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Friday, June 12, 2015

A History of Strategy chapter 4

A bit late on this one. The chapter 4 quiz. We'll push back the chapter 5 quiz to 20 June as a result. I thought this was one of the more interesting chapters, as it delves a little deeper into some of the specifics.

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13 Comments:

Anonymous zen0 June 12, 2015 9:44 AM  

Thanks Vox.


As part of reading the chapter, I looked up the various figures mentioned to get more detail. One was Henry Lloyd, who was mentioned as a forerunner of von Bulow. MvC calls him a British officer, but he was not allowed in the British army (Welsh Jacobite). He served with the Russians, Austrians, and French. So he WAS British, WAS an officer, but not a British officer.

Henry Lloyd and the Military Enlightenment of Eighteenth-Century Europe

Specialists will profit from this biography of Lloyd and will agree that it has restored him to his proper place as "the father of military sociology" and "possibly the most important military intellectual of his era"....

Now, I don't know if that is all true, but it is interesting.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 12, 2015 12:03 PM  

70%. Barely acceptable

Anonymous ODG June 12, 2015 12:04 PM  

I was surprised to find out that Clausewitz and Sun Tzu were such opposites when it came to their philosophies. Considering the esteem in which both are held, I expected much more agreement.

It seems that they both see war as an extension of politics, so is it fair to say that Sun Tzu focuses more on the political aspects, and Clausewitz on the military?

Anonymous zen0 June 12, 2015 1:31 PM  

> It seems that they both see war as an extension of politics, so is it fair to say that Sun Tzu focuses more on the political aspects, and Clausewitz on the military?


It is deeper than that. It is the basic difference in paradigms of thought between East and West. The East assumes a balance and harmony in nature that they seek to preserve. The West assumes a will to power where one seeks an imbalance that works in one's favor.

Outcomes are judged on different templates.

Blogger LP 999/Eliza June 12, 2015 2:19 PM  

Thank you, I am buying Crevalds work, I love his writing. I'll be re-reading his book for the 4th time and still glean data I totally glossed over.

Anonymous ODG June 12, 2015 2:59 PM  

"Outcomes are judged on different templates."

But isn't the outcome the same in each case: victory? I just find it odd that if the desired outcome is victory, that two totally different approaches to it are both held in such high esteem.

Perhaps I just need to keep reading the book, and save my questions for the end.

Anonymous zen0 June 12, 2015 4:39 PM  

> But isn't the outcome the same in each case: victory? I just find it odd that if the desired outcome is victory, that two totally different approaches to it are both held in such high esteem.

Because both transcend their particular time period to have universal application.
Victory of course is the goal, but as van Creveld points out, the Chinese would find Clausewitz's recommendations barbaric while Clausewitz would find the Chinese approach as unnecessarily complex and risky.

A difference of philosophy.

Location 835 in my book describes how Clausewitz goes back to the way of Aristotle, in makeing a distinction between means and ends. In Chinese thought, there is no such distinction. This is the East/West divide.

It is probably better to ask questions and make comments for each chapter.
You might forget by the end. Plus, there may be people who have the same question but don't ask.


Anonymous zen0 June 12, 2015 7:30 PM  

Chapter 4 states that the 7 years war influenced the military paradigm 1763-1789 much like WWI did the period 1919-1939.

Part of that was Petite Guerre waged by the Quebecois against New England during the time. Sounds a lot like 4th Generation War:

The Petite Guerre in New France, 1660–1759: An Institutional Analysis

Anonymous zen0 June 12, 2015 8:52 PM  

Historically, petite guerre was the specialty of regular light troops who harassed the enemy, gathered intelligence, and carried out deep strikes. They were organized into small groups called “parties,” and terrorized the enemy’s rear party.9 Thus, petite guerre was the way in which those light troops were used in Europe within the military institution. (Skirmishers? -Ed. zen0.)

But the Petite Guerre in New France also had a strategic dimension that did not exist in Europe. Although that form of warfare was influenced at the outset by Amerindian customs, it was the result of a careful strategic calculation aimed at ensuring the survival of the French colony,10 which was still under-populated and was subject to the vagaries of its climate and agriculture.11 The Petite Guerre was based upon terrorizing the people of New England. By means of acts that were considered cruel, and raids that penetrated deep into the English colonies, the Petite Guerre created a permanent climate of fear that paralyzed the English colonists, and kept the military forces of New England on the defensive. That meant that it was always difficult for the English colonial forces to mount large expeditions against New France. As Starkey notes, it was “… a war in which the French and their Indian allies excelled and which terrorized the inhabitants of the English border settlements. The ferocity of those raiders still conjures up nightmares … .”12 Today, those tactics could be characterized as unlimited warfare.

Blogger Rantor June 13, 2015 1:51 AM  

8 of 10, good chapter, moreositive about Jomini than my college professor was. I recall Jomini providing lots of lists of things to consider, but not really providing advice on how to take advantage of those considerations. Of course if no one hadn't really looked at those things before, perhaps lists would be helpful.

Anonymous jSinSaTx June 13, 2015 7:43 AM  

Loc 768 "Later it was rebuilt, but none one who works there now can..." I believe that was supposed to be "no one who works there now".

Find it very interesting to hear the period leading up to the French Revolution described as, "The political system of absolute states, created at Westphalia in 1648, was visibly coming apart at the seams." Things have always been in flux.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1i1e6h_watch-as-1000-years-of-european-borders-change-timelapse-map_travel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFYKrNptzXw

Anonymous zen0 June 13, 2015 6:21 PM  



10. Rantor June 13, 2015 1:51 AM

8 of 10, good chapter, more positive about Jomini than my college professor was.



Interesting article comparing Jomini and Clausewitz:

Jomini and Clausewitz - Their Interaction

Jomini's military writings are easy to unfairly caricature: they were characterized by a highly didactic and prescriptive approach, conveyed in an extensive geometric vocabulary of strategic lines, bases, and key points.*12 His fundamental prescription was simple: place superior power at the decisive point. In the theoretical work for which he gained early fame, chapter XXXV of the Traité de grande tactique, he constantly stressed the advantages of interior lines.

Jomini was no fool, however. His intelligence, facile pen, and actual experience of war made his writings a great deal more credible and useful than so brief a description can imply.

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