Castles, Battles, and Bombs: How Economics Explains Military History

Castles, Battles, and Bombs: How Economics Explains Military History

by Jurgen Brauer, Hubert van Tuyll
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226071642

ISBN-13: 9780226071640

Pub. Date: 09/01/2009

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Castles, Battles, and Bombs reconsiders key episodes of military history from the point of view of economics-with dramatically insightful results. For example, when looked at as a question of sheer cost, the building of castles in the High Middle Ages seems almost inevitable: although stunningly expensive, a strong castle was far cheaper to maintain than a

Overview

Castles, Battles, and Bombs reconsiders key episodes of military history from the point of view of economics-with dramatically insightful results. For example, when looked at as a question of sheer cost, the building of castles in the High Middle Ages seems almost inevitable: although stunningly expensive, a strong castle was far cheaper to maintain than a standing army. The authors also reexamine the strategic bombing of Germany in World War II and provide new insights into France's decision to develop nuclear weapons. Drawing on these examples and more, Brauer and Van Tuyll suggest lessons for today's military, from counterterrorist strategy and military manpower planning to the use of private military companies in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226071640
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables xi

Preface xiii

1 Economics 1

Economics 6

Principle I Opportunity Cost 11

Principle II Expected Marginal Costs and Benefits 15

Principle III Substitution 20

Principle IV Diminishing Marginal Returns 24

Principle V Asymmetric Information and Hidden Characteristics 27

Principle VI Hidden Actions and Incentive Alignments 33

Conclusion: Econimics-and Military History 39

2 The High Middle Ages, 1000-1300: The Case of the Medieval Castle and the Opportunity Cost of Warfare 45

Opportunity Cost and Warfare 49

The Ubiquity of Castles 51

The Cost of Castling 53

The Advantages of Castles 59

The Cost of Armies 66

Castle Building and the Other Principles of Economics 72

Conclusion 76

3 The Renaissance, 1300-1600: The Case of the Condottieri and the Military Labor Market 80

The Principal-Agent Problem 83

Demand, Supply, and Recruitment 85

Contracts and Pay 89

Control and Contract Evolution 100

The Development of Permanent Armies 104

Condottieri and the Other Principles of Economics 114

Conclusion 117

4 The Age of Battle, 1618-1815: The Case of Costs, Benefits, and the Decision to Offer Battle 119

Expected Marginal Costs and Benefits of Battle 122

The 1600s: Gustavus Adolphus and Raimondo de Montecuccoli 127

The 1700s: Marlborough, de Saxe, and Frederick the Great 137

Napoleonic Warfare 147

The Age of Battle and the Other Principles of Economics 154

Conclusion 157

5 The Age of Revolution, 1789-1914: The Case of the American Civil War and the Economics of Information Asymmetry 159

Information and Warfare 163

North, South, and the Search for Information 165

Major EasternCampaigns through Gettysburg 168

Grant in Virginia 181

The American Civil War and the Other Principles of Economics 190

Conclusion 194

6 The Age of the World Wars, 1914-1945: The Case of Diminishing Marginal Returns to the Strategic Bombing of Germany in World War II 197

A Strategic Bombing Production Function 201

Bombing German War Production 207

Bombing the Supply Chain and the Civilian Economy 213

Bombing German Morale 219

Assessing the Effect of Strategic Bombing 224

Strategic Bombing and the Other Principles of Economics 227

Conclusion 235

7 The Age of the Cold War, 1945-1991: The Case of Capital-Labor Substitution and France's Force de Frappe 244

History of the Force de Frappe 248

The Force Post-De Gaulle 257

Justifying the Force 260

The Force's Effect on France's Conventional Arms 267

Substituting Nuclear for Conventional Forces 272

The Force de Frappe and the Other Principles of Economics 282

Conclusion 285

8 Economics and Military History in the Twenty-first Century 287

Economics of Terrorism 289

Economics of Military Manpower 298

Economics of Private Military Companies 307

Economics, Historiography, and Military History 319

Conclusion 322

Notes 329

References 367

Index 387

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