Journal of Military History
Vol. 83, No. 1
January 2019


“There is Power in a Cohort: Development of Warfare in Iron Age to Early Medieval Scandinavia,” by Are Skarstein Kolberg, 9-30
The Viking Age in popular culture is often set in a dark and lawless era, a Hollywood conception of Ultima Thule, in which individual warriors fought for personal glory. But the archaeological evidence suggests a much different reality; the tale told by the inanimate objects uncovered from archaeological sites is one of a highly organized society in which justice and equality mattered. This view is also supported by the written sources. Most scholars concede that society in Roman Iron Age to Viking Age Scandinavia was well organized, and that a process of state building was under way. Less focus, however, has been put on warfare and military tactics during this period. What was warfare really like in Norway and Scandinavia in the years before, and during, the Viking Age? In this paper, an attempt will be made to analyze the extent to which early Scandinavian society was organized for warfare, and possible external influences on Scandinavian tactics in the Roman Iron Age and up to the Viking Age/early medieval period will be explored.
“The Battle of ʿAin al-Mallāha, 19 June 1157,” by Michael Ehrlich, 31-42
The battle of ʿAin al-Mallāha (19 June 1157) is an excellent case study for analyzing battles based on studies of historical battlefields. The battle of ʿAin al-Mallāha took place in a well-identified location within a well-studied area. Therefore, the information about the armies’ routes before the battle, their maneuvers before and during the battle, and both sides’ positions is quite clear and instructive.
“Guibert vs. Guibert: Competing Notions in the Essai général de tactique and the Défense du système de guerre modern,” by Julia Osman, 43-65
Jacques Antoine Hippolyte, the Comte de Guibert, was the Enlightenment-era author of two major books on military matters, the Essai générale de tactique and the Défense du système de guerre moderne. Historians still cite the first book as a foundational text for the wars of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras. His second work, however, retracted most of his earlier ideas, and instead argued in favor of the “limited warfare” perfected by Frederick the Great of Prussia. This second work attracted little attention in its own time, and historians likewise have cast it as a text that calls into question Guibert’s reputation as the great prophet of Napoleon. This essay, however, argues that the Défense proved to be equally as prophetic as the Essai, and represents more of a continuation than a refutation of Guibert’s earlier ideas.
“Target New London: Benedict Arnold’s Raid, Just War, and ‘Homegrown Terror’ Reconsidered,” by Mark Edward Lender and James Kirby Martin, 67-95
On 6 September 1781 turncoat Brigadier General Benedict Arnold led a major British raid against the patriot privateer base of New London, Connecticut. The historical narrative of this undeniably destructive operation has largely mirrored contemporary rebel accounts emphasizing the violence and damage perpetrated under Arnold’s command. This article, however, maintains that Arnold fought within the generally recognized rules of engagement of jus in bello, the rules of “civilized warfare.” In this broadened context, the New Londoners, by actively providing a supporting physical and economic infrastructure for privateer operations in attacking and capturing British vessels, were hardly the innocents depicted in patriot propaganda and related presentations down to our own time.
“The Great Silence of Robert E. Lee,” by James T. Carney, 97-126
The fall of 1864 saw one Confederate military disaster after another: Sherman took Atlanta, Farragut seized Mobile, Sheridan defeated Early three times in the Shenandoah Valley, and Grant penned up Lee in Petersburg. Northern voters followed the battle returns and reelected Lincoln. The South had lost both the military and the political war by mid-November 1864. Yet Lee, who was the real head of the Confederacy, remained silent on the need to make peace on Union terms. This article addresses the question—largely ignored by historians—of the reasons for Lee’s Great Silence and concludes that Lee’s unwillingness to oppose his friend and sponsor, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, was the decisive factor in his inaction, although reluctance to engage in confrontation and belief in civilian supremacy over the military had some impact.
“Avast Swabbing! The Medical Campaign to Reform Swabbing the Decks in the U.S. Navy,” by Michael J. Crawford, 127-56
Throughout the nineteenth century, U.S. Navy medical men, believing that airborne filth—miasmata—caused many of the diseases afflicting sailors and that humid air carries more filth than dry, sought to curtail the cleaning of the decks of warships with wet swabs. They met resistance to this reform from line officers who, from a variety of motives, were committed to keeping their ships clean. The medical reform movement attained its greatest intensity in the 1870s but quickly dissipated at the end of the century when steel hulls replaced wooden ones and the germ theory of disease replaced the theory of miasmata
“On the Crest of Fear: V-Weapons, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Last Stages of World War II in Europe,” by Tami Davis Biddle, 157-94
This essay looks closely at psychology and escalation dynamics within war. It argues that the appearance of the V-1 flying bomb, V-2 rocket, and other German “secret weapons” in the summer of 1944, combined with Hitler’s unanticipated counteroffensive in December, had a significant escalatory effect on World War II’s last months in Europe. Such weapons coincided with jarring Anglo-American battlefront setbacks and acute manpower shortages. To hasten Germany’s defeat before more “secret weapons” appeared, Anglo-American leaders redoubled their destructive strategic bombing campaign, focusing on eastern German cities to insure the westward progress of Russian armies. The violence unleashed still weighs heavily on the Western conscience and remains a source of debate.
“Old and New Views of Ulysses S. Grant: The Soldier and The Man,” by William M. Ferraro, 195-212

