Sample Essay on:
The Importance of History to Professional Military Personnel

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Essay / Research Paper Abstract

This 3 page paper discusses why it’s important for military personnel to understand the history of military strategy and tactics. Bibliography lists 4 sources.

Page Count:

3 pages (~225 words per page)

File: D0_HVmilhst.rtf

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Unformatted sample text from the term paper:

before. This is true in any field of endeavor, but can be argued to be most important in the military, where failure to keep up with new tactics and developments in weapons can cost lives. This paper discusses why history is of importance to the military professional. Discussion One of the best illustrations of this thinking is the American Civil War, which many sources say is the first war in which the technology had outpaced the tactics to such a degree that battlefields became true killing grounds. This may be an exaggeration, but it is true that developments in weapons necessitated changes in tactics, which were long in coming. When the Civil War began, most troops were equipped with a smoothbore musket, "a weapon of limited range and accuracy."1 These weapons, which were carried by both sides at the beginning of the war, had a limited range and were not particularly accurate.2 Therefore, in order to successfully engage the enemy, soldiers would mass together, shoulder to shoulder, and charge the enemy position.3 Because the guns were muzzle-loaders the attackers, if there were enough troops and if they moved quickly enough, could get to the opposing side before they could reload and fire again.4 Once they had gotten to the enemy lines they would use their bayonets and that, plus their superior numbers, would often turn the tide.5 That changed when soldiers began to use rifled muskets (rifling refers to the spiral grooves on the inside of a gun barrel).6 Rifled muskets were much more accurate and they were effective over a much longer distance, up to a half-mile.7 This meant that the massed formations in common use at the time was "miserably out of date."8 Commanders who sent their troops up against rifled muskets in a tightly-packed formation were asking ...

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