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Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda Hardcover – 1 Oct 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Key Porter Books (Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552632199
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552632192
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,905,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Likely to jar the conventional wisdom. . . . Keegan is always a pleasure to read for his wit, insight and style." -"The New York Times Book Review"
"Bracing, meticulous case studies [by] our greatest modern military historian." -"Newsweek"
"Keegan is a . . . treasure. . . . His analysis is as sharp as ever, and it's all written with his characteristic flair." -"The Christian Science Monitor
"Thought-provoking. . . . Keegan's book is a wise corrective, assessing just how useful intelligence has been in battle." -"The Dallas Morning News" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

John Keegan, whose many books, including classic histories of the two world wars, have confirmed him as the premier miltary historian of our time, here presents a masterly look at the value and limitations of intelligence in the conduct of war.
Intelligence gathering is an immensely complicated and vulnerable endeavor. And it often fails. Until the invention of the telegraph and radio, information often traveled no faster than a horse could ride, yet intelligence helped defeat Napoleon. In the twentieth century, photo analysts didn't recognize Germany's V-2 rockets for what they were; on the other hand, intelligence helped lead to victory over the Japanese at Midway. In Intelligence in War," John Keegan illustrates that only when paired with force has military intelligence been an effective tool, as it may one day be in besting al-Qaeda. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Hardcover
In war, if you know what the enemy is going to do, you've won. Right? That's not necessarily so, as the British showed in the German invasion of Crete. John Keegan's Intelligence in War uses this as just one example of how intelligence is used in wartime and how it's not always the end-all and be-all of how a battle is won. Keegan explores the entire gamut of intelligence and how it's been gathered and used in modern warfare, using examples ranging from Admiral Nelson's chase of Napoleon's fleet on its way to Egypt in 1799 to some World War II examples. He finishes the book by discussing modern techniques that range from Vietnam to the war on terrorism. Put it all together and you have a fascinating book that turns the historical stereotypes on their head.
"Its theme is that intelligence in war, however good, does not point out unerringly the path to victory. Victory is an elusive prize, bought with blood rather than brains. Intelligence is the handmaiden not the mistress of the warrior." Pg 5
Methods of intelligence acquisition range anywhere from "humint" (the acquisition of intelligence through human means, usually spying but also including local knowledge of the area) and "sigint" (the interception of signals, whether radio satellite, or just seeing the semaphore flags). As technology has increased, the use of humint has decreased as more signals, and more ways of intercepting those signals, have been developed. The problem in the past has always been conveying the intelligence found to your superiors before it becomes outdated.
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