History 390

Modern Military History

Section 2:
Mon-Wed-Fri, 1:25, Hardin 233
(Spring 2011)

Prof. Edwin E. Moise
Office: Hardin 102
Office phone: 656-5369
Home phone: 654-7087

Messages can be left in my mailbox in Hardin 124, or in the box on my office door.

Office Hours

    Monday     10:10-11:00, 2:30-3:20
    Tuesday    (none)
    Wednesday  10:10-11:00, 2:30-3:20
    Thursday   11:00-12:00
    Friday     10:10-11:00 

Course Objectives

To give students an overview of the nature of modern warfare (primarily but not exclusively land warfare), including discussion of strategy, tactics, technology, and the relationship of the military to society. The main focus will be on the period from the late 19th century to the present, but there will be some background on earlier periods.

What goes into your grade

Your grade in the course will be based mainly on the written work I have assigned. You cannot do extra papers for extra credit. You can improve your grade a bit by participating in class discussion. The best way to pick up extra points is to argue against me in class; If you can point out to me that I have made a mistake you get two points extra in the gradebook. If you present a good clear argument that I am wrong about something, with evidence, then your grade may be boosted even if you do not succeed in convincing me.

I do not emphasize trivial factual details in this course. On tests and quizzes I will NOT ask you to tell me the dates of the battle of Arnhem, or the names of the commanders in it. There are some facts you need to know, but they are more important things than dates and names. On the other hand, I will expect you to get an idea of the sequence of events, what came first and what came later.

The most important single part of your grade will be the course paper. You can write it on whatever topic you please, within the limit of the subject matter of this course. Most of the papers should be about eight to ten pages long typed double spaced for the actual text (not including title page, maps, illustrations, or Works Cited page). Longer papers are acceptable.

For more detailed guidelines on the term paper, see Writing a Term Paper in Military History.

The paper is due Wednesday, April 27. It is late if I have not gotten it before I go home that day (definitely not before 4:30 PM, maybe later than that). There will be a five point penalty if it is handed in on April 28 or 29. The penalty will be fifteen points if it is not turned in by the time I go home on Friday, April 29.

You can have a pretty free choice of topics for this paper, within the limits of the subject matter of this course. You must come in and talk to me about your paper, and discuss the sources you will be using. It is not enough to say to me as we are walking out of the classroom one morning "Professor Moise, is it OK if I write about the Battle of Chancellorsville?" You will need to talk things over with me for ten or maybe even twenty minutes, not just a few seconds. After we have talked, you must give me a written statement of your topic, with a list of the main sources you plan to use. There will be a five point penalty if you have not given this to me by March 14, and an additional five points if it is not in by March 28. If it still is not in by April 4, I will either give you yet another five-point penalty, or else simply hand you a sheet of paper telling you what topic you must write on, and what sources you must use.

If you bring in a preliminary draft of your paper long enough before Thanksgiving so I can read it and get it back to you before Thanksgiving, with suggestions about how you can improve it, you will will then have adequate time to take advantage of my advice. If you don't get my comments until after Thanksgiving break, it will be really hard for you to do much about my suggestions.

The paper is worth 150 points. The other written work will be:
    --Two newspaper research exercises, worth 40 points each.
    --One essay quiz (20 points).
    --The midterm test (70 points) and the final exam (120 points), which will be mostly essay questions.
This adds up to 440 points for the course. The basic grade scale is that 90% (396 points) is the bottom of the A's, 80% (352 points) is the bottom of the B's, and so on. Sometimes I alter the scale in the students' favor, never against them. Thus 396 points is a guaranteed A; 392 or even 388 points might be an A, if the average for the class is low.

Academic Integrity Policy

Academic integrity requires that we not try to pass off other people's work as our own. The ways students have gotten into problems of academic dishonesty in this course, in past years, have been:

    Large portions of a term paper copied from a book or web site, without any indication that the material was copied. Typically this involves both large amounts of material quoted word-for-word, without quotation marks, and also a serious shortage of source notes pointing to the book from which the material came. Often there are misleading source notes claiming the material came from some source other than the one from which it was actually copied word-for-word. These false source notes are especially strong evidence that the copying was dishonesty and not just carelessness.

    Whole term paper obtained from some source (a commercial term paper service, or the Internet, or the collection of term papers that one of the fraternities used to have, and may still have).

    One student copies another student's 40-point newspaper research exercise, maybe changing a few words and substituting synonyms, but leaving the two papers still so similar that it is obvious the resemblance could not be coincidence. I would be likely to bring charges both against the student who copied and the student who allowed his or her paper to be copied.

There are some ways in which it is perfectly all right for student to help each other. If two students want to study together getting ready for a test, great. Only after I have handed out the questions does help on a test become improper. But if two people work together on a newspaper research exercise, and turn in papers that are very similar because each has been getting a lot of help from the other in writing it, both will be in deep trouble. If one of your fellow students asks to look at your paper, to get a better idea of how the assignment was to be done, please say no. They should come to me to ask for further explanations of the assignment, rather than looking at a completed paper to give them their clues. If two papers are so similar it is obvious the author of one must have seen the other, I will file charges.

