Professor Joel Hayward has uploaded most of his peer-reviewed scholarly articles for easy reading by students and scholars on ResearchGate. net
The Qur’an is among the most widely read books on earth, yet it is also commonly misunderstood and misquoted. Islam’s critics say that it contains exhortations of violence against non-Muslims and a concept of war that is far more unbridled and indiscriminate than the western Just War theory.
This study is not a general overview or critique of the Islamic laws of war, which are the varied and sometimes contradictory opinions of medieval Islamic jurists ― mainly from the ninth to thirteenth centuries CE. Instead, this study analyses only the Qur’anic text itself and, by putting its verses into historical context, attempts to explain its codes of conduct in order to determine what it actually requires or permits Muslims to do in terms of the use of military force.
It concludes that the Qur’an is clear: Muslims must not undertake offensive violence and are instructed, if defensive warfare should become unavoidable, always to act within a code of ethical behaviour that is closely similar to the western Just War tradition. This study attempts to dispel any misperceptions that Islam’s holy book advocates the subjugation or killing of non-Muslims and reveals that, on the contrary, its key and unequivocal concepts governing warfare are based on justice and a profound belief in the sanctity of human life.
Keywords: Qur’an, Islam, war, jihad, qital, fighting, combat, scriptures, verse of the sword.
© J S A Hayward 2018
“Justice, Jihad, and Duty: the Qur’anic Concept of Armed Conflict”, Islam and Civilizational Renewal, Vol. 9, No. 3 (July 2018), pp. 267-303.
Little has been published on the ethical and legal basis of air attacks on non-combatants during the First World War. Existing works have focused mainly on the injustice of the German Zeppelin and Gotha raids on British towns. They present British air campaigns on German towns and the formation of the Royal Air Force as a reasoned self-defensive response. This article breaks new ground as it attempts to paint a richer picture by explaining the influence of retributive passions – vengeance – on British thinking about how best to respond to the villainy of German air raids. By using unpublished primary sources to uncover the moral and legal rationale used by British decision-makers, it shows that they (as their German counterparts had) exploited ambiguities or "loopholes" in the ethical and legal prohibitions on the bombardment of non-combatants and explained away their own air attacks on civilian towns and villages as legitimate acts of reprisal. It ends by demonstrating that, far from feeling grave concerns about the inhumanity of targeting civilians and their environs, the most influential air power thinkers after the war were relatively uninterested in moral concepts of proportionality and discrimination. They saw air power's ability to punish the strong and culpable by attacking the weak and vulnerable as a way of making wars shorter and therefore less expensive.
Keywords: Air Power, Airpower, Royal Air Force, RAF, World War I, Great War, Bombing, Civilian Immunity, Civilians
© J S A Hayward 2010
"Air Power, Ethics and Civilian Immunity during the Great War and its Aftermath”, Global War Studies, Vol. 7, No. 7 (2010), pp. 102-130.
Cambridge Muslim College Papers, Series 8 (2020).
Keywords: Islam, Islamic, Military History, History, Warfare, Jihad, Justice, Ethics
ABSTRACT: This article will argue that Muslim scholars should not feel the slightest awkwardness or embarrassment about Islam’s past martial successes, and should indeed return to writing on Islamic military history, teaching it and ensuring its survival within the curricula of cadet and staff colleges. Far from damaging Islam’s reputation, an objective and fair-minded reading of Islam’s military history (according to the methodology and principles accepted within the discipline of history) will directly counter the current western misperception that Islam is somehow more aggressive and accepting of disproportionate or indiscriminate violence than the other great religions. It will in fact show that the Islamic laws and ethics of war have minimized violence and constrained misconduct and ensured that warfare was fought according to guiding principles which are very similar to those found within western “just war” teachings. And far from lending credence to Jihadist or Islamist assertions that warfare should be used by any Muslims who want to bring about political or social change, an honest and thorough recounting of Islamic military history will demonstrate clearly that recourse to violence had never been the prerogative of any individuals, however disgruntled they may be. It was always a right and responsibility bestowed only upon legitimate national leaders (caliphs, kings, emirs and presidents). The teaching of Islamic history is also replete with examples of strategic brilliance and leadership excellence that make wonderfully illuminating and inspiring case studies for today’s civil and military leaders. It goes without saying that studying the campaigns and commanders of the past will develop a Muslim’s civilizational self-respect and esprit de corps in the same way that any western reader would have their sense of civilizational or cultural pride enhanced by studying the World Wars or the strategies and lives of great commanders like Washington, Wellington, Nelson, Grant, Lee, Haig, Montgomery, and Patton.
Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Warfare, edited by George Kassimeris and John Buckley (London: Ashgate, 2010), pp. 49-72.
Keywords: Air Power, Airpower, Military Aviation, Strategy, Strategic, Tactics, Tactical, WWI, WWII, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Close Air Support, Interdiction, Doctrine
Air power emerged from the Great War as a third primary form of military force, along armies and navies. Its early theorists made astounding claims that air power alone could delivery strategy – that is, the war-winning outcomes that involved the enemy’s defeat – without the significant and inevitably bloody contributions of soldiers and sailors. Throughout the next century their ideas were attempted and almost without exception they proved inadequate. The so-called strategic air campaigns damaged enemy production, but only in a zero-sum way, with the cost of producing and maintaining massive air fleets and soaking up their ghastly attrition balancing out the gains being made. The exception might be the nuclear bombings of Japan, but the atomic weapon itself was the game-changer, with air power being merely its delivery system for a brief time before missiles became the major delivery instrument and source of deterrence. Air power’s most effective role was not away from the battlefield, with cities, civilians and industry the focus of attack, but was on the battlefield in coordination with the other services. Air power’s most significant contributions to strategy came in what looks superficially like a tactical role: as close air support, interdiction, reconnaissance, air supply, counter-air operations, and medical evacuation. These, especially the former, close air support, have proven devastating and enabled joint forces to inflict strategic wins.
Air Power: The Agile Air Force (Royal Air Force, 2008), pp. 40-49
Keywords: Air Power, Airpower, Military Aviation, Luftwaffe, Strategy, Strategic, Tactics, Tactical, WWII, Agility, Logistics, Flexibility, Close Air Support, Interdiction, Doctrine, Ground Attack, Maneuver, Manoeuvre, Warfare
ABSTRACT: A study of the Royal Air Force’s worthy aspiration to increase its agility would be incomplete without at least some analysis of the air force that seems to embody exactly that quality: the Luftwaffe of 1939 to 1945. It is fashionable among modern warfighters to lavish praise on the Wehrmacht; the army, air force and navy of the Nazi state. Laudatory analysis of the Wehrmacht’s operational art seems an inherent component of books and articles that attempt to explain the theory and practice of jointness, the manoeuvrist approach, and the expeditionary nature of today’s armed conflict. Commenting harshly upon the fixation that modern western warfighters seem to have with the Germans, Daniel P. Bolger lamented that “Maneuverists have a bad case of what may be called, to borrow from a sister social science, ‘Wehrmacht penis envy.’” These devotees, Bolger writes, “love the Panzers, the Stukas, and the Sturm und Drang with the enthusiasm of any twelve-year old boy who has yet to learn about Kursk, Omaha Beach, or Operation Cobra, let alone Bergen Belsen.” Yet the fashion is not without foundation or merit. The Wehrmacht worked for an unbalanced and cruel regime and its frequently weird strategies, but nonetheless excelled at war’s operational level. It performed so marvelously at that level that it took the combined weight of the Soviet Union, the United States, the British Empire and others to end its existence. Modern warriors will indeed learn much from studying Wehrmacht warfighting. This short study of Luftwaffe attributes and habits is unrelated to the fad. Even if no-one else bothered to study the Wehrmacht I would feel compelled to highlight its instructional value for modern air forces as they face unforeseen challenges in the ambiguous strategic environment left after the Cold War’s end and the War on Terror’s beginning.
Defence Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Summer 2001), pp. 15-37.
