From Sumter to Sumer: Twentieth Century European Land Warfare 1861-1991

History 103U.002

Spring 2006
Instructor (text): 
Day & Time: 
This course has been cancelled.

This pro-seminar centers on strategy, tactics, technology, logistics and politics during a relatively short epoch of the vast history of warfare, albeit a period in which war had the widest ramifications and the greatest worldwide import and the balance of power changed irretrievably from Europe to the peripheries, North America and the Asian landmass. Beginning with the first ";twentieth century European war"; -- fought in mid-nineteenth century North America, the US. Civil War, 1861-1865, -- it continues with the war at root of both subsequent world wars (1914-1918 and 1938-1945), the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, the Boer War, and the first Modern European War in Asia, the Russo-Japanese War, as presagers of larger and bloodier conflicts in Europe, demonstrating new technologies and tactics and a very modern viciousness. The two World Wars receive the most searching attention. With an unparalleled American victory in World War II capped by thermonuclear devices, American commitment to the Forty-Four Years War -- the Cold War -- followed in a continuing American presence as a power in Europe. The course ends with the whirlwind triumph of the ";Coalition Forces"; in Desert Storm, 1991. That the title and substance of the course seem paradoxical is appearance not reality, for its main emphasis, evident in the readings, is on the Western European mode of making war and that mode's capacity to exact imitation by non-European powers, especially the United States.

Requirements: Complete and total attendance -- more than one absence, for whatever reason, will necessitate withdrawal. Strict punctuality. Active participation in discussion, having read the work assigned for the week. Essay, 12-15 pages (maximum) on a topic of your devising with our approval based on the course reading.