The Sources of Military Doctrine: France, Britain, and Germany Between the World Wars

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Cornell University Press, Aug 1, 1986 - History - 283 pages
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Barry R. Posen explores how military doctrine takes shape and the role it plays in grand strategy—that collection of military, economic, and political means and ends with which a state attempts to achieve security. Posen isolates three crucial elements of a given strategic doctrine: its offensive, defensive, or deterrent characteristics, its integration of military resources with political aims, and the degree of military or operational innovation it contains. He then examines these components of doctrine from the perspectives of organization theory and balance of power theory, taking into account the influence of technology and geography.

Looking at interwar France, Britain, and Germany, Posen challenges each theory to explain the German Blitzkrieg, the British air defense system, and the French Army's defensive doctrine often associated with the Maginot Line. This rigorous comparative study, in which the balance of power theory emerges as the more useful, not only
allows us to discover important implications for the study of national strategy today, but also serves to sharpen our understanding of the origins of World War II.

  

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Review: The Sources of Military Doctrine: France, Britain, and Germany Between the World Wars

User Review  - Nate Huston - Goodreads

Posen attempts to take a pretty big bite, one that may have been a bit more than he was prepared to chew. His goal is very ambitious. He aims to analyze the relative explanatory value of ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
7
The Importance of Military Doctrine
13
Explaining Military Doctrine
34
The Battles of 1940
81
France
105
Britain
141
Germany
179
Conclusions
220
Notes
245
Selected Bibliography
269
Index
277
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About the author (1986)

Barry R. Posen is Ford International Professor of Political Science and director of the Security Studies Program at MIT. He is the author of The Sources of Military Doctrine: France, Britain, and Germany between the World Wars (winner of the Furniss Award and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award), Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks , and Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy , all from Cornell.

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