This is just the segment of Book Two for which I have new illustrations, with a couple of new perspectives, Marten’s and Ibex’s. It picks up right where the last post left off.
Good! Good. Yes. This is of course the central element. And what do we do with our fighting forces once we have them? Anyone? Boar.
– Train them?
Excellent, yes. And what else might our forces need? Ibex? You have been very quiet. Do you have any ideas?
– Um…w-w-, uh, weapons?
Yes, weapons. Armaments and equipment. So the conduct of war includes raising our fighting force, training and equipping them, as well as fighting.
There are two main categories in the conduct of war. The first is called Tactics. Tactics is planning and carrying out engagements – battles, missions.
The second is strategy. Strategy is how we use all of these engagements together, and how they help us to reach our goals in the war, and ultimately our end in the war.
Tactics and strategy are closely related, and are both in use at the same time, but they are distinct, different.
We can divide the things people do around war into two big categories: preparation – or getting ready – for war, and war proper. We are talking mostly about the second, essentially the use of the fighting force. The other category is made up of things like supplies, medical support, and cleaning and replacing supplies and equipment.
Can anyone think of anything besides fighting that we might consider part of war proper? … No one? Alright, class. I will list some activities, and I want you to tell me whether you think they are part of war or preparation. First, supplies. We just talked about that. Marten?
Yes, good. Fox, camps and billets. These are places to rest during war, during breaks in engagements. To which category do these belong?
– I don’t know. I mean, because it’s not before you fight. It’s in between fights, so you’re not preparing. You’re already in war.
Partly right. Camps and billets are part of war proper, but it is because we apply tactics and strategy to them – where we rest, for how long, how we set up the camp, and the fact that when we are in camp, we are still ready to fight.
Bear, what about marches, the movement of our fighting forces?
Nein. Sometimes we march during an engagement. Even when we are just on our way to an anticipated – Yes, Otter?
-What does ‘anticipated’ mean?
Expected. When you anticipate something, you expect that it will happen, you are predicting that it will happen.
Even when we are just on our way to an engagement, we must be ready to engage at any time, the way we line up, which forces go where. We are also strategic in the routes we take. With every choice we make about when and where and how we march, we are considering strategy and tactics. If we came upon our enemy, would we prefer to be on the near or far side of this river, or this chain of hills? Would we rather be up on that ridge, or on the road? Would it be best to travel in one large column, or several smaller ones? Yes? Any questions, class? … Otter? Is something the matter? You look as though you will maybe explode.
Otter? Ah. Your father was quite wrong, you know. How are we to learn if we don’t ask questions?
– Just. Just, what’re the answers?
What are what answers, Otter?
– To those questions. The ones you just asked. About the hills. And the road and the columns and the river.
Ah, well, that depends on the situation. There is no one right answer to any of those questions. It depends on how you want to use your forces, what you anticipate from your enemy, a number of things.
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