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War Between Great Powers is Impossible: Selected Writings of M. Jean de Bloch [NOOK Book]

Overview

M. Jean de Bloch was perhaps the world’s greatest amateur philosopher of war. A banker and railway financier, he devoted years to the study of war before the dawn of the 20th Century. He concluded that advances in modern armaments such as smokeless powder, improved rifles, and machine guns had rendered war between the great powers impossible. He found that the improved defensive firepower rendered maneuver over open ground impossible and that modern armies would become enormous and would become locked in a war of...
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War Between Great Powers is Impossible: Selected Writings of M. Jean de Bloch

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Overview

M. Jean de Bloch was perhaps the world’s greatest amateur philosopher of war. A banker and railway financier, he devoted years to the study of war before the dawn of the 20th Century. He concluded that advances in modern armaments such as smokeless powder, improved rifles, and machine guns had rendered war between the great powers impossible. He found that the improved defensive firepower rendered maneuver over open ground impossible and that modern armies would become enormous and would become locked in a war of attrition which would bankrupt the warring states.
The Great War soon proved his main conclusion wrong. The great powers had been unable or unwilling to comprehend the changes in the nature of warfare and had dived headlong into that disastrous war. However, the nature of the war itself validated much of Bloch’s analysis. Defensive firepower had dominated the war and mutated it into a prolonged war of attrition in the trenches. It had bankrupted the Russian Empire and devastated Europe.
However, Bloch failed to appreciate the importance of other innovations such as improved artillery, military aircraft, tanks, and motorized transport. These, combined with improved initiative-driven tactics (Auftragstaktik or mission tactics) eventually overcame the stalemate.
While Bloch was dismissed by the military professionals of his day, his influence was significant among the peace movement. Today his work is valued by students, soldiers, and peace activists alike. This collection of his shorter works should be considered by those to advocate as well as those who oppose military action.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013958784
  • Publisher: Praetorian Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/19/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 282 KB

Meet the Author

Jan Gotlib (Bogumił) Bloch (July 24, 1836, Radom – December 25, 1902/1901, Warsaw; (known in Russian as Ivan Stanislavovich Bloch)[1] ), was a Polish banker and railway financier who devoted his private life to the study of modern industrial warfare. Born Jewish and a convert to Calvinism, he spent considerable effort to opposing the prevalent Antisemitic polices of the Tsarist government, and was sympathetic to the fledgling Zionist Movement.

Bloch had studied at the University of Berlin, worked at a Warsaw bank and then moved to St. Petersburg, capital of the Russian Empire (which governed much of the Polish lands at the time). There, he took part in the development of the Russian Railways, both in financing the construction of new railways and in writing research papers on the subject. He founded several banking, credit and insurance companies. In 1877 he was appointed a member of the Russian Finance Ministry's Scientific Committee.
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