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Introduction

Military History is often deemed to be the reportage of the victor, but it is, in fact, a complex and diverse discipline that provides new generations with an analytical perspective of conflicts past and present.

Its place within the history of humanity is to establish and explain the many facets of conflict. From the social and cultural imperatives to the causal events, military historians will study all of the relevant data concerning all the participants. Analysis of doctrines, political and militaristic, logistics, tactics, technology and the roles of leadership are all key to providing a pertinent and non-biased historical record.

The nature of bias can be the key to understanding the record of military history over the centuries. The essential discipline to the military historian is the thorough application of historiographical research. The need to assess multiple sources, overlaying material, cross-referencing and avoiding the pitfalls of propagandist triumphalism that is the keynote of many contemporary narratives within the totality of human conflict.

The nature of propaganda as a tool for all sides in a conflict makes the role of the military historian vital in providing a rational and reasonable assessment of each conflict. This in turn can be used to inform, educate and even drive forward the modern warfare process. The contemporary application of conflicts and interventions are frequently guided by the application of lessons learned from prior periods of war and military history is key to our understanding of this.

The role of the military historian is a constantly evolving one, and with each new generation of historical analysis, the future of cultures and international relations can be directly affected by this. In a world that shows no signs of diminishing conflict, the role of the military historian becomes increasingly important.

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