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Quest for Decisive Victory: From Stalemate to Blitzkrieg in Europe, 1899-1940 Hardcover – June 1, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An excellent and important contribution to our understanding of twentieth-century Western warfare. Citino's narrative skill and insightful analysis of military battles, operations, and campaigns are especially strong.... Should have broad appeal." JAMES S. CORUM, AUTHOR OF THE ROOTS OF BLITZKRIEG AND THE LUFTWAFFE "Citino's provocative work - with its broad-spectrum coverage and unique time frame - makes a strong case for a continuity of thought and action from the turn of the century to 1940.... A fine work from a master scholar." DENNIS E. SHOWALTER, AUTHOR OF TANNENBERG: CLASH OF EMPIRES

Review

"A fascinating and challenging book that should be welcomed and applauded by twentieth-century military historians." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (June 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700611762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700611768
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,536,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
Especially books which consider with some length with russo-japanese or Balkan Wars.
Lukasz Przybylo
This book offer a very interesting work, (as Mr. Citino has offered before)with an added "plus" of readability that makes a Scholar book as an interesting Novel.
Miguel A. Agreda Gamarra
Dr.Citino's work is exceptionally well written in describing the roots of combined arms warfare.
1.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. Pierson on June 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In Quest for Decisive Victory, Dr. Citino analyzes the progression of warfare from the age of Napoleon to the opening battles of the Second World War. The study consists of the numerous military leaders in the period looking for methods of winning a decisive victory in Napoleonic style despite the great technological advances of the time. Dr. Citino puts to rest the abundance of myths that have risen about the period, especially the military doctrine of all commanders in the opening stages of the First World War. In the period following the end of World War I, Citino is at his best, providing a tremendous amount of information about the great debate of the "interwar period," and the opening battles of World War II, which proved some analyists to be correct in their debates, and others to look like fools. Overall, Dr. Citino's narrative style makes the work enjoyable to read and easy to understand.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher L. Webb on May 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a must have book for anyone interested in military history or WWII history. Citino covers the major wars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries- the Crimean War, Boer War, Russo-Japanese War, Balkan War, WWI, the Spanish Civil War and the Italian campaigns in Ethiopia. He does an excellent job of describing the changes in military doctrine that eventually led to the German blitzkrieg and the crushing defeats of France and Poland in the early stages of WWII. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard Peterson on March 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Citino starts with a problem: from the middle of the 19th century, decisive battles, so common in the Napoleonic Wars, suddenly disappear. Although battles were still fought and won, they became increasingly sterile, deciding little. He shows that this had more to do with command, control and communication (C3) than increasing firepower or any imagined superiority of defense over attack. He then takes us through the campaigns of the early 20th century to see how the problem (and solutions) evolved. In the process, he gives us excellent operational histories of many little-known wars, such as the Russo-Japanese (1904-05) and Balkan (1912-13) wars, as well World War 1. This alone would make the book a "must-buy" for me. However, this is just a way to his goal of showing how battles once again became "decisive". His discussion of the inter-war period, which has been analyzed ad nauseum, still finds some new things to say. In particular, he shows how the radio was more important than the tank to Blitzkrieg. He winds up with the opening battles of world war 2, where mobility and decisiveness were restored to the battlefield.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By 1. on June 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dr.Citino's work is exceptionally well written in describing the roots of combined arms warfare. The first part of the books descrbes the small wars before the outbreak of the First World War. The absence of artillery support made tasks made the infantry's task extremely difficult in the the Boer War and the Russo-Japanese War. Another factor that impeded success was the lack of communications so that the Russian army was able to escape repeatedly from the Japanese pincers. Dr. Citino also analyzes the little known Balkan Wars of 1912-13... This is by far the best book about military thought of the early twentieth century,but Citino could have written more about the Russian and American military thought during this time period. Nevertheless I would highly reccomend this book to anyone interested in military thought and practices.
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