Journal of Military History
Vol. 87, No. 1
January 2023


“Small Wars, Ecology, and Imperialism in Precolonial South Asia: A Case Study of Mughal-Ahom Conflict, 1615–1682,” by Kaushik Roy, Journal of Military History 87:1 (January 2023): 9–31
This article uses the concept of “small war” to analyze military confrontations between the Mughal Empire and the Ahom Kingdom of Assam during the seventeenth century. The Mughals launched a series of conventional campaigns on the land and along the rivers. The Ahoms responded with both conventional and guerrilla attacks. For the Mughals, military operations in Assam were limited wars; the Ahom monarchy was a nuisance. However, the Mughal Empire posed an existential threat to the Ahom Kingdom, and the Ahoms fought for their survival. In the Mughal-Ahom confrontations, geography and managerial factors functioned as crucial drivers. Despite technical and firepower superiority, the Mughals were defeated.
“The Somewhat Organized Violence of Revolutionary Paris, 1789–1792,” by Noah Shusterman, Journal of Military History 87:1 (January 2023): 32–63
The French Revolution’s first three years were marked by fighting between different armed groups in a fluid field of violence among armed state, nonstate, and quasi-state actors. The forces of order were less organized than their titles would indicate, while opposition forces were better organized and trained than they portrayed themselves to be. Paris was a military theatre where victory was determined by the opposition’s ability to attract both armed fighters and widespread popular support, though a government that was unpopular with the population of Paris but that had the support of the city’s military could continue to rule. Governments fell when they lost control of military forces.
“Nineteenth-Century Honor Concept Development at America’s Senior Military Colleges,” by Samuel Limneos, Journal of Military History 87:1 (January 2023): 64–96
The eight senior military colleges—the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, Norwich University, Virginia Military Institute, Citadel, Virginia Tech, University of North Georgia, and Texas A&M–maintain honor codes often seen as having originated in the nineteenth century. In fact, none had written honor codes until the twentieth century. What did develop in the nineteenth century was the concept of honor, with striking similarities among the colleges. Their emphasis on strict discipline, rigorous academics, and Christian ideals, drawn from the military service and regional cultures, were the foundation for such honor concepts as restrained manhood, gentlemanly behavior, and self-discipline—and ultimately, of the individual honor codes.
“The Conception and Implementation of Field Service Regulations in the British Army, 1900–1915,” by David Keable-Elliott, Journal of Military History 87:1 (January 2023): 97–124
In 1914, the British Army was organized and trained in compliance with Field Service Regulations (FSR). Douglas Haig stated that “a steady adherence” to their “principles,” had enabled success on the Western Front. Despite its impact on the British Army from 1902, however, FSR has been widely disregarded or misrepresented, partly due to a misconceived belief that Haig embodied these principles. Haig played no part in establishing FSR and did not, from 1909, reform his command and tactical principles in line with it. If Haig had adhered to the principles he extolled in 1918, the British Army of 1916 would have been in better shape.
“Sir Henry Newbolt, the Naval Staff, and the Writing of the Official History of the Origins and Inauguration of Convoy in 1917,” by Matthew S. Seligmann, Journal of Military History 87:1 (January 2023): 125–44
The accusation frequently levelled at official history is that it is beholden to government and this relationship limits its honesty and impartiality. One example of this is the depiction of the introduction of the convoy system in the official British history of the First World War. According to one popular narrative, this came about only because determined, far-seeing politicians overrode reactionary senior admirals. The official history offered an account more favorable to the navy and, therefore, it has been characterized as a whitewash. This article shows that while individual naval officers and the Admiralty had a voice in the production of the text, their input led to a better, more balanced product, with fewer errors and a greater sense of the complexity of the issues. This furthers the argument that official history that incorporates such voices is generally better for it.
“Ernst Volckheim, Heinz Guderian, and the Origins of German Armored Doctrine,” by Ian Ona Johnson, Journal of Military History 87:1 (January 2023): 145–68
Following World War II, General Heinz Guderian claimed authorship of the development of Germany’s Panzer arm, which he had led to successes at the war’s start. In fact, Guderian had little influence on the foundation of the Reichswehr’s mechanized forces. He had built on the work of Germany’s first armored warfare theorist: Ernst Volckheim. One of few German officers to command a tank in World War I, Volckheim was Germany’s leading theorist of tank warfare in the 1920s. His work would reshape decisions crucial to Germany’s development of armored forces in World War II. This article reassesses Volckheim’s influence on German training, doctrine, and tank design.
“Citizen Candidates: Cold War Naturalization, Military Service, and the Lodge Act of 1950,” by Brad Hardy, Journal of Military History 87:1 (January 2023): 169–88
The passage of the Lodge Act in 1950 enabled the United States to offer citizenship to foreign nationals in exchange for service in the U.S. Army. A chief objective was to further Cold War goals by enlisting Eastern European candidates to serve as special forces troops, linguists, cultural experts, and skilled technicians. The legislation sought to spread American values abroad and unify support at home. Its chief legacy, however, was to serve as a template for naturalizing those who served in the decades that followed. “Citizen Candidates” won first place in the 2021 VMI Adams Center Cold War Military history essay contest.
Book Reviews:
War, Spectacle, and Politics in the Ancient Andes, by Elizabeth N. Arkush, reviewed by R. Alan Covey, 189–90

