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Which books about military strategy do you recommend?

 
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Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/20/2018 10:46:17 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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Curious if you have any books you can recommend. I am looking for books about military strategy/operations on grand-tactical, operational and strategical level. I am not interested in descriptions of a certain campaign (unless presented and analysed as a case study), but more in a work that attempts to formulate general theories and principles. I have read "On war" of Clausewitz and I love the book, thinking about the ideas presented there in the context of WitE is very interesting, can recommend that very much. I have also read Sun Tzu, it has some good quotes as well, but not comparable to "On war". So I am looking for more in this direction. So do you have some recommendations for books fitting this category? Also open to read text books (but not interested in infantry squad tactics or such things).
Do you in addition know good case studies that analyse a modern (1800+) operation in detail, presenting mistakes and offering alternatives etc.?
I can read on English and German.


I know that much on this can be found on the internet, but I figured some people have some recommendations that suit very well to operational wargames like WitE.

Thank you :)

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 6/20/2018 10:54:18 PM >


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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/21/2018 11:46:33 AM   
Telemecus


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I would recommend
-Johhn Keegan: Mainly a military historian but did interesting thematic studies such as how intelligence affects strategy, or how strategy changed over centuries
-Liddell Hart: Mainly read him for his work on armoured warfare doctrine and interviews with generals but wrote on general strategy as a discipline

There is also someone, whose name I have forgotten, but is employed as "Head of Philosophy" by the Israeli Defence Forces. I think the only person employed with the title of philosopher in any military in the world. The stuff he does which is not classified is about doctrine mainly, but not of the past or present but how it will be in future. I saw him give a public talk which was fascinating, but it is difficult to get anything of his public.

Just on an aside there are two universities in Britain with military strategy as a research area - Kings College London and Bradford. In Kings College it is called the "War Studies Department" and in Bradford the "Peace Studies Department." Every year each department holds a football match made up of teams from each department which always gets lots of coverage in the press. I have only ever seen war win though ....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6611631.stm

< Message edited by Telemecus -- 6/21/2018 3:47:36 PM >

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/21/2018 3:50:04 PM   
xhoel


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+1
I'd also be interested in this!

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/21/2018 8:02:10 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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This may not be what you are looking for but my favorite is "Order in Chaos: The Memoirs of a General of Panzer Troops Hermann Balck". I am probably biaz toward Balck I still think his ratings in WITE should be much higher than what he is given.

We had a reading list of books we had to read while in the Marine Corps. Wish I had kept that list, but I do know that "Terrible Swift Sword: The Life of General Philip H Sheridan" was another good read. But I think other Generals were more aggressive than Sheridan was during the American Civil War. Any books on the campaigns of Stonewall Jackson or Robert E Lee would be good even though it is a different war the tactics are the same when applied. If you look up the Campaign of Ceasar at Alesia on his tactics there you will be amazed at what he did against so many ;-)

Just my ramblings and hope they lead to betters insights for you.





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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/21/2018 8:06:52 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HardLuckYetAgain

This may not be what you are looking for but my favorite is "Order in Chaos: The Memoirs of a General of Panzer Troops Hermann Balck". I am probably biaz toward Balck I still think his ratings in WITE should be much higher than what he is given.

We had a reading list of books we had to read while in the Marine Corps. Wish I had kept that list, but I do know that "Terrible Swift Sword: The Life of General Philip H Sheridan" was another good read. But I think other Generals were more aggressive than Sheridan was during the American Civil War. Any books on the campaigns of Stonewall Jackson or Robert E Lee would be good even though it is a different war the tactics are the same when applied. If you look up the Campaign of Ceasar at Alesia on his tactics there you will be amazed at what he did against so many ;-)

Just my ramblings and hope they lead to betters insights for you.







The Stonewall Jackson book is called "Rebel Yell" I believe. If you wanted to do a search on that one I know I read it when it first came out.

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/21/2018 8:42:51 PM   
Red Lancer


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In historical order:

If you like Clausewitz and Sun Tzu and for a complete picture in the development of the philosophy of war you ought to read Jomini. On the political edge of war theory development Machiavelli and Hobbes might be of interest.

Helmuth von Moltke is worth a read especially as you won't need a translation. He writes just before the operational level was considered so provides a good baseline. You can look at Schlieffen too as the German General Staff drove thought prior to WW1.

