THE SOUL OF BATTLE: DEMOCRACIES AT WAR (DUSTY SHELVES)

The DUSTY SHELVES series welcomes Mitchell Klingenberg to dust off Victor Davis Hanson’s The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny. Klingenberg examines Hanson’s analysis of the human personalities of Epaminondas of Thebes, William T. Sherman, and George S. Patton. Looking at the nature and character of war through the actions of these three leaders, Hanson illustrates the imperative of a nation to exercise moral authority through armed conflict when confronted with evil.

USE WARGAMING TO SHARPEN THE TACTICAL EDGE

Although educational wargaming has become increasingly prevalent in professional military education, the employment of game-based learning remains underdeveloped and under-utilized within the operating forces. Sebastian Bae and Paul Kearney are back to take a look at the educational history and benefits of wargaming. This WARGAMING ROOM entry examines how the Joint Force can overcome its challenges of growing and maintaining educational wargaming at the tactical edge.

URGENT: PUT THIS IN YOUR PURSE (DUSTY SHELVES)

In October 1962, during what become known as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Navy evacuated nearly 3000 dependents from its base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in less than five hours. The hastily written yet elegant instructions given to those dependents – mostly the wives of Officers and Sailors station there – is the stuff of stories. WAR ROOM welcomes J. Overton to the DUSTY SHELVES series to examine the instruction and the evacuation procedure it enabled.

WHEN A GENERAL WRITES FOR THE GENERALIST (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes authors General Sir Rupert Smith and Ilana Bet-El to the virtual studio to talk about the ultimate goal of being understood as authors. Smith and Bet-El are co-authors of The Utility of Force now available in a second edition. They join our own Michael Neiberg to discuss their collaborative process and the different strengths and attributes they each bring to the effort. He is a retired British Army officer with a wealth of experience in matters of war and diplomacy culminating as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. She is a strategic adviser, writer and historian with experience at the UN as well as advisory work around the world. Together they compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses to produce a book that is readable by academic, specialist and generalist alike.

Editor’s Note: We apologize for the intermittent sound quality of our guests. We had technical difficulties with the equipment, but we feel the intent of the conversation remains intact and is well worth the distractions.

A LABORATORY FOR MILITARY PROFESSIONALS (WARGAMING ROOM)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes back Ken Gilliam for another installment of the WARGAMING ROOM. In this episode Ken sits down with Doug Winton, the chair of the Department of Military Strategy, Planning and Operations (DMSPO) at the U.S. Army War College. Ken and Doug discuss War College games like JOINT OVERMATCH and MDO 1943. They […]

UNDERSTANDING A DIFFERENT PEOPLE: THE OKINAWAN IDENTITY

When planning for interactions with foreign countries, whether in peace or in war, it can be easy for military planners to be lulled into the false security of the homogeneity of a culture or race or nationality. Many would argue that was exactly what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last two decades. But […]

THE MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: ALEXANDRA RICHIE (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Alexandra Richie, internationally acclaimed and award-winning writer and historian, and one of the world’s foremost experts on World War II in Europe. Richie joined Michael Neiberg to discuss her studies and books on both German history as viewed from Berlin, and the Warsaw Uprising. Their conversation covered how she first started writing […]

WHOSE HISTORY? WHOSE HERITAGE? MEMORY AND MEMORIALS IN THE ARMED FORCES

I would venture to say that there are a lot of black troops that understand what those names mean and just have chosen not to take it up as an issue. Bragg, Benning and Hood are names that are universally known throughout the Army and most of the Department of Defense. They are some of […]

THE U.S. ARMY IN THE 20TH CENTURY: AN INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN LINN (ON WRITING)

I think in a lot of ways our job…is to move the dialog out of the Pentagon and into the field. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Brian Linn, renowned student and historian of the U.S. Army as an institution. Linn joins Michael Neiberg in the studio to discuss how he began his work first looking at the […]

