Originally published in 1976, this book explores the relationship between European society and the military institutions it fostered from 1815–1918.
In the period from the fall of Napoleonic imperialism to the outbreak of the First World War armies and navies grew in complexity, cost and size. The first half of this book investigates these institutions from within, and looks at some of the factors which held them together in an increasingly difficult and hostile world, at their self-image, and at the pressures upon them from society at large.
As the role of military institutions within society increased in importance, analysts began to look for the effects which this interpenetration had on society. Part 2 is concerned with the effects of this growing dominance of society by its defenders. By the end of period covered by this book, the age of total mobilisation for the war effort was upon us. In a sense this second part of the book reinforces the conclusions of the first, that military institutions are separate from the societies which surround them, and between the two a growing gap of misunderstanding and incomprehension yawned.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part 1 1. Regimental Ideology John Keegan 2. Pre-revolutionary Army Life in Russian Literature Richard Luckett 3. Making an Army Revolutionary: France 1815-48 Douglas Porch 4. Technology and the Military Mind: Austria 1866-1914 Andrew Wheatcroft Part 2 5. Naval Armaments and Social Crisis: Germany Before 1914 Volker Berghahn 6. The British Armaments Industry 1890-1914: False Legend and True Utility Clive Trebilcock 7. Organising an Economy for War: the Russian Shell Shortage 1914-17 Norman Stone 8. How Right is Might? Some Aspects of the International Debate about How to Fight Wars and How to Win Them, 1870-1918 Geoffrey Best. Notes on Contributors.
Geoffrey Best, Andrew Wheatcroft