𝗣𝗗𝗙 | War is usually one unfortunate means of pressing an agenda over the will of other parties, mostly from unresolved differences. Political. Principles of War is a reprinted translation from the Japanese. The idea for the reference work for beginning students of military tactics. Of course, this book. This page contains a list of military tactics. The meaning of the phrase is context sensitive, and . Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
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FMI i. Field Manual Interim. No. Headquarters. Department of the Army. Washington, DC,______. Tactics in Counterinsurgency. Contents. Page. Modern military theory divides war into strategic, operational, and tactical levels.1 Although this division operational strategy, and battlefield strategy (tactics). Military tactics and strategy of the Middle Byzantine armies against Eurasian steppe peoples and Slavs Periklis Deligiannis Already from the Early Byzantine.
On the other hand, the Byzantine army consisted partly of many mercenaries, mainly horse-archers from almost all the above mentioned peoples with the addition of the Magyars proto-Hungarians , the Kavars proto-Hungarians also , the Khazars and the Alans. The battle tactics of the nomadic peoples were very difficult to treat by the Byzantine or any other imperial army that attempted to confront them. The Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Chinese, Indians, Chorasmians Central Asian Iranians and other peoples with mainly agricultural economy, suffered devastating defeats by these demonic horsemen of the steppes.
The steppe peoples, while generally few in number, were excellent archers and horsemen, frugal and indomitable, with blazing maneuvering and masters of surprise. They were attacking frontally with a sword or a mace only if they ascertained that the opposing army had been disorganized by their arrows. The nomad feigned retreat could last for some minutes or continue for several days. The Byzantines were unable to achieve an overwhelming victory over the Seljuks, who were following a typical nomadic strategy: The historian Robert Irwin makes the following apt remark for the Turkic horsemen, which characterizes almost all the mounted warriors of the steppes: The basic fighting tactic of the horse-archers was the following: This pounding was causing heavy losses to unarmored troops, but did not seriously harm soldiers with armor, like most of the Byzantines.
But the arrow-pounding was causing anxiety and stress to the enemy, which either developed into panic, or induced the enemy to a misguided attack. But they were soon regrouping and repeating their attack. The latter had to catch up the nomad riders and strike them down with their spears, a difficult task due to the speed of galloping of the steppe warriors. The Byzantine cavalry should not be involved in a simple exchange of bowshots with the nomads, because this practice would favor the latter who were better archers.
This is the reason why the chase of the nomadic cavalry which seemed to have been defeated, should be done with great alert and in particular without disorganizing the ranks of the Byzantine army. Concerning the battle of Mantzikert , the popular view that the Emperor Romanos IV fell into the Seljuk trap of feigned retreat from inexperience, is rather incorrect. Romanos knew very well the nomadic tactics of the Seljuks, confronting them for many years as a commander and a general and then as an Emperor.
Political factors and conditions were mainly responsible for the disruption and final destruction of the Byzantine army in the battle of Mantzikert. Many Byzantine nobles, if not most of them, were considering Romanos a usurper. Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on them; and make trouble for them, and keep them constantly engaged; hold out specious allurements, and make them rush to any given point.
The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable. There are five dangerous faults which may affect a general: 1 Recklessness, which leads to destruction; 2 cowardice, which leads to capture; 3 a hasty temper, which can be provoked by insults; 4 a delicacy of honor which is sensitive to shame; 5 over-solicitude for his men, which exposes him to worry and trouble.
These are the five besetting sins of a general, ruinous to the conduct of war. When an army is overthrown and its leader slain, the cause will surely be found among these five dangerous faults. Let them be a subject of meditation. The Army on the March 1. Sun Tzu said: We come now to the question of encamping the army, and observing signs of the enemy. Pass quickly over mountains, and keep in the neighborhood of valleys. Camp in high places, facing the sun. Do not climb heights in order to fight.
So much for mountain warfare. After crossing a river, you should get far away from it.
When an invading force crosses a river in its onward march, do not advance to meet it in mid-stream. It will be best to let half the army get across, and then deliver your attack.
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If you are anxious to fight, you should not go to meet the invader near a river which he has to cross. Moor your craft higher up than the enemy, and facing the sun. Do not move up-stream to meet the enemy. So much for river warfare.
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In crossing salt-marshes, your sole concern should be to get over them quickly, without any delay. If forced to fight in a salt-marsh, you should have water and grass near you, and get your back to a clump of trees. So much for operations in salt-marches.
