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Armament And History: The Influence Of Armament On History From The Dawn Of Classical Warfare To The End Of The Second World War


Publisher:Da Capo Press



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About the book:

Major General J.F.C. Fuller argues provocatively that technology matters far more than brainpower in war:

Tools, or weapons, if only the right ones can be discovered, form 99 percent of victory.... Strategy, command, leadership, courage, discipline, supply, organization, and all the moral and physical paraphernalia of war are nothing to a high superiority of weapons--at most they go to form the one per cent which makes the whole possible.
If that sounds outlandish--how much, one might ask, of an effect did technology have at Chancellorsville?--consider this more plausible formulation: In modern wars, "no army of 50 years before any date selected would stand 'a dog's chance' against the army existing at that date." Sounds about right.

Armament and History is a broad survey spanning the ancient world to the atomic age, showing how military innovation has changed the course of history time and again. Fuller never gets mired in dense detail, and has a knack for finding apt (and sometimes humorous) anecdotes. Mounted war elephants, for example, traditionally have had a dramatic impact on troops who had never seen them before. When one general employed them against the Gauls, he confessed, "I am ashamed to think that we owe our safety to these sixteen animals." Yet as Fuller shows, successful weapons always meet even more successful ones (an army once attacked war elephants by covering pigs with pitch, lighting them on fire, and driving them toward the burly beasts). This is a fine introduction to the development of weaponry over the last 3,000 years. --John J. Miller

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