In This Review

Defense Will Not Win the War
Defense Will Not Win the War
By Lieutenant Colonel W. F. Kernan
Little, Brown, 1942, 193 pp.

The fundamental thesis of this provocative little book will meet with general assent, except from the few remaining adherents of the Liddell Hart school of limited-liability, indirect-approach, defensive strategy. It is rather with some of Colonel Kernan's subsidiary arguments that sharp dissent will arise, especially among those who feel that he has been overemphatic in his condemnation -- or not entirely balanced in his interpretation -- of the Mahan doctrine of naval strategy and of its importance in modern warfare. The author's urgent proposal is that the center of Axis power -- i.e., Central Europe -- be attacked at the very earliest possible moment by way of Italy. Sound as this conception may be in the large, naval stategists may nevertheless ask whether Colonel Kernan has taken full account of the tremendous amount of naval and transport strength, and of air power, required to carry through such an invasion.