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Theorist of Maritime Strategy


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Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Geoffrey Till; Introduction; Part I The Man, His Times and Scholarly Achievements: Life and historical works; Theoretical works and influences. Part II Military Theory in a Maritime Context: The epistemology of war; General theory of war. Part III Naval Theory as the Ends and Means in Naval Warfare: Theory of naval war; Theory of naval operations; General conclusions; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Dr. J.J. Widen is Senior Lecturer in War Studies at the Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, Sweden.


'This monograph is methodologically creative, theoretically sophisticated in its deft analysis of Corbett's writings, and highly readable. An excellent - even elegant - piece of work.' Professor Maria Stern, University of Gothenburg 'Theorist of Maritime Strategy is a thoughtful work of considerable interest, and its author certainly succeeds in demonstrating that Corbett is a figure worthy of attention even today.' Comparative Strategy '... Widen reminds the reader that the study of military and naval theory is far too important to be left to academics. His book deserves to be on the reading list for all naval officers, and any politicians or member of the public who desires to know what navies are for.' Warships - International Fleet Review 'Widen's work is an interesting monograph on Corbett, who in addition to the American Alfred T. Mahan and the Frenchman Raoul Castex is considered to be the greatest naval thinker of his time. However, it is not the person Corbett who is in Widen's spotlight, but the Englishman's thoughts on warfare... Corbett's evolution from lawyer to historian and finally to naval strategic thinker is clearly described by Widen. Sometimes his story is really very amusing.' Mariner's Mirror 'Dr J.J. Widen [...] has produced a most interesting new study of the works of Sir Julian Corbett, a doyen of Britsh maritime strategists... the analysis is engaging and important... Dr Widen must be congratulated for a new and most thoughtful analysis of a key strategic thinker.' Defense & Security Analysis '... this is a very sophisticated and illuminating exposition on Corbett's theories... This is a monograph that assumes both a high degree of familiarity with Corbett's work and a good knowledge of most other naval and military thinkers of the period.' Diplomacy & Statecraft '... the most important analysis to date of the theoretical writing of the British naval historian Sir Julian Corbett ... Jerker Widen's great contribution in this work is to break the previous habit of historical contextualization that has previously dominated the literature and to move on to examine Corbett's work critically from a conceptual point of view, while also placing it in a wider conceptual context. ... In this work, Widen has made an extraordinary contribution to naval history and theory that will be of great benefit, not only to historians and scholars in the academic field of naval studies, but also to those who make and use naval theory and doctrine in the world's navies today.' John B. Hattendorf, Journal of Strategic Studies 'Widen presents a very thoughtful and deep analysis of probably the most important Western thinker on maritime strategy. So finding such deep consideration of complex issues dealt with in a readable and accessible style, as well as so concisely, is to be greatly applauded. If you want to understand Corbett's theories on naval and maritime war this book is essential.' Journal of Maritime Research

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