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#294712 - 10/18/06 10:21 PM 33 Strategies of War
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
33 Strategies of War - Robert Greene
http://www.amazon.com/33-Strategies-War-Robert-Greene/dp/customer-reviews/0670034576

I'll try and update each day for the next month the various strategy summaries for your contemplation. This really is an amazing book...like a modern 'Art of War'.

you might read the entries over the next month, and think some sound harsh and non-compassionate....but realize raw war is not compassion, it's either you live or they live.

This is also not a political subliminal message supporting or denouncing war. nor does this address the alternatives to war. It's just war as war is. war is an unforgiving reality in human history, in our parents time, and in our time...whether nations fight, people fight, or each fight our own selves - successful conflict resolution takes strategy.

whether you read these as personal tactics, battlefield tactics, or national tactics - at various levels, it's still strategies of raw war.

...

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#294713 - 10/18/06 10:30 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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PART I - SELF-DIRECTED WARFARE

1. DECLARE WAR ON YOUR ENEMIES: THE POLARITY STRATEGY

Life is an endless battle and conflict, and you cannot fight effectively unless you can identify your enemies. Learn to smoke out your enemies, to spot them by the signs and patterns that reveal hostility. Then, once you have them in your sights, inwardly declare war. Your enemies can fill you with purpose and direction.

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#294714 - 10/19/06 12:33 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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2. DO NOT FIGHT THE LAST WAR: THE GUERRILLA-WAR-OF-THE-MIND STRATEGY

What often weighs you down and brings misery is the past. You must consciously wage war against the past and force yourself to react to the present moment. Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired methods. Wage guerrila war on your mind, allowing no staic lines of defense--make everything fluid and mobile.

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#294715 - 10/19/06 01:00 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
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Is it okay to comment? If yes, then it reminds of this quote:

"Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.

~ William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), "Measure for
Measure", Act 1 scene 4

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#294716 - 10/19/06 04:17 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
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yes, of course. I was hoping people would talk/give opinion/thoughts about each/any aspect as I copy them down each day for everyone.

reiteration to others: do not get political or moral. This is about general raw war strategy.

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#294717 - 10/20/06 01:04 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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3. AMIDST THE TURMOIL OF EVENTS, DO NOT LOSE YOUR PRESENCE OF MIND: THE COUNTERBALANCE STRATEGY

In the heat of battle, the mind tends to lose it's balance. It is vital to keep your presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers, whatever the circumstances. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.

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#294718 - 10/20/06 04:41 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:



In the heat of battle, the mind tends to lose it's balance. It is vital to keep your presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers, whatever the circumstances. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.






There are numerous examples in Roman sources depicting this very strategy in action.

Caesar offers his own version of this, citing bad leadership as equivalent to showing raw emotion in battle.

It is his ability to remain focused that allowed Caesar to manipulate a changing battle to his favor, such as the case when the 9th Legion was faltering, Caesar himself took command, standing among the legionaries and with a calm head giving orders to his troops. The former commander of the Legion let his emotions carry him to a foolhearty charge and early demise.

Sources on the 2nd Punic War recount the same. Hannibal frequently egged on Roman consuls into foolish attacks, bad ground, etc on more than one occasion.

These leaders are often scolded in literary sources for their brashness and use of emotion in battle.

Applied to MA it's the same principle. The calmer and more focused you are, the fewer mistakes and the more adaptability you maintain.

This applies to all levels of the military, from the legionary, to the centurions, to the consuls.

The main complaint about Alexander's Armies were that they were completely useless without Alexander himself on the front lines. The army did not operate without his calm and collected presence, as seen by the sections of his army that faltered in battle (any component not directly under his control essentially).


Edited by UofM Shorin Ryu (10/20/06 04:55 PM)
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#294719 - 10/20/06 04:55 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

2. DO NOT FIGHT THE LAST WAR: THE GUERRILLA-WAR-OF-THE-MIND STRATEGY

What often weighs you down and brings misery is the past. You must consciously wage war against the past and force yourself to react to the present moment. Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired methods. Wage guerrila war on your mind, allowing no staic lines of defense--make everything fluid and mobile.





Again, sources abundant in the Roman tradition of warfare.

The breakdown of the legion itself allows an enormous amount of mobility and adaptability, with each cohort led by a centurion and other NCO's.

It was also the fluid motion of Caesar's battle plans that allowed him to be victorious on several battles where he was outnumbered, surrounded, and the underdog.

Originally he started his battles reflecting the Marian style, wait on a hill, throw javelins at army, charge down hill and squash the enemy.

Caesar reiterates this experience in his work "The Conquest of Gaul". For one battle he mimicked the Marian tactic, won his battle, and vowed never to fight that way ever again....and he never did.

The one area where Caesar remained static cost him dearly against Pompey.

Caesar was renowned for always building ramparts and fortifications wherever he made battle. His earthwork style of fighting was a real decisive factor in his conquest of Gaul, seen in numerous battles.

But he never had the need to adapt this style or change it ever.

At Dyrrhachium, Pompey knew EXACTLY what Caesar planned to do, and the battle started as simply a contest to see who was the better earthenworks builder.

Turned out to be Pompey, and Caesar came very close to having his entire army annihilated and himself captured or killed.
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#294720 - 10/20/06 05:36 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

yes, of course. I was hoping people would talk/give opinion/thoughts about each/any aspect as I copy them down each day for everyone.

reiteration to others: do not get political or moral. This is about general raw war strategy.





I hope I'm giving some good conversation on which to go, I'm not really sure what you're asking for in terms of talk.

So far, I agree with the above strategies, and have given Roman examples where they've shown to be true.

Hope I'm at least in the ballpark here.....
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#294721 - 10/22/06 01:53 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Ed_Morris Offline
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'talk', meaning anything that comes from mind to keyboard!

...

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#294722 - 10/22/06 01:56 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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4. CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY AND DESPARATION: THE DEATH-GROUND STRATEGY
You are your own worst enemy. You waste precious time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past; enter unknown territory. Place yourself on 'death ground', where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive.

