Journal of Military History
Vol. 76, No. 2
April 2012


The 2012 George C. Marshall Lecture in Military History

Andrew J. Bacevich, “The Revisionist Imperative: Rethinking Twentieth Century Wars,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 333-342.
What students want (and citizens deserve) is an account of the past that illuminates the present. The conventional narrative of the twentieth century, exalting World War II as an episode in which Anglo-American good triumphs over Nazi evil, is no longer adequate to that purpose. Today, the “lessons” that narrative teaches mislead rather than guide. The moment is ripe for revisionism. Historians need to respond to the challenge, replacing the familiar and morally reassuring story of a Short Twentieth Century with a less familiar and morally ambiguous story of a still unfolding Long Twentieth Century.
Nate Probasco, “The Role of Commoners and Print in Elizabethan England’s Acceptance of Firearms,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 343-372.
Even though commoners comprised the great majority of Elizabethan England’s fighting men, their role in the nation’s transition into the firearms age remains unclear. Common citizens and local officials generally protested the costs and dangers of firearms, and when they did purchase them, they often transgressed Elizabethan weapons statutes. The debate over firearms also played out in print, and many gun advocates relied upon dubious information to promote them, which, along with governmental backing, allowed guns to overtake longbows. Firearms became established among the populace, however, only after they agreed to accept the new technology due to an impending Spanish invasion.
Daniel McMahon, “Geomancy and Walled Fortifications in Late Eighteenth Century China,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 373-393.
In the late eighteenth century, an advisor to China’s Hunan governor, Yan Ruyi, tendered a proposal to build fortifications in the west Hunan area of Pushi as, among other advantages, this would improve the regional geomancy (divination by figures or lines, known in Chinese as fengshui). This essay explores why a reference to fengshui is found in a Qing dynasty defense report and, in this context, what relationship geomancy had to military arts in China’s imperial history. As will be seen, Yan’s readers would not have found the reference odd. Chinese fengshui and military arts share an environmental focus and key concepts (qi and shi), as well as a long history of the use of fengshui methods in intelligence-gathering, sabotage, and walled fortification. This compatibility made geomantic considerations significant to both imperial military planning and “militarized” middle Qing culture.
Frederick C. Schneid, “A Well-Coordinated Affair: Franco-Piedmontese War Planning in 1859,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 395-425.
The American Civil War (1861–1865) and the Wars of German Unification (1864–1871) have overshadowed the military history of the Second War of Italian Unification (1859–1861). Yet, this war witnessed the integral use of railroads and steam-powered navies to achieve military victory. The histories immediately following the war purposely obscured the extensive military planning and the premeditation of the Franco-Piedmontese general staffs. The Second War of Italian Unification should be given greater attention as one of the first “modern” wars of the industrial age.
James Tyrus Seidule, “‘Treason is Treason’: Civil War Memory at West Point, 1861–1902,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 427-452.
The United States Military Academy educated the most successful and iconic Confederate generals. How did West Point reconcile the memory of Confederate graduates who, while famed for their martial prowess, fought against the U.S. Army? In the Gilded Age, West Point neither forgot nor forgave Confederate graduates for fighting against the U.S. Army. The memory of wartime chaos, Congressional criticism, and Confederate graduates’ betrayal left the Military Academy feeling defensive. This defensiveness led West Point to create a series of written and stone memorials, mainly in the 1890s, highlighting West Point’s role in saving the Union. All of the memorials excluded Confederate graduates.
Anthony R. McGinnis, “When Courage Was Not Enough: Plains Indians at War with the United States Army,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 454-473.
This article investigates how Indian warriors, using their own specific style of a rather limited warfare, confronted the American newcomers to the Great Plains, particularly the U.S. Army. Plains intertribal warfare bore no resemblance to the “modern” warfare practiced by the Americans, who also had vast advantages in population and resources. The tribes hostile to the whites, for a variety of reasons, continued to pursue their traditional brand of fighting and, therefore, were unable to have any permanent success against the army.
Alexander Statiev, “Blocking Units in the Red Army,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 475-495.
After the German offensive toward Stalingrad began in 1942, Joseph Stalin issued Order No. 227 (the “Not a Step Back!” order), institutionalizing the blocking units that already existed in some divisions. This article examines the units and their place among the Red Army’s other draconian policies. Historians interpret Order No. 227 as exceptionally harsh, yet the policies stemming from it were exceptional primarily in their methodical application rather than in their essence. A logical outcome of “the end justifies the means” Stalinist philosophy, blocking units made the army steadier and contributed to its victory. This was the only fact that mattered to the Soviet leaders, and they ignored the moral issues raised by the existence of the units.

