Practical Application…

“Leadership is the practical application of character.” Colonel R. Meinertzhagen, CBE, DSO (1878 to 1967), Army Diary, 1899‐1926, 1960 Richard Meinertzhagen was a British soldier, intelligence officer, and ornithologist. He had a decorated military career spanning Africa, where he was credited with creating and executing the infamous Haversack Ruse. While early biographies lionised Meinertzhagen as… Read More

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A Declaration of War!

Declaration of War required: The contracting parties recognise that hostilities between themselves must not commence without previous and’explicit warning in the form either of a reasoned declaration of war or of an ultimatum accompanied by a conditional declaration of war. The framers of the Hague Rules were agreed to one rule, namely, that an attack… 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

The Object of War?

“The object of war is to bring about the complete submission of the enemy as soon as possible by means of regulated violence.” (US Army, 1914, p.14). General Order (G.O.) 100, 1863, article 20. “Public war is a state of armed hostility between sovereign nations or governments. It is a law and requisite of civilized… 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

The Unwritten Rules of War (1914)

In addition to the written rules there exist certain other well-recognised usages and customs that have developed into, and have become recognised as, rules of warfare. These usages and customs are still in process of development. The development of the laws and usages of war is determined by three principles (US Army, 1914, p.14): First,… Read More

The Written Rules of War (1914)

The conduct of war is regulated by certain well-established and recognised rules that are usually designated as “the laws of war,” which comprise the rules, both written and unwritten, for the carrying on of war, both on land and at sea. During the past 50 years many of these rules have been reduced to writing… Read More