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#294723 - 10/23/06 07:39 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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PART II ORGANIZATIONAL (TEAM) WARFARE

5. AVOID THE SNARE OF GROUPTHINK: THE COMMAND-AND-CONTROL STRATEGY
The problem in leading any group is that people inevitably have their own agendas. You have to create a chain of command in which they do not feel constrained by your influence yet follow your lead. Create a sense of participation, but do not fall into groupthink -- the irrationality of collective decision making.

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#294724 - 10/23/06 09:40 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Chen Zen Offline
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Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Quote:

4. CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY AND DESPARATION: THE DEATH-GROUND STRATEGY
You are your own worst enemy. You waste precious time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past; enter unknown territory. Place yourself on 'death ground', where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive.


Not sure i agree with this one. It seems like it would add more stress to my already stress filled life. Other than that everything looks good so far.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
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#294725 - 10/24/06 09:43 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Chen Zen]
Ed_Morris Offline
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this isn't a self-help book.

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#294726 - 10/24/06 12:50 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Registered: 02/07/05
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Quote:

4. CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY AND DESPARATION: THE DEATH-GROUND STRATEGY
You are your own worst enemy. You waste precious time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past; enter unknown territory. Place yourself on 'death ground', where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive.




Perhaps true on an individual level, but not on a group level. Roman armies that have been surrounded or pushed together (Legionairies required 3sq ft of room to operate effectively) are annihilated. Greek armies that fell out of Phalanx were annihilated.

At least for ancient warfare I've seen, having your back against the wall means you're pretty screwed....

Morale is also important. It seems counter-productive to instill desperation in order to get people to fight harder, and the importance of high morale among troops.

I'll look into my books more on this one, see if I can dig up some Roman examples of sheer desperation turning them into super legionaries.
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#294727 - 10/24/06 02:24 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
vegantkd Offline
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Registered: 09/06/06
Posts: 121
Well the way I see it is this: we all can agree that we fight our hardest when our back is against the wall. But if we fight like our back is against the wall (i.e. our hardest)all the time, the likelihood of it coming down to such a desperate position diminishes.
To relate this to a modern-day non-war point, say you work on commission. If you work your ass off all the time, you hopefully won't get to a point where you're wondering what you're going to do this month because you haven't made any sales.

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#294728 - 10/24/06 02:30 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
harlan Offline
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Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
There is a particular 'mind set' that kicks in...when you 'know' you are going to die. At least for the average civilian, such as myself, there is a release of caution. Not so much as becoming desperately superhuman, so much as one becomes open/willing to try other avenues/opportunities/strategies.

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#294729 - 10/24/06 02:36 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
for a good example in history, look to Cortez in the Spanish conquest of Mexico against the 1 million strong Aztec empire. After onshore a while, his men were growing uneasy and were talking of mutany to return home to their families in Spain via escape to Cuba. Cortez order the ships to be scuttled so his men had no choice but to push on with him as their only way home.

The Russians during WWII, particularly in defense of their homeland against German invasion, had strict policies and enforcement of deserters on a battlefield. Deployed in the rear of fighting units would be machine gunners who's only mission it was to enforce this policy, and only as a last resort, they would engage the actual enemy.

I think the lesson here is we become more commited to the fight when our options are limited. limiting one's options on purpose to aquire this state of mind is sometimes strategically wise for the greater cause.

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#294730 - 10/24/06 02:54 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
vegantkd Offline
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Registered: 09/06/06
Posts: 121
Mr. Morris, I like this. Basically, having your back up against the wall gives you no choice but to move forward.

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#294731 - 10/24/06 08:41 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Chen Zen Offline
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Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Quote:

this isn't a self-help book.


W-w-wWhat?!?!?! are ya sure?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#294732 - 10/26/06 12:18 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Chen Zen]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Posts: 6768
6. SEGMENT YOUR FORCES: THE CONTROLLED-CHAOS STRATEGY

The critical elements in war are speed and adaptability - the ability to move and make decisions faster than the enemy. Break your forces into independant groups that can operate on their own. Make your forces elusive and unstoppable by infusing them with the spirit of the campaign, giving them a mission to accomplish, and then letting them run.

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#294733 - 10/26/06 12:21 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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7. TRANSFORM YOUR WAR INTO A CRUSADE: MORALE STRATEGIES

The secret to motivating people and maintaining their morale is to get them to think less about themselves and more about the group. Involve them in a cause, a crusade against a hated enemy. Make them see their survival as tied to the success of the army as a whole.

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#294734 - 10/26/06 12:25 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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PART III - DEFENSIVE WARFARE

8. PICK YOUR BATTLES CAREFULLY: THE PERFECT-ECONOMY STRATEGY

We all have limitations - our energies and skills will take us only so far. You must know your limits and pick your battles carefully. Consider the hidden costs of war: time lost, political goodwill squandered, an embittered enemy bent on revenge. Sometimes it is better to wait, to undermine your enemies covertly rather than hitting them straight on.

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#294735 - 10/26/06 01:03 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Quote:

6. SEGMENT YOUR FORCES: THE CONTROLLED-CHAOS STRATEGY

The critical elements in war are speed and adaptability - the ability to move and make decisions faster than the enemy. Break your forces into independant groups that can operate on their own. Make your forces elusive and unstoppable by infusing them with the spirit of the campaign, giving them a mission to accomplish, and then letting them run.




Pfff...too easy... Maniples, Cohorts, Legions, alea. Even carries over to today. Platoons, divisions, regiments, battalions. I'll get to the others when I have more free time...cause this is cool, fun stuff, good times!
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#294736 - 10/26/06 07:53 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
JoelM Offline
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Ed, Banana, I'm enjoying reading this. Don't have much to add, but I'm enjoying it.
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#294737 - 10/27/06 01:01 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

7. TRANSFORM YOUR WAR INTO A CRUSADE: MORALE STRATEGIES

The secret to motivating people and maintaining their morale is to get them to think less about themselves and more about the group. Involve them in a cause, a crusade against a hated enemy. Make them see their survival as tied to the success of the army as a whole.




There is a theory out there (in one of these several books on my shelves) about an idea known as "Defensive" or "Passive" Imperialism.