Book Reviews:
The Secret World: A History of Intelligence, by Christopher Andrew, reviewed by Rose Mary Sheldon, 213-15

The Medieval Military Engineer: From the Roman Empire to the Sixteenth Century, by Peter Purton, reviewed by Mollie Madden, 215-17

The Crusader Armies, 1099–1187, by Steve Tibble, reviewed by Lucas McMahon, 217-18

The Field of Blood, The Battle for Aleppo and the Remaking of the Medieval Middle East, by Nicholas Morton, reviewed by Georgios Theotokis, 218-20

The Siege of Acre: 1189–91. Saladin, Richard the Lionheart, and the Battle that decided the Third Crusade, by John D. Hosler, reviewed by John France, 220-21

The Tower Armoury in the Fourteenth Century, by Thom Richardson, reviewed by Clifford J. Rogers, 221-23

Blood Royal: The War of the Roses, 1462–1485, by Hugh Bicheno, reviewed by Craig M Nakashian, 223-24

Empires and Colonies in the Modern World: A Global Perspective, by Heather Streets-Salter and Trevor R. Getz, reviewed by Richard S. Fogarty, 224-26

The American Military: A Concise History, by Joseph T. Glatthaar, reviewed by R. Ray Ortensie, 226-27

Disciplining the Empire: Politics, Governance, and the Rise of the British Navy, by Sarah Kinkel, reviewed by John C. Mitcham, 228-29

Forgotten Decisive Victories, edited by Richard V. Barbuto and Jonathan M. House, reviewed by Robert H. Clemm, 229-30

Hunters and Killers. Volume 1: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1776-1943; Volume 2: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1943, by Norman Polmar and Edward Whitman, reviewed by Kathleen Broome Williams, 230-32

Washington’s War, 1779, by Benjamin Lee Huggins, reviewed by Phillip H. Garland, 232-33

American Hannibal: The Extraordinary Account of Revolutionary War Hero Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens, by Jim Stempel, reviewed by John Buchanan, 234-35

The Invasion of Virginia, 1781, by Michael Cecere, reviewed by Sean C. Halverson, 235-36

Napoleon’s Commentaries on the Wars of Julius Caesar, translated by R. A. Maguire, reviewed by Jonathan Abel, 237-38

At the Edge of the World: The Heroic Century of the French Foreign Legion, by Jean-Vincent Blanchard, reviewed by Richard S. Fogarty, 238-39

The Medal of Honor: The Evolution of America’s Highest Military Decoration, by Dwight S. Mears, reviewed by Fred L. Borch III, 240-41

Fighting Means Killing: Civil War Soldiers and the Nature of Combat, by Jonathan M. Steplyk, reviewed by Tracy L. Barnett, 241-43

PTSD: A Short History, by Allan C. Horwitz, reviewed by Debra Sheffer, 243-44

The Long Civil War in the North Georgia Mountains: Confederate Nationalism, Sectionalism, and White Supremacy in Bartow County, Georgia, by Keith S. Hébert, reviewed by David Carlson, 244-46

The Battle of Peach Tree Creek: Hood’s First Effort to Save Atlanta, by Earl J. Hess, reviewed by Robert A. Taylor, 246-47

Show Thyself a Man: Georgia State Troops, Colored, 1865–1905, by Gregory Mixon, reviewed by Titus Brown, 247-48

Learning War: The Evolution of Fighting Doctrine in the U.S. Navy, 1898–1945, by Trent Hone, reviewed by Jeff Reardon, 248-50

At War: The Military and American Culture in the Twentieth Century and Beyond, edited by David Kieran and Edwin A. Martini, reviewed by Sarah Nelson Bakhtiari, 250-52

