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The Practice of StrategyFrom Alexander the Great to the Present$
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John Andreas Olsen and Colin S. Gray

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608638

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608638.001.0001

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The First and Second World Wars

The First and Second World Wars

Chapter:
(p.219) Chapter 10 The First and Second World Wars
Source:
The Practice of Strategy
Author(s):

Martin van Creveld

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608638.003.0011

In Chapter 10, Martin van Creveld focuses on grand strategy and military strategy in the First and Second World Wars. He first examines the similarities between the two wars at the highest level: ‘to wit, the one where national policy and politics, strategy, diplomacy, economics and mobilization meet and interact’. The second part of the chapter discusses the military strategy of the principal belligerents. The author highlights the differences between the two wars, the role of armoured formations on the ground, naval warfare, and the extensive use of air power. He maintains that, in reality, these two total wars should be seen as parts of a single protracted struggle of attrition, with victory ultimately gained by the side with greater resources in terms of bigger military forces (army, navy, and air force), backed by larger populations, a stronger military‐industrial base for scientific research and production, and greater economic leverage.

Keywords:   First World War, Second World War, grand strategy, military strategy, politics, diplomacy, economy, armed forces, history

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