total war

views updated May 29 2018

total war A form of warfare, characteristic of modern industrial society, involving the maximum mobilization of social and economic resources of a country for armed conflict, usually entailing the exposure of the civilian population and economy to enemy attack. Distinct therefore from regional or local war, and from nuclear as distinct from conventional conflict (see M. Shaw , Dialectics of War: An Essay in the Social Theory of Total War and Peace, 1988

total war

views updated May 23 2018

to·tal war • n. a war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, esp. one in which the laws of war are disregarded.

war, total

views updated May 21 2018

war, total See TOTAL WAR.