Journal of Military History
Vol. 84, No. 4
October 2020


“Irregular Warfare in Late Medieval Japan: Towards a Historical Understanding of the ‘Ninja’,” by
Polina Serebriakova and Danny Orbach, Journal of Military History 84:4 (October 2020): 997-1020.
The Japanese ninja are known in the west mainly by the romantic image of the secret agent, or assassin, endowed with superhuman powers. Yet there is a lack of serious scholarship on the actual warriors who became the subject of the myth. This paper seeks to use the full extent of primary sources from the period to offer a blueprint for a historical, rather than mythical understanding of the ninja. They did not belong to a unified class, but were instead a hodgepodge of heterogeneous groups, united only by their skills in irregular warfare. They became “ninja” only retrospectively, as a result of the historical imagination of later generations.
“The Survival of France: Logistics and Strategy in the 1709 Flanders Campaign,” by Darryl Dee, Journal of Military History 84:4 (October 2020): 1021-50.
This article examines the 1709 French campaign in Flanders. It focuses on the dynamics between logistics and strategy. Chronic shortages of pay and provisions provoked a vigorous debate within the French military leadership over how the Army of Flanders should be used. Marshal Villars, the commander in the field, pushed for aggressively seeking battle with the enemy. Louis XIV and his advisers at Versailles advocated a cautious defense. This debate was eventually resolved in the king's favor. The strategy implemented in Flanders did not just result in the survival of France during its moment of greatest weakness. It also provided a model for the French high command for the remaining years of the War of the Spanish Succession.
“A ‘Century of Peace’ That Was Not: War in the Nineteenth Century,” by Niels Eichhorn, Journal of Military History 84:4 (October 2020): 1051-77
When historians study the short nineteenth century (1815–1914), they usually see the century as one of peace. The assumption rests on the perception that European Great Powers did not engage in major wars with each other. Contrary to such assumptions though, the nineteenth century was a violent period with frequent and often bloody localized or regional wars. Some of these wars involved one or more of the Great Powers. Especially the middle decades of the nineteenth century witnessed a series of wars. Despite the massive bloodletting during the American Civil War, conflicts in Asia and South America were far more devastating. This essay demonstrates that the middle decades of the nineteenth century witnessed ruinous conflicts as military technology exceeded battlefield tactics with many soldiers suffering deadly consequences.
“A Resolution of the Debate about British Wireless in World War I,” by Mike Bullock, Laurence Lyons, and Philip Judkins, Journal of Military History 84:4 (October 2020): 1079-96
For the past eight years the authors have been engaged in a debate with Dr. Brian N. Hall regarding the role of British continuous wave (CW) wireless in WWI. Dr. Hall contended the British army did as well as could be expected in applying this technology to warfare. The authors compared British developments to much faster, although later, American development. The French army, however, deployed this technology much earlier than either. New evidence shows that though aware of the French achievement the British chose not to exploit it.
“Failing to Speak the Same Language: The Roots of ‘Jointness’ in the United States, 1919–1941,” by Ryan Wadle, Journal of Military History 84:4 (October 2020): 1097-1126
Between the world wars, senior officers in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy sought to create an interservice culture through the integration of strategic planning, professional military education, and, most importantly, the conduct of large-scale joint exercises. Rather than solely emphasizing the issue of command arrangements that dominate previous studies, this study highlights a number of factors that complicated efforts to cooperate, including disagreements over individual service responsibilities, the advent of new technologies and capabilities, and the cultural divide between the services. Ultimately, these measures to institutionalize coordination and regular joint training fell short of their intent and left a mixed legacy.
“Churchill’s Butchers: Mission 204’s Operations in China, 1942–1945,” by Preston Jordan Lim, Journal of Military History 84:4 (October 2020): 1127-56
Mission 204, a mixed British and Australian force, operated in Nationalist China from 1942 to 1945 with the objective of training Nationalist guerrillas. Historians have tended to focus only on the mission's record in 1942, when British and Australian commandos deployed to eastern Jiangxi Province and suffered from a high incidence of disease. This paper not only reframes the narrative concerning 1942, but also argues that the mission met with success from 1943 to 1945, due to adaptations in the mission’s force structure and an increased willingness to suit Chinese desires.
“Seeds of Victory: Satisfying the Needs of the Red Army and the Soviet State during the Formation of the Kursk Salient, February–May 1943,” by Daniel F. Giblin, Journal of Military History 84:4 (October 2020): 1157-88
This article describes the interactions between Kursk Oblast’s civilian leadership and the Soviet military during the latter’s winter 1943 operations. In this period, the Red Army incorporated the liberated people into its rear services area while returning civilian leaders reestablished Soviet power. Operating at cross-purposes at times, both sides still found enough common cause to prepare the Red Army for its first summertime victory in the war. By examining the working relationship of the Red Army and the civilians situated so close to the enemy, this article offers new insights into an often overlooked region of the “home front” in studies of World War II.
Book Reviews:
Seapower States: Maritime Culture, Continental Empires, and the Conflict that Made the Modern World, by Andrew Lambert, reviewed by Tommy Jamison, 1189-90

Killing for the Republic: Citizen-Soldiers and the Roman Way of War, by Steele Brand, reviewed by Everett L. Wheeler, 1191-93

From Kites to Cold War: The Evolution of Manned Airborne Reconnaissance, by Tyler Morton, reviewed by Andrew Scherff, 1193-94

Julius Caesar’s Invasion of Britain: Solving a 2000-Year-Old Mystery, by Roger Nolan, reviewed by Stephen DeCasien, 1194-96

The Reign of Emperor Gallienus: The Apogee of Roman Cavalry, by Ilkka Syvänne, reviewed by Seth Kendall, 1196-97

Victory’s Shadow: Conquest and Governance in Medieval Catalonia, by Thomas Barton, reviewed by Andrew W. Devereux, 1197-99

The Accursed Tower: The Fall of Acre and the End of the Crusades, by Roger Crowley, reviewed by Matt King, 1199-1201

Gunpowder, Masculinity, and Warfare in German Texts, 1400–1700, by Patrick Brugh, reviewed by Janis M. Gibbs, 1201-3

How the Old World Ended: The Anglo-Dutch-American Revolution, 1500–1800, by Jonathan Scott, reviewed by Benjamin D. Remillard, 1203-4

Economic Warfare and the Sea: Grand Strategies for Maritime Powers, 1650–1945, edited by David Morgan-Owen and Louis Halewood, reviewed by John Beeler, 1204-6

The Irish Brigade, 1670–1745: The Wild Geese in French Service, by D. P. Graham, reviewed by Steven Beckman, 1206-8

War, State and Society in Liège: How a Small State of the Holy Roman Empire Survived the Nine Years’ War (1688–1697), by Roeland Goorts, reviewed by John M. Stapleton, Jr., 1208-10

Patriots & Indians: Shaping Identity in Eighteenth-Century South Carolina, by Jeff W. Dennis, reviewed by Christopher Bilodeau, 1210-11

The War of 1812 in the West: From Fort Detroit to New Orleans, by David Kirkpatrick, reviewed by Ann Durkin Keating, 1211-12

Feeding Victory: Innovative Military Logistics from Lake George to Khe Sanh, by Jobie Turner, reviewed by Leo P. Hirrel, 1213-14

The Imperial Russian Army in Peace, War, and Revolution, 1856–1917, by Roger R. Reese, reviewed by Richard S. Faulkner, 1214-15

The Great Partnership: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the Fate of the Confederacy, by Christian B. Keller, reviewed by James S. Humphreys, 1216-17

Lincoln’s Informer: Charles A. Dana and the Inside Story of the Union War, by Carl J. Guarneri, reviewed by John Sarvela, 1217-19

The Union Assaults at Vicksburg: Grant Attacks Pemberton, May 17–22, 1863, by Timothy B. Smith, reviewed by Andrew S. Bledsoe, 1219-20

An Environmental History of the Civil War, by Judkin Browning and Timothy Silver, reviewed by Earl J. Hess, 1220-22

Obstinate Heroism: The Confederate Surrenders after Appomattox, by Steven J. Ramold, reviewed by Aaron D. Dilday, 1222-23

The Second American Revolution: The Civil War–Era Struggle over Cuba and the Rebirth of the American Republic, by Gregory P. Downs, reviewed by James M. Shinn, Jr., 1224-25

“Horses Worn to Mere Shadows”: The Victorio Campaign 1880; and “With My Face to My Bitter Foes”: Nana’s War 1880–1881, by Robert N. Watt, reviewed by Irving W. Levinson, 1226-28

Charles E. Callwell and the British Way in Warfare, by Daniel Whittingham, reviewed by Ethan S. Rafuse, 1228-29

The Quest for Security: Sovereignty, Race, and the Defense of the British Empire, 1898–1931, by Jesse Tumblin, reviewed by David C. Atkinson, 1229-31

An Incipient Mutiny: The Story of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Pilot Revolt, by Dwight Messimer, reviewed by Jayson A. Altieri, 1231-32

Belgium in the Great War, by Jean-Michel Veranneman, reviewed by Hubert P. van Tuyll, 1233-34

The German Failure in Belgium, August 1914, by Dennis Showalter, Joseph P. Robinson, and Janet A. Robinson, reviewed by Ralph M. Hitchens, 1234-36

