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1 - 1 of 1 results for: POLISCI 22SC: The Face of Battle

POLISCI 22SC: The Face of Battle

Our understanding of warfare often derives from the lofty perspective of political leaders and generals: what were their objectives and what strategies were developed to meet them? This top-down perspective slights the experience of the actual combatants and non-combatants caught in the crossfire. This course focuses on the complexity of the process by which strategy is translated into tactical decisions by the officers and foot soldiers on the field of battle. We will focus on three battles in American history: Gettysburg (July 1863), the Battle of Little Bighorn (June 1876), and the Korengal Valley campaign in Afghanistan (2006-2010). In addition to reading major works on these battles and the conflicts in which they occurred, we will travel to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and the Little Bighorn battlefield in Montana. While at Stanford, students will conduct extensive research on individual participants at Gettysburg and Little Bighorn. When we walk through the battlefield sites, students will brief the group on their subjects' experience of battle and on why they made the decisions they did during the conflict. Why did Lt. General Longstreet oppose the Confederate attack on the Union Army at Gettysburg? What was the experience of a military surgeon on a Civil War battlefield? Why did Custer divide his 7th Cavalry troops as they approached the Little Bighorn River? What was the role of Lakota Sioux women after a battle? Travel will be provided and paid by Sophomore College (except incidentals) and is made possible by the support of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). The final part of the class covers contemporary military conflicts discussing what the US public, political leaders, and military commanders have learned (and not learned) from the past. The course is open to students from a range of disciplines; an interest in the topic is the only prerequisite.
Terms: Sum | Units: 2 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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