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  • ISBN: 9780029215852
  • ISBN10: 0029215854

Calculations Net Assessment and the Coming of World War II

by Allan R. Millett

  • List Price: $40.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish date: 01/01/1992
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Description: 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 actual variables, ambiguities, and elements of chance that were at work in the real world between the wars. They weigh the failures as well as the successes of each country's net assessment and demonstrate how World War II's lessons on effectiveness and preparedness are especially valuable today. They prove that if war is an extension of politics, then net assessment is the handmaiden of political and strategic calculation.
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