Keywords: Lord Nelson, Horatio Nelson, Napoleonic, Napoleonic Warfare, Naval Warfare, Naval, Strategy, Tactics, Doctrine, Maneuver Warfare , Manoeuvre Warfare, Sea Power, Seapower
ABSTRACT: For the last 20 years or so, students of land warfare have come increasingly to see the warfighting style called Maneuver Warfare as the apex of military theory. The United States Marine Corps, which has formally embraced this style as doctrine, succinctly defines it as: “a warfighting philosophy that seeks to shatter the enemy’s cohesion through a variety of rapid, focused and unexpected actions which create a turbulent and rapidly deteriorating situation with which the enemy cannot cope.” Proponents of this style call themselves maneuverists. They argue that adoption of the ‘package’ of components integral to Maneuver Warfare will greatly enhance combat effectiveness to the degree that smaller maneuverist land forces can even engage and defeat far larger forces that adhere to less sophisticated doctrines or behavioral patterns. Maneuverists claim that the components in their package – reconnaissance pull, the application of strength against weakness, decentralized command, focal points of effort, maneuver, tempo and the aim of achieving victory by collapsing the enemy’s cohesion and morale – are not in themselves new to warfighting, but are the long-established habits of successful commanders. Yet, while maneuverists also claim that the combination of all these components occurred in many battles or campaigns throughout the ages, and brought dazzling results (both specious claims, according to other commentators), they provide examples mainly from the twentieth century and, more important, only from land warfare. The two standard works on Maneuver Warfare, products of the early 1990s when this warfighting style soared in popularity after its claimed use in the Persian Gulf Bar, provide no examples from, and few references to, the rich treasure chest of naval history. It is the same with the articles on Maneuver Warfare now appearing in military journals. They focus overwhelmingly on land campaigns and battles, with the few exceptions demonstrating that certain airpower and joint campaigns – such as those conducted by Hitler’s Wehrmacht or the Israeli Defense Forces – also reveal the prowess of well applied Maneuver Warfare. Readers seeking to analyze Maneuver Warfare’s applicability to combat on the seas that cover most of the globe can be forgiven for noticing the absence of scholarly interest in this theme and thinking that, in short, Maneuver Warfare must have no applicability at sea. One can, however, easily find many fine examples of what is now called Maneuver Warfare in seapower’s long history. This article draws from one such example – splendidly manifest in the person of Britain’s greatest fighting seaman, Vice-Admiral Horatio, Lord Nelson (1758–1805) – to demonstrate that students of maneuver need not fear turning their attention occasionally from land battles towards those fought at sea. They may indeed be greatly enriched by doing so. While being mindful to avoid anachronism (Maneuver Warfare’s conceptual framework, after all, is very recent), this article shows that Lord Nelson’s warfighting style closely resembles the modern Maneuver Warfare paradigm. He was not fighting according to any paradigm, of course, much less one that dates from almost 200 years after his death. He understood naval tactics and battle according to the norms and behavioral patterns of his own era and continuously experimented and tested ideas, rejecting some, keeping others. The article naturally makes no claim that Nelson’s warfighting style was unique among sea warriors or that he contributed disproportionately to conceptual or doctrinal developments in tactics or operational art. Even a cursory glance at the careers of John Paul Jones, Edward Hawke and John Jervis (one of Nelson’s mentors), to mention but a few, reveals that their names fit almost as aptly as Nelson’s alongside Napoleon Bonaparte’s, Erwin Rommel’s and George S. Patton’s in studies of effective maneuverists. Yet Lord Nelson makes an ideal focus for a case study of Maneuver Warfare at sea. Extant sources pertaining to his fascinating life are unusually abundant and reveal that he raised the art of war at sea to unsurpassed heights, all the while perfecting the highly maneuverist warfighting style that gave him victory in several of naval history’s grandest battles.
