Journal of Military History
Vol. 84, No. 1
January 2020


Matthew Larnach, “The Battle of the Gates of Trajan, 986: A Reassessment,” 9-34
The Battle of the Gates of Trajan, 17 August 986, was a landmark event in the history of the Byzantine Empire. Ambushed and annihilated by a Bulgarian army, this humiliating military reverse played a significant role in shaping the long reign of Emperor Basil II, who would rule the Byzantine Empire for another thirty-nine years and lead it to what may be regarded as its military apogee. Yet this emphasis on its legacy has left the battle itself, and the campaign which preceded it, relatively unstudied. This paper seeks to rectify this oversight by reassessing the campaign in detail, employing logistical modelling and geographical research to reconstruct the mistakes which led to one of Byzantium’s most infamous defeats.
Peter Paret, “The Impact of Clausewitz’s Early Life on his Theories and Politics,” 35-50
New information on the problematical social and economic situation of Clausewitz’s parents makes possible a somewhat fuller reconstruction of Clausewitz’s youth. Early signs of the boy seeking an understanding of life beyond the narrow institutional limits accepted by his family, led to severe quarrels with his father, which the adult Clausewitz recalls when he finds himself in comparable conflicts in the field or in the administration of military institutions and development of policy. Jointly his innate gifts and his combative reaction to authority determine the achievements of the mature man.
Antwain K. Hunter, “‘Patriots’, ‘Cowards’, and ‘Men Disloyal at Heart’: Labor and Politics at the Springfield Armory, 1861–1865,” 51-81
This article explores the political dynamics of the labor force at the federal Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts during the U. S. Civil War. The Springfield Armory, which produced firearms for the Union Army, was an actively patriotic institution within a city, state, and region very supportive of the Union cause. The Armory as an institution and many of its workers as individuals participated in Springfield's civic celebrations of Unionism and, since it was one of the most public faces of the federal government's war effort, this helped to tie the city to the conflict in a very direct way. This essay argues that, despite this projection of patriotism, the Armory was a political site where some laborers openly criticized the Lincoln administration or openly cheered the Confederacy. These men came to work at the Armory for a number of reasons, which did not always include Unionism. Their political dissent highlights both how divisive even the most patriotic of spaces on the Northern home front could be and how impressive the resolve of the Armory leadership was during the war.
Peter Donaldson, “‘A New and Deadly Game’: British Sporting Culture in the First World War,” 83-114
The First World War (1914–18) saw the role of sport in British military and civil society closely dissected and widely discussed. Popular journalism, memoirs, novels, and poetry provided the British public with a regular diet of war stories and reportage in which athletic endeavor and organized games featured prominently. A study of this contemporary literary material sheds light on how far the image of the sporting warrior, and the association between games and combat, survived the horrors of industrialized killing between 1914 and 1918.
Peter Hobbins, “Engineering the Fighter Pilot: Aviators, Anti-G suits, and Allied Air Power, 1940–53,” 115-49
Whether technological superiority guarantees air superiority remains a fundamental question in air power theory. Focusing on World War II (1939–45) and the Korean conflict (1950–53), this article considers the Cotton Aerodynamic Anti-G (CAAG) suit as a putatively “war-winning” innovation. Championed by the Royal Australian Air Force, it lost out to the Canadian Franks Flying Suit worn by Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm flyers, and to U.S. Army Air Forces and U.S. Navy anti-G outfits. Lacking consistent policy, priority, and pilot support, the CAAG suit’s proponents failed to convert its technological advantages into doctrinal and tactical benefits.
Brennen Fagan, Ian Horwood, Niall MacKay, Christopher Price, Ed Richards, and A. Jamie Wood, “Bootstrapping the Battle of Britain,” 151-86
The Battle of Britain (1940) is the focus of much historical controversy. We show here how the statistical technique of weighted bootstrapping can be used to create a new quantitative basis to help address such controversies. Bootstrapping facilitates the exploration of alternative campaign possibilities with different tactics. This results in comparative probabilities of “victory” for the actual and various counterfactual campaigns, providing a quantified assessment of the likelihood of German achievement of air superiority, thereby facilitating invasion. We find this more likely had the Luftwaffe targeted airfields more heavily, and greatly more likely had Germany brought forward its air campaign.
Miguel A. López, “The Survival of Auftragstaktik during the Soviet Counterattack in the Battle for Moscow, December 1941 to January 1942,” 187-212
On 16 December 1941, Adolf Hitler issued his controversial Haltbefehl (Halt Order). As Germany’s Army Group Center reeled under the Soviet counterattack during the Battle for Moscow, the Haltbefehl forbade the army to retreat. Many scholars have argued that this order ended the Prussian-German command principle (Führungsprinzips) called Auftragstaktik. This principle allowed German field commanders command discretion within the intent of their superiors. This essay argues that Auftragstaktik survived at and below the divisional level during the German army’s defensive struggles. The case studies illustrate that field commanders kept their command independence and withdrew their units despite Hitler’s order.
David C. Fuquea, “Advantage Japan: The Imperial Japanese Navy’s Superior High Seas Refueling Capability,” 213-35
The arrival of Japanese bombers and torpedo planes over Pearl Harbor on the morning of 7 December 1941 was a complete shock to Americans. This was not only because the two nations were at peace, but also because the Japanese naval striking force seemed to have possessed a near miraculous ability to support and supply its carriers on the long journey to and from the Japanese home islands into the heart of America's Pacific defenses. It was Japanese mastery of the logistical challenges as much as their audacity that produced the strategic surprise. The ability to keep task forces at sea refueled, regardless of weather, was a capability of which the United States Navy could only dream as the war in the Pacific began. In reality, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), in the war's early years, maintained a near monopoly on large-scale, underway refueling, contributing to its "heady" early success over its American and British naval opponents.
Joshua-John Tian Ser Seah, “Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Royal Navy’s War in Korea, c. 1950–1953: Part 2,” 237-60
Histories of Singapore and Hong Kong have traditionally focused on their role in British defence planning between the World Wars or the 1942 catastrophe. However, attention has recently shifted to their continued importance to Imperial security during the Cold War. This article adds to this by examining how these two fallen fortresses were restored and used to project British naval power into the Korean War. It analyses how their geopolitical conditions and security concerns affected British military power projection. It assesses the value of the fortresses through an operational lens, drawing on Korean War logistical-administrative reports and naval campaign accounts.
Book Reviews:
Soldier, Priest, and God: A Life of Alexander the Great, by F. S. Naiden, reviewed by Guy MacLean Rogers, 261-62