In furtherance of its Academic Integrity policy, Clemson University has a license agreement with, a service that helps prevent plagiarism in student assignments. I will request that you submit your research papers, at the end of the semester, to Turnitin through Blackboard. You will have the right to refuse to do this, if you wish. Turnitin will provide me with an originality rating and notation of possible text or contextual matches with other source documents. Turnitin does not make any determination of plagiarism. Rather, it identifies parts of an assignment that may have significant matches with other source documents found on the Internet, in the Turnitin database, or from other sources. If matches are identified and indicate the possibility of inclusion of material that is not properly cited, I will discuss this information with you before reaching any judgment or decision.

Policy on late work

Under normal circumstances, my policy is: If you do not do written work on time, then with any reasonable excuse you will be able to make it up. However, you will be marked off for lateness. You will be marked off even if your excuse is very, very good. You can avoid a penalty only if I have told you before the work was due that you would be able to do it late without penalty. 40-point short papers will not usually be accepted at all (you just get an F) if they are more than seven days late.

Attendance policy

You are allowed up to six cuts INCLUDING EXCUSED ABSENCES. You lose two points for every unexcused absense after that. I would advise you not to take even five. I am going to be saying quite a few things in lectures that are not in the reading. Even if you are very careful about doing all the assigned reading, you will have trouble answering the questions on my tests if you have not been at the lectures.

If I am Late

If I have not gotten to class by five minutes after it was supposed to begin, I would be grateful if a student would go bang on my office door and see whether I am there. If I still have not arrived by ten minutes after the time the class was supposed to begin, you can give up on me and leave.

Assigned reading

I will try to hold the assigned reading in this course down to a fairly low level, since you are supposed to be putting a lot of work into your course papers. There are three books you should buy:
    The Face of Battle, by John Keegan
    Warfare in the Western World, volume II, by Doughty, Gruber, et al.
    It Doesn't Take a Hero, by H. Norman Schwarzkopf

There will also be reading assignments that I will make available online.

Course Outline

In the schedule that follows, items marked >>> are required reading; items marked --- are optional reading. Most optional items are simply books that you can look for in the library.

January 12: Introduction to the course.

January 14: >>> Read the chapter on Agincourt in Keegan, The Face of Battle


January 19: Gunpowder weapons change the nature of battle.
    --- War in European History, by Howard, pp. 54-74
    --- From Crossbow to H-Bomb, by Brodie, chapters 3 and 4

January 21, 24: The American Revolution, the French Revolution, and Napoleon
    >>> Keegan, The Face of Battle, pp. 117-203
    --- On War, by Clausewitz

January 26: The War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the runup to the Civil War.
    >>> Matloff, American Military History, pp. 178-189 on the Mexican War, and pp. 197-207 on the runup to the Civil War.

January 28: The Civil War Begins;       QUIZ
    >>> Matloff, American Military History, pp. 207-213, on the Battle of Bull Run and its aftermath.

January 31: The serious fighting begins
    >>> Attack and Die, by Grady McWhiney and Perry D. Jamieson (University of Alabama Press, 1982), Chapter One. I have placed this in the content pages for this class on Blackboard, as

February 2: The battles of 1863.
    >>>Matloff, American Military History, pp. 249-263, on the Battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, in the Eastern Theater, in 1863.

February 4: The Civil War, 1864-65; the Franco-Prussian War
    >>>Matloff, American Military History, pp. 279-300

February 7: Making War More Lethal, 1871-1914
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 16

February 9: The Beginning of World War I
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 17

The Western Front: The Plans
Allied Retreat, August 26-30
Allied Retreat, August 30-September 5
The Battle of the Marne
The Front Extends to the North, and Stabilizes

February 11: World War I, 1914-1916
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 18

February 14: The Battle of the Somme, 1916
    >>> Keegan, the chapter on the Battle of the Somme

February 16: World War I: Air and Naval

February 18: 1917
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 19

February 21: The End of World War I
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 20

February 23: The Interwar Period and the Beginning of World war II
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 21

February 25: TEST

February 28: Germany's War Spreads more Widely
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 22
Map: North Africa
Map: The Eastern Front, June-August 1941

March 2: Air and Naval War; The Pacific Theater
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 23
Map: The Pacific Theater

March 4, 7: The Eastern Front; the Mediterranean Theater
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 24

March 9: The Defeat of Germany
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 25
Map: The Plan for Overlord (the Normandy Invasion)
Map: The Normandy Invasion, June 6-12, 1944
Map: Expansion of the Normandy Beachhead up to July 24
Map: After the Breakout: August 1-13
Map: The Drive across France, August 26 to September 14

March 11: The Defeat of Japan
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 26

March 14: The Nuclear Era
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 27