Military Studies Institute, 2000
Keywords: World War II, Germany, Third Reich, Hitler, Wehrmacht, Military, Strategy, Jointness, Joint, Integration, Integrated, Inter-service, Inter-service, Leadership, Command, Planning, OKW,
ABSTRACT: Joint operations involve the closely synchronized employment of two or more service branches under a unified command. Military theorists and commentators now believe that they prove more effective in most circumstances of modern warfare than operations involving only one service or involving two or more services but without systematic integration or unified command. Many consider the Wehrmacht, Nazi Germany's armed forces, pioneers of "jointness". They point out that Blitzkrieg, the war-fighting style that brought the Wehrmacht stunning victories between 1939 and 1941, depended upon the close integration of ground and air (and sometimes naval) forces and that, even after the Blitzkrieg campaigns gave way to a drawn-out war of attrition, the Wehrmacht routinely conducted operations in a fashion that would today be called "joint". That is, elements of two or more services participated in close cooperation with mutually agreed goals, relatively little inter-service rivalry, and a command structure that, at least at the "sharp end" of operations, promoted, rather than inhibited, a spirit of jointness. As a result, the scholars claim, the Wehrmacht enhanced its capabilities and improved its combat effectiveness.
This view of the Wehrmacht goes back a long way; back, in fact, to the war itself. For example, in 1941 the United States War Department, which, closely monitored events in Europe and North Africa, claimed in its Handbook of German Military Forces: "The outstanding characteristic of German military operations in the present war has been the remarkable coordination of the three sister services, Army, Navy and Air Force, into a unified command for definite tasks. These services do not [merely] cooperate in a campaign; rather their operations are coordinated by the High Command of the Armed Forces."
Without becoming anachronistic — after all, jointness as a defined concept is very recent ― this monograph attempts something long overdue: an analysis of Adolf Hitler's influence on the Wehrmacht's efforts to integrate the employment of its forces and thereby increase its effectiveness. The study demonstrates two main points: first, that Hitler certainly understood the value of integrating his land, sea and air forces and placing them under a unified command (first Field Marshal Blomberg's; later his own); and second, that he also saw the benefit of placing them under operational commanders who possessed at least a rudimentary understanding of the tactics, techniques, needs, capabilities and limitations of each of the services functioning in their combat zone. Hitler was thus innovative and several years ahead of his peers in the democracies, Italy and the Soviet Union. Yet this study concludes that, largely because of Hitler's unusual command style and difficulties with delegation, the Wehrmacht lacked elements that today's theorists consider essential to the attainment of truly productive jointness (a single joint commander or Joint Chief of Staff, a proper joint staff, a joint planning process, and an absence of inter-service rivalry) and that, as a result, it often suffered needless difficulties in combat.
The Journal of Military History, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2000), pp. 769-794.
Keywords: World War II, Germany, Third Reich, Hitler, Wehrmacht, Military, Strategy, Air Power, Airpower, Luftwaffe, Oil, Bombing, Caucasus, Caucasus oilfields, Baku, Maikop
ABSTRACT: Even before Operation Barbarossa petered out in December 1941, Germany's oil reserves were severely depleted. Adolf Hitler worried that his armed forces would soon grind to a halt for want of petroleum products. During the last months of 1941 and the first of 1942, economic considerations played as much of a role in the formulation of a new strategy as did the run-down state of the eastern armies and air fleets. Hitler feared heavy Soviet bombing attacks on Rumanian oilfields, his main source of oil, and knew that the Reich's reserves were almost exhausted. Consequently, he considered the protection of the Rumanian oilfields and the acquisition of new sources of oil crucial if he were to wage a prolonged war against the growing list of nations he opposed. He therefore formulated Fall Blau (Case Blue), a major campaign for summer 1942. This aimed first, through preliminary offensives in the Crimea, to protect Rumanian oil centers from Soviet air attacks, and second, through a powerful thrust to the Don River and then into the Caucasus, to deliver that oil-rich region into German hands. The capture of the Caucasus oilfields, he believed, would relieve Germany's critical oil shortages and deliver a massive, and hopefully mortal, blow to the Soviet economy and war effort. The consequences of that ill-fated campaign are well known, and need little discussion here. Hitler became distracted by Stalingrad (which was not even a main campaign objective) and lost an entire army trying to take it. Soviet forces also drove his armies from the Caucasus and pushed them back to the line they had held before Blau started nine months earlier. This study analyses a little-known and poorly documented aspect of the 1942 campaign: Hitler's employment of airpower in the Caucasus region. It focuses on his reluctant admission in October that his ground forces would probably not reach the main oilfields before adverse weather conditions forced them to take up winter positions, and on his subsequent decision to have the Luftwaffe attempt the oilfields' destruction. He believed that if he could not have the oilfields (at present, anyway), he should at least deny Josef Stalin's agriculture, industry, and armed forces their vast output. The essay argues for the first time that the Luftwaffe could have dealt the Soviet economy a major blow, from which it would have taken at least several months to recover, if Hitler had not been so obsessed with Stalingrad and wasted his airpower assets on its destruction. During August and early September 1942, the Luftwaffe possessed the means to inflict heavy damage on Baku, the Caucasus oil metropolis that alone accounted for 80 percent of all Soviet production. The Luftwaffe still possessed a strong bomber force and airfields within striking range and the Soviet Air Force's presence in the Caucasus was still relatively weak. By October, however, when Hitler finally ordered attacks on oilfields, the Luftwaffe's eastern bomber fleet was much reduced and most forward airfields had been badly damaged by Soviet air forces which were then far stronger. The conclusion is unmistakable: Hitler had missed a golden opportunity to hurt the Soviet economy and war effort.