Post WW1 if you can find anything by Mikhail Tukhachevsky it is worth studying. If you can find a copy of Warfare in Europe 1919–1938 edited by Geoffrey Jensen it's a good overview of the development of Operational Art.

I think Telemecus is suggesting Martin van Creveld. The Transformation of War and Supplying War are must reads.



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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/21/2018 9:19:38 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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Thank you to all who have replied so far!
I hope to find the time one of the next days to go through the listed names and look for their published works and will reply in more detail.

@xhoel: I can very much recommend von Clausewitz. The first chapters are more theoretical, if you are not that much into this just jump to some of the later chapters.

< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 6/21/2018 9:20:03 PM >


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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/21/2018 10:43:42 PM   
xhoel


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Some really good suggestions so far, thank you guys for the insight.

@HLYA: I really agree with you on Balck. I've read a bit about his command of the 11th Panzer Division and you cannot help it but be impressed by his skill as a commander.

@EwaldvonKleist: I've been wanting to get my hands on that book for a while now. I'll get a copy and get into reading ;) Thanks for the suggestion.

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/22/2018 9:41:04 AM   
morvael


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EwaldvonKleist, how are the books from my list?

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/25/2018 9:55:20 PM   
sylvan wanderer

 

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Panzer Commander, Hans von Luck

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/26/2018 10:43:20 AM   
loki100


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This is a post from an old (and actually very good) AAR:

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/explorations-in-strategy-italy-at-war.416164/page-161#post-11995303

Lots of ideas there, especially if you are interested in strategy in the form of 'war being politics by other means'. Also some interesting books on naval warfare and strategy

I'd particularly recommend Gat as just such a good overview of these debates

< Message edited by loki100 -- 6/26/2018 10:46:12 AM >


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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/27/2018 6:53:50 PM   
EwaldvonKleist


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Thank you very much to all who made suggestions. Sorry for my delayed reply, was a bit busy during the last days. I have gone through them and noted down the following books (ordered by when they were suggested) I suppose will fit with what I am looking for.

Liddell Hart: Strategy of indirect approach (available for free online)

Hermann Balck: Order in Chaos (not so interested in a biography but according to critics this seems to be somewhat "philosophical" as well

Antoine Jomini: The art of war (seems to be a french pendant to what Clausewitz was in Prussia)

Helmut von Moltke: Several collections of his writings, not sure yet which to acquire (quite expansive)

Michail Tuchatchevsky: Does anyone know a source where to buy books written by him (not written about him) on German/English? I would love to read something from him, as he seemed to be an innovative thinker in many fields.

Suggested but already read:
Macchiavelli, Creveld: Supplying war and Fighting Power

@Telemecus: You probably refer to Isaac Ben-Israel

Morvael once shared a book list on the eastern front, thank you very much for that as well!

@loki100: Your link redirects to a lists with many further recommendation, I will go through them as well when I have some more time.




< Message edited by EwaldvonKleist -- 6/27/2018 6:54:51 PM >


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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/29/2018 7:54:31 AM   
weinsoldner

 

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Panzer Leader by Guderian and Infantry warfare by Rommel are among my favorites

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 6/29/2018 11:18:36 AM   
demyansk


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Any book by David Stahel is great.

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 7/2/2018 9:51:49 PM   
mrhuggles

 

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Having read Panzer Leader, Order in Chaos, and Lost Victories by Manstein, and having liked all of them... I would recommend Lost Victories the most by a slim margin. Balck is badass and his tactical descriptions are great. However, I sometimes felt he left out a lot of details in his defeats. Lost Victories goes into detail in more of an operational and strategic direction, and I personally felt that Mansteins insight was very unique and helpful. Guderian is also great and gets very strategic and doctrinal, in a good way. They also together provide a unique insight into the workings of the German military at the time... with all its strengths and weaknesses. As another reply said Infantry Attacks is a classic.

Does anyone have any other good recommendations from Soviet authors?

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 7/7/2018 9:36:54 PM   
Telemecus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: EwaldvonKleist
@Telemecus: You probably refer to Isaac Ben-Israel

I think it is Shimon Naveh

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 7/8/2018 9:14:31 PM   
piotrmx

 

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"Panzer battles" by von Mellenthin

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RE: Which books about military strategy do you recommend? - 7/24/2018 7:25:53 AM   
EwaldvonKleist


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From Loki100's list:
Military Strategy, J.C Wylie

A history of military thought, Azar Gat

Military logistics and strategic performance, Thomas M.Kane



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