Ferdinand Foch The Principles of War

ISBN 13: 9781234391836

The Principles of War

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9781234391836: The Principles of War
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1918 edition. Excerpt: ...his order: "It must not, however, prevent an energetic march on the enemy, if the opportunity occurs, but without pursuing him too far." He only increases such evil by creating doubt and confusion in the mind of men to whom he says simultaneously: " Withdraw and advance. Take up positions, and however march with energy on the enemy if the opportunity occurs." As if, in order to march with energy on the enemy, it were not necessary to seek him, and to plan accordingly. The worst consequences will result from this kind of command. It will be always thus when the Higher Command, lacking in broadness of view or in strength of will, seeks to substitute itself to its subordinates, to think and decide for them. In order to think and decide correctly it would need to see through their eyes, from the point where they stand; it would need to be everywhere at one time. Command, in the sense necessitated by the scope of modern engagements, must mean for the Higher Command merely the clear determination of a result to be obtained, of the mission given to the subordinate unit in the operation undertaken by all the forces. But that determination must leave to the subordinate chief full liberty as regards the means to employ for obtaining the desired result in spite of circumstances which will arise to prevent it, which circumstances cannot be foreseen in advance. Along these lines, the army commander, after communicating to the commander of the 6th Corps at Opocno all the information concerning the enemy which might interest him, after informing him of the movements of the army, would merely have ordered: "For the purpose of protecting the concentration which is going on at Josephstadt, move to Skalitz, from where you will hold...

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