Cover image for Quest for decisive victory : from stalemate to Blitzkrieg in Europe, 1899-1940
Quest for decisive victory : from stalemate to Blitzkrieg in Europe, 1899-1940
Citino, Robert Michael, 1958-
Publication Information:
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, [2002]

Physical Description:
xix, 372 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
U41 .C52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Since the earliest days of warfare, military operations have followed a predictable formula: after a decisive battle, an army must pursue the enemy and destroy its organization in order to achieve a victorious campaign. But by the mid-19th century, the emergence of massive armies and advanced weaponry - and the concomitant decline in the effectiveness of cavalry - had diminished the practicality of pursuit, producing campaigns that bogged down short of decisive victory. Great battles had become curiously indecisive, decisive campaigns virtually impossible.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In this important book, Citino (Eastern Michigan Univ.) examines warfare from the Boer War to the Nazis' defeat of France in 1940 through the crucial prism of "operational art"--essentially, the task of turning battlefield tactical success into sustained, decisive victory. This volume succeeds at many levels: it is an erudite summary of some of history's most complex military campaigns, and more importantly, it ties together these operations in a coherent essay that illustrates why warfare evolved as it did and explains how these events have often been incompletely understood. Based on extensive research in the various armies' own professional periodicals as well as the abundant secondary literature, the text also integrates into the narrative such conflicts as the Balkan Wars (1912-13), Mussolini's conquest of Ethiopia, and the Spanish Civil War. Specialists will be engaged by Citino's treatment, especially his rather curt evaluation of Russia's role in the development of operational art, but this volume will also be of great use for the nonspecialist seeking a coherent interpretation of this period. Highly recommended for all readers and all collections. G. P. Cox Gordon College