The use and abuse of history by the military.
Building a Better Future. Contributions by the Irish Defence Forces.
MACE Publications, Maynooth, pp. 1-16.
This paper examines the use and abuse of history by the military. In particular it focuses on military history and its employment in support of officer education by professional armed forces. The paper will examine what is meant by the term ‘military history’, dividing the discipline into ‘popular’, ‘academic’, and ‘professional’ categories and analysing each in turn. The main focus of the paper is on the latter, which relates to the employment of military history by armed forces in the belief that it is ‘useful’. It is somewhat unusual for a subject in the arts and humanities to find its value discussed in such utilitarian terms and the paper seeks to establish just what ‘useful’ might mean in this context before offering suggestions as to what this implies about the way in which military history is taught.
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