Due date for term paper topic sheets: March 14

March 16: The Korean War
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 28
Map: The Korean War

March 18: The Vietnam War: Background and Early Stages
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, pp. 901-912
    >>> Schwarzkopf, chapter 8 (pp. 120-152): Schwarzkopf's 1965-66 tour in Vietnam

Map of Indochina

Photos of Vietnam


March 28: The Vietnam War: Middle period
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, pp. 912-928

March 30: The Vietnam War: Later Stages
    >>> Schwarzkopf, chapter 10 (pp. 169-200): Schwarzkopf's 1969-70 tour in Vietnam

April 1: The Vietnam War: Final Stage
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, pp. 929-933
    --- Schwarzkopf, chapter 11 (pp. 201-227)

April 4: Small Wars
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, pp. 965-979, 994-1003.
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 282-299 (Grenada)
    Map of South America
    Map of Central America and the Caribbean

April 6: Wars in the Middle East
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, chapter 30
    >>> Moise, "Limited War"
    Map of Israel
    Map: The Eastern Mediterranean Area
    Map: The Iran-Iraq War
    Map: Asia

April 8: Background to the First US-Iraq War
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, pp. 980-985
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 309-364.

April 11: Desert Shield
    >>> Schwarzkopf, chapters pp. 364-413.

April 13: Desert Shield, continued
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 413-472.

April 15: Beginning Desert Storm
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, pp. 985-988
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 473-521.

April 18: The End of the First US-Iraq War, and its Aftermath
    >>> Doughty, Warfare in the Western World, pp. 988-994
    >>> Schwarzkopf, pp. 523-577.

April 20: Terrorism and the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
    >>> James Dao and Thom Shanker, "Special Forces, On the Ground, Aid the Rebels", in The New York Times, October 31, 2001. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Clemson Library's Databases Page.
    >>> Jon Lee Anderson, "The Surrender: Double agents, defectors, disaffected Taliban, and a motley army battle for Kunduz.", in The New Yorker, December 10, 2001. You can find this on LexisNexis. Choose "Power Search" and then choose "Magazine Stories, Combined" from the "Select Sources" menu. Magazines and Journals.
    >>> Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, "Afghans' Retreat Forced Americans to Lead a Battle", in The New York Times, March 10, 2002. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Clemson Library's Databases Page.

April 22: The United States invaded Iraq in 2003, and seemed at first to have won a quick, easy victory.
    >>> John F. Burns, "U.S. Tanks Make Quick Strike Into Baghdad: Defiant Iraqis Say U.S. Push was Thwarted," The New York Times, April 6, 2003, pp. A1, B6. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Clemson Library's Databases Page.
    >>> John Lee Anderson, "The Collapse: A Regime Disappears and Chaos Ensues." The New Yorker, April 21, 2003. You can find this on LexisNexis. Choose "Power Search" and then choose "Magazine Stories, Combined" from the "Select Sources" menu.
    >>> Amy Waldman, "Guilty or Not, U.S. Is Blamed in Mosque Blast," The New York Times, July 2, 2003, pp. A1, A16. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Clemson Library's Databases Page.

April 25: The aftermath of the U.S. conquest of Iraq was much messier than had been expected.
    >>> Alex Berenson and John F. Burns, "8-Day Battle for Najaf: From Attack to Stalemate," The New York Times, August 18, 2004, pp. A1, A14. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Clemson Library's Databases Page.
    >>> John F. Burns and Erik Eckholm, "In Western Iraq, Fundamentalists Hold U.S. at Bay," The New York Times, August 29, 2004. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Clemson Library's Databases Page.
    >>> Robert F. Worth, "Blast at Shiite Shrine Sets Off Sectarian Fury in Iraq." The New York Times, February 23, 2006, pp. A1, A8. I suggest you go to ProQuest through the Clemson Library's Databases Page or through LexisNexis.


April 27: Progress in Iraq; Problems in Afghanistan
    >>> Dexter Filkins, “Back in Iraq, Jarred by the Calm.” The New York Times, September 21, 2008, on LexisNexis.
Additional items to be added later.

April 29: The U.S. war in Afghanistan, continued
    >>> Lt. Col. Thomas Brouns, "Exploiting Insurgent Violence in Afghanistan" Military Review, LXXXIX:4 (July-August 2009), pp. 10-20.
    >>> Alissa J. Rubin, "U.S. Forces Close Post in Afghan ‘Valley of Death’" New York Times, April 15, 2010.
    >>> Perhaps one additional article to be chosen later.
Additional items to be added later.

Final exam: Friday, May 6, 3:00 p.m.


Other Links

Web site of the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas

Military History Atlases (U.S. Military Academy, West Point)

Clemson University Academic Support Center, which provides help and tutoring for students encountering academic problems. It does not, however, have tutors specifically for History courses.

Selected Statistics on the Vietnam War, With a Few from Iraq

Edwin Moïse's homepage

Revised March 27, 2011.