Keith Mallory The Architecture of War

ISBN 13: 9780394709970

The Architecture of War

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During the first half of the twentieth century astronomical sums of money were spent on war and the preparation for war, including military construction. Yet the architecture of war has been largely ignored by historians even though it easily matches in importance the resources dedicated to it. As this deeply researched and marvelously entertaining book shows, military architecture in its various manifestations both reflected and influenced the course of warfare to a surprising degree. Thus, in World War I fixed fortifications were first discredited and then, with growing sophistication in weaponry and military theory, rehabilitated to the extent that they dominated defense budgeting between the wars. The notion of the impregnable fortress, a twentieth-century myth which has its origins in the Battle of Verdun, found its ultimate expression in the Maginot Line -- a masterpiece of misapplied ingenuity. Nor did it lose its appeal for the Germans, who proceeded, with their own Atlantic Wall, to fall into the illusion that they themselves had dispelled in 1940. Apart from orthodox fortifications, World War II gave rise to a host of novel and experimental structures, which are described -- concrete bunkers for civilians, underground arms factories, temporary harbors, flak towers, and deep pens for submarines. All of them demonstrate the essential quality that differentiates military from civilian architecture: adaptability to rapidly changing events and new technologies. Keith Mallory and Arvid Attar, in this original work, afford wonderful insight into the startling and amusing contradiction between the applications of sophisticated technology and weaponry and the misapplications of discredited military strategies, the consequences of Hitler's failed architectural ambitions, the politics of defense budgeting, and the overall impact of military architecture helping to shape civil architecture itself.

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ISBN 10:  0394488253 ISBN 13:  9780394488257
Publisher: Pantheon Books, 1973
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