While you may not be interested in war, war is
interested in you.
Attributed to Leon Trotsky
What is war?
War is nothing more than the continuation of politics
by other means.
Karl von Clausewitz
Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics
War is the point at which politics turns into murder.
Michel Serres, (Le Contrat naturel, 1990)
Definitions of War
• The waging of armed conflict against an enemy
• A legal state created by a declaration of war and ended by official
• Condition of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on
between nations, states, or parties.
• A state of open and declared armed hostile conflict between political
units such as states or nations; may be limited or general in nature.
“The practical adaptation of the means
placed at a general's disposal to the
attainment of the object in view. "
General Helmut von Moltke (1800 – 1891) Chief of
the German General Staff, 1857-1888
Quoted in Basil H. Liddell Hart’s Strategy
• The military science that deals with securing
objectives set by strategy, especially the
technique of deploying and directing troops,
ships, and aircraft in effective maneuvers
against an enemy
American Heritage Dictionary
Strategy vs. Tactics
"Tactics teach the use of armed forces in
“Strategy is the use of engagements for
the object of the war."
A more timely concept
High Strategy: At the highest level of the state
Deals with achieving national objectives even beyond war
“Grand Strategy is simply the level at which
knowledge and persuasion, or in modern terms
intelligence and diplomacy, interact with military
strength to determine outcomes in a world of other
states with their own “grand strategies.”
The Grand Strategy of the Byzantin e Empire
Instruments of National Power
All the means that are available for
employment in the pursuit of national
Instruments of National Power
• Resolve (will)
Strategic level of
• The level of war at which a nation, often as a
member of a group of nations, determines
national or multinational (alliance or coalition)
strategic security objectives and guidance,
then develops and uses national resources to
achieve those objectives.
Operational Level of War
• The level of war at which campaigns and major
operations are planned, conducted, and
sustained to achieve strategic objectives within
theaters or other operational areas.
Tactical level of war
The level of war at which battles and
engagements are planned and executed to
achieve military objectives assigned to tactical
units or task forces.
Origins of World War-1
• Germany, France, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and
Britain attempting to keep the lid on the
simmering cauldron of imperialist and
nationalist tensions in the Balkans to prevent a
general European war. They were successful in
1912 and 1913, but did not succeed in 1914.
1st World War in history
“The lamps have gone out all over
Europe and we shall not see them lit
again in our lifetime”.
- British Prime Minister Lord Grey
- British Prime Minister Lord Greyv
• Involved 60 nations and 6 continents
• First war of the Industrial Revolution
• World War I (WWI) was sparked by the
assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand in 1914 and ended with
the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
The sides formed
• Triple Entente (Allies)
Russia (1917 exit)
United States (1917 entry)
• Central Powers
Beginning of World War-1
World War I was struck in Sarajevo, Bosnia, where :
• June 28 - Assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke and
heir, Francis Ferdinand (and Sophie, his wife)
• July 5 -Kaiser Wilhelm secretly pledged Austria-Hungary,
assurance of Germany's backing in the case of war
• July 23 - Austria issues ultimatum to Serbia and invades on July
• July 28-30 - Russians mobilize as Serbia’s ally
• August 1 - Germany, Austria-Hungary’s ally, declares war on
Russia (and Serbia)
• August 3 - Germany declares war on France (allied with Russia)
and invades Belgium en route to Paris, France
• August 4 - Great Britain, France’s ally, declares war on
European Alliances in 1914 (p. 638) Bedford St. Martin’s
• 1915- Germany declares a "war zone" around
Great Britain, essentially effecting a submarine
blockade where even neutral merchant vessels
were to be potential targets.
• The Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of
• September 5 - Tsar Nicholas II takes personal
control over Russia's armies.
• 1916:- February 21 - The Battle of Verdun
begins. The Battle of Verdun was the longest
battle of World War I and was one of the
• May 31 - The Battle of Jutland, the major naval
battle of the war, begins.
• July 1 - The Battle of the Somme begins. During
the Battle of the Somme, tanks are first
introduced into battle.
Causes of the War
European nations competing for colonies around the world
Africa, Asia, The Pacific
By 1910, the most desirable colonies had been taken.
Germany envied France and Britain because they had the most
They soon realized that the only way to get land in Africa was
to take it away from the colonizers.
Long Term Causes of World War I
• Peace time alliances
• Long-standing ethnic grudges
COLONIAL CLAIMS BY 1900
Technologies Used in
• New style of warfare: mechanized
– Machine guns
– Rapid fire Artillery (long-range, heavy artillery )
– Tanks, Air Planes, Submarines
– Poison gas (various types)
– Hand grenades
– Trench warfare (not entirely new)
– “No-Man’s Land”
• The Changing Nature of Warfare
in the 20th Century
• Warfare at the beginning of the twentieth
• There had been little change in tactics in land
warfare since the Napoleonic wars
• Commanders still placed a great importance on
the role of the cavalry, soldiers on horseback, as
an offensive weapon.
• There was an increasing emphasis on mass
• Most countries had introduced conscription. The
German army increased from 500,000 in 1900 to
one and a half million in 1914.