In dry, level country, take up an easily accessible position with rising ground to your right and on your rear, so that the danger may be in front, and safety lie behind. So much for campaigning in flat country. These are the four useful branches of military knowledge which enabled the Yellow Emperor to vanquish four several sovereigns. All armies prefer high ground to low and sunny places to dark.
If you are careful of your men, and camp on hard ground, the army will be free from disease of every kind, and this will spell victory. When you come to a hill or a bank, occupy the sunny side, with the slope on your right rear. Thus you will at once act for the benefit of your soldiers and utilize the natural advantages of the ground.
When, in consequence of heavy rains up-country, a river which you wish to ford is swollen and flecked with foam, you must wait until it subsides.
Country in which there are precipitous cliffs with torrents running between, deep natural hollows, confined places, tangled thickets, quagmires and crevasses, should be left with all possible speed and not approached. While we keep away from such places, we should get the enemy to approach them; while we face them, we should let the enemy have them on his rear. If in the neighborhood of your camp there should be any hilly country, ponds surrounded by aquatic grass, hollow basins filled with reeds, or woods with thick undergrowth, they must be carefully routed out and searched; for these are places where men in ambush or insidious spies are likely to be lurking.
When the enemy is close at hand and remains quiet, he is relying on the natural strength of his position. When he keeps aloof and tries to provoke a battle, he is anxious for the other side to advance. If his place of encampment is easy of access, he is tendering a bait.
Movement amongst the trees of a forest shows that the enemy is advancing. The appearance of a number of screens in the midst of thick grass means that the enemy wants to make us suspicious. The rising of birds in their flight is the sign of an ambuscade.
Startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming. When there is dust rising in a high column, it is the sign of chariots advancing; when the dust is low, but spread over a wide area, it betokens the approach of infantry.
When it branches out in different directions, it shows that parties have been sent to collect firewood. A few clouds of dust moving to and fro signify that the army is encamping.
Humble words and increased preparations are signs that the enemy is about to advance. Violent language and driving forward as if to the attack are signs that he will retreat. When the light chariots come out first and take up a position on the wings, it is a sign that the enemy is forming for battle. Peace proposals unaccompanied by a sworn covenant indicate a plot. When there is much running about and the soldiers fall into rank, it means that the critical moment has come.
When some are seen advancing and some retreating, it is a lure. When the soldiers stand leaning on their spears, they are faint from want of food. If those who are sent to draw water begin by drinking themselves, the army is suffering from thirst. If the enemy sees an advantage to be gained and makes no effort to secure it, the soldiers are exhausted.
If birds gather on any spot, it is unoccupied. Clamor by night betokens nervousness. If there is disturbance in the camp, the general's authority is weak. If the banners and flags are shifted about, sedition is afoot. If the officers are angry, it means that the men are weary. When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle for food, and when the men do not hang their cooking-pots over the camp-fires, showing that they will not return to their tents, you may know that they are determined to fight to the death.
The sight of men whispering together in small knots or speaking in subdued tones points to disaffection amongst the rank and file. Too frequent rewards signify that the enemy is at the end of his resources; too many punishments betray a condition of dire distress. To begin by bluster, but afterwards to take fright at the enemy's numbers, shows a supreme lack of intelligence. When envoys are sent with compliments in their mouths, it is a sign that the enemy wishes for a truce.
If the enemy's troops march up angrily and remain facing ours for a long time without either joining battle or taking themselves off again, the situation is one that demands great vigilance and circumspection.
If our troops are no more in number than the enemy, that is amply sufficient; it only means that no direct attack can be made. What we can do is simply to concentrate all our available strength, keep a close watch on the enemy, and obtain reinforcements. He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them. If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless.
If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be unless. Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This is a certain road to victory.
If in training soldiers commands are habitually enforced, the army will be well-disciplined; if not, its discipline will be bad. If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed, the gain will be mutual. Terrain 1. Sun Tzu said: We may distinguish six kinds of terrain, to wit: 1 Accessible ground; 2 entangling ground; 3 temporizing ground; 4 narrow passes; 5 precipitous heights; 6 positions at a great distance from the enemy.
Ground which can be freely traversed by both sides is called accessible. With regard to ground of this nature, be before the enemy in occupying the raised and sunny spots, and carefully guard your line of supplies.
Then you will be able to fight with advantage. Ground which can be abandoned but is hard to re-occupy is called entangling.
