Academic journal article Military Review

Studies in British Military Thought: Debates with Fuller and Liddell Hart

Academic journal article Military Review

Studies in British Military Thought: Debates with Fuller and Liddell Hart

Article excerpt

STUDIES IN BRITISH MILITARY THOUGHT: Debates with Fuller and Liddell Hart by Brian Holden Reid, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 1998, 287 pages, $50.00.

In Studies in British Military Thought, distinguished British military scholar and professor of war studies Brian Holden Reid surveys the writings of J.F.C. Fuller and B.H. Liddell Hart. The collection of 12 essays incorporates feedback gained from military professionals Reid met while teaching at British and US staff colleges.

Reid says one gains an accurate "appreciation tempered by criticism" of these "true pioneers" who examined many "complex and fascinating connections between strategy, operational art and tactics within their broader study of war as a social and political phenomenon." Reid also suggests that Fuller and Liddell Hart's ideas and efforts to develop new systems, organizations and doctrine are especially relevant today as the Army attempts to exploit the ongoing revolution in military of fairs.

To explain Fuller and Liddell Hart's ideas, Reid concentrates on their concept of strategic paralysis-the enemy's dislocation and demoralization in lieu of his physical destruction, now called maneuver warfare. Reid portrays Fuller as being focused on the tactical and operational levels of war but shows how both thinkers struggled with the paradox of mechanization; the increase in offensive mobility brought about a decrease in defensive protection, if the enemy's command was capable. …

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