(1836-1902), Jewish-Polish born industrialist, banker, railroad magnate, and adviser to the Russian Ministry of Finance; author of Future War in Its Technical, Economic, and Political Relations (1898).
Jan Bloch, also known as Jean de Bloch and Ivan Stanislavovich Bliokh, was born in Radom, in the kingdom of Poland, to Jewish parents. He converted to Calvinism in the 1850s and to Catholicism upon his marriage into a prominent banking family of Warsaw. Bloch made his fortune in the railway boom of the 1860s, when he funded the construction of rail lines in southwest Russia. He was a strong advocate of liberal reform.
Bloch addressed the technical, economic, and political aspects of modern, industrial war. He combined a detailed analysis of military technology and the changes it was bringing to the battlefield with a strategic-operational assessment of the role of railroads, and concluded that defense would dominate the offense, making impossible a single, decisive battle. Maneuver would give way to firepower and positional warfare. Indecision, when coupled with the capacity of modern economies to generate war materials for the front, would turn a general European war into a protracted and bloody conflict. Modern war in this form would lead to social crisis and revolution. Bloch concluded that a general European war would be so destructive that statesmen would be prudent enough to avoid unleashing one.
Bloch's pacifism was not utopian, but rather was founded upon pragmatism and pessimism. Behind Bloch's analysis of future war stood several decades of sustained study of railroads and their impact on the national economy, national finances, and the study of the so-called Jewish question and modern anti-Semitism. Moreover, his research work rested upon a methodology that was distinctly modern and interdisciplinary, involving the collective research of specialists in a research institute. Bloch's practical influence on the government of Nicholas II was limited and short-lived, culminating in a call for a European disarmament conference. Bloch opposed any military adventure in the Far East. He died in 1902, before the Russo-Japanese War provided a warning of political and military things to come.
See also: military, imperial era; railways
Bloch, Jan. (1991). Is War Now Impossible? Being an Abridgement of the War of the Future in Its Technical, Economic, and Political Relations. London: Gregg Revivals.
Kipp, Jacob W. (1996). "Soldiers and Civilians Confronting Future War: Lev Tolstoy, Jan Bloch, and Their Russian Military Critics." In Tooling for War: Military Transformation in the Industrial Age, ed. Stephen D. Chiabotti. Chicago: Imprint Publications.
Jacob W. Kipp
"Bloch, Jan." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 17, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bloch-jan
"Bloch, Jan." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved December 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/bloch-jan
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.