• The railway system brought faster and more
efficient transport of troops, weapons and
• The light field gun, based on the French 75mm
gun, was standard equipment and could fire up to
20 shells a minute.
• The breech-loading rifle remained the standard
weapon for the infantryman together with the
• The machine gun, capable of firing up to 600
rounds a minute, was in common use. It was
capable of inflicting heavy casualties on the
• Warfare at the beginning of the century:
protected by steel more than a foot
• Battleships had rotating, armoured gunturrets and 15 inch guns.
• HMS Dreadnought was completed in
1906. It was powered by steam turbines
making it two knots per hour faster than
its nearest rival.
• The submarine was developed at the
very beginning of the twentieth
• The aeroplane was only invented in
1903. In 1912 the British set up the
Royal Flying Corps. No other country
began the First World War with a
properly trained air force.
• Changing methods of land warfare: The
First World War
• The failure of Germany’s Schlieffen Plan
led to trench warfare and three years of
• Machine guns accounted for 90% of Allied
victims at the Battle of the Somme, in
• Commanders used the mass infantry
attack across no-man’s land. This resulted
in very heavy casualties on both sides.
• The Germans were the first to use
poisonous gas at the 2nd Battle of Ypres,
April 1915. The Allies soon retaliated.
• Gas was unsuccessful because the wind in
France generally blew in the direction of
the Germans, which prevented them using
it very often.
• Both sides used a constant bombardment
of enemy positions before an attack. At
one stage, the Germans had over 20,000
• Tanks were first used during the Battle of
the Somme, in July 1916, but were too
slow and unreliable with many breaking
• They proved decisive in the Allied
successes of July-November 1918.
• The Second World War
• Blitzkrieg used shock tactics. Motorised
vehicles, tanks and air power were coordinated by radio communications as they
pushed deep into enemy territory.
• Reinforcements would then follow the
advance forces and take secure control of
the territory captured.
• Parachutists were dropped behind enemy
lines to capture bridges and other
important targets and further disrupt
• Dive-bombers moved ahead of the tanks and
attacked enemy strong points.
• The French had constructed the Maginot Line.
Hitler’s armies simply by-passed the Maginot
Line by making a daring advance through the
Ardennes region of Belgium in May 1940.
• Blitzkrieg was very effective in the German
invasion of the Soviet Union of June 1941.
• Ultimately it proved unsuccessful due to a
combination of the huge distances involved, the
impact of the severe Russian winter and the
strong Soviet resistance.
• Early German Panzer Mark II tanks were
only 10 tonnes in weight and armed with
• Four years later, the Germans were using
Tiger mark II tanks weighing 68 tonnes and
armed with 88mm guns.
• In July 1943, the Germans launched an
attack on the Russians at Kursk. In the
greatest tank battle in history, the Germans
were defeated mainly due to the highly
effective Soviet T34 tanks.
• Guerrilla Tactics
• In the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong, led by
Ho Chi Minh, were heavily outnumbered
and outgunned by the US and South
Vietnamese forces in open warfare.
• Guerrilla warfare proved to be a nightmare
for the US army. Guerrillas did not wear
They attacked and then
disappeared into the jungle, into the
villages or into their tunnels.
• The Viet Cong fighters were expected to be
courteous and respectful to the Vietnamese
peasants. They often helped the peasants in the
fields during busy periods.
• Similar tactics were employed in Afghanistan by
the Mujaheddin, rebel tribesman who opposed
the Soviet invasion of 1979.
• They successfully attacked Russian supply
routes and shot at their planes. By 1988 they
controlled over 75% of the country.
• Changing methods of sea and aerial warfare
• At Jutland the German battleships inflicted
heavier losses on the British. Nevertheless it was
a strategic victory for the British.
• In the early stages of the war, German U-boats
concentrated their attacks on Allied warships.
• From 1916 unrestricted U-boat warfare allowed
Allied ships to be torpedoed without warning.
This proved very effective and by June 1917
Britain had lost 500,000 tons to the U-boats and
London only had six weeks’ supply of food left.
• From mid-1917 almost all merchant ships
travelled in convoys. British and US ships
escorted merchant ships in close formation
• Allied shipping losses fell by 20% when the
convoy system was introduced.
• U-boats also played an important role in
the Second World War. During the early
years of the Battle of the Atlantic, U-boats
were able to avoid detection.
• Wolf packs of U-boats were able to lie
in wait and torpedo the convoys in midAtlantic. In 1941 the Allies lost 1300
ships rising to 1661 in the following
• From late 1941 onwards, the British
code breakers at Bletchley Park got
better at decoding German codes.
Between May 1942 and May 1943, they
managed to steer 105 out of 174
convoys across the Atlantic without any
interference from U-boats.
• Special support groups of destroyers were
created fitted with powerful radar and listening
equipment that could pick up on radio signals
• Between June and December 1943 the Allies
sank 141 U-boats, losing only 57 ships
• Aircraft carriers had been under development
since the First World War
• In November 1940, Swordfish torpedo bombers
launched from the British carrier, HMS Illustrious,
sank three Italian battleships within Taranto
• The Japanese navy quickly obtained a full
report and used aircraft from aircraft
carriers to attack the US fleet at Pearl
Harbor, 7 December 1941
• Control of the Pacific was dependant on a
combination of air and sea power. At
Midway in May 1942 when the Americans
destroyed four Japanese carriers, they did
the very thing the Japanese had failed to
do at Pearl Harbor.
