Definition of total war in English:

total war


  • A war that is unrestricted in terms of the weapons used, the territory or combatants involved, or the objectives pursued, especially one in which the laws of war are disregarded.

    • ‘He described the futile competition born of total war and the development of trench-warfare systems.’
    • ‘During a massive conflict, embracing all aspects of total war, economic warfare can be effective if pursued correctly.’
    • ‘Rarely will conflict be resolved through the finality of unconditional surrender; limited war is the rule, and total war the exception.’
    • ‘Occasionally, the term total war approximates the meaning of modernity.’
    • ‘After the ‘Marco Polo Bridge Incident’ on July 7, 1937, Japan launched a total war against China.’
    • ‘This time they were going to remain on the defensive in western Europe, while mobilising their military forces and industrial base to fight a total war.’
    • ‘When the institution reopened, the instruction emphasized the staff skills required to create and manage armies capable of waging total war.’
    • ‘There are total wars and limited wars, regional wars and world wars, conventional wars and nuclear wars, high-technology wars and low-technology wars, inter-state wars and civil wars, insurgency wars and ethnic wars.’
    • ‘Furthermore, he provides ample historical illustration of how the transformation from monarchy to democracy changed the conduct of war from limited warfare to total war.’
    • ‘On Republic Day, the Prime Minister used warlike words to assure the nation of a coming total war against the criminal onslaught.’
    • ‘The grass and tree-covered landscape is still indelibly marked by massive craters, the result of the total war of the 1914-18 Western Front.’
    • ‘The best the United States could do in the Gulf was to prioritize its objectives and obtain as many as possible without fighting a total war or breaking up the coalition.’
    • ‘North Vietnam was fighting a total war and viewed the fighting in Laos and Cambodia as part of a regional conflict.’
    • ‘The grip that party fanatics had on German society made it difficult to challenge the Führer's determination to wage a bitter total war rather than admit defeat.’
    • ‘The Vietnam War was not a total war because America feared Chinese intervention, as happened in Korea.’
    • ‘Perhaps no one who maintains the Civil War was a total war means it so literally.’
    • ‘World War One was a total war, and in such conflicts, restraints are cast aside.’
    • ‘However, another aspect of total war, unrestricted submarine warfare, caused the USA to enter the war and to a degree negate success in the east.’
    • ‘These are considered to be the first total wars in world history, i.e., the bulk of the nation's economy was directed to the war.’
    • ‘One might argue that in war - especially a total war or a war with no rules - one must fight to win.’