Rome and Parthia. Empires at War: Ventidius, Antony and the Second Romano-Parthian War, 40–20 BC, by Gareth Sampson, reviewed by Jonathan P. Roth, 191–92

The Forty Sieges of Constantinople: The Great City’s Enemies & Its Survival, by John D. Grainger, reviewed by Joe Morrel, 192–93

Medieval Women and War: Female Roles in the Old French Tradition, by Sophie Harwood, reviewed by Valerie Eads, 194–95

Atlantic Wars: From the Fifteenth Century to the Age of Revolution, by Geoffrey Plank, reviewed by Flavio Eichmann, 196–97

Elizabeth’s French Wars, 1562–1598, by William A. Heap, reviewed by Anke Fischer-Kattner, 197–99

March to Independence: The American Revolution in the Southern Colonies, 1775–1776, by Michael Cecere, reviewed by William L. Ramsey, 199–200

Feeding Washington’s Army: Surviving the Valley Forge Winter of 1778, by Ricardo A. Herrera, reviewed by Timothy C. Hemmis, 201–2

Leading Like the Swamp Fox: The Leadership Lessons of Francis Marion, by Kevin Dougherty and Steven D. Smith, reviewed by John Bradstreet Weaver, 202–4

Historicizing the French Revolution: The Two Hundred Years’ War, by Antonio De Francesco, reviewed by William S. Cormack, 204–5

The Bloody Flag: Mutiny in the Age of Atlantic Revolution, by Niklas Frykman, reviewed by John C. Mitcham, 206–7

The Sword of Luchana: Baldomero Espartero and the Making of Modern Spain, 1793–1879, by Adrian Shubert, reviewed by Gregorio Alonso, 207–9

Eagles Over the Alps: Suvorov in Italy and Switzerland, 1799, by Christopher Duffy, reviewed by James R. Arnold, 209–11

Wellington’s Waterloo Allies: How Soldiers from Brunswick, Hanover, Nassau, and the Netherlands Contributed to the Victory of 1815, by Andrew W. Field, reviewed by Nicholas Kramer, 211–12

The Zulu-Boer War, 1837–1840, by Michał Leśniewski, reviewed by Robert H. Clemm, 212–14

Hul! Hul! The Suppression of the Santal Rebellion in Bengal, 1855, by Peter Stanley, reviewed by Samuel Watson, 214–16

The Grammar of Civil War: A Mexican Case Study, 1857–1861, by Will Fowler, reviewed by Paul Gillingham, 216–17

Early Struggles for Vicksburg: The Mississippi Central Campaign and Chickasaw Bayou, October 25–December 31, 1862, by Timothy B. Smith, reviewed by Terrence J. Winschel, 217–19

A Notable Bully: Colonel Billy Wilson, Masculinity, and the Pursuit of Violence in the Civil War Era, by Robert E. Cray, reviewed by Sarah Handley-Cousins, 219–21

Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine, by Carole Adrienne, reviewed by Brian Martin. 221–23

Voices of the Army of the Potomac: Personal Reminiscences of Union Veterans, by Vincent L. Burns, reviewed by Brianna Kirk Frakes, 223–24

