From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

http://www.ndu.edu/inss/books/Books%20-%201998/Military%20Geography%20March%2098/milgeocontents.html

This book will arguably become the most comprehensive treatment of
military geography in print. The author presents a sweeping,
sophisticated interpretation of the term “geography,” covering not just
the lay of the land, but the human beings who live on the land, change
it, and are shaped by it. He relates virtually every aspect of the
physical world we live in to every imaginable endeavor in the military
realm, from reading a tactical map to conducting a major campaign in
some far-flung corner of the Earth. He considers military operations in
every geographical environment, while taking into account ever-changing
strategies, tactics, and technologies on all levels. He enriches his
text with many practical examples that span recorded history. Finally,
he writes in plain, direct language to reach the widest possible
audience.

The dearth of consolidated studies on the discipline of military
geography came to John Collins’ attention early in his long and
distinguished career as a soldier and scholar. Thus he began and kept
up an interest in the subject for more than 40 years, amassing
voluminous files on the subject. Finally afforded the opportunity to
research and write on his avocation at the National Defense University,
he spent 2 years as a Visiting Fellow, tapping not only his own wealth
of data and experience but a wide variety of well-informed opinions on
every facet of military geography.

The resultant volume, the culmination of a life-long career, fills a
gap in the professional and technical literature. The National Defense
University is pleased to have hosted John Collins and to publish his
work. No other book, to our knowledge, marries military art with that
of the geographer so deftly and completely. The volume seems destined
to meet its stated purposes for years to come, namely, to provide a
textbook for students, a handbook for military professionals, and an
enlightening survey for any appreciative lay reader.

RICHARD A.
CHILCOAT
Lieutenant
General, U.S. Army
President,
National Defense University

The Armed Forces of the United States have been, and will continue to
be, committed to every conceivable type of military operation in every
conceivable geographic environment. Whether for war-fighting,
war-preventing, or peacekeeping operations, they must prepare to excel
wherever they are sent–all too commonly on short notice. Military
Geography for Professionals and the Public, a textbook and handbook
written in simple, straightforward terms that tie relevant factors
together in a fashion understandable to lay readers as well as the
uniformed professionals of all military services, is a rare, if not
unique, survey of relationships between geography and military affairs.
It ought to be required reading for policymakers, military planners,
commanders, and staff officers at all levels. It also will be a very
useful reference for political leaders, educators, members of the news
media, and concerned citizens in the “Information age.” I wish it had
been in my knapsack for the past 55 years.

JOHN W. VESSEY, JR.
General, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1982-1985

NO SAVANT EVER TAUGHT MILITARY GEOGRAPHY TO PERSIAN MONARCHS
CYRUS, CAMBYSES, DARIUS, AND Xerxes, who assembled the world’s first
sprawling empire that by 480 B. C. stretched from the Indus River
to the AegeanSea. Teenage Alexander learned a lot at Aristotle’s knee
before he conquered even larger territories 150 years later, but military
geography was not one of his tutor’s strong points. Ghenghis Khan, who
ran roughshod across Eurasia in the 13th century A. D., established the
record for seizing real estate by force of arms without resort to any
book about military geography in his saddlebags.

Modern warfare, however, is so complex that commanders at every level
must consistently manipulate geographic influences advantageously to
gain a decisive edge. Most soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines
unfortunately learn painful lessons mainly from the school of hard
knocks, because few schools and colleges conduct courses in military
geography, none confers a degree, instructional materials seldom
emphasize fundamentals, and most service manuals have tunnel vision.
The four-volume bibliography compiled at West Point, which is 4 inches
thick and totals several thousand citations on 1,059 pages, addresses
an admirable scope but is minimally useful to most uniformed
practitioners of military art, their civilian supervisors, concerned
citizens, and members of the news media, because many of them lack
easy access to the sources cited while others are too busy to bother.

My contacts in the Pentagon and Congress were bemused when I began
to write this book, because they had never heard of a discipline called
“military geography.” That reaction came as no surprise; after all,
members of the Association of American Geographers at their 92nd annual
meeting in April 1996 debated heatedly before they finally decided to
establish a military geography specialty group. This consolidated
guide, designed to fill undesirable gaps, has a threefold purpose:

* To provide a textbook for academic use
* To provide a handbook for use by political-military professionals
* To enhance public appreciation for the impact of geography on
military affairs.

Parts One and Two, both of which are primers, view physical and
cultural geography from military perspectives. Part Three probes the
influence of political-military geography on service roles and
missions, geographic causes of conflict, and complex factors that
affect military areas of responsibility. Part Four describes analytical
techniques that relate geography to sensible courses of military
action, then puts principles into practice with two dissimilar case
studies–one emphasizes geographic influences on combat operations,
while the other stresses logistics. Each chapter terminates with key
points, which final reflections reinforce and relate to time-tested
Principles of War.