Ninja: Unmasking the Myth, by Stephen Turnbull, reviewed by Danny Orbach, 263-64

Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army and the Coming of the American Revolution, by John Gilbert McCurdy, reviewed by John P. Barrington, 264-66

William Livingston’s American Revolution, by James J. Gigantino II, reviewed by Derrick E. Lapp, 266-67

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775–1777, by Rick Atkinson, reviewed by Robert J. Allison, 268-69

The Disaffected: Britain’s Occupation of Philadelphia during the American Revolution, by Aaron Sullivan, reviewed by John D. Roche, 269-71

Southern Gambit: Cornwallis and the British March to Yorktown, by Stanley D. M. Carpenter, reviewed by Steven J. Rauch, 271-73

Our Friends the Enemies: The Occupation of France after Napoleon, by Christine Haynes, reviewed by Jonathan Abel, 273-74

Coast-to-Coast Empire: Manifest Destiny and the New Mexico Borderlands, by William S. Kiser, reviewed by Courtney Buchkoski, 275-76

Five for Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army, by Eugene L. Meyer, reviewed by Barbara Gannon, 276-77

France and the American Civil War: A Diplomatic History, by Stève Sainlaude, reviewed by Steven J. Brady, 277-79

The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought the Civil War, by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, reviewed by Kyle S. Sinisi, 279-80

The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, by Edward L. Ayers, reviewed by Justin Behrend, 280-82

In God’s Presence: Chaplains, Missionaries, and Religious Space during the American Civil War, by Benjamin L. Miller, reviewed by Megan L. Bever, 282-84

Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War, by David Silkenat, reviewed by Andrew S. Bledsoe, 284-85

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, by Kevin Levin, reviewed by Debra Sheffer, 286-87

Rebels on the Niagara: The Fenian Invasion of Canada, 1866, by Lawrence E. Cline, reviewed by Roger Sarty, 287-89

Curse on This Country: The Rebellious Army of Imperial Japan, by Danny Orbach, reviewed by Clemens Büttner, 289-91

The Commanders: Civil War Generals who Shaped the American West, by Robert M. Utley, reviewed by Steven E. Woodworth, 291-92

Soldiers of the Nation: Military Service and Modern Puerto Rico, 1868–1952, by Harry Franqui-Rivera, reviewed by Prisco Hernández-Ríos, 292-94

