Liddell Hart, Basil H.
Liddell Hart opposed sending the British army to Europe in 1939, and then argued against Winston S. Churchill's policy of Total War, including conscription, strategic bombing, and a goal of “Unconditional Sur render.” After the war, his reputation as a military the ‐orist revived, Liddell Hart published his interviews with German generals and edited Erwin Rommel's papers. Among the first to argue that nuclear weapons could deter all‐out conflict between nations but not prevent conventional warfare, his advocacy of restraint and avoidance of showdowns seemed more accept‐able by the nuclear age than in the dark days of Nazi ascendancy. His final book about contemporary strategic issues, Deterrent or Defence (1961), was well received; he was knighted in 1966. His reputation is now being reassessed, but Liddell Hart will figure prominently in any account of twentieth‐century military history and strategic thought.
[See also Deterrence; Strategy; Tactics.]
Basil H. Liddell Hart , Memoirs, 2 vols., 1965.
John J. Mearsheimer , Liddell Hart and the Weight of History, 1988.
Brian Bond , Liddell Hart: A Study of His Military Thought, 1991.
HART, JOHN. (1714–1779). Signer. New Jersey. Born in Hopewell, New Jersey, in 1714, John Hart served several years (1761–1771) in the provincial legislature. The 1765 Stamp Act aroused his indignation at British oppression, and he became active in the events leading to the Revolution. He was a judge of the court of common pleas when, on 8 July 1774, he was sent to the first provincial congress. He served in that body until June 1776, when he was sent to the Continental Congress, where he signed the Declaration of Independence and served on the Committee of Correspondence. In August 1776 he was elected to the first state assembly and was unanimously chosen speaker. When the British invaded the state of New Jersey, they destroyed Hart's farm and livestock. His family fled, and he and his wife hid in the woods for several days to avoid capture. After the battles of Trenton and Princeton he was able to return to his farm. In March 1777 he became treasurer of the New Jersey Council of Safety, the governing body of the state, as well as returning to the State Assembly as speaker. He held both positions until November 1778, when he became seriously ill. He died in Hopewell, New Jersey, on 11 May 1779.
revised by Michael Bellesiles