The text at no time tells readers what to think. It simply tells them
how, in jargon-free terms that disregard technical details (neither
British Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig nor corporals who led his squads
through Flanders fields in 1917 cared a whit whether Passchendaele
Ridge was a product of tectonic upheaval or glacial depositions).
Concise historical examples and the probable influence of technological
trends help illuminate past, present, and future relationships between
geography and military affairs. Notes at the end of each chapter
encourage students of the subject to pursue topics of particular
interest in greater breadth and depth. Maps and figures are plentiful
throughout, but readers nevertheless should keep a world atlas handy.

Military Geography for Professionals and the Public, which considers
every form of warfare and every military service at strategic,
operational, and tactical levels, is intended for audiences abroad as
well as in the United States, and therefore is generally couched in
generic terms. Consequently, its contents should be almost as sound at
the end of the 21st century as at the beginning, regardless of
political, military, economic, social, scientific, technological, and
other changes in this volatile world that inevitably will occur during
the next ten decades.

MILITARY GEOGRAPHY FOR PROFESSIONALS AND THE PUBLIC

Contents

1. OVERVIEW

Military Considerations
Regional Quirks
Avoidable Abuses
Analytical Techniques

PART ONE:
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

2. SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS

Location
Size
Shape

3. LAY OF THE LAND

Land Forms
Rivers and Reservoirs
Geology and Soils
Vegetation

4. OCEANS AND SEASHORES

Sea Water Attributes
Sea Surface Behavior
Marine Topography
Representative Naval Ramifications

5. EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE

Atmospheric Phenomena
Climatology for Military Strategists
Meteorology for Military Operators

6. REGIONAL PECULIARITIES

Frigid Flatlands
Frigid Seas
Mountainous Regions
Arid Regions
Tropical Rain Forests
Wetlands
Coastlands and Small Seas

7. INNER AND OUTER SPACE

Space Compared with Land and Sea
Region I: Aerospace Interfaces
Region II: Circumterrestrial Space
Region III: Moon and Environs
Region IV: Outer Envelope
Tips for Military Space Planners

8. NATURAL RESOURCES AND RAW MATERIALS

Sources and Shortages
Compensatory Programs
Resource Deprivation

PART TWO:
CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY

9. POPULATIONS

Demography
Physical Attributes
Cultural Characteristics
Current Attitudes
National Personalities
Cross-Cultural Skills

10. URBANIZATION

Sites and Structures
Urban Sprawl
Conventional Urban Combat
Unconventional Urban Combat
Conventional Urban Bombardment
Urban Centers and Nuclear Strategy
Overall Urban Vulnerabilities

11. LINES OF COMMUNICATION

Roads
Railroads
Military Airports
Seaports and Harbors
Spaceports and Flight Paths
Inland Waterways
Pipelines

12. MILITARY BASES

U.S. Home Bases
U.S. Cold War Bases Abroad
Post-Cold War Retrenchment

13. FORTRESSES AND FIELD FORTIFICATIONS

Precedents and Prognoses
Fortified Points
Fortified Lines
Offensive Fortifications
Fortifications in the Nuclear Age
Citadels Versus CW and BW Weapons

PART THREE:
POLITICAL-MILITARY GEOGRAPHY

14. MILITARY SERVICE PREDILECTIONS

Diversified Viewpoints
Integrated and Updated Views

15. GEOPOLITICAL FRICTION

Territorial Limits
Strategic Friction
Economic Friction
Cultural Friction
Environmental Friction

16. MILITARY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY

Global Subdivisions
Regional Areas of Responsibility
Useful Insights
Theater and Tactical AORs

PART FOUR:
AREA ANALYSES

17. FORMAT FOR AREA ANALYSIS

Geographical Data Bases
Military Missions
Military Implications
Effects on Courses of Action

18. OPERATION NEPTUNE

Selection of the Lodgment Area
Description of the Lodgment Area
Assessments of the Lodgment Area
Effects on Allied Courses of Action
Wrap-Up

19. OPERATION PLAN EL PASO

The Ho Chi Minh Trail
Mission Planning
Logistical Limitations Within Vietnam
Logistical Shortcomings Inside Laos
Wrap-Up

20. FINAL REFLECTIONS

APPENDIX A: Acronyms and Abbreviations
APPENDIX B: Glossary of Geographical Terms
APPENDIX C: A Basic Geographic Library
INDEX

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