New Zealand Army Journal, No. 21 (July 1999), pp. 1-17.
Keywords: Operation Allied Force, NATO, Yugoslavia, Serbia, air power, air power, Warden's rings, Powell Doctrine, USAF, RAF, coalition, warfare, Slobodan Milošević , Madeleine Albright, Wesley Clark
ABSTRACT: On 24 March 1999 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commenced Operation Allied Force, an airpower-only campaign that constituted the alliance's first war against a sovereign state. For the next seventy-eight days NATO attacked the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, directing greatest fury against Serbia, whose president purportedly carried blame for the outbreak of hostilities, but also attacking Montenegro on numerous occasions. The eventual decision by Serbia to agree to G8' terms of peace negotiated by Russian and Finnish politicians immediately prompted many military commentators, including John Keegan and other renowned international experts, to proclaim that airpower had finally won a war by itself, without the direct participation of land and naval forces.
Within the limitations of sources available so soon after the conflict's end, this preliminary study analyses the purpose, nature and performance of NATO's air campaign and identifies the key factors that prompted Serbia's eventual capitulation. It also investigates the claim that Operation Allied Force outdid even Operation Desert Storm to become the first ever war won by airpower alone.
To achieve this, the speeches and press releases of leading participants are examined, along with data assembled by news agencies and "think tanks". Conducting this analysis so soon after the event is naturally problematic. The evidence is fragmentary, allowing only "provisional" conclusions, and it is largely informal, lacking the "official" status of government documentation and statistics. That material may not be released for some time. Yet enough pieces of the widely scattered information jigsaw already exist for us to assemble them and form a reliable impression of what the completed picture looks like.
The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 22, No. 4 (December 1999), pp. 103-130.
Keywords: World War II, Germany, Third Reich, Hitler, Wehrmacht, Military, Strategy, Air Power, Airpower, Luftwaffe, Jointness, Joint, Joint Warfare, Joint Force, Operational Art
ABSTRACT: Military theorists and commentators believe that joint operations prove more effective in most circumstances of modern warfare than operations involving only one service or involving two or more services but without systematic integration or unified command. Many see Nazi Germany's armed forces, the Wehrmacht, as early pioneers of 'jointness'. This essay demonstrates that the Wehrmacht did indeed understand the value of synchronizing its land, sea and air forces and placing them under operational commanders who had at least a rudimentary understanding of the tactics, techniques, needs, capabilities and limitations of each of the services functioning in their combat zones. It also shows that the Wehrmacht's efforts in this direction produced the desired result of improved combat effectiveness. Yet it argues that the Wehrmacht lacked elements considered by today's theorists to be essential to the attainment of truly productive jointness - a single tri-service commander, a proper joint staff and an absence of inter-service rivalry - and that, as a result, it often suffered needless difficulties in combat.
New Zealand Army Journal, No. 18 (January 1998), pp. 7- 18.
