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B. H. Liddell Hart (1895–1970)

Author of Strategy

91+ Works 4,480 Members 49 Reviews 7 Favorited

About the Author

Captain B. H. Liddell Hart is the foremost authority on World War I. In The Real War, the author has fused exhaustive research and creative brilliance with brevity and precision. Thus we have in one volume the war transformed into literature -- an understandable, kaleidoscopic masterwork of show more military history. show less

Includes the names: Liddel Hart, LIdell Hart, Hart Liddell, Liddell Hart, Basil H. Hart, Hart's Liddell, Liddel B. Gart, H. Liddell Hart, BH Liddel. Hart, Basil H. Liddel, LIDDELL-HART B H, Liddel Hart B.H., H.H. Liddell-Hart, B.H. Hart Liddell, Basil Liddel Hart, B. H. Lidell Hart, B. H. Liddel Hart, Basil Liddel Hart, Basil Liddell Hart, B. H. Liddell Hart, Liddell B. H. Hart, Basil Liddell Hart, Basil Liddell Hart, Bassil Liddel Hart, B. H. Liddell Hart, Basil H. Liddel Hart, B. H. Liddell Hart -, Basil H. Liddell Hart, Sir Basil Lidell Hart, Basil H. Liddell Hart, Sir Basil Liddel Hart, Basil H. Liddell Hart, Sir Basil Liddel Hart, Sir Basil Liddel Hart, Basil H. Liddell Hart, Лиддел Гарт, HART Basil J. LIDDELL, Basile H. LIDDELL HART, Sir Hart Basil Liddell, Sir Basil Liddell Hart, B. H. Liddell Hart ed., Sit Hart Basil Liddell, Sir Basil Liddell Hart, Basil Henry Liddel Hart, Captain B H Liddel Hart, Liddell Basil Henry Hart, Basil Henry Liddell-Hart, Basil Henry Liddell Hart, Basil Henry Liddell Hart, B.H. Liddell Hart, Capt., Capt. B. H. Liddell Hart, Basil Henry Liddell Harts, editor Hart B. H. Liddell, prepared by. Liddell Hart, Captain B.H. Liddell Hart, Б. Лиддел Гарт, Sir Basil H. Liddell Hart, Captain B.H. Liddell-Hart, Hart B. H. Liddell ( Ed. ), Capitaine B.H. Liddell Hart, Captain Hart Liddell, B. H., Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, Sir Henry Basil Liddell Hart, Sir Basil Henry Liddell-Hart, Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, Captain B. H. Liddell Hart -, Sir. Basil Henry Liddell Hart, סר בזל הנרי לידל-הרט, EDITOR IN CHIEF SIR BASIL LIDDELL HART, B. H. Forward Michael Grant Liddel Hart, Sir (1895-1970) Liddell Basil Henry Hart, Базил Генри Лиддел Гарт, Sir Basil Liddell Hart, Miulitary Consultant, B.H. With A New Foreword by J. Enoch Powell Hart, Adrian Liddell Sir Basil Liddell; Hart Hart, Edit, Editor Prepared by Hart Sir B Adrian Liddell Hart, B H Liddell ( Editor ) Sun Tzu - Caesar - Thucydid, Basil Henry(Author) ; Hart Hart, B. H. Liddell(Author); Grant, Michael(Foreword by) Liddell

Series

Works by B. H. Liddell Hart

Strategy (1954) 1,067 copies, 12 reviews
History of the Second World War (1966) 872 copies, 5 reviews
Scipio Africanus: Greater Than Napoleon (1987) 392 copies, 4 reviews
History of the First World War (1930) 317 copies, 3 reviews
The Real War, 1914–1918 (1930) 189 copies, 1 review
Sherman: Soldier, Realist, American (1929) 175 copies, 1 review
Why Don't We Learn from History? (1971) 138 copies, 5 reviews
History of the Second World War, Volume I (1972) 118 copies, 1 review
Great Captains Unveiled (1927) 65 copies, 1 review
Foch, the man of Orléans (1980) 19 copies
The Defence of Britain (1980) 17 copies
The Liddell Hart memoirs: Volume II (1966) 15 copies, 1 review
The Liddell Hart Memoirs: Volume 1 (1965) 14 copies, 1 review
Europe in Arms (2021) 12 copies, 1 review
The British way in warfare (1932) 12 copies
Through the fog of war (1938) 11 copies
Reputations (1988) 9 copies
Thoughts on War (1999) 9 copies
The Revolution in Warfare (1989) 9 copies
The Ghost of Napoleon (1980) 8 copies, 1 review
Dynamic Defence 5 copies, 1 review
Clouds Hill, Dorset (1970) — Contributor — 4 copies
Purnell's History of the Second World War [complete set] (1970) — Series Editor — 4 copies, 1 review
This Expanding War (1942) 3 copies
The Tanks Vol. One (1959) 2 copies
Así fue la Segunda Guerra Mundial (1972) 1 copy, 1 review
Megiddo 1 copy

