Collections: Strategic Airpower 101

This week, I'm going to offer a fairly basic overview of the concept of strategic airpower, akin to our discussions of protracted war and nuclear deterrence. While the immediate impetus for this post has been Russian efforts to use airpower coercively in Ukraine, we're going to focus more broadly on the topic: what is strategic … Continue reading Collections: Strategic Airpower 101

Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part II: Foraging

This is the second part of a three part (I, II, III) look at some of the practical concerns of managing pre-industrial logistics. In our last post we outlined the members of our 'campaign community,' including soldiers but also non-combatants and animals (both war- and draft-); they required massive amounts of supplies, particularly food but … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part II: Foraging

Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part I: The Problem

In this three-part series (I, II, III) we’re going to be bowing to reader demand and taking a close look at the nuts and bolts of maintaining an army in the field.  In our last series, after all, we noted that before gunpowder the ability of a general to affect the course of a battle … Continue reading Collections: Logistics, How Did They Do It, Part I: The Problem

Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part IIIc: Morale and Cohesion

This is the conclusion of the third part of our series (I, II, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc) looking at the role of the general in commanding pre-gunpowder armies in battle. Last time we looked at how junior officers, when empowered to act independently, could give armies a degree of flexibility and reactiveness on the battlefield but … Continue reading Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part IIIc: Morale and Cohesion

Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part IIIb: Officers

This is the continuation of the third part of our three(ish) part (I, II, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc) series looking at the role of the general in commanding pre-gunpowder armies in battle. Last time we looked at how an army's discipline could limit or expand the options available to its general: drill creating synchronized discipline could … Continue reading Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part IIIb: Officers

Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part I: Reports

This week we're going to start a three-part (I, II, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc) look at the role of the pre-modern general or army commander, particularly in the context of a pitched battle. This is of course a vast topic, but we are going to focus not on tactical or strategic questions but on a lot … Continue reading Collections: Total Generalship: Commanding Pre-Modern Armies, Part I: Reports

Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part II: The Ruin of War

This is the second part of a three part series (I) examining the historical assumptions of Paradox Interactive's 19th and early 20th century grand strategy game, Victoria II. Last week, we looked at how Victoria II handles its central, defining theme, the industrial revolution, and the mechanics it employed. We also discussed how Victoria II … Continue reading Collections: Teaching Paradox, Victoria II, Part II: The Ruin of War