Avoiding Armageddon : From the Great War to the Fall of by Jeremy Black

By Jeremy Black

This is an unique and updated account of a key interval of army historical past, one who not just hyperlinks the 2 global Wars but in addition anticipates the extra complicated nature of clash following the chilly battle. Black hyperlinks the 2 international Wars, among the overcoming of trench conflict within the campaigns of 1918 and the autumn of France in 1940. This used to be a interval whilst militaries, governments and publics digested the teachings of the good struggle and ready for an additional significant fight. Black additionally locates the interval when it comes to long term questions in army heritage, together with the connection among symmetrical and asymmetrical conflict, the tensions surrounding innovation, the pressures and percentages created via technological switch and the effect of ideology at the motives and behavior of warfare. Black's publication devotes specific recognition to the a long way East as a part of his all over the world assurance. He additionally assesses the position of the army in inner politics and establishes the significance of civil wars.

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At a meeting of the Politburo in 1926, Trotsky accused his rival Stalin of becoming ‘the gravedigger of the revolution’. Trotsky, who had lost his military power-base, was to be forced into exile by Stalin in 1929, and in 1940 was murdered in Mexico in a plot by Soviet Intelligence, the NKVD. This struggle over policy, control and personalities was also linked to questions of military organization. Trotsky, who was not strong on consistency, both spoke in favour of a workers’ militia, which he presented at the Party Congress in 1920 as appropriate for a Communist state and the way to use and retain class consciousness, and also backed technological modernization for the Red Army.

28 In tones that were to become familiar from counter-insurgency operations elsewhere, Lieutenant-General Sir Philip Chetwode, Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff, claimed, in July 1921, that victory was possible, but only if the army was given more control, including of the police, and the full support of British public opinion: The full incidence of martial law will demand very severe measures and to begin with many executions. In the present state of ignorance of 26 Avoiding Armageddon the population in England, I doubt very much that it would not result in a protest which would not only ruin our efforts, but would be most dangerous to the army.

Indeed, it has been argued that, far from the British clearly failing, as is often assumed, the IRA did not win in the field, and notably not so in County Cork, a key area of operations. In fact, by the summer of 1921, the IRA was under severe pressure. Over the previous two years, the government and army had developed a series of responses, including internment (detention without trial), the use of wireless telegraphy, air power and the active deployment of fighting patrols. The introduction of these measures meant that the IRA had ceased to provide a significant military threat, and, by 1921, their operations had been reduced to a terrorist challenge, not least using roadside bombs and targetting individuals, rather than a military one.

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