This chapter charts the key developments in European land warfare since 1900. On the one hand, it is possible to identify overarching explanatory ideas, metanarratives, that can be used to identify continuities in development over time across Europe’s armies. These include the concept of ‘modern system’ land warfare and the ‘transformation paradigm’. However, as this chapter also shows, these two points of continuity do not mean either that European armies are homogenous, or that their conceptual assumptions are uncontested. European land warfare remains a heterogeneous phenomenon, shaped by the variety in national contexts and by contending debates on how appropriate Europe’s armies are to the actual challenges of contemporary and future armed conflict.
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