History 2179 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Ottoman Empire, Ethnic Nationalism, Plan Xvii

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22 Jan 2018
Department
LECTURE 1 - INTRODUCTION
WHY THE WORLD WARS ARE UNIQUE
these wars are more ideologically driven than the wars or conflicts that precede them
-ideology = the world views of the participants
-the world views affect their military strategies and their motivation for participating
mark turning points in human history, where conflict become more destructive
-Wars in the 19th century are radically different from those wars in the 20th century
the methods of fighting have not changed much
-despite of the technological advancements, similar artilleries were used in the American Civil War (50 years prior) and WWI
-need to consider the similarities and differences how much impact does the both wars really have?
KEY THEMES
1. Human agency in wartime
-focus on the cause and effect of human agency in wars
-all humans are decision makers they exercise personal agency (to varying degrees) and make choices
even decisions of a single soldier will have an impact on the outcome of war
although one individual might have more power when compared to the other one many soldiers may have a cumulative
impact (armies fail under stressful circumstances when the soldiers do not unite = personal choice)
wars are the consequences of human decisions
-the characteristics of wars are functions of an incalculable number of human actions
-wars are also a highly complex set of other variables ex: weather, geography, etc
2. Strategy: the art and science of developing and using political, economic, psychological and military forces as necessary
during peace and war, to afford the maximum support to policies in order to increase the probabilities and favourable
consequences of victory and to lessen the chances of defeat
-“Strategy” and “tactics” are not interchangeable
-strategy is making decisions at the highest level (national) to apply available resources of the nation, in a way that will
achieve the nation’s goals and achieve a positive outcome
-usually made by powerful individuals politicians, leaders in the government
-ex: the decision of the Canadian government to send soldiers to the Afghanistan in 2001 is a strategic decision
-higher level decisions
3. Operations and Tactics
-Tactic: concern the employment of units in combat
in particular, tactics concern the ordered arrangement of and maneuver of units in relation to each other and/or to the
enemy in order to utilize their full potentialities ex: how will the battle actually be fought
the decision of fight the battle or not is a strategy, the decisions of HOW to fight the battle is a tactic
lower level decisions
-Operations: military actions or the carrying out of strategic, tactical, service, training or administrative military missions
the process of carrying on combat, including movement, supply, attack, defence and maneuvers needed to gain the
objectives of any battle of campaign
involve units of operation
can involve higher and lower level decisions, at the strategic level and the tactic level ex: the invasions of France (D-
Day) and an attack at night by a special force unit
communication was strained back in WWI, therefore the methods of operation were very different from modern warfare
4. Logistics: the science of planning and carrying out the movement, support and maintenance of forces
-design, use and disposal of material
-treatment of casualities
-development of facilities and infrastructure
-provision of services
5. leadership (military & political)
6. culture and ideology
7. “total” war
8. technology
9. global war
10. alliances and coalitions
11. geography, climate, environment
12. popular or collective memory of the wars
*** every exam question will involve one or more of these themes
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