Hunter Liggett: A Soldier’s General, by Michael E. Shay, reviewed by Mark Calhoun, 294-95

In the Shadows of Victory II: America’s Forgotten Military Leaders, the Spanish-American War to World War II, by Thomas D. Phillips, reviewed by Michael Burns, 296-97

Choosing War: Presidential Decisions in the Maine, Lusitania, and Panay Incidents, by Douglas Carl Peifer, reviewed by Gregory Zieren, 297-99

George W. Goethals and the Army: Change and Continuity in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, by Rory McGovern, reviewed by Bobby A. Wintermute, 299-300

General Lord Rawlinson: From Tragedy to Triumph, by Rodney Atwood, reviewed by Stephen M. Miller, 301-2

The Experience of Occupation in the Nord, 1914–18: Living with the Enemy in First World War France, by James E. Connolly, reviewed by Adam Zientek, 302-4

Eyes All Over the Sky: Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War, by James Streckfuss, reviewed by Robert H. Clemm, 304-5

Nations, Identities and the First World War: Shifting Loyalties to the Fatherland, edited by Nico Wouters and Laurence van Ypersele, reviewed by Kathryn E. Densford, 305-7

Comunidades rotas: Una historia global de las guerras civiles, 1917–2017, by Javier Rodrigo and David Alegre, reviewed by Klaus Schmider, 307-8

Coalition Strategy and the End of the First World War: The Supreme War Council and War Planning, by Meighen McCrae, reviewed by Ethan S. Rafuse, 308-9

The Polar Bear Expedition: The Heroes of America’s Forgotten Invasion of Russia, 1918–1919, by James Carl Nelson, reviewed by Jayson A. Altieri, 310-11

Churchill’s Abandoned Prisoners: The British Soldiers Deceived in the Russian Civil War, by Rupert Wieloch, reviewed by Derek R. Mallett, 311-12

War and Remembrance: The Story of the American Battle Monuments Commission, by Thomas H. Conner, reviewed by Thomas Bruscino, 313-14

The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier, by Patrick K. O’Donnell, reviewed by Edward Salo, 314-15

The Fall of France in the Second World War: History and Memory, by Richard Carswell, reviewed by Robert Lynn Fuller, 315-17

Towards a Wider War: British Strategic Decision-Making and Military Effectiveness, 1939–40, by Joseph Moretz, reviewed by Brian Holden Reid, 317-18

How Churchill Waged War: The Most Challenging Decisions of the Second World War, by Allen Packwood, reviewed by David Hein, 319-20

The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany, by Steven Casey, reviewed by Kevin Bemel, 320-21

World War II at Sea: A Global History, by Craig L. Symonds, reviewed by Eric W. Osborne, 321-23

Kazakhstan in World War II: Mobilization and Ethnicity in the Soviet Empire, by Roberto J. Carmack, reviewed by Alexander Hill, 323-24

The Hidden War in Argentina: British and American Espionage in World War II, by Panagiotis Dimitrakis, reviewed by John F. Bratzel, 324-25

The Storm on Our Shores: One Island, Two Soldiers, and the Forgotten Battle of World War II, by Mark Obmascik, reviewed by Jeffrey Wright, 326-27

Stalingrad, by David M. Glantz and Jonathan M. House, reviewed by William S. Nance, 327-28

Sand & Steel: The D-Day Invasion and the Liberation of France, by Peter Caddick-Adams, and Normandy ’44: D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France. A New History, by James Holland, reviewed by Donald B. Connelly, 329-32

The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945–1947, by Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, reviewed by Sara B. Castro, 332-33

Winning Armageddon: Curtis LeMay and Strategic Air Command, 1948–1957, by Trevor Albertson, reviewed by Philip C. Shackelford, 334-35

Autopsy of an Unwinnable War: Vietnam, by William C. Haponski with Jerry J. Burcham, reviewed by Erik Villard, 335-37

Military Realism: The Logic and Limits of Force and Innovation in the U.S. Army, by Peter Campbell, reviewed by Edwin den Harder, 337-38

Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery, by Tom Cotton, reviewed by Cary C. Collins, 339-40

Landpower in the Long War: Projecting the Force after 9/11, edited by Jason Warren, reviewed by Daniel Sukman, 340-42

War Flower: My Life after Iraq, by Brooke King, reviewed by Tanya L. Roth, 342-43

Command: The Twenty-First-Century General, by Anthony King, reviewed by Jonathan Boff, 343-45

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