„Rokokostrategen“: Ihr negativer Nachruhm in der Militärgeschichtsschreibung des 20. Jahrhunderts. Das Beispiel von Reinhard Höhn und das Problem des „moralischen“ Faktors

Title„Rokokostrategen“: Ihr negativer Nachruhm in der Militärgeschichtsschreibung des 20. Jahrhunderts. Das Beispiel von Reinhard Höhn und das Problem des „moralischen“ Faktors
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsMönch, Winfried
JournalAufklärung
Volume11
Issue2
Pagination75
Date Published75-97
Abstract

The verdict of military historians concerning the art of war in the eighteenth century is that is was a self-referential game, characterised by „indecisiveness“. The label of „decadence“ has been attached to it since the end of the nineteenth century. This judgement is used as an unconsidered historiographic pattern of interpretation to „explain“ why the traditional mercenary armies had been defeated by the forces of the French Revolution. Using as an example Reinhard Höhn and his work „Revolution, Heer, Kriegsbild“, published in 1944, this essay presents the problem of factors that decide a war as developed by twentieth century military theory. In the discussions concerning the „degenerate art of war“ of the Rococo period, one leitmotif of military history in the twentieth century becomes evident. It sees in the social deficits of the absolutist armies of the eighteenth century the decisive reason for their „moral“ failure on the battlefield (for example at Jena and Auerstedt in 1806). After that, the essay demonstrates how Höhns historical concept of the „moral factor“ lives on in his influential works on business administration as the basis of a theory of how to motivate workers in a firm.

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