Timothy K. Nenninger, “‘Casualties’ at Leavenworth: A Research Problem,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 497-506.
The following essay is a cautionary tale about doing research, verifying not only the bias but the factual content of sources, and using multiple means to solve historical research problems. The author presented a version of the essay at a December 2009 symposium in Madison, Wisconsin, sponsored by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the University of Wisconsin (UW) History Department, to memorialize the life of Richard Zeitlin and to celebrate the return of a full-time professor of American military history to the UW faculty.
Historiographical Essay:

Ingo Trauschweizer, “On Militarism,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 507-543.
This essay traces the usages of the term militarism from the late eighteenth century to the present in order to contextualize the current debate over an American militarism. It departs from the common assumption that Germany represents an ideal type of modern militarism and shows that recent scholarship suggests a wider European phenomenon of bellicosity and militarization in the age of the world wars. It concludes that significant elements of militarism have emerged in the American warfare state, but it questions the notion that this represents an adaptation of conventionally understood European militarism.
Review Essay:

Geoffrey Parker, “A Soldier of Fortune in Seventeenth Century Eastern Europe,” The Journal of Military History 76 #2 (April 2012): 545-548.
Westmoreland: The General Who Lost Vietnam, by Lewis Sorley, reviewed by Dale W. Andrade and by William Thomas Allison, 549-552

The Romans and Their World: A Short Introduction, by Brian Campbell, reviewed by James Whitehead, 553-554

Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Alexander Mikaberidze, reviewed by Virginia H. Aksan, 554-555

The Battle of Brunanburh: A Casebook, edited by Michael Livingstone, reviewed by Stephen Morillo, 556-557

The De Re Militari of Vegetius: The Reception, Transmission and Legacy of a Roman Text in the Middle Ages, by Christopher Allmand, reviewed by Everett L. Wheeler, 557-558

The Soldier Experience in the Fourteenth Century, edited by Adrian R. Bell & Anne Curry, reviewed by John D. Hosler, 559-560

The Debate on the Crusades. By Christopher Tyerman, reviewed by Brain J. Hale, 560-562

Reprobates: The Cavaliers of the English Civil War, by John Stubbs, reviewed by Charles Carlton, 562-563

Rustic Warriors: Warfare and the Provincial Soldier on the New England Frontier, 1689-1748, by Steven C. Eames, reviewed by Joseph W. A. Whitehorne, 563-564

Unter Canadiensern, Irokesen und Rebellen. Das Tagebuch des Hessen-Hanauer Jägers Jakob Philipp Hildebrandt aus den Jahren 1777-1781, edited by Holger Thomas Gräf and Lena Haunert, reviewed by Thomas M. Barker, 565-566

The 1776-1777 Northern Campaigns of the American War for Independence and Their Sequel: Contemporary Maps of Mainly German Origin. By Thomas M. Barker and Paul R. Huey, 567-568
Wabash 1791: St Clair’s Defeat (Campaign 240), by John F. Winkler, reviewed by Frank Kalesnik, 569-570

La première campagne d’Italie (2 avril 1796 – 10 décembre 1797): La naissance d’un Aigle, by Gérard Bouan, reviewed by D. Jonathan White, 570-571

Nelson’s Refuge: Gibraltar in the Age of Napoleon, by Jason R. Musteen, reviewed by Scott Hileman, 571-574

Napoleon’s Triumph: La Grande Armée versus the Tsar’s Army: The Friedland Campaign 1807, by James R. Arnold and Ralph R. Reinertsen, reviewed by Michael V. Leggiere, 574-576

1812: The Navy’s War, by George C. Daughan, reviewed by Spencer C. Tucker, 576-577

