Disperse & Concentrate…

“The highest generalship is to compel the enemy to disperse his army, and then to concentrate superior force against each fraction in turn.” George Henderson (1854 to 1903), paraphrasing Sun Tzu from the Art of War Colonel George Francis Robert Henderson CB, was a British Army officer and military author. He saw service in India,… Read More

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Ordering versus Asking

“In action it is better to order than to ask.” General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton (16 January 1853 to 12 October 1947) from his book ‘Gallipoli Diary’ published in 1920. Ian Hamilton was a British Army General who participated in operations in: The Second Boer War (1899 to 1902); Service in Japan (from 1904… Read More

Commander … Assert Yourself

“…he did not do the one thing that the complexities of modern warfare made it essential for the GOC to do – to assert himself during a battle and not delegate the chief command.” (Pakenham, 2004, p.392). Reference Pakenham. T. (2004) The Boer War. London: Abacus.

A Most Disagreeable Ambush!

“Nothing concentrates the military mind so much as the discovery that you have walked into an ambush. Brigadier-General Robert Broadwood was confronted with this disagreeable news soon after dawn on 31 March.” (Pakenham, 2004, p.390). Reference Pakenham. T. (2004) The Boer War. London: Abacus.

Battlefield & Salient: The Hangman’s Noose!

“Now Hart knew enough about war to know that there are few more dangerous places to send men on a battlefield than into a salient – the open end of a loop. To march into a well-defended salient is like putting your head into a noose. There were many other choices open to him. […]… Read More

The Private Soldiers’ Attitude to Death

“Treves watched a fatigue party of grave-diggers, the symbols of death, march jauntily past the door of his tent. It struck him that this devil-may-care attitude was characteristic of the private soldiers’ attitude to death. They had learnt now to hide their feelings behind the screen of tobacco smoke and the gallows humour.” (Pakenham, 2004,… Read More

Camouflage Required…

“The Boers ‘will not play the game fairly’, said one of the soldiers. Ralph drew a different lesson. Those gleaming insignia, the stars and buttons and buckles of the professional soldier, were all very well in the drawing-room. In the sunshine of the veld they blazed like a heliograph. Against an invisible enemy, the British… Read More