This little-remembered mission offers some interesting lessons in strategic logistics. In "The Western Way of War," the introduction to the textbook The Cambridge History of Warfare, Geoffrey Parker describes the characteristics of the western way of war as having five distinct features. First, western armed forces have relied on superior technology to compensate for numerically inferior forces.
European heritage culture that have created the preeminent effective military force on earth. Indeed, several historians have traced the superiority of western militaries from the past two and a half millenia. The Triumph of the West, in Parker lists five key attributes of western militaries that he believes have been constant since the fifth century BC.
The Fates of Human Societies. Diamond advances his theory that Eurasian including North African societies have been predominant in the modern world largely due to environmental and geographical advantages over other societies.
Probably the best know proponent of the superiority of the West in military affairs has been the historian and political commentator, Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson is the author of The Western Way of War: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power published in In some countries the title was changed to the succint Why the West Has Won.
We have seen that for the battles he has chosen, his traits do appear but to assume they have been uniform for the past years is difficult to accept. This paper proposes to show how another trait of the Western Way of War, logistics, has been a recurring theme of Western superiority in the field and has been constant through the ages.
Logistics is a fairly modern term. Its use to describe the system of supply, transport and distribution of goods and services to troops in the field dates back only to the beginning of the 20th century but the concept that an army must master logistics goes back to antiquity.
From Republican Rome to the current war in Iraq, a trademark of Western warfare has been logistical superiority over the enemy. Her sea going merchant fleet and naval galleys extended her economic sphere of influence throughout the central and western Mediterranean.
Her enemy, Rome, by contrast, was an emerging land power with a very inferior navy. However, the Romans were quick learners and after capturing a Carthaginian trireme, proceeded to build hundreds of copies and were able to overwhelm a superior qualitative Carthaginian fleet by weight of numbers.
Hannibal proposed an invasion of Roman controlled Spain to sever the province from Rome then to invade Italy. With Rome the predominant sea power in the Mediterranean; Hannibal was forced into a long overland campaign through Spain, Gaul, the Alps, and Cisalpine Gaul prior to reaching Italy.
His lack of sea transport greatly hindered his movement options, eliminated the element of surprise, and forced his army to live off the land rather than rely on reprovisioning his army from Carthage.
Armies that rely on foraging have to adapt their strategy to the variables of weather, terrain, season, and availability of food and fodder. Additionally, large armies are a hindrance due to their denuding of the landscape and creating a scorched earth environment for the trailing elements of their columns.
The constant requirement to seek food and fodder dictates its direction of movement. Additionally, his force was weakened by detailing significant numbers of men away on foraging expeditions.
The Romans were aware of these handicaps and used them to their advantage. The history of the Second Punic War reads like a history of Roman defeats: Trebbia, Lake Trasimeno, Cannae were all overwhelming Carthaginian victories, but, after each defeat the Romans could pull back behind their walled cities, lick their wounds, reconstitute their armies, and plan the next campaign."Geoffrey Parker Western Way Of War" Essays and Research Papers Geoffrey Parker Western Way Of War Jennifer Lopera 04/19/ HIST Western Expansion: Texas and the War with Mexico In the mid-nineteenth century, the United States found expansion necessary.
The Cambridge History of Warfare provides a detailed account of war in the West from antiquity to the present day, and is unique because of its controversial thesis that war in western societies has followed a unique path leading to western dominance of the globe/5(50).
The organizing theme is the rise of the Western way of warfare, which rests on five principles: the exploitation of technology, unusually rigid forms of discipline, an aggressive approach to battle, continuous innovation, and mechanisms for state financing of war.
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War has changed significantly over mankind’s thousands of years, but in this modern-day era, Geoffrey Parker attempts to explain the phenomena of the ‘western way of war.’.
In "The Western Way of War," the introduction to the textbook The Cambridge History of Warfare, Geoffrey Parker describes the characteristics of the western way of war as having five distinct features. First, western armed forces have relied on superior technology to compensate for numerically inferior forces.