total war

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total war

the form of modern warfare in which whole populations may be subject to mobilization either as soldiers or as labour, and in which whole populations are regarded as legitimate targets. Air warfare is a significant feature of modern warfare compared with the more limited conventional warfare of previous eras. However, the onset of mass CITIZENSHIP, and nationalist ideologies and citizen armies is equally significant.

Total War


an imperialist war that subordinates to its own interests the entire life and economy of a nation, using the crudest means to defeat and destroy both the armed forces and the civilian population of the enemy. The theory of total war was first set forth in 1935 by the German general E. Ludendorff. It became the basis of fascist Germany’s doctrine of war and was applied by the fascist Germans during World War II.

References in periodicals archive ?
However, while much of War to the Knife seems to advocate the leaving behind of 'civilisation' and the machinery of Empire in order to seek out an environment that is wild and unrestricted, the novel's conclusion rejects the excitement of the frontier in favour of the stability and continuity of the old world.
As in War to the Knife, Wisniowski's New Zealand is romanticised and exotic, an 'enchanting place', full of 'cabbage trees, mountains and volcanoes', 'gushing' waters, 'luxuriant' vegetation, and 'primeval forest[s]' (p.
Once again it is in Boldrewood's War to the Knife that these tensions are most polarised.
The Maoris in War to the Knife (1899) offered him this opportunity.' (40) Boldrewood admires Maori chivalry and hospitality and romanticises pre-European Maori life as in equal parts Edenic and excitingly strife-ridden.
Yet, while Boldrewood has respect for Maori as 'a noble, aristocratic race whose existence is threatened by the intrusion of modern culture', War to the Knife remains 'grounded in his belief in the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon type'.