Module Identifier IP36520  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Professor Colin McInnes  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   16 Hours (16 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours (8 x 1 hour)  
Assessment Essay   1 x 2,000 words   30%  
  Exam   2 Hours   70%  

Brief description

This module examines the evolution of warfare in the twentieth century. It focuses on developments in military technology and how these affected the strategy and conduct of war.


The module considers air, land and sea power in three broad historical periods: the late C19 through to the end of the First World War when strategists were forced to think about the impact of industrialisation upon the conduct of war; the inter-war years and the Second World War, when mechanisation and the increased use of air power began to affect military strategy and operations; and the post-war period when rapid technological change, and particularly the development of nuclear and precision guided weapons, affected the character of war.


The aim of the module is to discuss the evolution of modern warfare, and in particular the relationship between developments in technology and the conduct of modern war.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:

- identify and discuss the key theories of naval warfare developed in the twentieth century.

- outline the impact of changing technology upon the conduct of war at sea.

- outline the evolution of thinking about land/air warfare from the First World War on, with particular attention to theories of manoeuvre warfare and attritional warfare.

- discuss the impact of nuclear weapons and guided missile technology upon strategy and the battlefield.

- outline the development of air power and discuss the theory and practice of strategic bombing.

10 ECTS Credits

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills which will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the module, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
P Paret. Makers of Modern Strategy.
H Strachan. European Armies and the Conduct of the War.