Fuller, John Frederick Charles

Fuller, John Frederick Charles,

1878–1966, British soldier. In World War I, he recognized the importance of mechanized warfare and, as general staff officer of the tank corps, planned the stunning tank attack at Cambrai in 1917 (see tank, militarytank, military,
armored vehicle having caterpillar traction and armed with machine guns, cannon, rockets, or flame throwers. The tank, together with the airplane, opened up modern warfare, which had been immobilized and stalemated by the use of rifled guns (see mechanized
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). His ideas, expressed in Tanks in the Great War (1920), On Future Warfare (1928), and other works, had a great effect on military thinking on the Continent. His military analysis extended far beyond championship of armored warfare, and he established himself as one of the leading military commentators of the day. He retired from the army in 1933 but was active as an analyst in World War II. Among his other works are Foundations of the Science of War (1926), The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant (2d ed. 1958), The Dragon's Teeth (1932), War and Western Civilization (1932), The Second World War (rev. ed. 1968), and A Military History of the Western World (3 vol., 1954–56).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fuller, John Frederick Charles


Born Sept. 1, 1878, in Chichester; died Feb. 10, 1966, in Falmouth. British military historian and theoretician. Major general (1930).

Fuller served in the Boer War (1899–1902) and in World War I. He graduated from the Staff College at Camberly and subsequently taught at the college and served in staff posts. In 1926 he became military assistant to the chief of the Imperial General Staff, and in 1933 he retired from military service. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Fuller published a number of works that explained the lessons to be learned from the military experience of World War I. He worked out a theory for creating a small, well-armed, mechanized army, capable of the mass use of tanks and air power to inflict sudden and heavy strikes on the enemy’s main groups and rear and thereby quickly terminate the war. He contributed to the newspaper Daily Mail, publishing articles on the Italo-Ethiopian War of 1935–36 and the Civil War in Spain (1936–39). During the 1940’s and 1950’s, Fuller published a number of works on the history of World War II and on problems of military history; these works had an anti-Soviet bias.


Armament and History. London, 1946.
A Military History of the Western World, vols. 1–3. London, 1954–[56].
In Russian translation:
Tanki v velikoi voine 1914–1918 gg. Moscow, 1923.
Reformatsiia voiny. Moscow, 1931.
Operalsii mekhanizirovannykh sil. Moscow, 1933.
Vtoraia mirovaia voina 1939–1945 gg. Moscow, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.