This course gives a chronological overview of the history of Warfare in the Western World from antiquity to the present day. All aspects of war on land, sea, and in the air are covered: weapons and technology; strategy and defence; discipline and intelligence; mercenaries and standing armies; cavalry and infantry; chivalry and Blitzkrieg; guerrilla assault and nuclear arsenals.

 

The central controversial thesis of this course is that war in western societies has followed a unique path leading to the Western hegemony of the world. From Greek hoplites, Roman legionnaires to the jet plane and cruise missile, war has served as the driving force behind the West’s rise to global domination. The history of the West, both at home and overseas, has centred around ferocious competition for mastery among uncompromisingly ambitious powers, in which the ruthless, innovative, and the decisive displaced the complacent, the imitative, and the irresolute.