Journal of Military History
Vol. 82, No. 3
July 2018


“Medieval Strategy and the Economics of Conquest,” by Clifford J. Rogers, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 709-38
Medieval military and political leaders were well able to make rational plans for how to use armed forces in order to achieve political aims. Their strategic plans, however, had to reflect their circumstances. Kings and princes had relatively small fiscal reserves, and fortifications were widespread. The strategic balance favored the defense in general, and in particular made actual conquest of an area difficult. But if offensive warfare, and even outright conquest, could be made to pay for itself with the profits of plunder and the value of land acquired, that would render the fiscal weakness of medieval states largely moot. Historians have not yet examined this question in a quantitative fashion, using the medieval sources to compare the financial costs of individual campaigns (particularly sieges) with the fiscal benefits derived from conquest. By doing so it is possible to show that war could be made to pay for war, especially in urbanized areas and in times and places where it was permitted to enslave enemy populations.
“African American Officers in Liberia, 1910–1942,” by Brian G. Shellum, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 739-57
This article tells the story of the first American military training mission undertaken in Africa. Between 1910 and 1942, seventeen African American officers trained, reorganized, and commanded the Liberian Frontier Force to defend the West African country of Liberia. This stability mission helped Liberia avoid territorial partition by Britain and France and defeat a series of indigenous rebellions, enabling the Americo-Liberian republic to survive a perilous period in its history.
“French Intelligence on the Russian Army on the Eve of the First World War,” by Keith Armes, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 759-82
This article examines the reports on the Russian army by the French military attachés in St. Petersburg to the General Staff in Paris and the intelligence estimates compiled by the Russia specialists of First Bureau (Allied Armies), 1904–14. Officers seconded to the Russian army reported on the remarkable progress made after the war with Japan. French intelligence indicated any Russian offensive against Germany would occur only after the decisive battles in the west and would only tie down limited German forces. The Russian success at the start of the war and resulting transfer of German forces from the Western Front therefore were unexpected by the French General Staff.
“The Mufti’s Men: Haj Amin al-Husayni and SS Parachute Expeditions to Palestine and Iraq, 1944–1945,” by Perry Biddiscombe, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 783-815
The Haj Amin al-Husayni, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the Palestinian Arab cause, accepted help from Nazi Germany during the Second World War. This article looks at the orders he provided to SS-trained commandos who parachuted into Palestine and Iraq in 1944. The agents’ task was to organize an insurgency against the Jewish community in Palestine and to attack Iraqi Jews, although the latter were not necessarily sympathetic to Zionism. The infiltrators also had poisons that were likely intended for the Tel Aviv water system, although this is not clear evidence that Husayni was extending the Shoah into Palestine.
“Learning to Win: The Evolution of U.S. Navy Tactical Doctrine During the Guadalcanal Campaign,” by Trent Hone, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 817-41
Between August and November 1942, the navies of the United States and Imperial Japan fought a series of night surface actions off the island of Guadalcanal. These battles tested the tactical doctrines of the two navies and exposed numerous flaws. This paper contends that the established narrative—which holds that the U.S. Navy was ill-prepared for night combat—is in need of revision. It assesses the U.S. Navy’s prewar night combat doctrine, explores how commanders at Guadalcanal modified it, and argues that the U.S. Navy was particularly adept at integrating combat lessons and modifying its tactical doctrine.
“The Loss of USS Thresher: Technological and Cultural Change and the Cold War U.S. Navy,” by Joel I. Holwitt, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 843-72
On 10 April 1963, the U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Thresher sank with no survivors. The tragedy caused the Navy to implement the Submarine Safety program, as well as leading to changes in nuclear propulsion plant operation. Additionally, the culture of the Submarine Force, already evolving because of the advent of nuclear power, irrevocably turned towards Admiral Hyman G. Rickover’s standards of engineering training, discipline, and formality. Historian Mark Hagerott argues this cultural shift may have had broader implications, replacing the “generalist” model of U.S. naval officer development with a “technical specialist” model, with effects that extend into the twenty-first century.
“Measuring Victory: Assessing the Outcomes of Konfrontasi, 1963–66,” by Christopher Tuck, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 873-98
From 1963 to 1966 Britain and Indonesia clashed in a low-intensity conflict known as the Confrontation. Orthodox perspectives have coded this conflict as a tremendous British victory. Revisionist authors have demonstrated the contingent and questionable nature of this conclusion. This article re-assesses the outcomes of Confrontation by using an alternative methodological framework: five key themes drawn from the wider literature on military victory. Using such a lens supports many aspects of the revisionist case, but also shows that the outcomes of Confrontation are even more complex. Confrontation in fact provides an object lesson in the difficulties in assessing categorically the outcomes of war. As such, its importance to our understanding of the problems in defining victory in war has been greatly under-valued.
“Did Vikings Really Go Berserk? An Interdisciplinary Critical Analysis of Berserks,” by Are Skarstein Kolberg, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 899-908
This article is an interdisciplinary study of berserks which goes beyond the myths, placing much emphasis on textual analyses and some on archaeology. It appears that the popular image of the axe-wielding, mushroom-eating berserk warrior of the Viking Age is due to a confusion of facts and fiction from Old Norse prose but also a misattribution of the term in legal texts. The article also integrates battlefield archaeology, discussing whether berserks formed actual military units or not, and explores the etymology behind the word.
Review Essay:
“The Death Ride of the Panzers? Recent Historiography on the Battle of Kursk,” by Martijn Lak, The Journal of Military History, 82:3 (July 2018): 909-19
The battle of Kursk ranks as one of the most famous and decisive battles of the Second World War. Nevertheless, among (military) historians there is still considerable debate on this huge clash between the Red Army and the Wehrmacht. This review article discusses some of the more recent developments in the historiography of the battle of Kursk in general and that of Prokhorovka on 12 July 1943 in particular. Was Operation Zitadelle (Citadel) indeed “the panzer graveyard” and how decisive was this battle?

