Military History is the empirical foundation of studying war in all its facets. While rarely offering directly applicable lessons, the past offers ample material for contemplation and inspiration as well as instructive examples, at all levels from strategy to tactics and of relevance for all subjects taught at the Royal Danish Defense College. In order to be sound, the study of military history needs to rest on solid theoretical and methodological ground – only if carried out in a professional and critical way can myth making and false analogies be avoided. The same point may be made about theorizing and generalizing on the basis of military history; no theory is better than the material it is built on. Furthermore, in order to remain relevant and to the point from the perspective of today’s armed forces, military historians should work, as far as practically possible, with recent conflicts.
War Studies at the Royal Danish Defense College is focused on classical and new theories of war and on the question of how to study war in a scientific war. Central questions are: what is war, how to win in war, how to avoid war, how have the character of warfare evolved over time and what are the likely future changes? This implies both research in the classics of theorizing about war, for example Clausewitz and Jomini, but it also leads to addressing recent theories challenging some of the classical assumptions about the nature of war. Civil-military relations are also studied as are armed forces in society.
War Studies are carried out by the Royal Danish Defense College in a close dialogue with military history and the two subjects are placed in the same department in order to enrich each other
Last updated 2015-12-21 - 19:54