The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC



Just a short a note to welcome the new CGSC class, Staff Section 17, to the blog.  As I have put out in class, the purpose of this blog is to continue the discussion of the class room topics in another venue. 

I will be posting a class specific blog entry for each class .  Anyone in the class, actually anyone –other CGSC students as well anyone from the public, military or civilian,  not affiliated with CGSC –can comment on what I post. 

I do not plan to edit in any way the comments on the posts.  However, in the extremely rare case where someone might spam or flame the comments sections, or post anything I deem inappropriate,  I will edit those out.

If you have something to say relevant to the class/topic that you want to express that does not go directly to the lead in blog, feel free to add that in the comments section as well.  In other words, the topics are not limited to the subjects I suggest, but are limited only limited by what is relevant to our history class and your CGSC experience.

If you are interested in “guest blogging,”  that is begining a conversation in this space on a topic related to class that you are interested in, see me for how to do that. 

Note that occassionally there will be posts to this blog which are not directly related to the History curriculm, but do relate to either the purpose of the history instruction, to use history to promote critical thinking; or to the overall purpose of critical thinking; or promote to development of your military professionalism.  Those posts are open for comment and will be considered just as all the other posts are.

A recommendation:  be aware of your writing style and grammar in your comments.  Like any public writing, including email, people will judge you by how you write as well as what you write.  I won’t be concerned about your grammer and style –but it is just natural that others will.  Do what I do –write your blog comments in word –spell check and proof read them –and then post them.  Its not a big deal, but it is an opportunity to practice good communications habits.

That said, ignore all of my style and grammar errors and focus on my content 😉

First blog(s) for AY 14 are published below.

Again, welcome to the blog for AY 14 and have fun!


September 11, 2013 - Posted by | Admin, military history


  1. Parker’s illustration of game-changing events in the 13th through 17th centuries was informative in light of our later discussion (in C205) of Huntington’s views on the role of civil-military affairs (and Janowitz’s ideas to the contrary). Huntington’s idea of the military as a separate entity, somehow isolated from the population, would never have been possible as a theory had the rise of professional armies not occurred in the 16th-17th century.

    I also though Parker’s expansive discussion of 13th-century (and onward) trends was fascinating: crossbow and longbow led to increases in plate mail technology; cavalry therefore got heavier and more expensive to equip; armies were then drawn from the populace to save the costs associated with mercenaries. Those simple farmers-turned-soldiers then used their farmer’s ingenuity to make tools like the pike and halberd lethal against heavy mounted cavalry, and these same massed infantry began routing the heavy cavalry (with longbow support, of course), like the victory demonstrated by the English infantry and bowmen against the advancing French cavalry at Agincourt in 1415.

    Comment by Ryan M. Crosby, CPT, LG, Section 17A | August 28, 2013

  2. Show me the money!
    Without sufficient funds, the chance of winning a battle, let alone a war would be insurmountable. My colleague suggests farmers-turned-warriors could defeat armored, mounted knights because of a halberd. One-on-one or one-thousand to one-thousand, I’d go with the knight. I believe economics played the greater role. Let’s say it cost one-hundred pounds to have one knight fight. For one-hundred pounds it was probably possible to round up one-thousand peasants. This was the difference… math. One thousand peasants could make an easy task of one knight, likewise ten knights wouldn’t stand a chance against ten-thousand peasants.
    The cost of supporting an army is daunting. The money is just one aspect of it; food, water, and equipment seemed to be a significant challenge. I found the suggestion that field armies were relatively small very interesting.

    Comment by Maj Jim Smith, 17B | August 29, 2013

  3. Jim — you are on a good track. Always consider the economic point of view and follow the money.

    Comment by dimarcola | September 9, 2013

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