Studying Military History



"Military history includes biography, battle narratives, memoirs, oral histories, treatises, scientific discourses, philosophy, economic studies, fiction - and more.... The study of history is not a great search for details in the pages of dusty books; it involves the discovery of knowledge in the broader sense and the enrichment of the intellect. Military history is history first and military second. Methods of studying it are invariably tied to individual goals and individual concepts of what military history is. If directed to prepare a list of the ten most important books of military history, ten different persons would probably draw up
ten different lists, each list representing its compiler's values, priorities, and biases, although some titles would appear on more than one list...

    "Military history should be studied in width, depth, and most importantly in context. In this way, according to Professor Michael Howard, "the study of military history should not only enable the civilian to understand the nature of war and its part in shaping society, but also to improve the [soldiers] competence in his profession." Reading with a purpose to gain a better understanding of the nature of war and the practice of warfare sharpens the intellect and develops perspective to face current problems in an informed manner as well as to plan for the future."

From an article by Lieutenant Colonel John F. Votaw
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