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 A&H 279 - Western Way of War


This course gives a chronological overview of the history of Warfare in the Western World from antiquity to the present day. All aspects of war on land, sea, and in the air are covered: weapons and technology; strategy and defence; discipline and intelligence; mercenaries and standing armies; cavalry and infantry; chivalry and Blitzkrieg; guerrilla assault and nuclear arsenals.

​The central controversial thesis of this course is that war in western societies has followed a unique path leading to western hegemony of the world. From Greek hoplites, Roman legionnaires to the jet plane and cruise missile, war has served as the driving force behind the West’s rise to global domination. The history of the West, both at home and overseas, has centered around ferocious competition for mastery among uncompromisingly ambitious powers, in which ruthless, the innovative, and the decisive displaced the complacent, the imitative, and the irresolute.



Dr. Tobias Van Gent




One of the following courses is required in order to take this course:

  • A&H 171 Early Modern History​
  • A&H 172 Modern History
  • A&H 175 World History
  • A&H 185 Introduction to Social History and American Studies
  • SSC 151 Introduction to Political Theory

Required for

This course is an alternative requirement for the following courses:

  • A&H 376 Topics in History (Research seminar: History and Theory)

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