Article

Arctic Warfare

Adam Lajeunesse

in Military History

ISBN: 9780199791279
Published online February 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0014
Arctic Warfare

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Warfare in the Arctic has, for the most part, been a historical oddity. The region boasts few significant cities to capture, small populations, a harsh environment, and little transportation infrastructure. As R. J. Sutherland states in his “Strategic Significance of the Canadian Arctic,” the Arctic offers “no place to go from a military point of view and nothing to do when you got there.” Prior to World War II there was little regular warfare in the circumpolar region, whereas the war itself saw relatively limited action. It was during the Cold War that the Arctic became a recognized area of strategic importance—primarily for strategic bombers and later for nuclear submarines. Although these weapons were never used, an enormous amount of energy and resources went into preparing to fight in the region. The definition of Arctic itself often varies and can be defined on geographic, climactic, or political grounds. This bibliography uses the geographic delimitation of 60 degrees north latitude. This region includes the entire Canadian North, Finland, the Soviet/Russian North, and most of Norway and Alaska. Parts of Alaska south of 60 degrees have been included because they are traditionally characterized as Arctic, whereas warfare on the Baltic Sea has been omitted simply because this area has traditionally not been considered as such.

Article.  7437 words. 

Subjects: Military History ; Pre-20th Century Warfare ; First World War ; Second World War ; Post-WW2 Military History

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