Associated Works

The Art of War (0500) — Foreword, some editions — 23,506 copies, 247 reviews
Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman (1875) — Foreword, some editions — 1,021 copies, 8 reviews
Panzer leader (1951) — Foreword, some editions — 749 copies, 10 reviews
In Flanders Fields: The 1917 Campaign (1958) — Introduction, some editions — 590 copies, 5 reviews
The Rommel Papers (1953) — Editor; Editor — 491 copies, 9 reviews
A Sense of History: The Best Writing from the Pages of American Heritage (1985) — Contributor — 469 copies, 4 reviews
Lost Victories (1955) — Foreword, some editions — 454 copies, 7 reviews
The Letters of Private Wheeler, 1809-1828 (1971) — Editor, some editions — 75 copies
Krieg ohne Hass (1950) — Editor, some editions — 25 copies

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Reviews

Wonderful read. Liddell Hart's feeling and regard for these men comes through in his writing and it is hard not to get swept up in his view of their lives and actions. After reading this book, I developed a strong interest in learning more about Subotai and Wallenstein's histories in particular. I read this book for school, but this is an easy read for anyone interested in military leadership and history.
 
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RonnieCMitchell | Jul 6, 2024 |
First Published (1944), London: George Allen & Unwin Brothers, 66 p.
 
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sirsyed | 4 other reviews | Mar 12, 2024 |
This book proves the old adage that history repeats itself. Almost 100 years after this book was published and world is repeating the same steps and hoping that now results might be different.

Author gives a very thorough overview of Europe's major powers, their armies, latest combat experiences, training and level of technological development (including speed of adoption of new technology into the arsenals and troops). Sounds too modern to be true? Well, with the industrial revolution and ability to mass produce everything form helmets to tanks, military affairs from 1930's onward actually did not change that much. What today are drones, AI (although this is such a misappropriation of the term, I cringe when I have to write it down), smart weapons, munitions etc in 1930's was development of airplanes, tanks, machine guns and automated high powered weaponry, improvements in armor alloys and increased range and precision of artillery and development of high mobility equipment - motorized or tracked, not to mention development of submarines, fast strike torpedo vessels and main ships of the line, destroyers and cruisers.

Basically when you look at it nothing is actually changed. It is only that after almost 100 years technology (electronics above all) made weapons more precise, highly automated but equally pricey and precious. Which brings us to army organization, something I will comment below.

Chapters on meaningful role of dreadnoughts when confronted against relatively small submarine force that (according to the author) was highly restricted in movements and operational tempo [but nevertheless achieved very much] in WW1, and even danger of fast strike vessel flotillas armed with torpedoes all echo today's comments on the role of aircraft carriers on the open sea where in situations of high intensity warfare they are more or less just huge targets (just imagine swarms of Bazalts in approach).

Even issues with recruitment are the same as today, although author lived in time when he was able to call the spade a spade. His comments on bringing onboard men of required quality especially in the highly technical and elite regiments like tank and mechanized forces (not to mention air force) strongly resonate today. I think author would be dumbfounded if he read that army is ready to accept people (for political reasons) that would have .... well actually they would be administration only and basically have no role within the army (since they can reject the active deployments on the basis of criteria they were accepted into the army in the first place). But hey, they would be in army (imagine that this was the way you got jobs in any civilian industry because, hey, you feel you should be there?).

