A GUIDE TO MILITARY HISTORY ON THE INTERNET: A COMPREHENSIVE INTRODUCTION FOR GENEALOGISTS AND MILITARY HISTORIANS
PEN & SWORD BOOKS, 2007
QUALITY SOFTCOVER, $19.95, 211 PAGES, APPENDICES
The study of history in general, and military history in particular, is intended to provide depth, breadth of understanding, and inculcate a sense of historical mindedness. Most soldiers who have read much history probably would agree with General Douglas MacArthur when he asserted, over fifty years ago: "More than most professions, the military is forced to depend upon intelligent interpretation of the past for signposts charting the future...The facts derived from historical analysis he (the soldier) applies to conditions of the present and the proximate future, thus developing a synthesis of appropriate method, organization, and doctrine...These principles know no limitation of time. Consequently the Army extends its analytical interest to the dust-buried accounts of wars long past as well as to those still reeking with the scent of battle. It is the object of the search that dictates the field for its pursuit." The late World War II historian and combat journalist Cornelius Ryan told of watching a group of newly arrived U.S. Army second lieutenants in Italy moving up to take over platoons that were already in heavy action. A fellow war correspondent at his side commented simply, "I hope they are well read." Ryan found such wisdom in that observation. How else could men so young and new to war hope to lead others? They had little chance to train; they had no experience of war; they were to young to know much of life firsthand. Those with an early acquired sense of history, with a knowledge of human endeavor, would be relatively well off indeed at that moment. The reading of history is a way to gain experience. The reader swelters with Lawrence in the burning Arabian sands and learns the brutality and fluidity of guerrilla warfare. He gasps at Chandler's description of the genius of Napoleon arising at midnight to dictate his orders through the night to set the stage for the battle. He hammers at Lee's Army of Northern Virginia with Grant's memoirs; overcomes the terror of the Burmese jungle and turns defeat into victory with Slim; unravels the conceptual threads of battle and maneuver with Delbruck; relates war to nuclear weapons to pollitics with Brodie; freezes in Korea with Marshall at the river and the gauntlet; and cries out with MacDonald at the inanities of the Kall Trail before Schmidt, Germany. Since the birth of the internet, there are thousands of websites devoted to all aspects of military history from the Battle of Hastings to the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. A GUIDE TO MILITARY HISTORY ON THE INTERNET: A COMPREHENSIVE INTRODUCTION FOR GENEALOGISTS AND MILITARY HISTORIANS is a unique book that helps you find the ones that will help with your research whether you are checking out a military ancestor or researching a air, ground, or naval campaign. It also features sites that are entertaining or controversial. Sections cover the British armed services and their long military history, but the author also describes in detail websites that focus on American, Australian, and Canadian forces as well. With A GUIDE TO MILITARY HISTORY ON THE INTERNET: A COMPREHENSIVE INTRODUCTION FOR GENEALOGISTS AND MILITARY HISTORIANS, research that used to tie up hours of time now can take just a few minutes. Fowler's new book is your definitive link to the web's finest military history sites.
Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard