The Value of Military Innocence


By Joe Campbell
January 13th, 2010

Reviewing the new history of the Civil War by John Keegan, the eminent military historian of World War II, for Slate, Daniel W. Blight observes that some of Keegan’s key insights come from parallels he finds with World War II:

He invokes World War II as well, noting that Antietam was bloodier than D-Day or Iwo Jima, and reflects that Winston Churchill, an experienced soldier, declined in effectiveness as his war ensued, while Lincoln, a “military innocent,” learned and grew in ability as commander in chief as his war enveloped him.

That’s a fascinating historical judgment by Keegan – and one that my lesser knowledge of history also supports.

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