Battlefield Study Themes
Our Guides are selected to bring the historical campaigns - the personalities, locations and events - to life in an interesting and stimulating way. In doing so we pitch the Study at either the tactical, operational and/or strategic level, depending on the audience. But we also know that 'he who fails to learn the lessons of war live to suffer them' - so we also work hard to draw out lessons for modern warfare - operations in terms of the relevant Phases of War and the unchanging Principles of War in each case.
The Phases of War
- Preparation, Planning and Training
- Command & Control (C31)
- Intelligence & Reconnaissance (ISTAR)
- Armoured (Cavalry) Operations
- Infantry and Light Infantry Operations
- Artillery Support
- Logistics & Engineer Support
- All Arms Cooperation
- Inter Service Cooperation - Air/Maritime Support
- Mulitnational/Coalition Operations
- Political/Civilian/Military Operations
The Principles of War
These 'critical success factors' don't change over time:
- Selection & Maintenance of the Aim
Commanders must be clear what the aim of the operation is, communicate that aim with absolute conviction and clarity, and then stick to that aim with a clear Strategy.
Whilst maintaining the overall strategy (Principle 1), retaining the agility of mind to adjust Organisation & Tactics in order to react to changing or unforeseen circumstances.
- Maintenance of Morale
Morale is a battle-winning state of mind instilled by good leadership and team spirit based on a shared purpose & values and well-being.
- Offensive Action
A state of mind which is always seeking to gain the advantage, sustain momentum and seize the initiative.
Creating the environment - at least at the start of operations - in which friendly forces are best prepared and protected from potential disruption by the enemy.
The obverse of Security: Knocking your enemy off-balance by creating shock and confusion by acting in ways he does not expect, and therefore hasn't prepared for.
- Concentration of Force
Even if outnumbered overall, success is achieved by concentrating superior fighting power at a critical point and time.
- Economy of Effort
Managing manpower, material and time - and holding sufficient reserves - in order to be sure the aim can be achieved with minimum effort/casualties.
The use of team work to share workload, risks and opportunities at all levels - Allied, Inter Service, All Arms, individual teams.
The provision of good administration and logistics to maximise morale (Principle 3), fighting power and freedom of action.