Author is patriotically British but (for this time at least) propaganda is not present. While talking about the totalitarian regimes of the day (Germany, Italy, Soviet Union) author talks about military issues and although he sees these regimes as enemies (not just for UK but for [again these cliches but taking into account time when this was written I understand it] democratic institutions) he does not fall low by giving attributes to people on other side that are now trade-mark of all the current justice-writers. I guess at the time there was certain ..... quality when it comes to prolific authors on specialized matters and journalists/correspondents (author was all of this). Imagine Mr. Galeotti writing something about his favorite subject without comments like 'drunkard', 'incapable' or 'gravel voiced but unable to keep his mouth shut' - impossible, right?

What differentiates time when this book was written from modern experts is set of values related to the nation. Back then if one was not patriotic, even while being adherent pacifist, one was .... strange, not only to his compatriots but to foreigners too. Now, one is strange if one stands for his nation because new value is no-nations, only happy people holding their hands across the globe being protected by nations who do have rights to exert their national interests :) Schizophrenic times indeed.

Now part I do not agree with, although author does present it mostly for the UK scenarios but tends to preach it to everyone.

Constant mantra of small professional army.

I understand that author has great aversion towards mass armies fighting in WW1 but small army (couple of divisions at best) is no means of defending the country especially on level of WW1 (or later WW2) intensity.

Reason, for me at least at the very least, are losses. You can have finest infantry or mechanized unit but if you cannot rotate people or have sufficient forces to cover the battlefield or have sufficient force to push through the front-line breakpoints, then you have a fine stiletto, made of magnificent steel, extra pointy and with great penetration abilities but unfortunately your opponent is clad in concrete and armor, presents only small eye slit on helmet as a target and even without weapons he is going to stomp you out.

You can have SOF and airborne troops you spent years training, capable of shooting at distances of 10km, outrunning everyone and able to hold positions for weeks without support, lightly armored assault forces with satellite navigation and missiles but once these troops get stopped by hail of artillery and obliterated by thermobaric-or-napalm type of weapons, they are gone. You need to rebuild. From scratch? Yes if you plan to wage war for say 10 years. You need to have a large army, large body of reserves at least to recover from your losses. Not to mention industry and ability to pump out vehicles, tanks, munition and so on.

Small army = disaster. From big army you can create task forces to handle smaller engagements. But from small army you can only get heavily armed SWAT team that is supposed to engage in prolonged high intensity warfare. Again..... recipe for disaster.

While "big battalions" on their own don't win wars any more (all battalions are vulnerable if not used properly), appropriate equipment usable weapons and technology big battalions will always win wars.

Again, author wants this approach for UK (again, he is preaching it to everyone but concentrates on UK) because he is very much against any land force involvement in any future conflict. He sees UK as navy/air-force provider to coalition forces (sounds familiar? UK of this period is what US became post WW2). They can send advisers and fight as part of smaller contingents in allied troops but author says UK should never engage in direct ground fighting.

So, for UK advice, makes sense. But on a global scale author's visions are more of knights jousting then modern armies engaging in combat, which makes no sense. Since author was a great influence on western military thought I now understand this proclivity of the West towards what might be called assassin-wars, striking down the perceived enemy after months and months of hungering them down and closing them off from the rest of the world (like was case with Iraq). But when this approach is attempted against the force that is not blocked off and is self-sustainable it all falls down. Author's warning about politicians willing to instigate wars, especially long term low level/intensity conflicts proves that author was not ignorant on what would end up as preferred ways of waging wars even in 1937.

Other author's comment is pretty interesting and so contemporary. The eternal fight between offense and defense. Author is very realistic and aware that advances in offensive methods and technology will always hit the wall of adapted defensive methods and technology. This means that one might wield a unique weapon today (like tank in 1918) only to be humbled after some time when countermeasures are applied (like anti tank guns, individual anti tank rifles and grenades that became prevalent in infantry units by end of 1930's). Of course this false feeling of offensive dominance is a safe way to destruction. As author states, in peace-time every army thinks their offensive is something that cannot be broken. And when it comes to actual execution ....... oh, lots of bad things happen at that time. Because when new approaches and technology are applied for the first time en masse against equal adversary nobody knows how events will develop. And usually those that rely more on emotions than reason will pay the price (or their allies).

Very informative book, lots of comments, views and suggestions that are applicable even in our times.

Highly recommended.
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Zare | Jan 23, 2024 |
 
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rjocl12 | Apr 10, 2023 |

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Works
91
Also by
12
Members
4,480
Popularity
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Rating
3.8
Reviews
49
ISBNs
193
Languages
16
Favorited
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