In Command: Theodore Roosevelt and the American Military, by Matthew Oyos, reviewed by Ethan S. Rafuse, 252-53

African American Officers in Liberia: A Pestiferous Rotation, 1910–1942, by Brian G. Shellum, reviewed by Otis Eliot Pope, Jr., 253-55

British Children’s Literature and the First World War: Representations since 1914, by David Budgen, reviewed by Alexander Nordlund, 255-56

The Royal Flying Corps, the Western Front and the Control of the Air, 1914–1918, by James Pugh, reviewed by Nicholas Sambaluk, 256-58

The Military Papers and Correspondence of Major-General J. F. C. Fuller, 1916–1933, edited by Alaric Searle, reviewed by Jeremy Black, 258-59

Strategic Theories, by Admiral Raoul Castex, reviewed by Jeremy Black, 259-60

First to Fight: The U.S. Marines in World War I, by Oscar E. Gilbert and Romain Cansière, reviewed by Nathan K. Finney, 260-61

Gambling on War: Confidence, Fear, and the Tragedy of the First World War, by Roger L. Ransom, reviewed by Ralph M. Hitchens, 261-62

The War That Used Up Words: American Writers and the First World War, by Hazel Hutchison, reviewed by Ian Isherwood, 263-64

The Last Battle: Victory, Defeat, and the End of World War I, by Peter Hart, reviewed by Claudio Innocenti, 264-65

How America Won World War I: The U.S. Military Victory in the Great War—The Causes, the Course, and the Consequences, by Alan Axelrod, reviewed by Timothy M. Reagin, 265-67

Pandora's Box: A History of the First World War, by Jörn Leonhard, translated by Patrick Camiller, reviewed by Andrea Siotto, 267-68

Reintegrating Bodies and Minds: Disabled Belgian Soldiers of the Great War, by Pieter Verstraete and Christine Van Everbroeck, reviewed by Guy Bud, 268-69

Women as Veterans in Britain and France after the First World War, by Alison S. Fell, reviewed by Allison L. Bennett, 270-71

A Deadly Legacy: German Jews and the Great War, by Tim Grady, reviewed by Philipp Nielsen, 271-73

The Invisible Injured: Psychological Trauma in the Canadian Military from the First World War to Afghanistan, by Adam Montgomery, reviewed by Heather Venable, 273-74

Aerial Warfare: The Battle for the Skies, by Frank Ledwidge, reviewed by Sebastian H. Lukasik, 274-76

Last Stands from the Alamo to Benghazi: How Hollywood Turns Military Defeats into Moral Victories, by Frank J. Wetta and Martin A. Novelli, reviewed by Ryan Wadle, 276-77

The Riviera at War: World War II on the Côte D’Azur, by George G. Kundahl, reviewed by Cameron Zinsou, 278-79

Frankforce and the Defence of Arras 1940, by Jerry Murland, reviewed by Kory Miller, 279-80

Flying Against Fate: Superstition and Allied Aircrews in World War II, by S. P. MacKenzie, reviewed by Alan D. Meyer, 280-82

The Letters and Diaries of Colonel John Hart Caughey, 1944–1945: With Wedemeyer in World War II China, edited by Roger B. Jeans, reviewed by Katherine K. Reist, 282-83

Japanese War Criminals: The Politics of Justice after the Second World War, by Sandra Wilson, et al., reviewed by William E. Kelly, 283-85

In the Year of the Tiger: The War for Cochinchina 1945–1951, by William M. Waddell III, reviewed by David G. Marr, 285-86

The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency that Changed the World, by Sharon Weinberger, reviewed by Philip C. Shackelford, 286-88

Fulda Gap: Battlefield of the Cold War Alliances, edited by Dieter Krüger and Volker Bausch, translated by David R. Dorondo, reviewed by Kevin C. Holzimmer, 288-90

The Psychological War for Vietnam, 1960–1968, by Mervyn Edwin Roberts III, reviewed by Katy Doll, 290-91

Mobile Warfare for Africa: On the Successful Conduct of War in Africa and Beyond—Lessons Learned from the South African Border War, by Roland De Vries, et al., reviewed by Charles G. Thomas, 292-93

Anatomy of Failure: Why America Loses Every War It Starts, by Harlan K. Ullman, reviewed by Paul J. Springer, 292-94

Bosnia’s Paralysed Peace, by Christopher Bennett, reviewed by Marko Attila Hoare, 294-95

On Tactics: A Theory of Victory in Battle, by B. A. Friedman, reviewed by Joseph DiDomenico, 296-97

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