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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Addition to the Study of the Inter-war Period, January 14, 2005
This review is from: Military Innovation in the Interwar Period (Paperback)
The acclaimed scholarly team of Williamson Murray and Allan R. Millett have edited an anthology of essays encompassing the technological innovations in weaponry during the 1920's and 1930's. These innovations span the research and developments of all the major belligerents that play a major role in the coming global conflict. Each scholar was instructed to compare and contrast his or her topic country with two other countries making this work not only a significant contribution in and of itself, but also a vital comparative study as well. In addition, the researchers were asked to structure their essays around three concepts: the strategic framework of the period, the organizational factors of the institutions under study, and the doctrinal framework of the services. Many of the contributing factors to victory and defeat in World War II are covered within the pages of this important work. Williamson Murray takes a look at "Armored Warfare: The British, French and German Experiences," and "Strategic Bombing: The British, American and German Experiences." Richard R. Muller examines "Close Air Support: The German British and American Experiences, 1918-1941." Geoffrey Till discusses "Adopting the Aircraft Carrier: The British, American, and Japanese Case Studies." But perhaps the most important chapter is Allan R. Millett's "Assault From the Sea: The Development of Amphibious Warfare Between the Wars-the American, British, and Japanese Experiences." Millett compared the development of amphibious doctrine in Japan, Britain, and the United States. The author concludes the U. S. led the way in amphibious warfare doctrine, initiating combined arms operations between air, sea and land that would prove to be a critical advantage in the pacific campaign. According to Millett, Japan started out impressively as was evident by its ever-expanding Pacific empire in the 1930's. Since every landing force became an isolated island garrison, however, Japan's whole amphibious program literally faded away. Great Britain, on the other hand, never had the economic resources necessary to implement a successful amphibious program. Millett concludes that factors such as budget and innovative foresight are vital contributing factors in technological innovation. The author is also quick to point out that in many cases, new weapons become obsolete as soon as hostilities begin. Generally, books of essays are usually disjointed and inconsistent. The guidelines and structure the editors have chosen have tied all the chapters in this book together nicely. This is arguably the best work on the inter-war period to emerge in years. Highly recommended.
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