Book Reviews:
Militarism and the Indo-Europeanizing of Europe, by Robert Drews, reviewed by Nathan E. Perz, 921-22

The Soldier’s Life: Martial Virtues and Manly Romanitas in the Early Byzantine Empire, by Michael Edward Stewart, reviewed by Everett L. Wheeler, 922-24

War, Armed Force and the People: State Transformation and Transformation in Historical Perspective, by Walter C. Opello, Jr., reviewed by Barbara Salera, 924-25

The Story of War: Church and Propaganda in France and Sweden 1610–1710, by Anna Maria Forssberg, reviewed by Tryntje Helfferich, 926-27

John Forbes: Scotland, Flanders, and the Seven Years’ War, 1707–1759, by John Oliphant, reviewed by Thomas Agostini, 928-30

Rocoux 1746: Bataille et combats pendant la guerre en dentelles, by Laurent Vergez, reviewed by Gregory Hanlon, 930-31

Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It, by Larrie D. Ferreiro, reviewed by Jeffers Lennox, 931-33

Eutaw Springs: The Final Battle of the American Revolution’s Southern Campaign, by Robert M. Dunkerly and Irene B. Boland, reviewed by Jim Piecuch, 933-35

America, Sea Power, and the World, edited by James C. Bradford, reviewed by Eric W. Osborne, 935-36

Cadets on Campus: History of Military Schools of the United States, by John Alfred Coulter II, reviewed by Paul J. Springer, 936-38

The Spanish Civil Wars: A Comparative History of the First Carlist War and the Conflict of the 1930s, by Mark Lawrence, reviewed by Christopher G. Marquis, 938-39

The Woman War Correspondent, The U.S. Military, and the Press, 1846–1947, by Carolyn M. Edy, reviewed by Gloria Van Rees, 939-41

Emory Upton: Misunderstood Reformer, by David J. Fitzpatrick; Correspondence of Major General Emory Upton, Volume I, 1857–1875, edited by Salvatore G. Cilella, Jr.; Correspondence of Major General Emory Upton, Volume II, 1875–1881, edited by Salvatore G. Cilella, Jr., reviewed by John H. Matsui, 941-44

William Tecumseh Sherman, In the Service of My Country: A Life, by James Lee McDonough, reviewed by Catharine R. Franklin, 944-45

The First Republican Army: The Army of Virginia and the Radicalization of the Civil War, by John H. Matsui, reviewed by Brian Matthew Jordan, 946-47

Sons of the White Eagle in the American Civil War: Divided Poles in a Divided Nation, by Mark F. Bielski, reviewed by Jonathan Engel, 947-48

Lincoln and the Democrats: The Politics of Opposition in the Civil War, by Mark E. Neely, Jr., reviewed by Shawn Devaney, 948-50

Civil War Logistics: A Study of Military Transportation, by Earl J. Hess, reviewed by Evan C. Rothera, 950-51

Seven Myths of the Civil War, edited by Wesley Moody, reviewed by Melanie Storie, 952-53

Sex and the Civil War: Soldiers, Pornography, and the Making of American Morality, by Judith Giesberg, reviewed by Diane Miller Sommerville, 953-55

The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery, by Micki McElya, reviewed by Heather M. Haley, 955-56

Jefferson Davis’s Final Campaign: Confederate Nationalism and the Fight to Arm Slaves, by Philip D. Dillard, reviewed by Fred L. Johnson III, 957-58

The Military Conquest of the Prairie: Native American Resistance, Evasion, and Survival, 1865–1890, by Tore T. Petersen, reviewed by Michael P. Irvin, 958-60

Thunder in the Mountains: Chief Joseph, Oliver Otis Howard, and the Nez Perce War, by Daniel J. Sharfstein, reviewed by David Krueger, 960-61

