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About Nicholas Murray
Nicholas Murray began his career as a high school drop-out who worked as a cleaner before going on to study for his undergraduate degree in War Studies from King's College, London. He then went on to study for his masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Oxford. He is a proponent of war gaming as an educational tool and for the understanding of history. He he has advised the Office of Secretary of Defense on military education, receiving their highest service medal for his work. In addition, he adjuncts with the Strategic Thinkers' Program at Johns Hopkins University and is currently working on more translations of Clausewitz as well as on the works of the Archduke Charles.
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The transformation in field fortifications reflected not only the ongoing technological advances but also the changing priorities in the reasons for constructing them, such as preventing desertion, protecting troops, multiplying forces, reinforcing tactical points, providing a secure base, and dominating an area. Field fortification theory, however, did not evolve solely in response to improving firepower or technology. Rather, a combination of those factors and societal ones-for example, the rise of large conscript armies and the increasing participation of citizens rather than subjects-led directly to technical alterations in the actual construction of the fieldworks. These technical developments arose from the second wave of the Industrial Revolution in the late nineteenth century that provided new technologies that increased the firepower of artillery, which in turn drove the transition from above- to belowground field fortification.
Based largely on primary sources including French, British, Austrian, and American military attache reports-Murray's enlightening study is unique in defining, fully examining, and contextualizing the theories and construction of field fortifications before World War I.