Calculations: Net Assessment and the Coming of World War II

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In the 1990s our political world is returning to a multipolar international system, much like the system in place at the dawn of World War II. Then as now, the task of accurately evaluating our own and our enemies' capabilities has been essential for political and defense policy makers. In a multipolar world, in contrast to the bipolar world of the Cold War era, there are few sureties, and preparedness is critical. Today, we face many of the difficulties and dilemmas of the 1930s as we assess the abilities of ...
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Calculations

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Overview

In the 1990s our political world is returning to a multipolar international system, much like the system in place at the dawn of World War II. Then as now, the task of accurately evaluating our own and our enemies' capabilities has been essential for political and defense policy makers. In a multipolar world, in contrast to the bipolar world of the Cold War era, there are few sureties, and preparedness is critical. Today, we face many of the difficulties and dilemmas of the 1930s as we assess the abilities of nations to wage war and secure the peace. How did the seven major belligerent nations of World War II determine their own and their enemies' military capacity, and how did these assessments influence the decision to go to war or the attempt to avoid it? Calculations combines the perceptive scholarship of seven acknowledged experts steeped in the original documents of the period. The result is the first book to examine systematically how the governments of the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the Soviet Union evaluated their strength against their potential enemies and alongside their potential allies before and during World War II. Focusing not just on the projected performance of the armed forces or a "bean count" of military technology and hardware, net assessment takes into account the whole spectrum of economic, military and political power, ideology and leaders, and demonstrates how these factors interacted in charting a nation's course and determining its fate. The unique and fascinating perspectives provided by Allan R. Millett, Paul Kennedy, Earl F. Ziemke, Alvin D. Coox, Williamson Murray, Brian R. Sullivan, Steven Ross, and Calvin L. Christman recreate the world of the great powers on the eve of war by examining how international relations actually worked in the highly charged diplomatic and military arenas of the 1930s. Rooted firmly in historical context, and not in abstract theory, these discussions include the
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780029215852
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Pages: 354
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.57 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Net Assessment on the Eve of World War II 1
2 British "Net Assessment" and the Coming of the Second World War 19
3 Net Assessment in Nazi Germany in the 1930s 60
4 The Impatient Cat: Assessments of Military Power in Fascist Italy, 1936-1940 97
5 French Net Assessment 136
6 Soviet Net Assessment in the 1930s 175
7 Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Craft of Strategic Assessment 216
8 Japanese Net Assessment in the Era Before Pearl Harbor 258
Notes 299
About the Contributors 339
Index 341
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