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Absolute WarViolence and Mass Warfare in the German Lands, 1792-1820$
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Mark Hewitson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198787457

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198787457.001.0001

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From Cabinet Warfare to Mass Armies

From Cabinet Warfare to Mass Armies

(p.31) 1 From Cabinet Warfare to Mass Armies
Absolute War

Mark Hewitson

Oxford University Press

The scholarly debate about a metamorphosis of warfare during the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods rests on two connected controversies: one concerning a ‘military revolution’ and the other, ‘total war’. This chapter re-examines these claims, together with opposing arguments which have been put forward recently by German historians. It contends that wars involving German states became broader in scope after 1792, with mass armies requiring more money and men. Military conflicts had also become more intense, with a greater number of battles and higher rates of killing, compared to the conflicts of the eighteenth century, even in Austria, which remained the most independent of the German states. The chapter investigates the extent and nature of conscription, war articles, tactics, and strategy in the armies of the German states.

Keywords:   military revolution, total war, conscription, war articles, strategy, tactics, armies

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