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Chris Pearson

Vietnam War.8 It was certainly the most intensive and destructive instance of environmental militarization in French history. For although the battles of the Franco-Prussian War had transformed the countryside in which they were fought (see chapter 2), these changes were minor in comparison with the environmental repercussions of the First World War. The technological might of the ‘war machine’ seemed poised to completely obliterate human and nonhuman life along the Western Front and observers were shocked and dismayed by the war’s sterilization of the countryside.9

in Mobilizing nature
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Provenance, characteristics and issues
James McDermott

French’s claim that munitions shortages had doomed the offensive at Neuve-Chapelle during May 1915 (resulting in the so-called ‘shells-scandal’), encouraged efforts to impose greater control over, and direction of, the production of war materials. In the following month, Lloyd George’s Munitions of War Act established a super-ministry with powers to assess, allocate and direct the resources necessary to arm Britain’s war machine. Ostensibly, these measures provided protection against further dilution of the munitions workforce. In a broader sense, however, they

in British Military Service Tribunals, 1916–1918
Representations of anxiousness in personal and filmic accounts
Juliette Pattinson

Films such as Odette (1950) and Carve Her Name with Pride (1958) portray agents who engaged in clandestine war against the Nazi war machine as unflappable and psychologically strong. And yet both written and oral testimonies of SOE agents suggest that these are inaccurate depictions and that most agents were constantly plagued by self-doubt. The pressures of passing provoked a great deal of worry, generated by the threat of slippage and disclosure, as individuals were conscious of the penalties of failing to pass. This chapter explores these different types

in Behind Enemy Lines
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Katia Pizzi

motorcar will paradoxically double up as a womb and a phallic power symbol.34 2.3  The First World War and technology The body of war is both the product and commodity of serial industrial production. The war environment is saturated with technology and mechanical prostheses, automatic and destructive, reconfiguring the human sensorium mechanically. Marinetti regarded the war as an energised arena where human soldiers and war machines become conflated, including erotically, a platform of fraught sexual politics. The technologised battlefields of the First World War

in Italian futurism and the machine
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Michael Brown
Joanne Begiato

However, it was really in the late 1980s and 1990s, with the advent of the ‘cultural turn’, that the history of war was brought increasingly into line with the concerns of mainstream academic history. Works such as Daniel Pick’s War Machine (1993) sought to understand war not as a universal phenomenon with its own higher logic, but rather as a cultural product, shaped, in the case of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, by medical, scientific and philosophical currents. Likewise, in his British Military Spectacle (1996), Scott Hughes Myerly opened up the study

in Martial masculinities
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Amy Milne-Smith

helpless pose, passive, almost in prayer, places him as a quiet victim – a sacrifice to the war machine. His vulnerability makes him sympathetic, but it also renders him childlike, if not effeminate. 3 Pity was an emasculating emotion, and injured and disabled men were well aware of that. 4 The doctor leads Anderson through the train looking at his patients, telling stories of heroic surgeries and narrow escapes from Zeppelin attacks. She wonders at how the patients were ‘so pitiful

in Out of his mind

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.


Anglophobia in Fascist Italy traces the roots of Fascist Anglophobia from the Great War and through the subsequent peace treaties and its development during the twenty years of Mussolini’s regime. Initially, Britain was seen by many Italians as a ‘false friend’ who was also the main obstacle to Italy’s foreign policy aspirations, a view embraced by Mussolini and his movement. While at times dormant, this Anglophobic sentiment did not disappear in the years that followed, and was later rekindled during the Ethiopian War. The peculiarly Fascist contribution to the assessment of Britain was ideological. From the mid-1920s, the regime’s intellectuals saw Fascism as the answer to a crisis in the Western world and as irredeemably opposed to Western civilisation of the sort exemplified by Britain. Britain was described as having failed the ‘problem of labour’, and Fascism framed as a salvation ideology, which nations would either embrace or face decay. The perception of Britain as a decaying and feeble nation increased after the Great Depression. The consequence of this was a consistent underrating of British power and resolve to resist Italian ambitions. An analysis of popular reception of the Fascist discourse shows that the tendency to underrate Britain had permeated large sectors of the Italian people, and that public opinion was more hostile to Britain than previously thought. Indeed, in some quarters hatred towards the British lasted until the end of the Second World War, in both occupied and liberated Italy.

The changing scale of warfare and the making of early colonial South Asia
Manu Sehgal

extracted from the agrarian produce of eastern India and the Company’s desperate search for a stable, predictable source 74 Part I: Coherence and fragmentation to fund its increasingly expensive military campaigns, has not been studied.12 In short, the colonial regime by the 1790s had become an expensive, expanding, and ­insatiable war machine, and the primary concern of both the Company and its ­critics was how to sustain it. It will be argued here that earlier attempts to explain and sustain colonial warfare were replaced by new arguments prioritizing resources for

in A global history of early modern violence
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Ex machina
Katia Pizzi

machine’s companionship with us humans.20 Machines in socio-cybernetics (Wiener), philosophy of science (Canguilhem and Simondon) and cyber-feminism (Haraway) were influential at the turn between the twentieth and the twenty-first century. In the Noughties the machine is being revived in the light of emerging paradigms. Raunig’s ‘abstract machine’ is a formless entity emanating from Deleuze and Guattari’s war machine. Typified by diffusity, virtuosity and monstrosity, the abstract machine is built on dissonant power and ‘concatenations of singularities’. It inhabits

in Italian futurism and the machine