Journal of Military History
Vol. 83, No. 3
July 2019


“Decimation and Unit Cohesion: Why Were Roman Legionaries Willing to Perform Decimation?” by Elizabeth Pearson, The Journal of Military History, 83:3 (July 2019): 665-88
Decimation is a notorious punishment inflicted by the Roman army. One tenth of a unit accused of cowardice or gross dereliction of duty was chosen by lot and beaten to death (fustuarium) by the rest of the legion. It is traditionally viewed as a method of instilling discipline through fear, but in practice rarely occurred. This paper reexamines decimation using modern “primary group” theory. It concludes that decimation was not a destructive force but a healing one. It reintegrated offending units through collective acceptance of both guilt and the necessity for punishment.
“The Siege of Montfort and Mamluk Artillery Technology in 1271: Integrating the Archaeology and Topography with the Narrative Sources,” by Michael S. Fulton, The Journal of Military History, 83:3 (July 2019): 689-717.
The Mamluk siege of Montfort castle provides a rare opportunity to examine one of the most celebrated but also misrepresented technologies of the Middle Ages: mechanical artillery. The castle was inhabited for only about forty-five years before it was taken and then destroyed by the Mamluks, creating a time capsule for archaeologists to peer into life in a mid-thirteenth-century stronghold and carefully examine evidence of the siege that ultimately led to its abandonment. Among the finds are a number of artillery projectiles that date to the final siege of the castle. An investigation of the surrounding topography has revealed that there are only a couple of places from which these stones could have been thrown. This rare combination of clearly datable projectiles and a topographical environment that provides a good indication of range allows for a unique quantitative assessment of the development of trebuchet technology.
“The Size of Bulgaria’s Medieval Field Armies: A Case Study of Military Mobilization Capacity in the Middle Ages,” by Aleksandar Stoyanov, The Journal of Military History, 83:3 (July 2019): 719-46
The actual size of Bulgarian medieval armies, reputedly among the largest and most successful European armies of the day, has continued to interest historians, but serious studies have generally relied on evidence drawn from a handful of specific events. This article aims to ascertain army size from a survey of Bulgarian medieval military history. It will provide a critical overview of army size during the entire medieval period, from the First Bulgarian Empire (681–1018) through the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185–1422), as the country evolved from a semi-nomadic state into a centralized empire whose armies were able to hold their own against their regional foes, particularly the more powerful Byzantine Empire.
“The Rebirth and Progress of the Polish Military During the Interwar Years,” by Jacek Czarnecki, The Journal of Military History, 83:3 (July 2019): 747-68
This article traces the history behind the myth of Polish horse cavalry charging German tanks in the opening days of the Second World War. Focusing on Polish sources, it argues that while the cavalry did not charge armored vehicles, it was nonetheless a vital branch in the Polish military at the outset of the war. For most of the interwar era, the Soviet Union was a greater threat to Polish security than Germany. With a vast eastern front to defend, limited industrial production, and difficulty obtaining foreign loans, the cavalry served as an important component of the Polish army against Soviet offensive military doctrine. Even though war first erupted with Germany, the branch still proved its effectiveness by adapting to the modern battlefield. Horses were mainly used for transportation and maneuvering rather than fighting. Although seen as an outdated weapon by many over the years, the evolution of armor and cavalry in Poland was similar to that in other countries.
“Soviet Planning For War, 1936–1941: The ‘Preventive Attack’ Thesis in Historical Context,” by Richard W. Harrison, The Journal of Military History, 83:3 (July 2019): 769-94
This article traces the development of the Soviet political-military leadership’s response to perceived threats during the years immediately preceding the German invasion of June 1941. Drawing heavily from post-Soviet documents as well as contemporary memoirs, it focuses on Soviet mobilization plans from 1938 to 1941, showing the gradual evolution from the relatively indecisive March 1939 variation to the final May 1941 plan, which called for a preemptive attack against German concentrations along the western frontier. The article offers reasons for the Soviet failure to implement the 1941 preemptive strike plan and concludes with a broad overview of the evolution of Soviet planning for war.
“‘Scientific Ammunition to Fire at Congress’: Intelligence, Reparations, and the U.S. Army Air Forces, 1944–1947,” by Stephen Petrina, The Journal of Military History, 83:3 (July 2019): 795-829
This article explains how exploitation of research and development (R&D) configured into the post–World War II policies of the U.S. Army Air Forces (AAF) and U.S. Air Force (USAF). The narrative follows the coordination of operations LUSTY, OVERCAST, and PAPERCLIP and the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) in the AAF’s exploitation of intelligence and reparations for postwar policies and politics. The history of the SAG’s efforts from 1944 to 1947 reveals the intensity with which the AAF and its consultants in the aeronautical sciences pursued Nazi R&D. The article helps explain the place of intelligence and reparations in AAF and USAF policies for postwar R&D.
“Cautious Hawk: Maxwell Taylor and the Path to War in Vietnam,” by Ingo Trauschweizer, The Journal of Military History, 83:3 (July 2019): 831-59
During his year as ambassador in Saigon (1964–65), Maxwell Taylor saw the United States go to war. Based on what he thought had led to the armistice in Korea (1953), Taylor believed an air campaign against North Vietnam could force the leadership in Hanoi to accept an independent South Vietnam. He did not believe American ground forces could win the war. Taylor’s experience in Saigon, his disagreement with General William Westmoreland on airpower and land war, and his interactions with President Lyndon Johnson shed new light on when, how, and why LBJ determined it was time to go to war in Vietnam.
Review Essay:
“Much in Little: John Ericsson and His Monitor Save the Republic,” by Howard J. Fuller, The Journal of Military History, 83:3 (July 2019): 861-68
Book Reviews:
Return of the Barbarians: Confronting Non-State Actors from Ancient Rome to the Present, by Jakub J. Grygiel, reviewed by Rebecca L. Antecki, 869-70

