Van Creveld, Martin L. 1946-
VAN CREVELD, Martin L. 1946-
PERSONAL: Born March 5, 1946, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands; immigrated to Israel, 1950; son of L. and M. (Wyler) van Creveld; married; children: two stepchildren. Education: Attended London School of Economics; Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, L.S.E. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, walking.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, 91 905 Jerusalem, Israel.
CAREER: Military historian. Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, faculty member in history, 1971—. War Studies Department, King's College, University of London, fellow, 1975-76; von Humboldt Institute, Freiburg, fellow, 1980-81; National Defense University, Washington, DC, faculty member, 1986-87; Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA, professor, 1991-92.
Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1982.
Command in War, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1985.
Technology and War: From 2000 B.C. to the Present, Free Press (New York, NY), 1989.
The Training of Offıcers: From Military Professionalism to Irrelevance, Free Press (New York, NY), 1990.
The Transformation of War, Free Press (New York, NY), 1991.
On Future War, Brasseys (London, England), 1992.
Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict, Free Press (New York, NY), 1993.
(With Steven L. Canby and Kenneth S. Brower) Air Power and Maneuver Warfare, Air University Press (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL), 1994.
(Editor) The Encyclopedia of Revolutions and Revolutionaries from Anarchism to Zion Enlai, Facts on File (New York, NY), 1996.
The Sword and the Olive: A Critical History of the Israeli Defense Force, Public Affairs (New York, NY), 1998.
The Rise and Decline of the State, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1999.
The Art of War: War and Military Thought, Cassell (London, England), 2000.
Men, Women, and War, Cassell (London, England), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: Martin L. van Creveld is an Israeli military historian who has taught at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem since 1971. He has also taught at many other institutions, including the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia, and has worked as a consultant to the armed forces of the United States, Canada, and Sweden. He is the author of numerous books on military strategy and history.
In Hitler's Strategy 1940-1941: The Balkan Clue, Van Creveld presents an analysis of Hitler's policy toward Yugoslavia and Greece. Based on German and Italian wartime records, and later memoirs, the volume describes the complex political relations in the Balkans during World War II.
Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton notes that nine-tenths of the business of war involves logistics of supply, and that supply is an often-neglected issue on discussions of war strategy or tactics. Van Creveld presents analyses of various historical situations and the ramifications of supply on their outcomes. Stanley Sandler wrote in the American Historical Review that van Creveld "follows his selected campaigns in such detail and in so masterly a fashion that it proves difficult to argue with even his most upsetting conclusions."
Command in War, intended largely for an audience of military officers, presents case studies, seen through commanders' eyes, of various conflicts. Ranging from classical antiquity through the present, the scenarios discuss problems of command, and their solutions. In the American Historical Review, Walter Emil Kaegi, Jr. wrote that the book is "thought-provoking" and "astute" and that van Creveld's style is often "witty."
In On Future War, van Creveld discusses his theory that large-scale conventional warfare may be becoming a thing of the past, and that we are moving into a era of smaller conflicts, prosecuted by various special-interest groups: "guerrillas, terrorists, scratch militias, even bandits rather than regular armies; instead of uniting peoples, they divide ethnic and religious groups," as Stephen Howe wrote in New Statesman and Society. In the London Review of Books, Michael Howard noted that the fact that this book came out shortly before the Gulf War began. The Gulf War, which involved almost a million troops and had casualties in the tens of thousands, seemed to counter van Creveld's theory that such conflict was becoming obsolete. However, Howard also commented that van Creveld's views were based on "a profound and interesting theory": that current ideas about war are largely based on the theories of military historian von Clasewitz, who viewed war as an act perpetrated by organized and legitimate states. Van Creveld contends that von Clausewitz's theories are becoming obsolete: war can be fought in the absence of legitimate states, and for causes other than state interest. And because modern warfare is no longer a monopoly of legitimate states, its nature will change.
In Men, Women, and War: Do Women Belong in the Front Line? van Creveld considers the history of women in armed conflict, and notes that women have historically been involved in support roles, even in allout conflict. Indeed, van Creveld notes that if a nation believes that it will not have to fight a bloody conflict, it is more likely to accept more women into its armed forces; the current use of remote weapons has fostered a rise in the number of female soldiers. Van Creveld also argues that the more women are involved in the military, the less attractive military service seems to males, because many men become soldiers in order to impress women, and if women are soldiers, that dilutes the masculine allure of the job. Van Creveld also believes that conflicts will increasingly be fought by special elite forces such as the U.S. Marines, and that if a real threat of war emerges, women will not be part of the conflict that ensues. In the Times Literary Supplement, Ben Shephard commented that the book "fails to suggest any remedy for the current situation, while its insistence that serious war is a thing of the past reads oddly at a time when the Israeli Army is in daily action and sabers are being rattled against Iraq."