Keywords: World War II, Germany, Third Reich, Hitler, Military, Strategy, Air Power, Airpower, Luftwaffe, Leadership, Leader, Command, Management, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
ABSTRACT: This article analyzes the leadership of Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, a senior Luftwaffe commander and one of the most effective air strategists, tacticians and leaders of all time. It focuses on his masterful command of Luftflotte 4 and Fliegerkorps VIII on the eastern front during World War II, including during the Stalingrad campaign.
The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 10, No. 2 (June 1997), pp. 97-124.
Keywords: World War II, Germany, Third Reich, Hitler, Military, Strategy, Air Power, Airpower, Luftwaffe, Eastern Front, Battle of Kerch, Kerch, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
ABSTRACT: Adolf Hitler's directive for the 1942 summer campaign in the east clearly reflects the unfinished nature of the previous year's campaign. Although the Fuehrer claimed to Mussolini on 30 April 1942 that, with the exception of just a few 'blemishes which will shortly be eradicated, ... the Crimea finds itself in our hands,' the reality was very different. In April 1942 the Crimea was neither firmly nor entirely in German hands, as Hitler well knew. It was certainly not the 'bastion in the Black Sea' that he described to his Italian counterpart. On the contrary, powerful Soviet forces still held both Sevastopol, the Soviet Union's main naval base and shipyard in the Black Sea, and the strategically important Kerch Peninsula, which Hitler planned to use as a springboard to the Caucasus. Therefore, he stated in his directive for the 1942 summer campaign, before the major offensive into the Caucasus could commence it would be necessary 'to clear up the Kerch Peninsula in the Crimea and to bring about the fall of Sevastopol. In May and June, the powerful Eleventh Army, commanded by Generaloberst Erich von Manstein, reputed to be Hitler's best operational army commander, launched strong attacks on the Soviet forces at each end of the Crimea. These attacks proved stunningly successful, destroying the enemy and finally giving Hitler total mastery of the Crimea. Von Manstein's Kerch offensive, codenamed Operation Trappenjagd (Bustard Hunt), and his assault on Sevastopol, codenamed Operation Storfang (Sturgeon Catch), deserve their prominent place in historical works on the Eastern campaigns. Skillfully guided by von Manstein, Eleventh Army defeated numerically superior and better-situated forces quickly and, especially during the Kerch offensive, with relatively few losses. However, the role of the Luftwaffe, which performed superbly as it provided the army with an unprecedented level of tactical air support, has been poorly covered by historians of these events, whose works focus primarily on army operations and von Manstein's much-touted tactical genius. Describing and explaining Luftwaffe operations during Trappenjagd, the first of the two Crimean campaigns of 1942, this study attempts to correct that imbalance. Eleventh Army, it argues, would not have succeeded were it not for the outstanding efforts of Luftwaffe forces, led by a commander of equal genius.
Air Power History, Vol. 44, No. 2 (Summer 1997), pp. 18-29.
Keywords: World War II, Germany, Third Reich, Hitler, Military, Strategy, Air Power, Airpower, Luftwaffe, Eastern Front, Battle of Kharkov, Kharkov, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
ABSTRACT: This archival source-based analysis of the role and effectiveness of airpower during the Battle of Kharkov in May 1942 demonstrates that it was the critical factor in determining German success. Masterfully commanded by Generaloberst Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen, the Third Reich's close air support expert, the Luftwaffe delivered highly effective support to the German army and prevented a major Soviet encirclement attempt from succeeding.
Airpower Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring 1997), pp. 21-37.