The Roman Army and the New Testament, by Christopher B. Zeichmann, reviewed by Lawrence Okamura, 870-72

Septimius Severus in Scotland: The Northern Campaigns of the First Hammer of the Scots, by Simon Elliott, reviewed by Dirk Yarker, 872-73

Warfare in Medieval Europe, c. 400–c. 1453, by Bernard S. Bachrach and David S. Bachrach, reviewed by Anthony Smart, 873-74

Pietro Monte’s Collectanea: The Arms, Armour and Fighting Techniques of a Fifteenth–Century Soldier, translated by Jeffrey L. Forgeng, reviewed by Jennifer Daley, 875-76

Krieg und Kunst: Die Visualisierung englischer Herrschaftsansprüche in Frankreich (1422–1453), by Julia Crispin, reviewed by Beatrice Heuser, 876-77

Rendre les Armes: le sort des vaincus XVIe–XVIIIe siècles, by Paul Vo-Ha, reviewed by Gregory Hanlon, 878-79

Olmütz to Torgau: Horace St Paul and the Campaigns of the Austrian Army in the Seven Years War 1758–60, translated by Neil Cogswell, reviewed by Stephen Kostes, 879-81

The American Revolution: A World War, edited by David K. Allison and Larrie D. Ferreiro, reviewed by Bradley F. Podliska, 881-82

Bernardo de Gálvez: Spanish Hero of the American Revolution, by Gonzalo M. Quintero Saravia, reviewed by Timothy Hawkins, 882-84

Revolutionary France’s War of Conquest in the Rhineland: Conquering the Natural Frontier, 1792–1797, by Jordan R. Hayworth, reviewed by Jonathan Abel, 884-86

Napoleon: A Life, by Adam Zamoyski, reviewed by Edward J. Coss, 886-87

Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age: 1805–1810, by Michael Broers, reviewed by Michael V. Leggiere, 888-89

Spying for Wellington: British Military Intelligence in the Peninsular War, by Huw J. Davies, reviewed by James R. Arnold, 889-91

Ungentle Goodnights: Life in a Home for Elderly and Disabled Naval Sailors and Marines and the Perilous Seafaring Careers that Brought Them There, by Christopher McKee, reviewed by Harold D. Langley, 891-92

The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History, by Paul Andrew Hutton, reviewed by Samuel Watson, 892-94

Land Warfare Since 1860: A Global History of Boots on the Ground, by Jeremy Black, reviewed by Peter Mansoor, 894-95

Politician in Uniform: General Lew Wallace and the Civil War, by Christopher R. Mortenson, reviewed by John H. Matsui, 896-97

The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought, and Survived in Civil War America, by Peter S. Carmichael, reviewed by Edward J. Hagerty, 897-99

A Forgotten Front: Florida During the Civil War Era, edited by Seth A. Weitz and Jonathan C. Sheppard, reviewed by Robert Colby, 899-900

Major General George H. Sharpe and the Creation of American Military Intelligence in the Civil War, by Peter G. Tsouras, reviewed by Russell Baker, 900-2

The Decision Was Always My Own: Ulysses S. Grant and the Vicksburg Campaign, by Timothy B. Smith, reviewed by Melanie Storie, 902-3

Practical Liberators: Union Officers in the Western Theater during the Civil War, by Kristopher A. Teters, reviewed by Steven E. Sodergren, 903-4

Prairie Imperialists: The Indian Country Origins of American Empire, by Katharine Bjork, reviewed by Daniel J. Burge, 905-6

Race and Imperial Defense in the British World, 1870–1914, by John C. Mitcham, reviewed by Daniel R. LeClair, 906-7

Barbed-Wire Imperialism: Britain’s Empire of Camps, 1876–1903, by Aidan Forth, reviewed by Joseph Miller, 908-9

The Marines, Counterinsurgency, and Strategic Culture: Lessons Learned and Lost in America’s Wars, by Jeannie L. Johnson, reviewed by Heather Venable, 909-11

The Shadow Men: The Leaders who Shaped the Australian Army from the Veldt to Vietnam, edited by Craig Stockings and John Connor, reviewed by Jordan Beavis, 911-12