From a position of this sort, if the enemy is unprepared, you may sally forth and defeat him. But if the enemy is prepared for your coming, and you fail to defeat him, then, return being impossible, disaster will ensue.
When the position is such that neither side will gain by making the first move, it is called temporizing ground. In a position of this sort, even though the enemy should offer us an attractive bait, it will be advisable not to stir forth, but rather to retreat, thus enticing the enemy in his turn; then, when part of his army has come out, we may deliver our attack with advantage.
With regard to narrow passes, if you can occupy them first, let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy. Should the army forestall you in occupying a pass, do not go after him if the pass is fully garrisoned, but only if it is weakly garrisoned.
With regard to precipitous heights, if you are beforehand with your adversary, you should occupy the raised and sunny spots, and there wait for him to come up. If the enemy has occupied them before you, do not follow him, but retreat and try to entice him away. If you are situated at a great distance from the enemy, and the strength of the two armies is equal, it is not easy to provoke a battle, and fighting will be to your disadvantage.
These six are the principles connected with Earth. The general who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them. Now an army is exposed to six several calamities, not arising from natural causes, but from faults for which the general is responsible. These are: 1 Flight; 2 insubordination; 3 collapse; 4 ruin; 5 disorganization; 6 rout. Other conditions being equal, if one force is hurled against another ten times its size, the result will be the flight of the former.
When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse. When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate, and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment, before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or no he is in a position to fight, the result is ruin.
When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixes duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization.
When a general, unable to estimate the enemy's strength, allows an inferior force to engage a larger one, or hurls a weak detachment against a powerful one, and neglects to place picked soldiers in the front rank, the result must be rout.
These are six ways of courting defeat, which must be carefully noted by the general who has attained a responsible post.
The natural formation of the country is the soldier's best ally; but a power of estimating the adversary, of controlling the forces of victory, and of shrewdly calculating difficulties, dangers and distances, constitutes the test of a great general. He who knows these things, and in fighting puts his knowledge into practice, will win his battles. He who knows them not, nor practices them, will surely be defeated. If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding.
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom. Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look upon them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.
If, however, you are indulgent, but unable to make your authority felt; kind-hearted, but unable to enforce your commands; and incapable, moreover, of quelling disorder: then your soldiers must be likened to spoilt children; they are useless for any practical purpose. If we know that our own men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the enemy is not open to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory.
If we know that the enemy is open to attack, but are unaware that our own men are not in a condition to attack, we have gone only halfway towards victory. If we know that the enemy is open to attack, and also know that our men are in a condition to attack, but are unaware that the nature of the ground makes fighting impracticable, we have still gone only halfway towards victory.
Hence the experienced soldier, once in motion, is never bewildered; once he has broken camp, he is never at a loss.
Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete. The Nine Situations 1. Sun Tzu said: The art of war recognizes nine varieties of ground: 1 Dispersive ground; 2 facile ground; 3 contentious ground; 4 open ground; 5 ground of intersecting highways; 6 serious ground; 7 difficult ground; 8 hemmed-in ground; 9 desperate ground. When a chieftain is fighting in his own territory, it is dispersive ground.
When he has penetrated into hostile territory, but to no great distance, it is facile ground. Ground the possession of which imports great advantage to either side, is contentious ground. Ground on which each side has liberty of movement is open ground. Ground which forms the key to three contiguous states, so that he who occupies it first has most of the Empire at his command, is a ground of intersecting highways.
When an army has penetrated into the heart of a hostile country, leaving a number of fortified cities in its rear, it is serious ground. Mountain forests, rugged steeps, marshes and fens--all country that is hard to traverse: this is difficult ground.
Ground which is reached through narrow gorges, and from which we can only retire by tortuous paths, so that a small number of the enemy would suffice to crush a large body of our men: this is hemmed in ground. Ground on which we can only be saved from destruction by fighting without delay, is desperate ground. On dispersive ground, therefore, fight not. On facile ground, halt not.
On contentious ground, attack not. On open ground, do not try to block the enemy's way. On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies. On serious ground, gather in plunder. In difficult ground, keep steadily on the march. On hemmed-in ground, resort to stratagem. On desperate ground, fight. Those who were called skillful leaders of old knew how to drive a wedge between the enemy's front and rear; to prevent co-operation between his large and small divisions; to hinder the good troops from rescuing the bad, the officers from rallying their men.
