The First and Second World Wars

Martin van Creveld

in The Practice of Strategy

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608638
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731754 | DOI:
The First and Second World Wars

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In Chapter 10, Martin van Creveld focuses on grand strategy and military strategy in the First and Second World Wars. He first examines the similarities between the two wars at the highest level: ‘to wit, the one where national policy and politics, strategy, diplomacy, economics and mobilization meet and interact’. The second part of the chapter discusses the military strategy of the principal belligerents. The author highlights the differences between the two wars, the role of armoured formations on the ground, naval warfare, and the extensive use of air power. He maintains that, in reality, these two total wars should be seen as parts of a single protracted struggle of attrition, with victory ultimately gained by the side with greater resources in terms of bigger military forces (army, navy, and air force), backed by larger populations, a stronger military‐industrial base for scientific research and production, and greater economic leverage.

Keywords: First World War; Second World War; grand strategy; military strategy; politics; diplomacy; economy; armed forces; history

Chapter.  10584 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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