Going Deep: John Philip Holland and the Invention of the Attack Submarine, by Lawrence Goldstone, reviewed by Stephen K. Stein, 962-63

America’s First General Staff: A Short History of the Rise and Fall of the General Board of the Navy, by John T. Kuehn, reviewed by Jeremy P. Maxwell, 963-65

Frustrated Ambition: General Vicente Lim and the Philippine Military Experience, 1910–1944, by Richard B. Meixsel, reviewed by Greg Eanes, 965-66

Armoured Warfare: A Military, Political, and Global History, by Alaric Searle, reviewed by Greg Hope, 966-68

The Origins of American Strategic Bombing Theory, by Craig F. Morris, reviewed by Kenneth P. Werrell, 968-69

Filling the Ranks: Manpower in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914–1918, by Richard Holt; and Reluctant Warriors: Canadian Conscripts and the Great War, by Patrick M. Dennis, reviewed by Brad St. Croix, 969-71

Written in Blood: The Battles for Fortress Przemyšl in WWI, by Graydon A. Tunstall, reviewed by Kevin Braam, 972-73

Gender & the Great War, edited by Susan R. Grayzel and Tammy M. Proctor, reviewed by Brian K. Feltman, 973-75

Latin America and the First World War, by Stefan Rinke, reviewed by Ann Sheppard, 975-76

When the War Came Home: The Ottomans’ Great War and the Devastation of an Empire, by Yiĝit Akin, reviewed by Lucien Frary, 976-78

World War One in Southeast Asia: Colonialism and Anticolonialism in an era of Global Conflict, by Heather Streets Salter, reviewed by Nicholas Sambaluk, 978-79

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, by Laura Spinney, reviewed by Hilary C. Aquino, 979-80

War Beyond Words, by Jay Winter, reviewed by G. Kurt Piehler, 981-82

The Addis Ababa Massacre: Italy’s National Shame, by Ian Campbell, reviewed by Bastian Matteo Scianna, 983-84

Anatomy of a Campaign: The British Fiasco in Norway, 1940, by John Kiszely, reviewed by Sebastian H. Lukasik, 984-85

Doris Miller, Pearl Harbor, and the Birth of the Civil Rights Movement, by Thomas W. Cutrer and T. Michael Parrish, reviewed by Geoffrey Fisher, 986-87

British Intelligence and Hitler’s Empire in the Soviet Union, 1941–1945, by Ben Wheatley, reviewed by William E. Kelly, 987-88

The Battle for North Africa: El Alamein and the Turning Point for World War II, by Glyn Harper, reviewed by Ralph M. Hitchens, 988-90

Eisenhower’s Armies: The American-British Alliance During World War II, by Niall Barr, reviewed by Benjamin F. Jones, 990-91

Soldiers of Empire: Indian and British Armies in World War II, by Tarak Barkawi, reviewed by A. Martin Wainwright, 992-93

From Victory to Stalemate: The Western Front, Summer 1944, and From Defeat to Victory: The Eastern Front, Summer 1944, by C. J. Dick, reviewed by Raymond D. Limbach, 993-96

Sanitized Sex: Regulating Prostitution, Venereal Disease, and Intimacy in Occupied Japan, 1945–1952, by Robert Kramm, reviewed by Brian Walsh, 996-97

From Disarmament to Rearmament: The Reversal of US Policy Toward West Germany, 1946–1955, by Sheldon A. Goldberg, reviewed by Eric Perinovic, 998-99

Architect of Air Power: General Laurence S. Kuter and the Birth of the US Air Force, by Brian D. Laslie, reviewed by Frank A. Blazich, Jr., 999-1001

Militarizing the Nation: The Army, Business, and Revolution in Egypt, by Zeinab Abul-Magd, reviewed by Annalise J. K. DeVries, 1001-2

Blood and Sand: Suez, Hungary, and Eisenhower’s Campaign for Peace, by Alex von Tunzelman, reviewed by Richard V. Damms, 1003-4

The Myths of Tet: The Most Misunderstood Event of the Vietnam War, by Edwin E. Moïse, reviewed by William Thomas Allison, 1005-6

My Lai, Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness, by Howard Jones, reviewed by James H. Willbanks, 1006-7

Withdrawal: Reassessing America’s Final Years in Vietnam, by Gregory A. Daddis, reviewed by J. P. Harris, 1008-10

Khaki Capital: The Political Economy of the Military in Southeast Asia. Economic power “out of the barrel of the gun,” edited by Paul Chambers and Napisa Waitoolkiat, reviewed by Mark E. Battjes, 1010-12

Our Latest Longest War: Losing Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan, edited by Aaron B. O’Connell, reviewed by Anthony J. Cade II, 1012-13

The Art of Creating Power: Freedman on Strategy, edited by Benedict Wilkinson and James Gow, reviewed by Daniel Moran, 1014

The Future of Intelligence, by Mark M. Lowenthal, reviewed by J. P. LeVay, 1015-16

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