TOC – Journal of Military History, Vol. 76, No. 1

Here is the Table of Contents for the latest issue of the Journal of Military History.

Zeynep Kocabıyıkoğlu Çeçen, ‘Two Different Views of Knighthood in the Early Fifteenth Century: Le Livre de Bouciquaut and the Works of Christine de Pizan

The claim that the renowned writer on political and military affairs, Christine de Pizan (1363-1430), was the author of the biography of Jean le Meingre Bouciquaut (or Boucicaut), a famous marshal of France in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, has been debated by scholars for a long time. Although the current academic view tends towards rejecting Christine’s authorship of the book, the arguments both for and against have not contained any discussion of the respective views of knighthood reflected in the biography and in Christine’s works. In spite of scholars’ recognition that there were different views of knighthood circulating among authors in this period, the assumption that Christine and the author of the biography shared similar views really has never been challenged. This article contends that the view of knighthood defended by the author of the biography was strikingly different in many ways from that held by Christine, a further reason for rejecting Christine as the biography’s author. At the same time, the article also contributes to the discussion of those different views of knighthood during the period.

Huw J. Davies, ‘Diplomats as Spymasters: A Case Study of the Peninsular War, 1809–1813′

During the Peninsular War, General Lord Wellington orchestrated and utilised one of the most sophisticated intelligence collection apparatuses of the nineteenth century. Not only was the intelligence collected by his own personnel made available to him, but so too was that collected by a group of civilian agents recruited and controlled by the British diplomats in Portugal and Spain, Charles Stuart and Henry Wellesley. This article analyses the organisation and evolution of these intelligence networks during the critical years of the Peninsular War. It then explains the impact of this intelligence on Wellington’s military planning, specifically focusing on the opening campaigns of 1812. It then locates the historical importance of the intelligence networks developed in the Iberian Peninsula, by comparing them with later examples during the Crimean War (1853–56), and preceding the outbreak of the First World War (1914–18).

Candice Shy Hooper, ‘The War That Made Hollywood: How the Spanish-American War Saved the U.S. Film Industry’

Americans first saw motion pictures on a screen in 1896 but had begun to tire of cinema’s stale offerings by the end of 1897, and American filmmakers were considering abandoning the unprofitable medium. Then the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor (15 February 1898), and a small band of entrepreneurs rushed to capitalize on the disaster. Seizing upon the Spanish-American War’s inherent drama, they created films with narrative power, which brought audiences back to theaters and enabled the pioneers to survive the embryonic American film industry’s near financial collapse. They soon led the motion picture industry west and helped to make Hollywood the cinematic capital of the world.

Frank A. Anselmo, ‘The Battle for Hill K-9 and the Fall of Rome, 2 June 1944’

In the U.S. 179th Infantry Regiment’s official history, Warren P. Munsell, Jr., describes a major battle on 2 June 1944, when companies F and G of the second battalion captured and secured the heavily defended Hill K-9 south of Rome. However, on 9 June 1944, a second lieutenant in the first battalion’s B Company wrote that his company captured and secured Hill K-9. Using military records and eyewitness accounts, I attempt to determine which unit actually took, secured, and held Hill K-9—an essentially forgotten battle that nevertheless played a major role in Rome’s fall two days later.

Mark C. Jones, ‘Not Just Along for the Ride: The Role of Royal Navy Liaison Personnel in Multinational Naval Operations during World War II’

World War II was the testing ground for multinational naval operations, particularly the British Royal Navy’s association with the European navies-in-exile from Poland, Norway, the Netherlands, France, Yugoslavia, and Greece. In order for the Allied ships to operate alongside British vessels, it was necessary to place a liaison staff on each foreign ship. This article explains how the liaison system worked, describes what life was like for liaison personnel on a foreign ship, and evaluates the effectiveness of the liaison system. The article is based on documents from the British National Archives and first-person accounts.

Jay Lockenour, ‘Black and White Memories of War: Victimization and Violence in West German War Films of the 1950s’

Films, especially war films, played a key role in overcoming the extreme identity crisis that West German political culture suffered after 1945 due to defeat, division, and the moral consequences of National Socialism. Despite their often somber tone, war films provided a comfortable interpretation of the Second World War (1939–45), which cast Germans as helpless victims or heroic nonconformists rather than historical actors and compliant, or even eager, collaborators. War films helped to construct a specifically West German identity during the 1950s by creating the myths and memories so important to the legitimacy of the Federal Republic and the prosperity of that decade.

Joel I. Holwitt, ‘Review Essay: Reappraising the Interwar U.S. Navy

Despite a popular narrative that portrays the interwar U.S. Navy as a hidebound organization obsessed with a decisive battleship engagement, a number of scholarly works published in the last decade, following the lead of 1991’s War Plan Orange, have shown the opposite to be the case. These works by Craig Felker, Thomas and Trent Hone, John Kuehn, and Albert Nofi illustrate that the Navy was frequently led by innovative leaders, willing to experiment with new technologies and able to use fleet exercises and an internal review process to creatively, but realistically, generate a strategy that worked within the geographical and treaty constraints of an expected Pacific war.

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