TOC – War in History, Vol. 19, No. 2

Here is the table of contents for the latest issue of War in History. It includes a few interesting articles and response from Nichlas Lambert to an article by Christopher Bell.

Articles

Jan Willem Honig, ‘Reappraising Late Medieval Strategy: The Example of the 1415 Agincourt Campaign’

Modern military historians struggle to explain medieval strategic behaviour. One key reason, the article argues, is their strong belief in the existence of timeless strategic standards. By analysing the example of the 1415 Agincourt campaign, the article proposes a new approach to understanding late medieval strategy. By reconstructing the normative framework that underpinned strategic practice, the critical importance emerges of an unusual set of conventions which regulated strategy and which allowed for a degree of risk-taking that the traditional and current historiography cannot otherwise explain.

Xavier Bara, ‘The Kishū Army and the Setting of the Prussian Model in Feudal Japan, 1860–1871’

In 1860–1, the Tokugawa bakufu established diplomatic relations with the kingdom of Prussia. The fascination for the Prussian military system rapidly spread in Japan, a land that was destabilized by political struggles between principalities and engaged in a military modernization. As a consequence of the Austro-Prussian War and the Second Cho¯shu¯ War in 1866, the principality of Kishu was the first Japanese state to apply the Prussian system to its army. This was the root of the crucial Prussian influence on the Imperial Japanese Army from the late nineteenth century.

Uğur Ümit Üngör, ‘Orphans, Converts, and Prostitutes: Social Consequences of War and Persecution in the Ottoman Empire, 1914–1923’

Considerable research has been conducted on the relationship between the First World War and the persecutions of Ottoman Armenians. So far, little is known about the aftermath of the catastrophe, in particular the fate of the survivors, mostly women and children who continued to live as best as they could on the fringes of society. This article addresses this hiatus and discusses the experience of Armenian survivors. It analyses the impact of the war and the genocide on Armenian women and children during and after the war. It examines how the violence generated innumerable orphans, and how these orphans became a battleground between Turkish and Armenian political elites. It reviews how the Young Turk regime dealt with the unforeseen phenomenon of Armenians converting to Islam to circumvent deportation orders, and focuses on the government’s orders and decrees issued to confront this issue. Finally it briefly canvasses the hitherto neglected problem of prostitution by Armenian women as a strategy for survival during the war.

Tanfer Emin Tunc, ‘Less Sugar, More Warships: Food as American Propaganda in the First World War’

The use of food as American war propaganda finds its origins in the First World War, when anti-German sentiment prompted Americans to rename German foods. The First World War also signifies an important turning point in the history of American food consumption because it represents a shift in eating habits, culinary practices, and domestic food preparation, including the infiltration of fresh home-grown fruit and vegetables and preserved or canned foods into the US diet, and the introduction of supermarkets. All of these changes, however, would have been impossible without the mobilization of middle-class American women on the home front, and the synergy between civil society and government propaganda. By using poster and grass-roots campaigns to appeal to their activities in the private sphere of the household and their pre-existing activism in the public sphere, the United States Food Administration, under the leadership of Herbert Hoover, was able to convince women to ‘rally around the flag’ to change the dietary habits of both adults and children, and conserve valuable food which could be sent to the ‘starving people of Europe’ and Allied soldiers on the warfront.

Debate

Nicholas A. Lambert, ‘On Standards: A Reply to Christopher Bell’

During his first term as first sea lord (1904–10), Admiral Sir John Fisher set in motion the intellectual, organizational, and technological forces that, in very rapid order, combined and recombined to generate new approaches to British naval policy. Like most if not all ‘revolutions’ in technology and warfare, this one did not start and end neatly under one man’s control, but took on a life of its own. Not all elements of his original vision advanced as far as others. Yet, however variable the direction and extent of the revolution at particular times, in retrospect we can say indubitably that it was Fisher who launched it. This essay is a response to Professor Christopher Bell’s July 2011 article: ‘Sir John Fisher’s Naval Revolution Reconsidered: Winston Churchill at the Admiralty, 1911–1914’.

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