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John Keegan, whose many books, including classic histories of the two world wars, have confirmed him as the premier miltary historian of our time, here presents a masterly look at the value and limitations of intelligence in the conduct of war.
Intelligence gathering is an immensely complicated and vulnerable endeavor. And it often fails. Until the invention of the telegraph and radio, information often traveled no faster than a horse could ride, yet intelligence helped defeat Napoleon. In the twentieth century, photo analysts didn’t recognize Germany’s V-2 rockets for what they were; on the other hand, intelligence helped lead to victory over the Japanese at Midway. In Intelligence in War, John Keegan illustrates that only when paired with force has military intelligence been an effective tool, as it may one day be in besting al-Qaeda.
“Keegan has once again demonstrated his immeasurable grasp of military history. . . . This is a book that proves an ideal template by which to measure the impact of intelligence on any large scale campaign or tactical fight. The case studies prove Keegan's point: intelligence has a critical role but is not the final arbiter.” —The Journal of Military History
“Likely to jar the conventional wisdom. . . . Keegan is always a pleasure to read for his wit, insight and style.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Bracing, meticulous case studies [by] our greatest modern military historian.” —Newsweek
“Keegan is a . . . treasure. . . . His analysis is as sharp as ever, and it’s all written with his characteristic flair.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“Thought-provoking. . . . Keegan’s book is a wise corrective, assessing just how useful intelligence has been in battle.” —The Dallas Morning News