Furthermore, as military organizations became more sophisticated and detached from society, tension between political leaders and senior commanders grew.
The Jeune Ecole : Arne Roksund :
The advent of the telegraph compounded this latter development; a prime minister or president could now communicate swiftly with his generals, and newspaper correspondents could no less quickly with their home offices. Public opinion was more directly engaged in warfare than ever before, and generals found themselves making decisions with half a mind to the press coverage that was being read by an expanding audience of literate citizens. And, of course, politicians paid no less heed to a public that was intensely engaged in political debates.
These developments portended a challenge for strategy. War had never quite been the lancet in the hands of a diplomatic surgeon; it was now, however, more like a great bludgeon, wielded with the greatest difficulty by statesmen who found others plucking at their grip.
Compounding these challenges was the advent of technology as an important and distinct element in war. The 18th century had experienced great stability in the tools of war, on both land and sea.
But by the midth century this had changed. On land the advent of the rifle —modified and improved by the development of breech loading, metal cartridges, and later smokeless gunpowder —was accompanied as well by advances in artillery and even early types of machine guns. At sea changes were even more dramatic: steam replaced sail, and iron and steel replaced wood and canvas.
Obsolescence now occurred within years, not decades, and technological experts assumed new prominence. Military organizations did not shun new technologies; they embraced them.
The Jeune Ecole: The Strategy of the Weak
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