War, Ethics, and the Vernichtungskrieg

October has just begun, but it’s already proving to be an interesting month for military history!

First, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) is having their annual meeting from today through October 5th.  This is the place to be if you’re wanting to learn more about both personal experience in the armed forces and topics on national security.

Second, four of our military history authors will be at the AUSA meeting!  Here is a list of their most recent published work:

James Dubik, Just War Reconsidered


Just War Reconsidered examines the ethics of a nation’s choices, decisions, and consequences over time.  While this is not a book about personalities, it is a book about principles.  Dubik does a fantastic job at surprising, discomforting, and enlightening those interested in how the nation wields the military instrument of power.  By the end of his novel, Dubik will challenge us to understand and confront our responsibility not only to fight wars ethically but also to wage war ethically.


Gerhard P. Gross, The Myth and Reality of German Warfare

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The Myth and Reality of German Warfare is a work that covers a broad spectrum covering the German military from the essence of the “strategic dilemma” to the German requirement of performing any level of aggression necessary on the battlefield.  Gross analyzes the German operational tradition-German battlefield behavior- and how it arose over time out of a well-defined historical and geographical matrix.  Along with the military aspect of the German military tradition, Gross also includes actual campaigns and battles as a way of immersing the reader into the German culture.

William T. Johnsen, The Origins of the Grand Alliance

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The Origins of the Grand Alliance analyzes the early informal military collaboration between the United States and Great Britain during World War II.  With a focus on the military aspects of coalitions, Johnsen fills in the missing pieces of the Anglo-American relationship. In an effort to discredit the use of 21st century reflection, Johnsen helps readers understand the cause and effects of the United States’ decision to enter into World War II.


Rolf-Dieter Müller, Hitler’s Wehrmact, 1935-1945

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Hitler’s Wehrmact, 1935-1945 discusses the role of the Wehrmacht in the German society.  Not long after its creation, the Wehrmacht embodied the continuity of the German national state and had become ensnared in National Socialism.  In a description of the Wehrmacht’s actions in the Second World War, the term “Vernichtungskrieg” (war of annihilation) is still used today.  Müller’s work manages to gain an insight into the perspectives and standards, particularly through comparative methods, such as by drawing on the experiences of the First World War and of other armies.

If you have the opportunity to attend the AUSA meeting, I strongly recommend you to do so as it is your chance to learn more about the different military strategies, perspectives on war, and impacts war has on a society.  Also, our authors have done an amazing job at analyzing specific key moments in war history from war ethics to the Great Alliance to Adolf Hitler.  If you would like to learn more, please visit our website (www.kentuckypress.com)  for more information.


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About University Press of Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky's two major historical societies.

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