Essay about The Art of War in the 17th and 18th Centuries

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The Art of War in the 17th and 18th Centuries

The Art of War in the 17th and 18th Centuries is a history course book whose author's are United States Military Academy history instructors Lieutenant Colonel Dave Richard Palmer and Major Albert Sidney Britt III. The textbook gives an insight into the military tactics and the political reasons when they were brought about in the 17th and 18th centuries. The text was published in West Point, New York in 1969. The book contains 9 chapters and 185 pages. There is no additional information on the authors. The book starts with the tactics and life of the young Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus, who began his military career at the age of 16 on the battlefields of the Danish War of 1612, …show more content…

Upon landing on the German shore of Peenemunde, I wonder if Adolphus realized that one day his ingenious and revolutionary theories would some three centuries later influence the German scientists developing the modern day rocket at Peenemunde. After Gustavus Adolphus' death, warfare settled down to a slower pace and a more stable mold. Warfare experienced the growth of professional armies loyal to the king. But the great cost of building and maintaining such armies led to a concern for their safety, a hesitation to risk them in bloody encounters, and a preoccupation with defense and fortifications. Strategy during this period was essentially of limited aim and was greatly concerned with the art of siege craft, for which elaborate rules were prescribed. With the growth of professional armies loyal to their kings, came Louis XIV, King of France. Unlike Gustavus, who wrung victories from tactical innovations, Louis sought military efficiency through extreme centralization. This approach, brought forth great results at first, but would eventually become a self-defeating theory. It is roughly accurate to say that every aspect of "the Sun King's" army was centralized in the war ministry, which was headed by a civilian loyal to, and working directly for, the King.

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