Hans Delbruck is one of the most insightful theorist of the 20th century – Assignment Example
Hans Delbruck Is One of the Most Insightful Theorist of the 20th Century of Establishment It is necessary to emphasize that HansDelbruck is a celebrated German historian. He is known to be one of the first theorists who studied military history. This person analyzed the evolution of various military institutions with the help of such methods as the examination of ancient sources and the use of demography and economics. Delbruck’s burning desire to learn more about war gave the world much interesting information concerning military history. That is why the German historian Hans Delbruck became the voice of professional military history. His family and educational background had a tremendous influence on his interest in war and were key factors contributing to his writings on: ancient, medieval and modern warfare. Delbruck’s great works are not only for military men, but for those who know nothing about the military.
Delbruck came from a household of educated parents and political influences. Family, political influences and education became the key factors that developed his personality. Hans was born in a bourgeois family; his parents gave him an opportunity to become an educated person. As a rule, historians apply two terms in order to characterize Delbruck’s family – “typical” and “extraordinary.” On the one hand, it was a typical bourgeois family. On the other hand, it gave the world a historian with extraordinary skills.
The would-be historian studied at two educational institutions – Bonn and Heidelberg. Here he got the basic knowledge for his future researches. Being a soldier gave Delbruck an opportunity to participate in Franco-German War. After this event young Hans became Prince Waldemar’s teacher. Getting in touch with the German imperial family, participation in war and education influenced Delbruck’s point of view upon life. War contributed to his interest in military issues. Soon Hans became a member of the German Reichstag. Before this he had been a professor of modern history and delivered lectures that were very popular among the students. Being a member of Reichstag Delbruck always opposed the policy led by the Prussian government; especially it concerned its dealing with the Poles and the Danes.
It is necessary to stress that Hans Delbruck applied the analysis of battles in order to get information he needed. Thus, The Sachkritik of battle analysis helped Delbruck take previous accounts of engagements and measure those limits of geography, and military craft. These points were discussed in Hans’s book History of the Art of War in the Framework of Political History (1900). In this work Hans Delbruck emphasized the connection between the nature of policy and armies during the battle. The basis for the book became a minute analysis of the Sachkritik.
It should be noted that Delbruck’s observation of battles made him popular, both positively and negatively. First of all, Delbruck discovered the major reason for defeats in wars. He proved that everything depends upon the number of soldiers. Hans’s analysis of the battles helped him to draw a conclusion that only the army with more soldiers has chance to win the war. Moreover, the theorist persuaded the public that the number of people in armies was always exaggerated in historical documents. These facts explained a lot of things and filled the gaps in military history of ancient times.
As for the negative impact of the theorist, he tried to persuade the public that military history is the branch of general history and it is necessary to do something in order to match them. However, this means that people studying history are expected to learn military history. In this case, students may conclude that arms, wars and battles are just common things in people’s life. This knowledge may have negative impact and give birth to wars and violence.
The scientist gave the world much information about medieval knights. However, it turned to be rather controversial. Here Hans separated a knight from cavalry. He was sure that knights could participate in battles only autonomously. From his perspective, they could not unite and this was their weak point. However, this information was contested by Delbruck’s followers. For instance, J. F. Verbruggen demonstrated another point of view upon knights and their role in medieval period.
Later, annihilations and exhaustions became two types of unique battle styles described by Delbruck. He made a distinction between these two strategies to lead war. According to Delbruck’s point of view, the choice of the strategy depends upon political and economical factors. Correlation of forces is also very important here. If the rival’s army is more numerous, it is better to use the strategy of exhaustion. The example of the wars of Frederick the Great with Prussians helped Hans to draw this conclusion.
It is necessary to stress that Han Delbruck was a great voice of professional military history. Through his experience, education and family influence he found great interest in the military warfare and its historical background. His writings described in detail battle analysis, which taught military men as well as civilians learn from the mistakes and successes of others. Delbruck’s writings made him one of the most insightful theorists of his time.
H. Delbruck. Delbruck’s Modern Military History. US: Thee University of Nebraska Press, 1997.
H. Delbruck. History of the Art of War: Warfare in Antiquity. US: Greenwood Press, 1990.
H. Delbruck. History of the Art of War: Barbarian Invasions. US: Greenwood Press, 1990.