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The History of the Art of War Within the Framework of Political History by Delbruck

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Despite Clausewitz utilization of war theory as a model for explanation of 'what had happened' in warefare history, Delbruck regarded this theory as a “corrective to what the sources told us.”1 Claueseiwitz advocated the use of “historical example” to determine the nature of war. He noted the four uses that history has to offer: “an explanation, a demonstration of the application of an idea, as a support for a statement, and as a detailed presentation from which one might deduce doctrine.” He also establishes various degrees of rigour:
The first and simplest demand is for accuracy. If we read widely enough, we can develop an ability to discern and a base for comparison that will develop a feel for accuracy. The second and far greater demand is to project ourselves into the moment in time under study, not to force fit it into our won world. Only by understanding the conditions of the era and the perspectives of the people under study can we understand the rationale of their decisions and make judgements for our own time. The third and fourth are matters of logic and discipline.

Delbruck regarded this as both a good thing and bad thing for war/warefare history. This allowed to create a “synergetic relationship between theory and empiricla research long before this became the case in most other branches of history-writing.” He, however, argued that it enabled war/warefare historians to be selective with their sources, and dismiss them should they not support or “exemplify some dogma or theory.” This was amplified by the many military/war historians had “didactic functions professionally,” teachers at military institutions focused on “propounding tenets of warefare” and ignored the “uncertainties and elusiveness of past reality....


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...aphy. More importantly, it will show the students how Dulbrek enhanced military history to not only focus on technical details but to also take into account the contextual, social and economic aspects as well. He was also an advocate of history with pragmatic applications, and was able, to a degree, bring this into academia despite staunch initial rejeciton by the scholarly community; however, as this paper had earlier examined, pragamtic applications of history conflicts with histiography and this issue remains unresolved. Another reading that I was seriously considering was Carl von Clausewitz's On War, the first military historian that employed “war theory” and had the instigated the first historical shift in military histiography, but I chose Dulbrek's since his influence on the change in military historiography was the most important as this paper had examined.


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