Military Strategy: Exploiting Success

“When a commander has won a decisive victory – and Wavell’s victory over the Italians was devastating – it is generally wrong for him to be satisfied with too narrow a strategic aim.

For that is the time to exploit success.

It is during pursuit, when the beaten enemy is still dispirited and disorganised, that most prisoners are made and most booty captured.

Troops who on one day are flying in a wild panic to the rear, may, unless they are continually harried by the pursuer, very soon stand in battle again, freshly organised as fully effective fighting men.” (Rommel, 1953, p.96).

Field-Marshal Erwin Rommel (the Desert Fox), World War I junior officer and World War II General, considered a brilliant military commander; adored by his troops and feared by his enemies.


Rommel, E., Liddel Hart, B.H. (ed) & Findlay, P. (trans) (1953) The Rommel Papers. St James’s Palace, London: Collins.


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