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Principles of Strategy and Tactics

This is a discussion on Principles of Strategy and Tactics within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; First off, I just love coming up with new strategies and tacticies. So my question is, are there any principles ...


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Old February 22nd, 2011   #1
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Principles of Strategy and Tactics

First off, I just love coming up with new strategies and tacticies. So my question is, are there any principles that apply when developing one's strategy and/or tactic?

Perhaps something that could be applied in more than just one area. Like for activities ranging from Paintball to real combat, from fighting on the ground to fighting in the air.


I guess puting it simply: I am involded in all kinds of activities that require the use of strategy and tactics so I am just looking for a set of guidelines to follow when developing one.

Sorry if this does not make much sence but it is 3:00 am where I am at and my brain is doing this . (I am working on homework and doing this will waiting for it to load.)

Again sorry I will be more that happy to answer any quesitons.
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Old February 22nd, 2011   #2
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First off, I just love coming up with new strategies and tacticies. So my question is, are there any principles that apply when developing one's strategy and/or tactic?

Perhaps something that could be applied in more than just one area. Like for activities ranging from Paintball to real combat, from fighting on the ground to fighting in the air.


I guess puting it simply: I am involded in all kinds of activities that require the use of strategy and tactics so I am just looking for a set of guidelines to follow when developing one.

Sorry if this does not make much sence but it is 3:00 am where I am at and my brain is doing this . (I am working on homework and doing this will waiting for it to load.)

Again sorry I will be more that happy to answer any quesitons.

Hey Darth Ice,

While I'm sure this thread will touch of a firestorm of advice, I'd like to put forth a few gems to start it off, by one of my favorite thinkers in the realm of strategy, Basil Liddell Hart.

1) Direct attacks against an enemy firmly in position almost never work and should never be attempted.

This is not to say that they never work, but even if they do, such direct assaults often result in such a high causalty rate, so that the battle isn't worth winning, as your further plans are stalled, or worse, must be abandoned. This is due to the fact that this is your opponent's chosen ground, which he decided that under the circumstances, was the best possible place for him to face you, due to the advantages it will give him in the confrontation. Get the idea?

2) To defeat the enemy one must first upset his equilibrium, which is not accomplished by the main attack, but must be done before the main attack can succeed.

This maxim is directly related to the first maxim. Attempt to throw your opponent off balance by doing a variety of things. First of all, try to choose the least expected line of attack. Or if you must attack where he is prepared for it, make him believe you will attack elsewhere to draw off some of his strength.


I could offer you many more, but I'm at work and just wanted to kick it off with these two. Hope they prove helpful to you. They certainly have to me.

Last edited by OPSSG; July 21st, 2013 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Fixed format
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Old February 24th, 2011   #3
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How you fight is going to be dictated by several things:

1. Who you're fighting.
2. What you're fighting with.
3. Where you're fighting.
4. What you're trying to accomplish (mission/goal).
5. Other concerns (foreign policy, etc.)

Once you know these, build the tactic/strategy which fits it best, making compromises and value judgments where you need to. You can do this preemptively (most modern militaries all have well-forged, up-to-date doctrine) or reactively in response to an enemy's tactical and strategic moves.

What kind of things are you involved in that require this sort of decisionmaking?

Just my two cents.
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Old February 24th, 2011   #4
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Yeah Darth, what are you doing? Advice may vary depending on what you're involved in. Are you more involved with tactical type scenarios (aka paintball, etc...)? Or something which necessitates a higher strategy such as a whole campaign type scenario?
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Old February 26th, 2011   #5
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Sorry for not repling sooner but my teachers had me loaded down with homework.

Right now the activity I will be involved in are paintball; however, in about four years I will be joining the army as a secound lieutenant (through West Point or ROTC program).

I am a senior in high school and will be joining after college. After college then the army. Since I will be an officer I want to learn as much as I can about developing and deploying tactics/strategies.
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Old February 27th, 2011   #6
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Sorry for not repling sooner but my teachers had me loaded down with homework.

Right now the activity I will be involved in are paintball; however, in about four years I will be joining the army as a secound lieutenant (through West Point or ROTC program).

I am a senior in high school and will be joining after college. After college then the army. Since I will be an officer I want to learn as much as I can about developing and deploying tactics/strategies.

If you're going to be an officer in the Army, and want to begin to develop your knowledge of strategy and tactics, I would recommend reading Basil Liddell-Hart 's book "Strategy". This book will give you some excellent strategic analysis of various major campaigns throughout history, with the focus towards the end shifting to WW1 and 2. One of the major benefits of this book, in my opinion, is that through this study, he distills some simple and helpful strategic maxims which have shown themselves to be relevant throughout history.

For someone at your stage of the game, I think this would be a great place to start.
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Old February 28th, 2011
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Old March 1st, 2011   #7
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Sorry for not repling sooner but my teachers had me loaded down with homework.