The Sword and the Olive is a history of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF), which van Creveld maintains has serious problems: its recruits are underpaid, it is bloated with bureaucracy, its officers are spoiled and removed from real life, and the quality and quantity of training has lessened. Van Creveld blames this decline on the increasing use of high-technology warfare, which does not necessarily demand a popular army; the prolonged Israeli conflict with the Palestinian people, which often involved shooting at children throwing stones instead of combat with an equal adversary; and the increased wealth and lack of courage of the Israeli public.
In The Rise and Decline of the State, van Creveld elaborates on his theory that conventional political states in decline, and that conventional war will soon be obsolete. Surveying history from 1300 to the present, he discusses the development of the modern democratic state, and its decline, starting about 1975. In the English Historical Review, G. E. Aylmer wrote that van Creveld's arguments are controversial, but that his "touch is surest and his argument most compelling when he deals with the role of war in the development of the state."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, April, 1975, Alexander Dallin, review of Hitler's Strategy 1940-1941, p. 432; October, 1978, Stanley Sandler, review of Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, p. 970; December, 1983, Milan Hauner, review of Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, p. 1287; February, 1986, Walter Emil Kaegi, Jr., review of Command in War, p. 85.
Armed Forces and Society, spring, 1995, David Rodman, review of Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict, p. 477; summer, 2000, William H. McNeill, review of The Rise and Decline of the State, p. 659.
Booklist, April, 1974, review of Hitler's Strategy 1940-1941; p. 316; June, 1978, review of Supplying War, p. 594; April 15, 1985, Roland Green, review of Command in War, p. 1144; May 15, 1996, review of The Encyclopedia of Revolutions and Revolutionaries, p. 1620.
Canadian Journal of History, December, 1994, Lawrence Aronsen, review of Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict, p. 619.
Choice, April, 1983, review of Fighting Power, p. 1188.
Commentary, October, 1998, Hillel Halkin, review of The Sword and the Olive, p. 58.
English Historical Review, June, 2000, G. E. Aylmer, review of The Rise and Decline of the State, p. 696.
Foreign Affairs, September-October, 1993, Eliot A. Cohen, review of Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict, p. 156; November, 1998, Eliot A. Cohen, review of The Sword and the Olive, p. 150.
Futurist, May-June, 1992, review of The Transformation of War, p. 58.
International Journal of Comparative Sociology, August-November, 2000, Marieke Riethof, review of The Rise and Decline of the State, p. 333.
Journal of Military History, April, 1997, Daniel T. Kuehl, review of Air Power and Maneuver Warfare, p. 392.
Journal of Modern History, June, 1979, Stephen S. Roberts, review of Supplying War, p. 333.
Journal of Palestine Studies, spring, 2000, Benny Morris, review of The Sword and the Olive, p. 103.
London Review of Books, December 5, 1991, Michael Howard, review of On Future War, p. 5.
Melbourne Journal of Politics, 1999, review of The Rise and Decline of the State, p. 153.
Middle East Policy, June, 2000, Joshua Sinai, review of The Sword and the Olive, p. 176.
Military Review, July, 1995, Richard D. Newton, review of Air Power and Maneuver Warfare, p. 105.
National Review, April 15, 1991, William R. Hawkins, review of The Transformation of War, p. 50.
New Statesman and Society, January 17, 1992, Stephen Howe, review of On Future War, p. 43.
New York Review of Books, August, 1989, Gordon A. Craig, review of Technology and War, p. 31.
Pacific Affairs, spring, 1996, Haider K. Nizamani, review of Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict, p. 90.
Publishers Weekly, June 28, 1993, review of Nuclear Proliferation and the Future of Conflict, p. 63; April 15, 2002, review of Men, Women, and War, p. 51.
Theoria, June, 2001, Roger Deacon, review of The Rise and Decline of the State, p. 99.
Times Educational Supplement, August 28, 1992, review of On Future War, p. 21.
Times Literary Supplement, March 1, 1974, review of Hitler's Strategy 1940-1941, p. 198; May 24, 2002, Ben Shephard, review of Men, Women, and War, p. 7.
Utopian Studies, winter, 2001, Brindusa Palade, review of The Rise and Decline of the State, p. 268.
Washington Post Book World, March 1, 1987, review of Command in War, p. 12.*