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The Evolution of Operational ArtFrom Napoleon to the Present$
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John Andreas Olsen and Martin van Creveld

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599486

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599486.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Evolution of Operational Art

John Andreas Olsen

Martin van Creveld

Oxford University Press

Operational art is currently taught at most command and staff colleges throughout the Western world. Military colleges and operational headquarters abound with manuals, procedures, and checklists for dealing with the operational level of war and operational art. These materials provide a common, coherent set of references covering a logical framework, proven methodologies, and a standardized vocabulary. They must nevertheless be accompanied by records and analyses of campaigns that define important milestones in the evolution of operational art: not only the flashes of genius and intellectual apexes, but also the periods devoid of creative thinking; not only successful campaigns, but also those that lacked appropriate theoretical underpinnings or operational excellence. This book is intended to provide military professionals, officer‐scholars, and graduate students the wider framework and contextualization of operational art by tracing its roots and development in various countries.

Keywords:   operational art, war, manuals, procedures, checklists, military professionals, officer‐scholars

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