Well-being & Strength…

“Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. Keep your army continually on the move and devise unfathomable plans.” Sun Tzu (400 BCE to 301 BCE) Sunzi, Wade-Giles romanisation Sun-tzu, also spelled Sun Tzu, personal name Sun Wu, (flourished 5th century BC), reputed author… Read More

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Map Problems…

“The necessary limitations of map problems inhibit the student from considering the effects of hunger, emotion, personality, fatigue, leadership, and many other imponderable yet vital factors.” George S. Patton Jr (1885 to 1945) (as a Major in 1931) George Smith Patton Junior was a US Army officer. He was an outstanding practitioner of mobile tank… Read More

Independent Command!

“The intelligent leadership of troops, and the ability to appreciate and predict the way operations develop call for firm and precise direction of forces. Any suggestion of the exercise of independent command by junior commanders is unacceptable. Not knowing the general situation, junior commanders are likely to take decisions incompatible with it; and this may… Read More

How to Sack a Divisional Commander…

How to Sack a Divisional Commander: Tewksbury, 4 May 1471; “Lord Winlock not having advanced to the support of the first line, but remaining stationary, contrary to the expectations of Somerset, the latter, in a rage, rode up to him, reviled him, and beat his brains out with an axe.” Max Hastings (1985) from The Oxford… Read More

Dark Thunderbolt…

“Let your plans be as dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” Sun Tzu (400 BCE to 301 BCE) Sunzi, Wade-Giles romanisation Sun-tzu, also spelled Sun Tzu, personal name Sun Wu, (flourished 5th century BC), reputed author of the Chinese classic Bingfa (The Art of War), the earliest known… Read More

What is the Office of Net Assessment (ONA)?

The Office of Net Assessment (ONA) is a tiny independent think-tank whose remit was to compare the capabilities of the United States and its enemies in weaponry, troop training, efficiency, spending, deployment, planning, decision-making, readiness and any other point of variance. These painstaking assessments, highly classified, sparingly distributed and compiled at a rate of only… Read More

What is Dynamic Force Employment (DFE)?

The most significant element of the NDS [National Defence Strategy], says Mr Shanahan, is “dynamic force employment” (DFE in mil-speak). That refers to moving forces around the world quickly and unpredictably to bamboozle adversaries. Last year, for instance, the USS Harry S. Truman, an aircraft-carrier that usually hangs around the Middle East, was abruptly called… Read More