Sunday, August 11, 2019

The History of Warfare in the Perspective of John Keegan Essay

The History of Warfare in the Perspective of John Keegan - Essay Example The samurai were roughly considered as Japanese counterparts of Western European knights during their time. The Japanese were a literate a people, and the literary culture of the samurai was highly developed (Keegan 42). The samurai also developed a strong code of ethics that revolved around loyalty, self-denial, and honor to his lord and clan, and also being in constant readiness to die in the face of duty or failure. These set in mind the samurai’s striving for perfection in the art of war, especially in swordsmanship and the martial arts: It was fostered by Zen Buddhism, which stressed the ‘two supreme ideals – fidelity and an indifference to physical hardship’. It was reinforced by the culture of the warrior class, ‘a culture that paid meticulous attention to the formal, the ceremonious, and elegantly expressed in life and art’; Japanese swordplay was as much an art as a skill, governed by rules of deportment and gesture which epitomized th e Japanese concern for style in every aspect of existence (Keegan 45). The introduction of firearms in Japanese warfare during the 16th century was initially accepted at first due to practical reasons in relation to the ever-changing landscape of war during that time. ... Also, guns were unquestionably a symbol of foreign intrusion and were associated, illogically but inescapably, with the spread of Christianity (Keegan 44). It was for this reason that during the Tokugawa Shogunate period, all firearms in Japan were banned, therefore reversing the military advantage it once enjoyed for the sake of maintaining the samurai status quo. The next question to ask is when societies and organizations are most likely to originate or adapt to new military technology. The answer simply lies in necessity. The harsh realities of war and battlefield set the precedence that societies and organizations must adapt or completely change the way they wage war. During the First World War, nations developed several new military technologies to gain battlefield dominance that would ensure victory in the war. The invention of the machine gun, the breech loading shell cartridge rifles and artillery served as the initial technology for such dominance, but this led for all comb atants to take up trench warfare with much horrific loss of life for the attacking side since all combatants were equipped with such technology on the onset of hostilities. The invention of the tank was the second solution, but the machines produced were too few in number, too slow and cumbersome to impose a decisive alteration to tactical conditions (Keegan 313). The tank was developed as a defense, and because of it, there was no need to send waves of soldiers that will be cut down by deadly volleys of bullets and artillery shells. The last inquiry deals about specific characteristics of societies, technologies, and organizations in relation to their readiness to adapt to military changes. A specific characteristic is conditioned on society possibly

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