The idea being that the Romans conquered so much territory due to necessity, as a pre-emptive measure to being attacked themselves.

They took Corsica and Sardinia to prevent Carthage from establishing a base there.

They took Sicily for the same reason.

They conquered Spain to prevent a future attack from Carthage.

They took Greece after 4 wars, to prevent any more Greek interference in Roman affairs.

All these wars were justified under the pretext that the other powers out there forced the Romans to act in order to avoid annihilation. And in the same sense the Romans generally used this, true or not, to motivate the people to war.

This is why instead of surrendering after Hannibal destroyed THREE consular armies, the Romans kept coming. Fear of being destroyed led the entire Roman people to fight that much harder.

It was only during the Late Republic and Empire that Romans realized they were Imperial, and actively started conquering for the sake of conquering. THis may also be why the Romans acquired more territory during the Republic than during the entire existence of the Empire....
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#294738 - 10/27/06 01:11 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

PART III - DEFENSIVE WARFARE

8. PICK YOUR BATTLES CAREFULLY: THE PERFECT-ECONOMY STRATEGY

We all have limitations - our energies and skills will take us only so far. You must know your limits and pick your battles carefully. Consider the hidden costs of war: time lost, political goodwill squandered, an embittered enemy bent on revenge. Sometimes it is better to wait, to undermine your enemies covertly rather than hitting them straight on.




Standard battle strategies of both Marius and Caesar. Caesar makes it abundantly clear in both his books (the Civil War and the Gallic Wars) that he fought on HIS terms, never on his enemies.

Part of the reason of Caesar's success was that he made the enemy fight on Caesar's terms, and Caesar notoriously prepped the battlefield with all sorts of ramparts and earthworks to mess with his enemy.

Marius was the same, although a lot less artistic....
He would sit on a large hill and dig in. The enemy would charge up, pila would be thrown, and the Romans would sweep down the hill and absolutely massacre the enemy.

If the enemy didn't charge up into Marius' defenses, there simply was no battle....

Hannibal was the same. He forced the Romans to fight on his terms. Same with Alexander the Great.

Another example with slightly different connotations would be the surprise attacks at night by ancient armies. Only one I can think of at the moment is Spartacus' attack on a Roman consular army while they were encamped at night. Basically catching the enemy with their pants down.

In fact, nearly any time you have a much smaller army defeating a larger army it is due to the fact that the terms of the battle were unfavorable for the larger group.

Prime examples would be Marathon and Thermopylae. Everyone knows the story of the massive Persian army being repulsed by only 300 Spartans in the narrow pass at Thermopylae (except Antiochus III )....

Battlefield tactics 101: Don't fight where you don't want to fight.

There are other indications of the more defensive side to this strategy, but I've rambled enough tonight...

PS: Am I really doing all 33 Strategies of War by myself? Ain't anyone else out there taken a history class, military history class, or military class in general? Come on, I know some of you out there are IN the military!!
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#294739 - 10/27/06 01:33 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Ed_Morris Offline
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great annotation, UoM. keep it up...I'm reading and enjoying your comments.

(I think these strategies make for excellent dojo-kun )

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#294740 - 10/27/06 01:42 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

great annotation, UoM. keep it up...I'm reading and enjoying your comments.

(I think these strategies make for excellent dojo-kun )




Now I just need to find someone to pay me to do this and I'll be set for life!!
_________________________
Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#294741 - 10/27/06 06:52 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
TimBlack Offline
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Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1403
Loc: UK, Brighton
Quote:

4. CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY AND DESPARATION: THE DEATH-GROUND STRATEGY
You are your own worst enemy. You waste precious time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past; enter unknown territory. Place yourself on 'death ground', where your back is against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive.




I'll join in the critiques Aspiring History student here, main interest in intellectual history, so I guess this is right up my alley.

The implication of strategy 4 is that you want to put yourself in an ostensively bad situation in order to use that 'desperation mechanism' that will save you. Problem is, for every time your desperation mechanism kicks in, there are loads where it doesn't. This strategy unfortunately leads to a situation in which one deliberately stacks the odds against your army, or yourself. Problem is, those odds aren't meaningless. Sure, attacking that heavily fortified position without direct HE will trigger your 'desperation mechanism'. It'll also get your boys killed and force them to fall back, because guess what? Troops don't appreciate being put into desperate situations.

In fact, desperate situations should be avoided if at all possible. Choose your odds so that they benefit you, don't rely on hocus-pocus 'desperation', 'blind luck', or 'indestructability of your convictions' to get you through. In other words, avoid running a platoon at a Machine Gun.
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#294742 - 10/27/06 07:01 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: TimBlack]
Ed_Morris Offline
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I guess it could be taken literally...or it could be a frame of mind.

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#294743 - 10/27/06 07:20 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
TimBlack Offline
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Quote:

for a good example in history, look to Cortez in the Spanish conquest of Mexico against the 1 million strong Aztec empire. After onshore a while, his men were growing uneasy and were talking of mutany to return home to their families in Spain via escape to Cuba. Cortez order the ships to be scuttled so his men had no choice but to push on with him as their only way home.





I can't give these issues the depth they require, for obvious reasons. I'll try to simly make broad assertions and add a couple of reasons, but if you're interested, I invite you to do some extra reading as they do make fascinating subjects.

In reality, Cortez wasn't putting himself in a 'desperate' situation. The Spaniards had an enormous advantage in that Western warfare is based upon attrition - killing the enemy - while the central Americans had a highly ritualised form of warfare based around the prestige of capturing prisoners. The Spanish cutlass is designed to kill quickly and easily, while the azteks were using blunt stone or crude metal weapons designed to bludgen an enemy to incapacitation. This is only one facet of the reason Cortez was at an advantage, however.

The Spaniards also did not arrive to conquer. Whatever happened later, land was in fact an accident of an original attempt simply to set up a highly lucrative Spanish trading-system. I like to compare it to the Opium Wars in China, or the move from economic to military hegemony on the Indian subcontinent in the 19th century.