The Record of Murders and Outrages: Racial Violence and the Fight Over Truth at the Dawn of Reconstruction, by William A. Blair, reviewed by Thomas G. Nester, 225–26

Delivering Victory: The History of U.S. Military Transportation, by Richard E. Killblane, reviewed by Timothy M. Gilhool, 226–27

The Bolsheviks and Britain during the Russian Revolution and Civil War, 1917–24, by Evgeny Sergeev, reviewed by Michael Hughes, 228–29

Info Ops: From World War I to the Twitter Era, edited by Ofer Fridman, Vitaly Kabernik, and Francesca Granelli, reviewed by Garrett Gatzemeyer, 229–31

Gunboats, Empire and the China Station: The Royal Navy in 1920s East Asia, by Matthew Heaslip, reviewed by Chi Man Kwong, 231–33

Blood and Ruins: The Last Imperial War, 1931–1945, by Richard Overy, reviewed by John T. Kuehn, 233–34

Tank Combat in Spain: Armored Warfare during the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939, by Anthony J. Candil, reviewed by Jeremy Black, 235–36

Allied Air Operations 1939–1940: The War Over France and the Low Countries, by Jerry Murland, reviewed by Kenneth P. Werrell, 236–37

Rearming the RAF for the Second World War: Poor Strategy & Miscalculation, by Adrian Phillips, reviewed by Dan Ellin, 238–29

Pearl: December 7, 1941, by Daniel Allen Butler, reviewed by Joshua Fulton, 239–40

The Soviet Army’s High Commands in War and Peace, 1941–1992, by Richard W. Harrison, reviewed by John Yurechko, 241–42

Enemies among Us: The Relocation, Internment, and Repatriation of German, Italian and Japanese Americans during the Second World War, by John E. Schmitz, reviewed by Fred L. Borch, 243–44

Normandy: From Cotentin to Falaise, June–July 1944, by Friedrich Hayn, reviewed by Darrell Reader, 244–45

Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, the Firebombing of Tokyo, and the Road to the Atomic Bomb, by James M. Scott, reviewed by Henry Richard Maar III, 246–47

Fire and Steel: The End of World War Two in the West, by Peter Caddick-Adams, reviewed by Donald B. Connelly, 247–49

The Long Shadow of World War II: The Legacy of the War and its Impact on Political and Military Thinking since 1945, edited by Matthias Strohn, reviewed by John C. Hanley, 249–51

Dear John: Love and Loyalty in Wartime America, by Susan L. Carruthers, reviewed by Karl L. Rubis, 251–53

Who Can Hold the Sea: The U.S. Navy in the Cold War, 1945–1960, by James D. Hornfischer, reviewed by Ryan Wadle, 253–54

The Turtle and the Dreamboat: The Cold War Flights that Forever Changed the Course of Global Aviation, by Jim Leeke, reviewed by Peter Svik, 254–56

Stalin’s Library: A Dictator and His Books, by Geoffrey Roberts, reviewed by Reina Pennington, 256–57

Going Downtown: The U.S. Air Force over Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, 1961–75, by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, reviewed by Ralph M. Hitchens, 258–59

Number One Realist: Bernard Fall and Vietnamese Revolutionary Warfare, by Nathaniel L. Moir, reviewed by Martin G. Clemis, 259–61

No Wider War: A History of the Vietnam War. Volume 2: 1965–75, by Sergio Miller, reviewed by Bryant Macfarlane, 261–63

Admirals Under Fire: The U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War, by Edward J. Marolda, reviewed by Nathan R. Packard, 263–64

Stabilizing Fragile States: Why It Matters and What to Do About It, by Rufus C. Phillips III, reviewed by Ian Boley, 264–66

The War that Doesn’t Say Its Name: The Unending Conflict in the Congo, by Jason K. Stearns, reviewed by M. T. Howard, 266–68

The Holy Warrior: Osama bin Laden and his Jihadi Journey in the Soviet–Afghan War, by Reagan Fancher, reviewed by Jon Mikolashek, 268–69

Radical War: Data, Attention, and Control in the 21st Century, by Matthew Ford and Andrew Hoskins, reviewed by F. Christopher Ofner, 269–70

War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict, by Mick Ryan, reviewed by Michael C. Davies, 271–72

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