• In the early stages of the First World War,
the most important aircraft were airships.
German airships, known as Zeppelins,
were used to bomb British towns.
• The first raids were in 1915.
achieved psychological damage – civilians
in Britain were no longer safe.
• In 1914 aeroplanes were very unreliable
and highly dangerous and were mainly
used for observation.
• Soon the ‘dogfight’ had developed, at first
using pistols and rifles but, in April 1915,
the planes were successfully fitted with
• The Germans developed the Fokker fighter
plane with a synchronised machine-gun
mounted in front of the pilot firing between
the rotating propeller blades.
• By 1918 the primitive planes had given way
to sleek fighters such as the Sopwith
Camel and the Fokker Triplane.
• The standard German bomber was the
Between December 1914 and
June 1917 there were 57 German
aeroplane raids on Britain, mostly on
London. 5000 people were killed or
wounded by German bombs.
• During the Second World War, air power
now became essential to army and naval
operations. The Polish airforce was
destroyed on the ground in 1939.
• The Battle of Britain prevented a German
invasion of Britain. Fighter Command, with
Spitfires and Hurricanes and supported by
radar, was able to fight off the Luftwaffe.
• Britain’s investment in radar in the 1930s
meant that RAF planes were not caught on
the ground as the Luftwaffe approached.
• From 1940 to 1941 the Luftwaffe attempted
to blitz Britain into submission by bombing
major British cities.
• Berlin and other major German cities were
bombed regularly from 1943 to 1945 using
high explosive and incendiary bombs
which caused fires to rage uncontrollably.
• German war production was disrupted but
Germany did not surrender. The Allied
armies advancing in to Germany forced the
• In 1944 Hitler launched secret weapons.
The V1 ‘flying bomb’ was jet-powered and
filled with a tonne of high explosives. It fell
to the ground when the engine cut out.
• In 1944 the world’s first jet aircraft, the
British Gloster Meteor, was created.
• During the Vietnam War was the USA
launched Operation Rolling Thunder.
US air power could not defeat the
Communists – it could only slow them
• The USA also used Agent Orange, a
highly toxic ‘weedkiller’ and Napalm.
• The development of atomic and
• On 6 August,
later a second
a B-29 bomber, the Enola
an atomic bomb on the
of Hiroshima. Three days
was dropped on the city of
• In 1949 the USSR detonated its first atomic
Three years later, the USA
detonated the first hydrogen bomb.
• By the end of the 1950s both sides had
developed H-bombs small enough to be
dropped from a bomber and ICBMs
• In 1957 the USSR launched the Sputnik
satellite into orbit around the earth. This
technology could be applied to missiles
with nuclear warheads.
• Their development acted as a deterrent.
This was known as situation MAD – Mutual
• The Cuban Missile Crisis
• USA spy planes found photographic
evidence of Soviet missile sites on
blockaded the Caribbean island and
demanded the removal of the missiles.
eventually agreed to remove the
missiles. War had been averted.
• Détente – an easing of strained
relations especially between states
• 1963 Nick Hardcastle born
• 1963: The Test Ban Treaty
• 1968: The Non-Proliferation Treaty
• 1972: SALT 1 – Strategic arms
limitation treaty 1
• 1977: the Soviet Union began
replacing out-of-date missiles in
Eastern Europe with new SS-20
• President Carter allowed the US military to
develop Cruise Missile
• By 1979 the USA had stationed Pershing
missiles in western Europe as an answer
to the SS-20s
• In 1982 President Reagan gave the goahead for the Strategic Defense Initiative
• The collapse of the Soviet Empire at the
end of the 1980s brought an end to the
Cold War and the nuclear arms race.
• In the First Gulf War, 1991, the
Allies, mainly the USA and the UK,
made a series of air attacks on
Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, to
lower the morale of the Iraqi
• The second phase, the attack on
the Iraqi army itself, drove the
Iraqis out of Kuwait and confirmed
the continued importance of land
forces in major conflicts.
• Warfare at the end of the twentieth
• By the end of the twentieth century
there were two forms of warfare –
nuclear and conventional
• The destructive power of nuclear
weapons still acted as a deterrent
increasingly high tech conventional
•The advent Nuclear Deterrence brought a
Evolution of of nuclear weapons
paradigm shift in strategic thinking because
with nuclear weapons “the possible cost are
always much higher than possible gains”.
•Under the shadow of nuclear weapons there
were no victors or losers in war, what was
exclusively unique to this situation was that
there was no effective Defence against these
•This made the nuclear deterrence more
effective and prevented the nuclear weapons
adversaries from taking any irrational steps.
Changing Dynamics of Deterrence
•Aim was to avert wars
•Aim is to win wars
•In-calculable loss based on the
concept of retaliation has moved
to the new concept of preemption