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Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaedaby John Keegan
Synopses & Reviews
In fiction, the spy is a glamorous figure whose secrets make or break peace, but, historically, has intelligence really been a vital step to military victories? In this breakthrough study, the preeminent war historian John Keegan goes to the heart of a series of important conflicts to develop a powerful argument about military intelligence.
In his characteristically wry and perceptive prose, Keegan offers us nothing short of a new history of war through the prism of intelligence. He brings to life the split-second decisions that went into waging war before the benefit of aerial surveillance and electronic communications. The English admiral Horatio Nelson was hot on the heels of Napoleon’s fleet in the Mediterranean and never knew it, while Stonewall Jackson was able to compensate for the Confederacy’s disadvantage in firearms and manpower with detailed maps of the Appalachians. In the past century, espionage and decryption have changed the face of battle: the Japanese surprise attack at the Battle of the Midway was thwarted by an early warning. Timely information, however, is only the beginning of the surprising and disturbing aspects of decisions that are made in war, where brute force is often more critical.
Intelligence in War is a thought-provoking work that ranks among John Keegan’s finest achievements.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Keegan projects a deep empathy for battle victims....This humane sensibility, on display in book after book, explains why the author is the most popular, and perhaps the best, contemporary writer of military history." Booklist
Includes bibliographical references (p. 363-368) and index.
About the Author
John Keegan’s books include The First World War, The Battle for History, The Face of Battle, War and Our World, The Mask of Command, Fields of Battle and A History of Warfare. He is the defense editor of The Daily Telegraph (London). He lives in Wiltshire, England.
Table of Contents
Knowledge of the enemy — Chasing Napoleon — Local knowledge : Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley — Wireless intelligence — Crete : foreknowledge no help — Midway : the complete intelligence victory? — Intelligence, one factor among many : the Battle of the Atlantic — Human intelligence and secret weapons — Military intelligence since 1945 — The value of military intelligence.
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