When the enemy's men were united, they managed to keep them in disorder. When it was to their advantage, they made a forward move; when otherwise, they stopped still. If asked how to cope with a great host of the enemy in orderly array and on the point of marching to the attack, I should say: "Begin by seizing something which your opponent holds dear; then he will be amenable to your will.
Rapidity is the essence of war: take advantage of the enemy's unreadiness, make your way by unexpected routes, and attack unguarded spots. The following are the principles to be observed by an invading force: The further you penetrate into a country, the greater will be the solidarity of your troops, and thus the defenders will not prevail against you.
Make forays in fertile country in order to supply your army with food. 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. Throw your soldiers into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer death to flight.
If they will face death, there is nothing they may not achieve. Officers and men alike will put forth their uttermost strength. Soldiers when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. If there is no place of refuge, they will stand firm. If they are in hostile country, they will show a stubborn front. If there is no help for it, they will fight hard.
Thus, without waiting to be marshaled, the soldiers will be constantly on the qui vive; without waiting to be asked, they will do your will; without restrictions, they will be faithful; without giving orders, they can be trusted. Prohibit the taking of omens, and do away with superstitious doubts.
List of military tactics
Then, until death itself comes, no calamity need be feared. If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity. On the day they are ordered out to battle, your soldiers may weep, those sitting up bedewing their garments, and those lying down letting the tears run down their cheeks.
But let them once be brought to bay, and they will display the courage of a Chu or a Kuei. The skillful tactician may be likened to the shuai-jan. Now the shuai-jan is a snake that is found in the ChUng mountains.
Strike at its head, and you will be attacked by its tail; strike at its tail, and you will be attacked by its head; strike at its middle, and you will be attacked by head and tail both. Asked if an army can be made to imitate the shuai-jan, I should answer, Yes. For the men of Wu and the men of Yueh are enemies; yet if they are crossing a river in the same boat and are caught by a storm, they will come to each other's assistance just as the left hand helps the right. Hence it is not enough to put one's trust in the tethering of horses, and the burying of chariot wheels in the ground The principle on which to manage an army is to set up one standard of courage which all must reach.
How to make the best of both strong and weak--that is a question involving the proper use of ground. Thus the skillful general conducts his army just as though he were leading a single man, willy-nilly, by the hand. It is the business of a general to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy; upright and just, and thus maintain order. He must be able to mystify his officers and men by false reports and appearances, and thus keep them in total ignorance.
By altering his arrangements and changing his plans, he keeps the enemy without definite knowledge. By shifting his camp and taking circuitous routes, he prevents the enemy from anticipating his purpose. At the critical moment, the leader of an army acts like one who has climbed up a height and then kicks away the ladder behind him. He carries his men deep into hostile territory before he shows his hand.
He burns his boats and breaks his cooking-pots; like a shepherd driving a flock of sheep, he drives his men this way and that, and nothing knows whither he is going.
List of military tactics
To muster his host and bring it into dangerthis may be termed the business of the general. The different measures suited to the nine varieties of ground; the expediency of aggressive or defensive tactics; and the fundamental laws of human nature: these are things that must most certainly be studied.
When invading hostile territory, the general principle is, that penetrating deeply brings cohesion; penetrating but a short way means dispersion.
Flanking maneuver Interdiction — severing or disrupting lines of communication and supply Air interdiction Control MSR main supply routes Envelopment Circumvallation Finnish motti tactics Siege For attacking fortified places Vertical envelopment Airborne forces Air mobile forces Rapid deployment Capturing key points Airborne operations Air mobile operations Amphibious operations Motorized operations Tank desant Mechanized operations Armored operations Raiding — a small team is inserted deep behind enemy lines to capture a high-value individual or destroy a vital enemy installation then extracted before the enemy can respond.
Decapitation strike Preemptive war Disrupting communications Electronic countermeasures Radar jamming Radio jamming. Basic principles Defence in depth Mutual support e. Decisive Warfare: A Study in Military Theory New ed. Wildside Press. Retrieved December 10, The History Channel.
Archived from the original on 13 October Retrieved 13 December The Clausewitz Homepage. Retrieved December 13, Night Combat. Google books. United States Army. Air Power at the Battlefront:If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity. By holding out baits, he keeps him on the march; then with a body of picked men he lies in wait for him.
In respect of military method, we have, firstly, Measurement; secondly, Estimation of quantity; thirdly, Calculation; fourthly, Balancing of chances; fifthly, Victory.
Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.
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