Right now the activity I will be involved in are paintball; however, in about four years I will be joining the army as a secound lieutenant (through West Point or ROTC program).

I am a senior in high school and will be joining after college. After college then the army. Since I will be an officer I want to learn as much as I can about developing and deploying tactics/strategies.
If you're a senior now, the deadline for applying for USMA and ROTC scholarships will probably have passed. If the colleges you're looking at attending next year have ROTC programs, give the AROTC battalion on campus a call and ask if you can participate in the program. If you show interest and motivation, they will almost certainly give you a go-ahead. When class registration time rolls around in the Fall, sign up for the Leadership Lab and PT.

Also, check in with one of the recruiting officers to see if you can get a scholarship for the remaining three years of your time in college.

As an LT, you'll be called upon to be a combat leader, and a large part of that involves being creative, improvising with what you have to get the mission done.

But at the same time, you'll also have to follow SOP and play by the rules. For example, as a soldier, you'll learn how to do things like call in a nine-line medevac. There's a set way of doing it, screw around with that set way and people get killed. You have to balance being imaginative and doing things by the book.

Focus on being physically fit, mentally sharp, and keep you communication and leadership skills honed.
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Old March 1st, 2011   #8
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I turn in my application for USMA. However, there are about 45,000 applicants (I heard) so I am looking for other colleges to attent in case I don't get accepted. I was not sure how to get into the ROTC programs but I do now thanks.
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Old March 3rd, 2011   #9
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I turn in my application for USMA. However, there are about 45,000 applicants (I heard) so I am looking for other colleges to attent in case I don't get accepted. I was not sure how to get into the ROTC programs but I do now thanks.
Where else have you applied? Deadlines have probably passed for most of the four-years. I don't know what AROTC's policy on transfers from community colleges is, so going to a CC this Fall might be an option.

Look into OCS and direct commissioning as well.
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Old March 4th, 2011   #10
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Where else have you applied? Deadlines have probably passed for most of the four-years. I don't know what AROTC's policy on transfers from community colleges is, so going to a CC this Fall might be an option.

Look into OCS and direct commissioning as well.
So far chipola (A two year with some four year digrees and I don't it has ROTC) and UWF a four year with ROTC.
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Old July 21st, 2013   #11
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Strategy Principles and Concepts:

Principle #1: Attack and defend using Deception.
Principle #2: Defend against Deception by being Non-Trusting.
Principle #3: React with an appropriate Response.

Law #1: Attack the Moral Law of man: use Propoganda.
Law #2: Attack using the power of the Heavens: time of day and weather can be an ally.
Law #3: Attack with the knowledge of Earth: know the ground and how to negotiate it.
Law #4: Attack with the mind of a Commander: always fight with the mind first and foremost.
Law #5: Attack using Method & Discipline: focus and stick to your goal in a Tactical manner.

This is a simplified version of my book based on warfare strategy.
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Old July 21st, 2013   #12
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This is a simplified version of my book based on warfare strategy.
Quoting "Fallen Earth" gaming strategy might not be the best start....
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Old October 9th, 2013   #13
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It seems that there are mountains of books written about strategy and tactics. I am no scholar by any means though I have read some common ones like Art of War, Go Rin No Sho (Musashi), Roots of Strategy, and others. My question is how are the concepts put into practice in a real life struggle?

It can hardly be a good time to "practice" if one is put into a position where the knowledge held in the books can be the difference between life and death. I guess what I am asking is this; what is the process whereby battlefield tactics are learned in advance of the actual battle so they can be employed effectively? I am speaking here of strictly foot soldier against foot soldier, without armor, artillery, or air support.
I look forward to hearing the comments from any member who wishes to weigh in. Thanks.
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Old December 11th, 2013   #14
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It seems that there are mountains of books written about strategy and tactics. I am no scholar by any means though I have read some common ones like Art of War, Go Rin No Sho (Musashi), Roots of Strategy, and others. My question is how are the concepts put into practice in a real life struggle?

It can hardly be a good time to "practice" if one is put into a position where the knowledge held in the books can be the difference between life and death. I guess what I am asking is this; what is the process whereby battlefield tactics are learned in advance of the actual battle so they can be employed effectively? I am speaking here of strictly foot soldier against foot soldier, without armor, artillery, or air support.
I look forward to hearing the comments from any member who wishes to weigh in. Thanks.
That's the purposes of field exercises. There's a saying that drills are a bloodless war, and wars are a bloody drill. The Tactical Engagement System is essentially LaserQuest on mega steroids, and can be adapted to simulate 40mm M203 rounds and another weapons etc. The versatility of the system allows for troops to encounter a large range of potential weapon systems and react accordingly.
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Old December 12th, 2013   #15
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Methinks you need to do a bit of reading. The RAN Reading List is as good a place as any to start. It is quite comprehensive and whilst RAN and naval centric, it does have a good general strategy list. It is a 113 page pdf file. Also this http://www.clausewitz.com/readings/mcdp1.pdf
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