Twenty possible subjects for the three-hour WAFS exam; we were advised to revise at least six properly. I was most confident about Strategic Air Power, Irregular Warfare, Warrior to Soldier, War & Economics and The Nature of Armed Forces, with a decent understanding of the horribly broad War & Society. At the other end of the spectrum, Total War was what gave me a panic attack last time, War & Gender was lunacy and if you think I’ve got Why Wars Begin down I’ve got some real estate to sell you in Glen Ross Farms. At the revision meeting I questioned the whole “gambling on good questions coming up” approach and didn’t really get a satisfactory answer.
Ten questions actually in the paper included one on War & Economics, one on Total War and on Why Wars Begin, a War & Society one based on a Marwick line I couldn’t remember, and no other subjects that I’d covered in depth.
Elected to do: War & Economics, one on the laws of war with particular regard to the World Wars, and one on military change since 1900 being evolutionary or revolutionary. War & Economics: can belligerents benefit economically from wars? Yes! And no! Here is a lot of semirelated evidence, a Gran Chaco namedrop (I wasn’t certain if it was Bolivia vs Paraguay so I guessed – and I was right!) and an ambiguous conclusion. Done!
Laws of war! Are they meaningless considering the realities of war? Specialist knowledge on chemical weapons, dum-dums vs FMJs and Eastern Front prison camps to the fore. Felt good about that one despite only knowing a couple of terms of the Hague Convention. Done!
Military developments! Made an essay plan, a really good ambitious one, and two paragraphs into expanding the plan realised I was ten minutes from the end of the exam.
Took the rest of the plan and added immense amounts of detail, so that the bullet-pointed not-quite-paragraphs had most of the content of the intended final product if none of the polish, and felt I’d done about as well as I could considering. It definitely demonstrated a lot of historical knowledge, of that I’m certain. Spent the final minute polishing the first two paragraphs to say This Is What I Would Have Done and just stopped thinking about it.
So, 2.5/3 essays done. I clearly need to learn better time management. But I put down lots of relevant-seeming information, and I didn’t spaz out and break down, so I guess this sort of goes in the win column?
I am knackered and am now going to bed.