The Art of War

General Information
Number of Hours: 
Tuesday 17:30 - 19:00
Preliminary requirements: 

Due to the nature of the course there are not any specific requirements to be met before choosing the course. Students are expected to have basic knowledge of the history of international relations. The knowledge of military history, elements of the theory of warfare or the evolution of military technology may be helpful, but are not essential to join the course.

Course Description: 
  1. Introduction.  Basic categories and mechanisms.
  2. Land warfare
  3. Naval warfare
  4. Air warfare
  5. Joint warfare
  6. Special operations warfare
  7. Great commanders
  8. Psychology of war
  9. Asymmetric warfare
Aims of the course: 

The aim of the course is to analyze the war as the military phenomenon. Thus, neither the political nor economic aspects of war are the main subject of the analysis. Instead, the attention is paid mainly on the war as the organized violence – the types of warfare, its strategies, tactics and military technology . Factors that always shaped military are analyzed too: e.g. the role of commanders and the psychology of a soldier.

The deeper objective of the course is to identify what changes and what remains constant in the art of war throughout the centuries.

Teaching methods: 

Lecture and discussion. Students are encouraged to study the recommended literature and discuss and/or question the content of the lecture. Particular problems of the art of war are illustrated by case studies that vary both historically and geographically.

Evaluation & Completion: 

At the end of the semester students write a classtest. The classtest is composed of two types of questions. The first one is designed just to test the knowledge of the subject (based on the content of the lectures or the study of the literature) . The second type of questions is designed to test a student’s analytical skills and his/her ability to independently formulate observations and opinions, possibly creative ones.

Basic Literature: 

Arreguin-Toft I. (2005) How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict, Cambridge University Press

Bartov O. (1992) Hitler's Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich Oxford University Press

Bevin A. (2002) How Great Generals Win W.W. Norton & Co.

Carey B. T., Allfree J. B., Cairns J. (2006) Warfare in the Ancient World Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books Limited

Carey B. T., Allfree J. B., Cairns J. (2006) Warfare in the Medieval World Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books Limited

Douhet G. (1998) Command of the Air (USAF Warrior Studies), Office of Air Force History, United States Government Printing Office

Glantz, David M. (1991). From the Don to the Dnepr: Soviet Offensive Operations, December 1942 - August 1943. Routledge

Healy M. (1994) Midway 1942: Turning Point in the Pacific Osprey Publishing

Hough R. (2004) The Fleet That Had To Die Birlinn

Irving D. (1995) Apocalypse 1945. The Destruction of Dresden Focal Point Publications

McRaven, W. H. (1996) Spec Ops: Case Studies in Special Operations Warfare Theory and Practice Novato: Presidio Press

Sikes J. E. (1988). Kharkov and Sinai A Study in Operational Transition. School of Advanced Military Studies, US Command & General Staff College.

Sloan B. (2007) The Ultimate Battle: Okinawa 1945-The Last Epic Struggle of World War II Simon & Schuster

Solonin M. (2004) 22 июня. Анатомия катастроф, Яуза, Эксмо

Southworth S. A. (ed.) (1997) Great Raids in History: From Drake to Desert One Diane Pub Co.

Windrow M. (2005) The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam Da Capo Press

Zaloga S., Ford K., Badsey S. (2009) Overlord: The D-Day Landings, Osprey Publishing

Additional Literature: 

Clausewitz C. von  On war various editions

Sun Tzu The Art Of War various editions