the Battlefield, by Effie Karageorgos, reviewed by Joshua Shiver, 574-75

Admiral Bill Halsey: A Naval Life, by Thomas Alexander Hughes, reviewed by John C. Hanley, 575-77

Air Power: A Global History, by Jeremy Black, reviewed by Sebastian H. Lukasik, 577-79

The Bridge to Airpower: Logistics Support for the Royal Flying Corps Operations on the Western Front, 1914–1918, by Peter Dye, reviewed by Michael Molkentin, 579-80

Invasion: The Conquest of Serbia, 1915, by Richard L. DiNardo; and Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914: The Outbreak of the Great War, by James Lyon, reviewed by Paul Miller, 581-83

“Allies are a Tiresome Lot”: The British Army in Italy in the First World War, by John Dillon, reviewed by George H. Cassar, 584-85

The Australian Imperial Force, by Jean Bou and Peter Dennis, reviewed by Edward C. Woodfin, 586-87

Nurse Writers of the Great War, by Christine E. Hallett, reviewed by Aeleah Soine, 587-89

1916: A Global History, by Keith Jeffery, reviewed by Jesse Kauffman, 589-91

An American on the Western Front: The First World War Letters of Arthur Clifford Kimber, 1917–18, by Patrick Gregory and Elizabeth Nurser, reviewed by Steven Trout, 591-92

Wolfhounds and Polar Bears: The American Expeditionary Force in Siberia, 1918–1920, by John M. House, reviewed by Anatol Shmelev, 592-94

Margin of Victory: Five Battles that Changed the Face of Modern War, by Douglas Macgregor, reviewed by David Gray, 594-95

General He Yingqin: The Rise and Fall of Nationalist China, by Peter Worthing, reviewed by Thomas McGrath, 596-97

Kleinkrieg: The German Experience with Guerrilla Warfare from Clausewitz to Hitler, by Charles D. Melson, reviewed by David Yelton, 597-99

Ravensbrück: Life and Death in Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women, by Sarah Helm, reviewed by Rita Kramer, 599-601

Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II, by Mark R. Wilson, reviewed by Jonathan Bean, 601-2

American Airpower Strategy in World War II: Bombs, Cities, Civilians, and Oil, by Conrad C. Crane, reviewed by Stephen L. McFarland, 603-4

Torch: North Africa and the Allied Path to Victory, by Vincent P. O’Hara, reviewed by John Miglietta, 604-5

Storm over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy, by John Prados, reviewed by David L. Snead, 606-7

The D-Day Landing on Gold Beach, by Andrew Holborn, reviewed by Adrian R. Lewis, 607-9

The British Way of War in Northwest Europe, 1944–5: A Study of Two Infantry Divisions, by L. P. Devine, reviewed by Alan Allport, 609-11

Rebuilding War-Torn States: The Challenges of Post-Conflict Economic Reconstruction, by Graciana del Castillo, reviewed by Rachelle Walker, 611-13

The American Bomb in Britain: US Air Forces’ Strategic Presence, 1946–64, by Ken Young, reviewed by Ralph Hitchens, 613-14

Forging the Sword: Doctrinal Change in the U.S. Army, by Benjamin M. Jensen, reviewed by David Bath, 614-15

67 Shots: Kent State and the End of American Innocence, by Howard Means, reviewed by Gregory Wilson, 616-17

Veteran Narratives and the Collective Memory of the Vietnam War, by John A. Wood, reviewed by James R. Smither, 617-19

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate: Covert Action and Internal Operations, by Owen L. Sirrs; and Faith, Unity, Discipline: The Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan, by Hein G. Kiessling, reviewed by John H. Gill, 619-22

Understanding the U.S. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, edited by Beth Bailey and Richard H. Immerman, reviewed by Donald P. Wright, 623-24

What Went Wrong in Afghanistan? Understanding Counter-insurgency Efforts in Tribalized Rural and Muslim Environments, by Metin Gurcan, reviewed by Lisa M. Mundey, 625-26

Hopeless but Optimistic: Journeying through America’s Endless War in Afghanistan, by Douglas A. Wissing, reviewed by Brian North, 626-28

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