Biplanes at War: U.S. Marine Corps Aviation in the Small Wars Era, 1915–1934, by Wray R. Johnson, reviewed by Craig F. Morris, 1236-37

We Die Like Brothers: The Sinking of the SS Mendi, by John Gribble and Graham Scott, reviewed by Eric Dorn Brose, 1237-39

Turning Point 1917: The British Empire at War, edited by Douglas E. Delaney and Nikolas Gardner, reviewed by Spencer Jones, 1239-40

The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines between War and Peace, by Oscar Jonsson, reviewed by Michael Rouland, 1241-42

Five Days from Defeat: How Britain Nearly Lost the First World War, by Walter Reid, reviewed by Christopher Phillips, 1242-44

Easing Pain on the Western Front: American Nurses of the Great War and the Birth of Modern Nursing Practice, by Paul E. Stepansky, reviewed by Rose Ethel Althaus Meza, 1244-45

Blood, Guts, and Grease: George S. Patton in World War I, by Jon B. Mikolashek, reviewed by Derek Varble, 1246-47

The Soldier Image and State-Building in Modern China 1924–1945, by Yan Xu, reviewed by Hung-yok Ip, 1247-49

Gorgeous War: The Branding War between the Third Reich and the United States, by Tim Blackmore, reviewed by Kara L. Ritzheimer, 1249-50

The Tango War: The Struggle for the Hearts, Minds and Riches of Latin America during World War II, by Mary Jo McConahay, reviewed by Monica A. Rankin, 1251-52

The War for the Seas: A Maritime History of World War II, by Evan Mawdsley, reviewed by Christopher M. Bell, 1252-54

World War II Infographics, by Jean Lopez, Nicolas Aubin, Vincent Bernard, and Nicolas Guillerat, reviewed by Bradley Lynn Coleman, 1254-55

Nature at War: American Environments and World War II, edited by Thomas Robertson, Richard B. Tucker, Nicholas B. Breyfogle, and Peter R. Mansoor, reviewed by Scott Kaufman, 1256-57

The Volunteer: One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz, by Jack Fairweather, reviewed by Steven Minniear, 1257-58

Beyond Pearl Harbor: A Pacific History, edited by Beth Bailey and David Farber, reviewed by John T. Kuehn, 1259-6

Fire and Fortitude: The U.S. Army in the Pacific War, 1941–1943, by John C. McManus, reviewed by John C. Hanley, 1260-61

A Satellite Empire: Romanian Rule in Southwestern Ukraine, 1941–1944, by Vladimir Solonari, reviewed by Vojin Majstorovic, 1262-63

Decision in the Atlantic: The Allies and the Longest Campaign of the Second World War, edited by Marcus Faulkner and Christopher M. Bell, reviewed by Robert Love, 1263-65

The Red Army and the Second World War, by Alexander Hill, reviewed by Christopher C. Lovett, 1265-66

Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front: American Airmen behind the Soviet Lines and the Collapse of the Grand Alliance, by Serhii Plokhy, reviewed by Sebastian H. Lukasik, 1267-68

Setting the Rising Sun: Halsey’s Aviators Strike Japan, Summer 1945, by Kevin A. Mahoney, reviewed by Kevin Bemel, 1268-69

Glory in Their Spirit: How Four Black Women took on the Army during World War II, by Sandra M. Bolzenius, reviewed by Francis V. Gourrier, Jr., 1270-71

Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War’s Most Audacious Espionage Operation, by Steve Vogel, reviewed by Philip C. Shackelford, 1271-73

The Rising Clamor: The American Press, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Cold War, by David P. Hadley, reviewed by Bruce Zellers, 1273-74

Assured Destruction: Building the Ballistic Missile Culture of the U.S. Air Force, by David W. Bath, reviewed by John M. Curatola, 1275-76

Why America Loses Wars: Limited War and US Strategy from the Korean War to the Present, by Donald Stoker; and The Day After: Why America Wins the War but Loses the Peace, by Brendan R. Gallagher, reviewed by Peter R. Mansoor, 1276-78

Proxy War: The Least Bad Option, by Tyrone L. Groh, reviewed by Paul J. Springer, 1278-80

Aristocracy of Armed Talent: The Military Elite in Singapore, by Samuel Ling Wei Chan, reviewed by Glenn K. H. Ong, 1280-81

Battle for Skyline Ridge: The CIA Secret War in Laos, by James E. Parker, Jr., reviewed by David Strachan-Morris, 1281-83

From Sadat to Saddam: The Decline of American Diplomacy in the Middle East, by David J. Dunford, reviewed by Elizabeth Bishop, 1283-85

Why We Fight, by Mike Martin, reviewed by John M. Hinck, 1285-86




INDEX TO VOLUME 84: 1304-28

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