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The Military Art Reseach - Research Paper Example

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The Military Art The nature and tactics of war have been in a state of evolution for centuries and these variations in the nature of war are quite evident in the history of war. Throughout mankind’s history, civilizations have been switching between total and limited war…
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Download file to see previous pages With the passage of time, technology has grown and revolutionized the world. This revolution has changed the contemporary nature of war as well. Different wars have led to different consequences as its affect on politics, economy and psychology of the masses depends on the nature of war. Total war not only affects the political system of a nation but can also affect the social and economic system. Total war deploys strategies and resources to defeat the enemy in every way possible which may even include the psychology of people. In this paper, we will discuss the transition in the nature of war based on our study of Napoleonic, American Civil and Franco Prussian wars. All three of these wars mark the transition from limited to total war. These wars hold great importance in our history as they have produced dire consequences because of their nature. Napoleonic wars were a series of wars, fought between France and several other European states between 1792 and 1815. These wars are important in the respect that they earned the title of first total war in western history. Previously Europe had seen limited wars which meant that armies avoided large scale battles, civilians could hope for merciful treatment from the enemy, Enemy officers were considered as honorable adversaries at the time of settlements and the wars followed the codes of aristocratic honor. The French revolution broke this tradition of limited war. It overthrew the country’s aristocracy and waged war under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte against several European states. In the Napoleonic wars not only were young men supposed to participate in war but women, children and the aged were also required to channel their energies into war efforts. The statistical results clearly identify the catastrophic casualties of this total war. “More than one-fifth of all the major battles fought in Europe between 1490 and 1815 took place in the 25 years after 1790. Before 1790 only a handful of battles had involved more than 100,000 combatants; in the 1809 Battle of Wagram, largest in the gunpowder age to date, involved 300,000. Just four years later the Battle of Leipzig drew 500,000, with fully 150,000 of them killed or wounded.” (“Napoleon's Total War”). France alone counted around one million war deaths. In these series of wars, the whole population was mobilized which meant that every citizen was supposed to participate in the war in one way or the other. The technological aspect of these wars that aided in the transition from limited war was the advent of cheap small arms and mobile cannons due to which the number of citizen soldiers increased. Almost forty six years after the defeat of Napoleon at waterloo, the world witnessed another total war at another geographical area that is America. American Civil war (1861-1865) was another series of conflicts between American Union and American Confederacy. Most of these conflicts took place in the southern states of America. “The Union lost about 360,000 troops during the Civil War and the Confederacy about 260,000. This is almost as many soldiers as have died in all other American wars combined.” (“Civil War Guide”). American Civil war became known as the first total war of modern history because it brought various social and financial changes in the system. The civil war initially started as a limited war but it gradually changed into total war. It was a war between the people and not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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