THAT NEVER HAPPENED: A WATER COOLER DISCUSSION ABOUT MOVIES

If he didn’t do that, he should have. If you’ve ever spent any time with historians you know that they are the worst people to watch a movie with. Custer never said that, Roosevelt didn’t jump up from his wheelchair, there was no grass on that battlefield in 1917. A BETTER PEACE gathered three of […]

DENNIS SHOWALTER: IN MEMORIAM

Dennis Showalter In Memoriam In the waning days of 2019, word passed among military historians quickly: one of the giants in the field, Dr. Dennis Showalter, had died. Almost immediately, memories and tributes and reminiscences began to appear. The WAR ROOM editorial team reached out to some of those influenced by Dennis Showalter, personally and […]

LESSONS LEARNED THE HARD WAY: THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRITISH LIGHT INFANTRY

It’s not that Dundas was opposed to the use of light infantry he thought it was, the pejorative term was, ‘it’s very American’   A BETTER PEACE welcomes Dr. Huw Davies of King’s College London. Huw joins WAR ROOM Editor-In-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to trace the development of Great Britain’s Light Infantry. It’s easy to call […]

REMEMBERING THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE

In September 1944 defeat looked not only likely but imminent for the German Army. And It was at that point that Adolf Hitler told his generals that he was going to launch a winter offensive that would turn the war around. A BETTER PEACE welcomes David Hogan, Director of Histories at the U.S. Army Center of […]

THE WEST POINT CLASS OF 1829

Quite frankly a number of times in [Lee’s] career he debates getting out of the Army to pursue other interests. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Paul Springer to the studio to discuss the influence of the West Point class of 1829. Springer joins our Editor-In-Chief Jacqueline Whitt to examine the unique experiences of this cohort, and […]

WORLD WAR I WAS ALSO FOUGHT IN AFRICA!

At the outbreak of the war, all of those armies were quite small but they rapidly grew many times their size in 1914 Historical memory of the First World War often focuses on the western front, perhaps because of egocentrism or the wealth of documents and literature that emerged from the front. But while the […]

A TALE OF TWO HILLS: THE MYTH AND REALITY OF THE BATTLE OF BAYONET HILL

Units have ignored clear evidence that Bayonet Hill actually took place more than a dozen miles away On February 8th, 2019, the Eighth U.S. Army Facebook page celebrated the previous day’s anniversary of the Battle of Bayonet Hill. Every year, army units stationed at Osan Air Base (AB) celebrate what historian S.L.A. Marshall called in […]

HOW A HOMING PIGEON SAVED THE LOST BATTALION OF WORLD WAR I (DUSTY SHELVES)

Pigeons were treated with very high regard in the military … much like working dogs are today Technological innovation has always been central to warfighting, and the advances made over the 20th century were especially important. During the First World War, battlefield communications were limited, and armies employed means–old and new–to communicate. They used old […]

BEYOND THUCYDIDES: HERODOTUS, XENOPHON & UNDERSTANDING WAR (GREAT STRATEGISTS)

What if we spent one day on Herodotus, one day on Thucydides, and one day on Xenophon [at the War College]? Students with a basic foundation of ancient military history are likely to know about Thucydides and his accounts of the Peloponnesian War from both strategic and operational perspectives. But it would be an oversight […]

REFLECTIONS ON THE HUE CITY MASSACRE

It was the largest battle in the [Vietnam] war in terms of numbers of casualties, and politically it was the most important On the Anniversary of the start of the Tet Offensive of 1968, A BETTER PEACE welcomes retired U.S. Ambassador Jim Bullington to recount the story of the Battle of Huế in Vietnam which […]

DOCUMENTS CAN LIE, TOO: THE “LESSONS” OF HISTORY (PART 3)

You cannot help but approach your sources from your own experiences and backgrounds Our three-part roundtable on the “Lessons” of History concludes as Con Crane, Jacqueline E. Whitt, and Andrew A. Hill discuss the importance of critical thinking for developing historical mindedness. From the subjectivity of first-person accounts to the modern phenomenon of so-called “fake […]