Keywords: World War II, Germany, Third Reich, Hitler, Military, Strategy, Air Power, Airpower, Luftwaffe, Eastern Front, Battle of Stalingrad, Stalingrad, Air Lift, Airlift, Wolfram Freiherr von Richthofen
ABSTRACT: After February 1943, the shadow of Stalingrad ever lengthened ahead of Adolf Hitler. The battle for that city had ended in disastrous defeat, shattering the myth of his military "Midas touch," ending his chances of defeating the Red Army, permanently damaging relations with Italy, Rumania, Hungary, and other allied nations, and, of course, inflicting heavy losses on his eastern armies. More than 150,000 Axis soldiers, most of them German, had been killed or wounded in the city's approaches or ruins; 108,000 others stumbled into Soviet captivity, 91,000 in the battle's last three days alone. (Although Hitler never learned of their fate, only six thousand ever returned to Germany.) The battle has attracted considerable scholarly and journalistic attention. Literally scores of books and articles on Stalingrad have appeared during the 50 years since Stalin's armies bulldozed into Berlin, bringing the war in Europe to a close. Most have been published in Germany and, to a lesser degree, Russia, where the name "Stalingrad" still conjures up powerful and emotional imagery. Comparatively few have been published in the English-speaking world, and this is understandable. Because no British, Common wealth, or American forces took part in the battle, they can number none of their own among its many heroes, martyrs, prisoners, and victims. Moreover, although the German defeat at Stalin grad was immediately seen in the West as a turning point, its effects were not directly felt by the Anglo- - American nations. The main focus of Stalin grad historiography, including the dozen books published in 1992 and 1993 to commemorate the battle's 50th anniversary, has been the fighting, encirclement, suffering, and destruction of Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich Paulus's Sixth Army. Few books and articles have devoted adequate attention to the activities of the Luftwaffe, although it made substantial contributions to all battles throughout the 1942 summer campaign—of which Stalin grad was the climax—and it alone was responsible for the maintenance of Sixth Army after Marshal G. K. Zhukov's forces severed it from all but radio contact with other German army formations. Even fewer works—and none in English—have analyzed in depth Hitler's decision to supply the forces trapped at Stalin grad from the air, even though this decision led to the destruction of those forces after the Luftwaffe failed to keep them adequately supplied.
The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 18, No. 4 (December 1995), pp. 94-135.
Keywords: World War II, Germany, Third Reich, Hitler, Military, Strategy, Economics, Economy, Oil, Raw Materials
ABSTRACT: When asked by his Allied captors in 1945 to what extent German military strategy had been influenced at various stages by economic considerations, Albert Speer, Hitler's outstanding Armaments Minister, replied that in the case of Operation BARBAROSSA the need for oil was certainly a prime motive.' Indeed, even during the initial discussions of his plan to invade the Soviet Union, Hitler stressed the absolute necessity of seizing key oilfields, particularly those in the Caucasus region, which accounted for around 90 per cent of all oil produced in the Soviet Union. For example, during a war conference at the Berghof on 31 July 1940, Hitler revealed to high-ranking commanders his intention to shatter Russia 'to its roots with one blow'2 After achieving the 'destruction of Russian manpower', he explained, the German Army must drive on towards the Baku oilfield, by far the richest of those in the Caucasus and one of the most productive in the world. Despite Hitler's optimism, the 1941 campaign - which opened along a 2,000 km front and involved 148 combat divisions - failed to shatter Russia 'to its roots with one blow'. Consequently, it failed to bring the huge oil region of the Caucasus under German control. After reverses in the winter of 1941/42, it was no longer possible for the Wehrmacht to undertake wide-ranging offensives along the entire front, by then over 2,500 km in length. The summer campaign of 1942, although still immense, was necessarily less ambitious. It opened along a front of around 725 km, and involved 68 German and 25 allied combat divisions. Soviet oil remained a major attraction for Hitler. The offensive's objectives were to destroy the main Russian forces between the Donets and the Don river, capture the crossings into the mountainous Caucasus region and then deliver the rich oilfields into German hands. The perceived importance of these oilfields to the German economy, and hence the war effort, cannot be overstated. On 1 June 1942, four weeks to the day before the summer campaign began, Hitler told the assembled senior officers of Army Group South that 'If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny then I must end this war'. The purpose of this study is not to provide a narrative description of the planning of the 1942 campaign, but, rather, to reveal the central role which economic considerations played in the planning of that ill-fated endeavor. In the following pages I shall appraise Hitler's preoccupation with the Caucasus region and its oilfields, and describe how Germany's own oil situation in the first two years of the war led him to believe that the capture of those oilfields was an essential prerequisite to waging a prolonged war of economic attrition. I shall then outline and explain the lengthy planning of the 1942 campaign, which aimed first at protecting the vulnerable Rumanian oilfields - upon which the German war economy was already heavily reliant - and secondly (and more importantly) at possessing the far richer fields in the Caucasus.