Small Wars Journal

military history

The Experience of War: The Commonalities of Shared Experiences in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 1:56am
To what extent can the examples of individual testimony offer a sense of collective experience? The experience of war can only be understood through the commonality that is shared amongst all the participants. Perception varies greatly from one individual to the next. What one may view as surrounded, may be seen as scarce to the next. Therefore, it is vital to compile individual testimonies and find the universal commonality amongst them in order to formulate a collective experience.

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Vietnam War History: Orthodox Versus Revisionist

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 7:56am
The dispute between orthodox and revisionist historians of the Second Indochina War is not about debating points, but about permanent differences of basic value systems and perceptions of historical reality. The epistemological dispute between their opposing concepts of historical truth -- objective truth versus subjective "truthiness" -- may be endlessly analyzed, but probably never fully resolved.

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Beware the Lesson of the Caudine Forks

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 7:54am
There are certain events in military history that rise above the rest. They are not merely battles, campaigns, or wars. They teach more than the specifics of military science. There are certain events that teach an art and address moral and philosophical topics of a timeless nature. It is very well to know how to turn the flank of an advancing army. It is something altogether different to understand and balance the competing interests of victory and mercy, efficiency and morality.

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Who is to be Trusted with Military History?

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 2:26am
Georges Clemenceau once asserted that “War .. [is] much too serious a thing to be left to the military”. U.S. Service Members would recognize this assertion to be true as applied to modern warfare. Clemenceau’s assertion presents an interesting follow on question. If war exceeds the limits of the military, should the recording of military history also be perceived as a task exceeding the abilities of Department of Defense historians? In this paper, we will examine Clemenceau’s original assertion and if demonstrated to be true will examine the question of who should be responsible for the recording and the examination of military history.

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