The Body of John Merryman: Abraham Lincoln and the Suspension of Habeas Corpus, by Brian McGinty, reviewed by Fred L. Borch, 577-579

The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory, by James N. Leiker and Ramon Powers, reviewed by Mark R. Scherer, 579-580

Small Powers in the Age of Total War, 1900-1940, edited by Herman Amersfoort and Wim Klinkert, reviewed by Hubert P. van Tuyll, 581-582

The Russian Origins of the First World War, by Sean McMeekin, reviewed by Timothy C. Dowling, 582-583

The Great War and the Making of the Modern World, by Jeremy Black, reviewed by Nikolas Gardner, 584-585

The Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel: Tommies, Diggers and Doughboys on the Hindenburg Line, 1918, by Dale Blair, reviewed Patrick R. Osborn, 585-588

The Indian Army in Two World Wars, edited by Kaushik Roy, reviewed by Pradeep Barua, 588-589

In a Strange Land: The American Occupation of Germany, 1918-1923, by Alexander Barnes, reviewed by Erika Kuhlman, 590

African Police and Soldiers in Colonial Zimbabwe, 1923-80, by Timothy Stapleton, reviewed by Timothy H. Parsons, 591-592

A Springboard to Victory: Shandong Province and Chinese Communist Military and Financial Strength, 1937-1945, by Sherman Xiaogang Lai, reviewed by Gary Bjorge, 592-593

Pearl Harbor Christmas: A World at War, December 1941, by Stanley Weintraub, reviewed by Debra Sheffer, 594

Canada’s Road to the Pacific War: Intelligence, Strategy, and the Far East Crisis, by Timothy Wilford, reviewed by David Macri, 595-596

Free France’s Lion: The Life of Philippe Leclerc, de Gaulle’s Greatest General, by William Mortimer Moore, reviewed by Douglas Porch, 596-596

Finland in World War II: History, Memory, Interpretations, edited by Tiina Kinnuen and Ville Kivimaki, reviewed by Jim Collins, 598-599

The Road to Singapore: The Myth of British Betrayal, by Augustine Meaher IV, reviewed by Brian P. Farrell, 599-601

On Seas Contested: The Seven Great Navies of the Second World War, edited by Vincent P. O’Hara, W. David Dickson, and Richard Worth, reviewed by Martijn Lak, 601-602

Innovation in Carrier Aviation, by Thomas C. Hone, Norman Friedman, and Mark D. Mandeles, reviewed by William F. Trimble, 602-604

Fighting for MacArthur: The Navy and Marine Corps' Desperate Defense of the Philippines, by John Gordon, reviewed by Richard Meixsel, 604-605

The Battle of Midway, by Craig L. Symonds, reviewed by Jeffrey G. Barlow, 605-606

Ostkrieg: Hitler’s War of Extermination in the East. By Stephen G. Fritz, reviewed by Edward B. Westermann, 607-608

Konventioneller Krieg oder NS-Weltanschauungskrieg? Kriegführung und Partisanenbekämpfung in Frankreich 1943/44, by Peter Lieb, reviewed by Thomas Laub, 608-610

Normandy Crucible: The Decisive Battle that Shaped World War II in Europe, by John Prados, reviewed by David French, 610-611

Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge, by John Nelson Rickard, reviewed by Robert Sterling Rush, 611-612

Voices of the Bulge: Untold Stories from Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, by Michael Collins and Martin King, reviewed by John C. McManus, 613-614

Cataclysm: General Hap Arnold and the Defeat of Japan, by Herman S. Wolk, reviewed by Walton S. Moody, 614-615

Marshall and His Generals: U.S. Army Commanders in World War II, by Stephen R. Taaffe, reviewed by Timothy K. Nenninger, 615-616

Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, by R. H. S. Stolfi, reviewed by Charles Messenger, 617-618

Las misiones en el exterior de las Fuerzas Armadas de España: Dónde, cuándo…y para lo que haga falta. By José L. Rodríguez Jiménez, reviewed by Shannon E. Fleming, 618-619

Conceptualising Modern War, edited by Karl Erik Haug & Ole Jorgen Aaao, reviewed by Ralph M. Hitchens, 619-621

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