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"The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the ..." Topic


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281 hits since 27 Aug 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2018 11:53 a.m. PST

….Birth of Warfare as We Know It

"The twentieth century is usually seen as "the century of total war," but as the historian David Bell argues in this landmark work, the phenomenon actually began much earlier, in the age of Napoleon. Bell takes us from campaigns of "extermination" in the blood-soaked fields of western France to savage street fighting in ruined Spanish cities to central European battlefields where tens of thousands died in a single day. Between 1792 and 1815, Europe plunged into an abyss of destruction, and our modern attitudes toward war were born. Ever since, the dream of perpetual peace and the nightmare of total war have been bound tightly together in the Western world—where "wars of liberation," such as the one in Iraq, can degenerate into gruesome guerrilla conflict…."
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Amicalement
Armand

RudyNelson27 Aug 2018 12:28 p.m. PST

Sorry but I do not regard the Napoleonic era as one of ‘total war'. Too many examples of actions not supporting total war.
In regards to prisoners, they were not any massive POW compounds. Prisoners were exchanged regularly which is not the case of total war policies. The American Civil War pivoted to one of total war when the Union stopped exchanging prisoners.
I still remember seeing paintings of Napoleon and other Generals with POWs sitting or walking near them.
Yes Moscow was burned but it was by the aRussians themselves. Paris, Berlin and Vienna plus many other cities were not burned to the ground as Atlanta, Richmond and other Confederate cities were.
So I do not support his total War for the Napoleonic era claim.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2018 2:36 p.m. PST

I agree; global war yes but not total war.

MaggieC7027 Aug 2018 5:53 p.m. PST

Bell used some aspects of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars to justify his completely unoriginal theory of total war, added a few lame and contrived analogies as filler, and then coated the whole mess with some bizarre academic fluff about former president Bush and Iraq.

Read John Flynn instead. This one is a waste of time.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2018 11:47 a.m. PST

Glup!….


Amicalement
Armand

von Winterfeldt02 Sep 2018 10:37 a.m. PST

Prisoners were exchanged regularly which is not the case of total war policies. The American Civil War pivoted to one of total war when the Union stopped exchanging prisoners.

British prison hulks starving French prisoners of war to death, Cabrera island, shooting Russian prisoners when they couldn't walk any further to the rear, burned earth policy, guerillas massacring and torturing pows and soldiers on the rampage as well, burning of Moscow (read Mikaberidze and you will see that it is worth a discussion), retaliation killing of civilians in Italy, the Vendee, – no need to see the Napoleonic period in rosy tainted sun glasses.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2018 3:25 p.m. PST

In comparition with…? (smile)


Amicalement
Armand

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