David Fagen: Turncoat Hero. American Imperialism and Racism, by Phillip W. Hoffman; and Fagen: An African American Renegade in the Philippine-American War, by Michael Morey, reviewed by Frank N. Schubert, 912-14

The Japanese Empire: Grand Strategy from the Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War, by S. C. M. Paine, reviewed by Catherine L. Phipps, 914-16

The “German Spirit” in the Ottoman/Turkish Army, 1908–1938: A History of Military Knowledge Transfer, by Gerhard Grüßhaber, reviewed by Nicholas Sambaluk, 916-17

A Revolution Unfinished: The Chegomista Rebellion and the Limits of Revolutionary Democracy in Juchitán, Oaxaca, by Colby Ristow, reviewed by Nancy A. Aguirre, 918-19

Colonial Captivity during the First World War: Internment and the Fall of the German Empire, 1914–1919, by Mahon Murphy, reviewed by Robert H. Clemm, 919-21

Inside World War One? The First World War and its Witnesses, edited by Richard Bessel and Dorothee Wierling, reviewed by Magdalena Hentel, 921-22

Breaking Empires, Making Nations? The First World War and the Reforging of Europe, edited by Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski, Quincy Cloet, and Alex Dowdall, reviewed by Matthew R. Schwonek, 923-24

Morale and Discipline in the Royal Navy during the First World War, by Laura Rowe, reviewed by Richard S. Faulkner, 924-25

From Conquest to Deportation: The North Caucasus under Russian Rule, by Jeronim Perović, reviewed by Joseph L. Varuolo, 926-27

Thunder in the Argonne: A New History of America’s Greatest Battle, by Douglas V. Mastriano, reviewed by Justin Prince, 927-28

1918: Winning the War, Losing the War, edited by Matthias Strohn, reviewed by Jonas Kauffeldt, 928-30

Versailles 1919: A Centennial Perspective, by Alan Sharp, reviewed by Priscilla Roberts, 930-32

Britain and Interwar Danubian Europe: Foreign Policy and Security Challenges, 1919–1936, by Dragan Bakić, reviewed by Craig E. Saucier, 932-33

Mussolini and Hitler: The Forging of the Fascist Alliance, by Christian Goeschel, reviewed by Eugene Edward Beiriger, 933-35

A History of the Mediterranean Air War 1940–1945: Volume Four. Sicily and Italy to the Fall of Rome, 14 May, 1943–5 June, 1944, by Christopher Shores and Giovanni Massimello, reviewed by David Stubbs, 935-36

Air Officer Commanding: Hugh Dowding Architect of the Battle of Britain, by John T. LaSaine, Jr., reviewed by Matthew Powell, 937-38

Danger 79er: The Life and Times of Lieutenant General James F. Hollingsworth, by James H. Willbanks, reviewed by John C. Hanley, 938-39

The Kremlin Letters: Stalin’s Wartime Correspondence with Churchill and Roosevelt, by David Reynolds and Vladimir Pechatnov, reviewed by Mark A. Stoler, 940-41

The Allies Strike Back 1941–1943: The War in the West, by James Holland, reviewed by David J. Ulbrich, 941-42

Operation Dragoon: The Allied Liberation of the South of France: 1944, by Robin Cross, reviewed by Douglas Porch, 943-44

The Struggle for Cooperation: Liberated France and the American Military, 1944–1946, by Robert L. Fuller, reviewed by Stephen Bourque, 944-46

Anglo-Australian Naval Relations, 1945–1975: A More Independent Service, by Mark Gjessing, reviewed by Corbin Williamson, 946-47

Traumatic Defeat: POWs, MIAs, and National Mythmaking, by Patrick Gallagher, reviewed by Paul J. Springer, 948-49

Always at War: Organizational Culture in Strategic Air Command, 1946–62, by Melvin G. Deaile, reviewed by Frank Blazich, Jr., 949-50

Our Germans: Project Paperclip and the National Security State, by Brian E. Crim, reviewed by Stephen Petrina, 951-52

North Korea Invades the South: Across the 38th Parallel, June 1950, by Gerry van Tonder; and Invisible Scars: Mental Trauma and the Korean War, by Megan Fitzpatrick, reviewed by Bruce Zellers, 952-54

To Build as Well as Destroy: American Nation Building in South Vietnam, by Andrew J. Gawthorpe, reviewed by Marc R. Henderson, 954-55

Footprints of War: Militarized Landscapes in Vietnam, by David Biggs, reviewed by Jonson Miller, 955-57

A New Conception of War: John Boyd, the U.S. Marines, and Maneuver Warfare, by Ian T. Brown, reviewed by Brian R. Price, 957-59

Reagan’s War on Terrorism in Nicaragua: The Outlaw State, by Philip W. Travis, reviewed by Melia Pfannenstiel, 959-61

Four Guardians: A Principled Agent View of American Civil-Military Relations, by Jeffrey W. Donnithorne, reviewed by Carrie Lee, 961-63

SMH 2020 CALL FOR PAPERS: 986-87
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