Download The Echo of Battle: The Army's Way of War by Brian McAllister Linn PDF

By Brian McAllister Linn

From Lexington and Gettysburg to Normandy and Iraq, the wars of the us have outlined the kingdom. yet after the weapons fall silent, the military searches the teachings of prior conflicts which will organize for the subsequent conflict of hands. within the echo of conflict, the military develops the ideas, guns, doctrine, and commanders that it hopes will warrantly a destiny victory.

In the face of significantly new methods of waging warfare, Brian Linn surveys the prior assumptions--and errors--that underlie the army's many visions of war as much as the current day. He explores the army's forgotten historical past of deterrence, its lengthy event with counter-guerrilla operations, and its successive efforts to remodel itself. Distinguishing 3 martial traditions--each with its personal idea of battle, its personal strategic perspectives, and its personal excuses for failure--he locates the visionaries who ready the military for its battlefield triumphs and the reactionaries whose errors contributed to its defeats.

Discussing commanders as assorted as Dwight D. Eisenhower, George S. Patton, and Colin Powell, and applied sciences from coastal artillery to the Abrams tank, he exhibits how management and weaponry have consistently altered the army's method of clash. And he demonstrates the army's behavior of getting ready for wars that seldom ensue, whereas ignoring these it needs to truly struggle. in keeping with exhaustive study and interviews, The Echo of Battle offers an unheard of reinterpretation of ways the U.S. military has waged battle long ago and the way it truly is assembly the recent demanding situations of tomorrow.

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Instead of an overwhelming volume of firepower, they would mount a few rifled cannon whose shells could smash through any warship’s armor five or six miles distant. These longrange guns would be supported by shorter-range heavy mortars whose shells would land on the unarmored decks, by minefields, and by mobile gun barges and monitors. With this layered scheme, enemy fleets would encounter a multitude of defenses; whether they attempted to force their way through with battleships or speed through with smaller vessels, they would be stopped.

Although “the art of war has already approached the margin of the exact sciences . . ” But applying these principles was ever more difficult because “no practical problem can be solved without an accurate estimate of the disturbing conditions. ”15 Schofield learned firsthand just how elusive an “accurate estimate of disturbing conditions” could be. 16 Nelson A. Miles, Schofield’s successor, serves as a useful counter to the arguments that the period witnessed the development of a professional military ethos or the codification of a distinct American way of war.

This was especially true of the Corps of Engineers, which continued to view itself as first among equals. In the decades after the Civil War, the corps tried to respond to a double challenge. One was intellectual and came from line officers such as William T. Sherman and Emory Upton, who sought to articulate a new version of land warfare. The other was methodological and came from Artillery officers asserting their branch’s primacy in harbor defense. The corps’ response was perhaps predictable, and it incorporated many of the same arguments that succeeding generations of American military intellectuals would use.

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