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Principles of War

Principles of war are rules and guidelines that represent truths in the practice of war and military operations.

The earliest known principles of war were documented by Sun Tzu, circa 500 BCE. Machiavelli published his "General Rules" in 1521 which were themselves modeled on Vegetius' Regulae bellorum generales (Epit. 3.26.1-33). Henri, Duke of Rohan established his "Guides" for war in 1644. Marquis de Silva presented his "Principles" for war in 1778. Henry Lloyd proffered his version of "Rules" for war in 1781 as well as his "Axioms" for war in 1781.Then in 1805, Antoine-Henri Jomini published his "Maxims" for War version 1, "Didactic Resume" and "Maxims" for War version 2. Carl von Clausewitz wrote his version in 1812 building on the work of earlier writers.

There are no universally agreed-upon principles of war.

Carl von Clausewitz

The principles of war identified by Carl von Clausewitz in his essay Principles of War,[2] and later enlarged in his book, On War have been influential on military thinking in the North Atlantic region.

The initial essay dealt with the tactics of combat, and suggested the following general principles:

discover how we may gain a preponderance of physical forces and material advantages at the decisive point,to calculate moral factors, make the best use of the few means at our disposal'never lack calmness and firmness...without this firm resolution, no great results can be achieved in the most successful war, always have the choice between the most audacious and the most careful military leader has ever become great without audacity

Based on the above, Clausewitz went on to suggest principles for tactics, the scale of combat that dominated European warfare at the time:

The Defence

The Offense

The Use of Troops

The Use Of Terrain

forces are more effective in a concentric rather than in a parallel attack; attack concentrically without having decisive superiority in an engagement

always seek to envelop that part of the enemy against which we direct our main attack

cut off the enemy from his line of retreat

Clausewitz also included in the essay general principles of strategy by saying that Warfare has three main objects:

(a) To conquer and destroy the armed power of the enemy; always direct our principal operation against the main body of the enemy army or at least against an important portion of his forces

(b) To take possession of his material and other sources of strength, and to direct our operations against the places where most of these resources are concentrated

(c) To gain public opinion, won through great victories and the occupation of the enemy's capital

use our entire force with the utmost energy, the decisive point of attack, never to waste time, surprise plays a much greater role in tactics than in strategy, pursuit, forces concentrated at the main point

an attack on the lines of communication takes effect only very slowly, while victory on the field of battle bears fruit immediately

In strategy, therefore, the side that is surrounded by the enemy is better off than the side which surrounds its opponent, especially with equal or even weaker forces

To cut the enemy's line of retreat, however, strategic envelopment or a turning movement is very effective be physically and morally superior stores of supplies, on whose preservation operations absolutely depend

The provisioning of troops is a necessary condition of warfare and thus has great influence on the operations

independent action

Strategic Defense

Politically speaking defensive war is a war which we wage for our independence

Strategic Offense

The strategic offensive pursues the aim of the war directly, aiming straight at the destruction of the enemy's forces

Posted by George Freund on November 20, 2019 at 2:16 PM 170 Views