Blueprints for Battle: Planning for War in Central Europe, 1948-1968 Due October 5
Despite its name, the Cold War was never completely cold. Peripheral conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, as well as other proxy wars, kept the conflict hot through the second half of the twentieth century. Though the Cold War originated in Central Europe, and a divided Germany was its focal point, it never exploded on European soil. With the opposing alliances of NATO and the Warsaw Pact rooted in Europe, it seemed inevitable that the region would become a warzone. Why, then, did a direct clash never happen? Was it pure luck? Or did mutual deterrence actually work?
In Blueprints for Battle: Planning for War in Central Europe, 1948-1968, released on October 5, 2012, editors Jan Hoffennar and Dieter Krüger assemble experts from Russia, the United States, and Europe to answer these and other intriguing questions about the Cold War relationship between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The contributors examine Central Europe from the end of WWII to the beginning of détente, closely studying the military planning of NATO and Warsaw Pact nations in the era of nuclear technology.Translated into English for the first time, the book imagines what the world would have looked like if NATO and the Warsaw Pact had clashed directly on the battleground of Central Europe.
While there is much scholarship on the diplomatic and security aspects of the Cold War, Blueprints for Battle provides essential new perspectives on military planning on the brink of war. Informed by material from recently opened archives, this collection investigates the perceptions and actions of the rival coalitions. Hoffenaar and Krüger explore the challenges presented by nuclear technology, discuss propaganda tactics used by both NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations, and reveal logistical coordination among allied states. Additionally, the contributors provide clear overviews of the development of NATO’s strategic and operational preparations for a potential military confrontation.
With analyses of planning operations in Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, Blueprints for Battle offers a broader scope than just an examination of the superpowers.British intelligence specialist Richard J. Aldrich offers important insights into NATO’s operational intelligence work. Herman Roozenbeek examines NATO logistics from the perspective of the Dutch. Donald A. Carterexplains the how the military commanders of the 1950s and those of the 1960s differed in their views of nuclear weapons—veterans of World War II saw nuclear weaponry for its killing power, while the younger generation relied more on its intimidation factor. These contributions significantly enhance knowledge of the military aspects of the Cold War and will benefit a wide audience of historians, soliders, military enthusiasts, and general readers.
Blueprints for Battle was originally published in German by Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt (Military History Research Institute, MGFA), in Potsdam, Germany. This translation launches a new series, Foreign Military Studies, which will feature original works, translations, and reprints of military classics outside the American canon. Although many have analyzed the diplomatic and national security aspects of the early Cold War, few have delved into specific military plans and actions. Hoffennar and Krüger go beyond a traditional Cold War analysis, offering rich details and fresh, international perspectives to flesh out the reality of Cold War tensions in Europe.
Jan Hoffenaar is head of the research division at the Netherlands Institute of Military History, The Hague, and professor of military history at Utrecht University. He is coeditor of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: Irregular Warfare from 1800 to the Present. Dieter Krüger is associate professor of contemporary history at the Martin Luther University of Halle–Wittenberg and historian at the Military History Research Institute (MGFA), Potsdam. Major General David T. Zabecki, AUS (Ret.), is the author of The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in the Operational Level of War and editor emeritus of Vietnam magazine. He holds the Shifrin Distinguished Chair in Military and Naval History at the United States Naval Academy.