Quote:


The Russians during WWII, particularly in defense of their homeland against German invasion, had strict policies and enforcement of deserters on a battlefield. Deployed in the rear of fighting units would be machine gunners who's only mission it was to enforce this policy, and only as a last resort, they would engage the actual enemy.





This happened predominately early war. We're talking 41-late 42, during which the Red Army was in dire straits. Once the cream of the German Army had been broken at Stalingrad, the Russians suffered much lower casualties and a much smaller problem of desertion.

The simple fact is that the problem with desertion was one which was rather irrelevent in the early war. The German Army used large flanking movements which created pockets of Russian units. These divisions, lacking supplies, faced the choice of whether to stay there and starve, try and break out against an enemy on the defensive and with an artillery and armour monopoly, or try to 'slip out'. The fact is that once these pockets were created, whatever they did they would end up as prisoners and die (often both given the slave labour employed in Germany). This is where most of the casualties on the Russian side come from.

Post-war novels, films and some military histories would have you believe that the Red Army behaved by throwing its troops in headlong charges at machine guns with appalling losses, keeping the troops in line with fear, and basically steamrollering the Germans back by pure weight of numbers. The reality couldn't be more different, and what these claims really came down to was an attempt to remind the West of the Red Threat - a horde of soldiers who cared nothing for their own lives. In addition, the myth that the German Army had been overpowered by sheer weight of numbers vindicated German generals and fanboys who wanted to believe the mythology of a technologically and tactically superior Whermacht. Towards the last couple of years of the war, casualty statistics almost reached parity, and reflected pretty evenly losses on the Western front. The German losses stacked up, precisely because the Russians were then able to create pockets of their own.

I've gone off the point, but anyway the point is that the Red Army did not rely on shooting thousands of deserters much more than the Germans or Western Allies. When they did use it, early war, it was utterly pointless anyway and simply added to the casualties level. It certainly didn't put the ordinary soldier into 'desperation' mode, any more than the average soldier is in during war - which, by the way, tends to engender the '[censored] my pants and hide in a hole' mentality pretty well by itself.

Quote:

I think the lesson here is we become more commited to the fight when our options are limited. limiting one's options on purpose to aquire this state of mind is sometimes strategically wise for the greater cause.





The best options are always limited. The only reason you want to lower options is when dealing with those who cannot see the bigger picture. If slowing up an enemy in a particular area is absolutely imperative, you may have to take away flight options (and it probably won't work; at some point the soldiers just crack and then it's either run or surrender). In any case, the individual soldier in any army has few options - they simply have to obey orders, ala Charge of the Light Brigade. So my point is that you never limit your own options, just those of your subordinates, and your enemies. But your options are always inherently limited to the best option you can see anyway, so the idea of intentionally putting yourself in a situation of limited options is absurd. Take the best option, and make sure you have a plan B, C, D and Z.
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#294744 - 10/27/06 11:49 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: TimBlack]
Ed_Morris Offline
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good points!
The 'limiting options' idea assumes that we ourselves are imperfect and we can't assume plan A and Plan B,C,D are the best....but we can't afford to second-guess either.
not fighting and not going to war is always an option....sometimes an emotional one based on fear. since these tactics deal only with War itself, and not sucessful peace - some of the strategies will seem counter-intuitive.

read on...

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#294745 - 10/27/06 11:55 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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9. TURN THE TABLES: THE COUNTERATTACK STRATEGY

Moving first - initiating attack - will often put you at a disadvantage: You are exposing your strategy and limiting your options. Instead, discover the power holding back and letting the other side move first, giving you the flexability to counterattack from any angle. If your opponents are aggressive, bait them into a rash attack that will leave them in a weak position.

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#294746 - 10/28/06 06:18 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
TimBlack Offline
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Quote:

9. TURN THE TABLES: THE COUNTERATTACK STRATEGY

Moving first - initiating attack - will often put you at a disadvantage: You are exposing your strategy and limiting your options. Instead, discover the power holding back and letting the other side move first, giving you the flexability to counterattack from any angle. If your opponents are aggressive, bait them into a rash attack that will leave them in a weak position.




I think this strategy misses the point really. The idea is not to decide "I will counter-attack", the idea is to hold the initiative. That means that you dictate what the enemy does. The basics: almost inevitably, you cannot have a firepower/numerical advantage all across the front (by the way just substitute firepower for whatever era you like). So, you need to focus what you have in certain places, and use them against areas which have a much lower concentration.

When you decide to rely on the counter-attack, you allow your enemy to focus as much as he likes, while you have to keep defending all areas. The only case in which this kind of strategy works is when you can use a mobile reserve (say a few divisions of mechanised infantry and armour), wait for an area to be attacked, and hope that you have the forces to hold the enemy off. I guess a good example of this would be World War 1, in which there was a move by the Germans towards 'elastic defense', where the front line was held by very small forces (basically just a few machine guns), which would still take a big toll in life, and then a second line which would go to areas of the front line under attack and defend it. To be honest, I'm not sure this example is a good reason to adopt counter-attack as a useful strategy, since it relied upon a time in warfare when defensive warfare was hugely more effective than offensive.

So, I'd say that counter-attacks have a part to play, but they should never be considered a strategy in themselves - they're simply a tool you can use in order to hold onto the initiative, which is what you really need in order to close down the enemy's options and allow you to select who, and where, you engage, with which of your forces (warfare often comes down to rock-paper-scissors).
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#294747 - 10/28/06 08:02 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: TimBlack]
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When I first read thru these, one by one, I found myself also disagreeing with some...but then I noticed some contradict each other, and wondered if I was reading them the wrong way.

just as in 'Art of War', I don't think they are meant to be as a step-by-step playbook. instead they need to be considered in their combined wisdom...not as an exclusive set.

what helps to see it this way, is by adding the word "sometimes..." before each strategy.

or think in terms of chess. surely sometimes it's sound strategy to wait for attack...particularly when you sense desparation on your opponents part.

all things equal, opening first in chess is considered a disadvantage.

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#294748 - 10/29/06 12:28 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
TimBlack Offline
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Yeah, I guess so, but part of my problem with it is that it focuses on the counter-attack as a strategy, rather than focusing on keeping the initiative. It assumes that your enemy isn't going to expect you to counter-attack (which is always the assumption) and also that you have the means to deliver your force concentration to the correct point at the correct time.
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#294749 - 10/29/06 07:58 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

9. TURN THE TABLES: THE COUNTERATTACK STRATEGY

Moving first - initiating attack - will often put you at a disadvantage: You are exposing your strategy and limiting your options. Instead, discover the power holding back and letting the other side move first, giving you the flexability to counterattack from any angle. If your opponents are aggressive, bait them into a rash attack that will leave them in a weak position.





Quote:


Yeah, I guess so, but part of my problem with it is that it focuses on the counter-attack as a strategy, rather than focusing on keeping the initiative. It assumes that your enemy isn't going to expect you to counter-attack (which is always the assumption) and also that you have the means to deliver your force concentration to the correct point at the correct time.





Well, my view of this isn't so much that the counter-attack be unknown by the enemy, but rather that it be unexpected.

The best example of this strategy can be seen with Alexander the Great, or in several Roman sources.

The "initiative" aspect of this is the idea of pre-emtive attack. Alex, as well as several Roman generals, would charge with inferior numbers in order to disrupt the enemy and keep them unorganized. Alex is often seen at the head of the hetairoi making some foolhearty charge into the massive Persian ranks. But there's a thin line between genius and madman. Alex knew that if the Persian army was given time to properly form up and prep battle lines, he was in trouble. Therefore, you see several of Alex's battles beginning with a cavalry charge into unorganized Persians....

The "strategy" side is best seen with Hannibal, at Cannae. His battle strategy there epitomizes the Counter-Attack strategy.



As you can see here, Hannibal starts the battle in a very specific organized structure (also encompasing some earlier Strategies...). Hannibal counter-attacks in the middle slide, with his cavalry and reserve infantry (the elite, veterans, and heavy inf) sweeping the sides and enveloping the Roman army. And the result is clear, with it being one of the bloodiest days and worst losses in Roman history.

That's why this is focused on Strategy. The idea is actually NOT always assumed that the counter-attack will be some invisible reserves hiding in the woods, rather that the attack will not be predicted.

All of Hannibal's men were visible at the outset, and if the Roman commander had half a brain, he would have recognized the danger of Hannibal's formation at the outset of the battle. Thus, the assumption that the counter-attack is unexpected is indeed true, but it isn't necessarily invisible to enemy forces.

The strategy works not because you happen to "time things right", as suggested above (Mr. Black), but rather because the situation was molded in a way prior to the battle to allow the possibility of a counter-attack. This is why the Strategy says the following:

Quote:


Instead, discover the power holding back and letting the other side move first, giving you the flexability to counterattack from any angle.





Hannibal's formation allowed his army to do whatever it wanted. The Romans had one strategy, and one result. Once they were trapped, they could only push forward.

Even if Hannibal's middle had collapsed and routed, he still had two large contingents on the sides to fight with (both of which were his stronger forces anyways). Hence, by maintaining a defensive stance, he maintains flexibility THROUGHOUT the battle.

The Romans have momentum and initiative at the beginning, but Hannibal is able to sacrafice this early initiative in order to gain it once the forces were engaged.

Quote:


If your opponents are aggressive, bait them into a rash attack that will leave them in a weak position.





I think this is the most important line of the strategy, and the reason it is a "Strategy" rather than an important point about "initiative". Initiative becomes obsolete once the battle has commenced, and the battle conditions change constantly. The victor is decidd by which army and general maintains the highest ability to ADAPT to the changing conditions. Hannibal is able to adapt to the fact that the Roman charge in standard formation was virtually unstopable, but the Romans were unable to adapt to the fact that they had gotten themselves surrounded by breaking formation and continuing on the early momentum and initiative at the start of the battle.
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#294750 - 10/31/06 03:11 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
TimBlack Offline
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Is the battle of Canae an example of a counter-attack? It's just, to me it seems more like an example of why an attacker should never develop unsupported salients and should, instead, always seek to turn an enemy's flank or side so that they don't have to fight on two fronts... After all, Canae is an example of flank attack more than anything - I agree that the Romans attacked, but surely to claim that Hannibal's strategy was a 'counter-attack' rather than a novel method for taking pockets (ie. encirclement strategy) is a stretching the idea of counter-attack a little? Or would you consider a flank attack to be a counter-attack? I guess it depends on definition to a degree...

(and, by the way, nice graphics )
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#294751 - 11/01/06 02:53 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: TimBlack]
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Quote:

Is the battle of Canae an example of a counter-attack?





It could be viewed as many things. I mean, this one battle has applications in Strategies 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9.

I don't think any were intended to have clear lines of demarcation or separation (there's be a lot more aspects for each one if there was), rather that we look at these "options" and are able to properly apply them to battle tactics.

Its just like anything in life, if you follow the directions, things will work. If you follow the wrong directions, or don't follow the directions, things might get messed up. The 33 Strategies seem to follow the same principle in my eyes.

This can be viewed as a Counter-attack because Hannibal's best troops were purposefully on the flanks, and they were the main force of his army. Thus, the Romans attacked the weak force, while Hannibal "counter-attacked" with the rest of the army.

It can also be viewed as Strategy 8, Defensive Warfare. Obviously Hannibal chose a perfect defensive formation for the Romans to trap themselves in, and the rest is history...

Quote:


It's just, to me it seems more like an example of why an
attacker should never develop unsupported salients and should, instead, always seek to turn an enemy's flank or side so that they don't have to fight on two fronts...






Well, the strength of the Roman legions were in exactly what they did at this battle, standard formation marching forward. Hannibal knew this, and it's even reflected in the battle (Hannibal's middle collapsed...even quicker than he expected it to....)

The Romans weren't fond of too much flanking for the obvious reason that their formation was rather strict in a line. Hence, if they are attacking a side, there is less of a force to go up against (think teeter-totter, triangle wedge and a line, with a very small point of contact between the two). Basically, if a Roman legion tried to flank, it would have to divide, and that (as attested in several sources) usually just deadlines the strength of the legion.

The problem is the Legion worked on a type of "replacement" system. Two or three cohorts would be in the front lines, and then they would fall back and allow others, who are fresh and ready to fight, to move up and continue the battle.

A legion had 10 cohorts. In order to flank, you would need to 1/2 that and attack from each side. But if you only have 5 cohorts attacking, the replacement system becomes obsolete, as all cohorts would have to fight in order to maintain a long enough battle line.

Basically, a Roman army flanking with anything other than alea (cavalry) is pointless, because once they broke formation, the battle was over and the legion was decimated.
That's even reflected here. The Romans charged through the center, and broke formation to contine forward. The result was a lack of cohesion between cohorts, and the encirclement of the entire army.

I think it's very much a lesson reflecting Strategy 2 as well. Basically, the Romans were stagnant. They used the same tactic they had been using the past 50 years, and Hannibal had seen it several times before.

The Romans had the uncanny ability to "fight the last war", and the one before that, and the one before that....

It wasn't until the STOPPED doing the same thing over and over (Fabius Maximus "Cuncator") that the Romans finally gained ground.

And it wasn't until Hannibal's own stagnancy got the better of him that the war was won by the Romans. That's where Scipio played his role. He basically mimmicked Hannibal, and beat him at his own game.

Quote:


After all, Canae is an example of flank attack more than anything - I agree that the Romans attacked, but surely to claim that Hannibal's strategy was a 'counter-attack' rather than a novel method for taking pockets (ie. encirclement strategy) is a stretching the idea of counter-attack a little?





See above.
Could be a bit from column A, a bit from column B.

Quote:


Or would you consider a flank attack to be a counter-attack? I guess it depends on definition to a degree...





Well, Hannibal had to lure the Romans into attacking first before his flanking strategy could have any effect. I would consider a flanking strategy more a pre-emptive attack from one or more sides, where the enemy is not given the time to re-adjust their positioning to meet two fronts.

It wasn't so much that Hannibal flanked the enemy, the Romans had ways of dealing with that. It was the fact that the Romans needed act first in order for the flanking to work that makes me lean towards counter-attack.

Quote:


(and, by the way, nice graphics )




Google images is my friend....

EDIT:

Found an image that shows this replacement system.
Basically, the front lines move backwards when tired, the back lines move forward. Is so simpoe!



Edited by UofM Shorin Ryu (11/01/06 02:59 AM)
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#294752 - 11/01/06 07:35 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
Ed_Morris Offline
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10. CREATE A THREATENING PRESENCE: DETERRENCE STRATEGIES

The best way to fight off an aggressor is to keep them from attacking you in the first place. Build up a reputation: You're a little crazy. Fighting you is not worth it. Uncertainty is sometimes better than overt threat: If your opponents are never sure what messing with you will cost, they will not want to find out.

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#294753 - 11/01/06 07:38 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
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11. TRADE SPACE FOR TIME: THE NONENGAGEMENT STRATEGY

Retreat in the face of a strong enemy is a sign not of weakness but of strength. By resisting the temptation to respond to an aggressor, you buy yourself valuable time - time to recover, to think, to gain perspective. Sometimes you can accomplish most by doing nothing.

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#294754 - 11/01/06 02:21 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

10. CREATE A THREATENING PRESENCE: DETERRENCE STRATEGIES

The best way to fight off an aggressor is to keep them from attacking you in the first place. Build up a reputation: You're a little crazy. Fighting you is not worth it. Uncertainty is sometimes better than overt threat: If your opponents are never sure what messing with you will cost, they will not want to find out.




The Imperial Roman army was notoriously known all over the world as the baddest, meanest, and nastiest fighting force on the planet....

And was severely underused....

The army after Augustus participated in very few wars, and far fewer large scale wars of conquest.

The reason why isn't because the Romans ran out of places to conquer (well....that's part of the reason...), but rather because no one wanted to mess with them. There was not one organized army capable of taking on the Roman army.

Occasionally a few "barbarian" tribes would wander into Roman territory and shake things up, but the Roman response was always the same. They send a few legions in and burn the hell out of everything the army touched. And that's the end of that insurrection.

It wasn't until the end of the empire that armies capable of standing ANY chance against the Romans began to emerge and fight the Romans again....and that was due to the fact that the Germans and Eastern tribes began adopting and mimicking the Roman Legions themselves.....

Trajan's column, monuments, letters, pictures, and even the Emperor's name reflect the power of the Roman army.

Just picture Trajan as Tony Montana: "you mess with me, you mess with the best!".

And everyone knew the Romans had the war record to back up statements like that too.....hence the reason the army was largely inactive post-Augustus....


This was actually all covered today in lecture, so you're getting FRESH knowledge from the U of M Classics Department here!!

(as opposed to the day old stuff I usually give you... )
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#294755 - 11/01/06 02:28 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

11. TRADE SPACE FOR TIME: THE NONENGAGEMENT STRATEGY

Retreat in the face of a strong enemy is a sign not of weakness but of strength. By resisting the temptation to respond to an aggressor, you buy yourself valuable time - time to recover, to think, to gain perspective. Sometimes you can accomplish most by doing nothing.




One man emphasizes this point above all, Fabius Maximus Cuncator, ie, "the delayor".

The Romans had been trounced by Hannibal repeatedly. Fabius saw this, saw what army the Senate had given him command over (a bunch of Green losers for legionaries), and said, "F that!"

He famously defeated Hannibal by refusing to fight....and it worked trememdously.

Hannibal was in hostile territory, and his goal was to unite the Italian tribes against Rome, knowing full well the strength of Rome lay in her allies (anyone wanna guess the modern day reference?).

Thus, he needed a constant string of victories to sway the allies to defect to Carthage.

But when Fabius refused to fight, Hannibal was left like a boat without a paddle, so to speak. Useless.

He stopped receiving reinforcements, and started making enemies in Italy (as he had to pillage the landscape for supplies and food to feed his army, not a real good way to convince people you are there as a "liberator" from the evil Romans....).

Unfortunately, the Romans got tired of this strategy, and discontinued the delay strategy that had worked so well. So Fabius was followed by several other Roman defeats, and the war dragged on....
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#294756 - 11/01/06 02:29 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
harlan Offline
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I like the non-engagement tactic. Melt away, beyond Hadrian's Wall, and let the cold work it's magic on Roman feet.

(BTW...did they ever find those 'missing' legions? )

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#294757 - 11/02/06 08:32 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: harlan]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

I like the non-engagement tactic. Melt away, beyond Hadrian's Wall, and let the cold work it's magic on Roman feet.

(BTW...did they ever find those 'missing' legions? )




Let's just say Claudius invaded without an "exit strategy"....or any strategy for that matter.....
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#294758 - 11/02/06 08:58 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
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PART IV - OFFENSIVE WARFARE

12. LOSE BATTLES BUT WIN THE WAR: GRAND STRATEGY

Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the battle and calculating ahead. It requires that you focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it. Let others get caught up in the twists and turns of the battle, relishing their little victories. Grandstrategy will bring you the ultimate reward: the last laugh.

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#294759 - 11/02/06 09:01 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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13. KNOW YOUR ENEMY: THE INTELLIGENCE STRATEGY

The target of your strategies should be less the army you face than the mind of the man or woman who runs it. If you understand how that mind works, you have the key to deceiving and controlling it. Train yourself to read people, picking up the signals they unconsciously send about their innermost thoughts and intentions.

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#294760 - 11/02/06 09:05 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
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14. OVERWHELM RESISTANCE WITH SPEED AND SUDDENNESS: THE BLITZKRIEG STRATEGY

In a world in which many people are indecisive and overly cautious, the use of speed will bring you untold power. Striking first, before your opponents have time to think or prepare, will make them emotional, unbalanced, and prone to error.

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#294761 - 11/03/06 02:06 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

PART IV - OFFENSIVE WARFARE

12. LOSE BATTLES BUT WIN THE WAR: GRAND STRATEGY

Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the battle and calculating ahead. It requires that you focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it. Let others get caught up in the twists and turns of the battle, relishing their little victories. Grandstrategy will bring you the ultimate reward: the last laugh.




I'm gonna jump ahead a few millenia and use the US civil war for this one. The entire Army of the Potomac comes to mind.

The Union lost an imeasurable amount of men and battles. But the end result was the destruction of the Confederacy.

Battles like Fredericksburg saw an absolute annihilation of Union troops, but they were replacable, whereas Lee's troops were not.

Ok, back to Rome!

This also brings to mind the phrase "Pyrrhic victory". And in fact, that's my ancient example.

King Pyrrhus was able to defeat a few Roman armies in battle, but at such a cost that he could not continue his war, and the Romans were able to secure victory.

This is also the same Grand Strategy used against Hannibal; ie, win at all costs. No matter how many legions were destroyed, the Romans kept coming....kinda intimidating really....and also explains why after Augustus no war on the scale of the Punic wars or Pyrrhic wars occured....

A good check on this is the complete opposite however:

12b: WIN BATTLES BUT LOST THE WAR: NO STRATEGY

Again, Pyrrus, Lee, and Hannibal all fit this category. None of them were able to accomplish their Grand Plans, and despite winning many (and nearly every) battle of the wars they fought in, still lost in the end.

A word to the wise would be to keep this in mind, and be prepared to change the Grand Strategy should it be clear it is not working or no longer an option, regardless of how many battles it is winning you....
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#294762 - 11/03/06 02:15 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
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Quote:

14. OVERWHELM RESISTANCE WITH SPEED AND SUDDENNESS: THE BLITZKRIEG STRATEGY

In a world in which many people are indecisive and overly cautious, the use of speed will bring you untold power. Striking first, before your opponents have time to think or prepare, will make them emotional, unbalanced, and prone to error.




Roman use of "pre-emtive strikes" or Passive/Defensive Imperialism. Invasions of Corcica and Sardis, Spain, Gaul, Greece, and even Carthage were all based on the idea of striking first, and establishing a dominant position before the enemy could do the same.

Also see, "The Ghost Division", which is one of my personal favorite things to study outside Psychology and Classical Civilizations.

You know you're good when your OWN high command doesn't even know where you're at.... Blitzkrieg at its best!

(Had to throw in the WWII reference, especially since the Strategy itself mmakes the same reference. Rommel kicked some serious ass.....)
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#294763 - 11/06/06 03:22 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: UofM Shorin Ryu]
stormbringer Offline
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I've ordered the book and it should be in this week. Having read The Art of War, Mastering the Art of War, The Lost Art of War, The Silver Sparrow Art of War, On War, and Hannibal, I hope I have another tactical book in my arsenal that I hardly ever use. I disliked Machiavelli's Art of War.
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#294764 - 11/09/06 08:51 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
stormbringer Offline
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I just got the book and read the first section. That was nice wasn't it ED?
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#294765 - 11/17/06 08:59 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: stormbringer]
Ed_Morris Offline
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I really enjoyed the book. especially that he gives historic examples of each strategy.

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#294766 - 11/17/06 09:03 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Posts: 6768
15. CONTROL THE DYNAMIC: FORCING STRATEGIES

People are constantly struggling to control you. The only way to get the upper hand is to make your play for control more intelligent and insidious. Instead of trying to dominate the other side's every move, work to define the nature of the relationship itself. Maneuver to control your opponents' minds, pushing their emotional buttons and compelling them to make mistakes.

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#294767 - 11/17/06 09:06 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
16. HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS: THE CENTER OF GRAVITY STRATEGY

Everyone has a source of power on which he or she depends. when you look at your rivals, search below the surface for that source, the center of gravity that holds the entire structure together. Hitting them there will inflict disproportionate pain. Find what the other side most cherishes and protects - that is where you must strike.

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#294768 - 11/19/06 01:23 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: stormbringer]
TimBlack Offline
Exalted

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1403
Loc: UK, Brighton
Quote:

I've ordered the book and it should be in this week. Having read The Art of War, Mastering the Art of War, The Lost Art of War, The Silver Sparrow Art of War, On War, and Hannibal, I hope I have another tactical book in my arsenal that I hardly ever use. I disliked Machiavelli's Art of War.




hehe, his Art of War is deeply grounded in his own time - it's not so much a strategy book as an 'ultimate army' book... his plan was to have a line of swiss pikemen in front of spanish swordsmen from what I remember. I recommend The Prince, however, as a highly influential work on the importance of real politik. It's funny how Machiavelli has been villainised over the last few hundred years, quite unfairly in my opinion. Machiavelli's central moral position is still an essentially Aristotelian Virtue system - and Virtue theory has, over the last century, very much come into vogue. Personally, I was quite impressed by bits of Art of War, although I agree that it is deeply anachronistic now (and possibly even in his day, given the increasing use of gunpowder). Also, one of the central points it makes is still valid today: don't trust mercenaries to do a country's dirty work for you - have a citizen's army. Sure, they aren't always as efficient, but it's in their best interest to get conflict over with.
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#294769 - 11/19/06 01:37 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
TimBlack Offline
Exalted

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1403
Loc: UK, Brighton
Quote:

15. CONTROL THE DYNAMIC: FORCING STRATEGIES

People are constantly struggling to control you. The only way to get the upper hand is to make your play for control more intelligent and insidious. Instead of trying to dominate the other side's every move, work to define the nature of the relationship itself. Maneuver to control your opponents' minds, pushing their emotional buttons and compelling them to make mistakes.




It's a different lexis, but this is what I was talking about earlier - control the initiative. Lock down your opponent's choices, make sure you hold all the aces. It's an old rule, and I don't think it's particularly eloquently put here, but kudos for saying it.

Quote:

16. HIT THEM WHERE IT HURTS: THE CENTER OF GRAVITY STRATEGY

Everyone has a source of power on which he or she depends. when you look at your rivals, search below the surface for that source, the center of gravity that holds the entire structure together. Hitting them there will inflict disproportionate pain. Find what the other side most cherishes and protects - that is where you must strike.





Well, this is one I see a problem with - mostly the last bit, actually. In World War 2, the Nazis used the Vengeance Ballistic Missile to target civilians in London. I do not mention the Blitz here because that was predominately aimed at strategic targets - ie. factories, airfields, infrastructure. Anyway, the British certainly didn't like this. It killed a fair few civilians. But was it worth it? No. Allied strategic bombing of civillians also wasn't worth it because, frankly, civilian loss of life doesn't cause short-term loss of ability to fight. In fact, it can galvanise soldiers and civilians-under-arms to resist attackers more fiercely, creating an 'existential' conflict if you like (existential because they view it as a war for existence itself).

Now, my point is that an enemy can value something a lot, but hitting it won't necessarily win you a war. A simple example might be having a fight with someone carrying a very expensive gold watch. He isn't going to like you damaging his watch - it's what he 'cherishes and protects' most. But guess what, if you go for the watch, he's going to kick your head in anyway

So, what I would replace this point with is:

16: ATTACK WHAT THE ENEMY NEEDS: THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY STRATEGY
Everyone has things upon which they depend. Whether it's food, water, ammunition, ego, linear combat or Queensbury Rules, find out what he relies on and attack it. He doesn't have to realise he needs it for it to be worth attacking - in fact, the less he realises he needs it, the more likely you can take it away.

Whaddya think? Do I have a chance to get this in?
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#294770 - 12/09/06 12:18 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: TimBlack]
UofM Shorin Ryu Offline
Resident Forum Breakdancer

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 981
Wow, haven't been keepin up, have I?

Quote:


It's a different lexis, but this is what I was talking about earlier - control the initiative. Lock down your opponent's choices, make sure you hold all the aces. It's an old rule, and I don't think it's particularly eloquently put here, but kudos for saying it.






Agreed. I had to read it several times to make out what was actually being said.

Quote:


So, what I would replace this point with is:

16: ATTACK WHAT THE ENEMY NEEDS: THE CENTRE OF GRAVITY STRATEGY
Everyone has things upon which they depend. Whether it's food, water, ammunition, ego, linear combat or Queensbury Rules, find out what he relies on and attack it. He doesn't have to realise he needs it for it to be worth attacking - in fact, the less he realises he needs it, the more likely you can take it away.

Whaddya think? Do I have a chance to get this in?




Ladies and Gents, I think we have a winner!
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Alea iacta est ~ Gauis Julius Caesar Ne quis nimis ~ Solon Nuts to cancer ~ Sanchin31

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#294771 - 09/24/07 09:00 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
17. DEFEAT THEM IN DETAIL: THE DIVIDE AND CONQUER STRATEGY
When you look at your enemies, do not be intimidated by their appearance. Instead look at the parts that make up the whole. By separating the parts, sowing dissension and division from within, you can weaken and bring down even the most formidable foe. In setting up your attack, work with their minds to create internal conflict. Look for the joints and links, the things that connect the people in a group or connect one group to another. Division is weakness, and the joints are the weakest part of any structure. When you are facing troubles or enemies, turn a large problem into small, eminently defeatable parts.

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#294772 - 09/25/07 10:45 PM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
18. EXPOSE AND ATTACK YOUR OPPONENTS SOFT FLANK: THE TURNING STRATEGY

When you attack people directly, you stiffen their resistance and make your task that much harder. There is a better way: distract your opponents' attention to the front, then attack them from the side, where they least expect it. By hitting them where they are soft, tender, and unprotected, you create a shock, a moment of weakness for you to exploit. Bait people into going out on a limb, exposing their weakness, then rake them with fire from the side. The only way to get stubborn opponents to move is to approach them indirectly.

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#294773 - 09/26/07 07:39 AM Re: 33 Strategies of War [Re: Ed_Morris]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
19. ENVELOP THE ENEMY: THE ANNIHILATION STRATEGY

People will use any kind of gap in your defenses to attack you or revenge themselves on you. So offer no gaps. The secret is to envelop your opponents - create relentless pressure on them from all sides, dominate their attention, and close off their access to the outside world. Make your attacks unpredictable to create a vaporous feeling of vulnerability. Finally, as you sense their weakening resolve, crush their willpower by tightening the noose. The best encirclements are psychological - you have surrounded their minds.

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