Sunday, 11 March 2018

Some of my recent reading: military innovation

So I'm on for a new adventure, starting in October. I'll be cooperating on a part of a larger series of handbooks about Dutch military history. Personally, it looks like I will mostly be writing on the 1813-1870 period.

Of course there'll be several themes discussed in this book, but I have taken a special interest in the development of technology and how it's integrated into military practice. It's become an interesting field in this century, since the military revolutions / revolutions in military affairs discussion blossomed up. Mostly this is a discussion about how you can foster innovation and draw the right lessons from the past to guide technological development towards succes while avoiding the pitfalls.

Part of that discussion focusses on where in the military organisation this innovation takes place? Is it top down (reforms of Prince Maurice or Gustavus Adolphus), is it bottom up (battlefield adaptation in WWI)? Or is it perhaps a complex interaction of military entrepreneurs in the military hierarchy that may or may not succeed in catching the ear of those with decision making power. And perhaps, I add as an historian, this changes based on social structures over time and space?

So I'm diving into some old and new literature...

Mostly on the 19th century, but if a valid theoretical point seems to be made, I'm happy to look beyond.

Let's say I'm pretty psyched about this project

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