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H. Wager Halleck , A. M. , Lieut. of Engineers, U. S. Army ., Elements of Military Art and Science; or, Course of Instruction in Strategy, Fortification, Tactis of Battles &c., Embracing the Duties of Staff, Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Engineers. Adapted to the Use of Volunteers and Militia., Chapter 2: Strategy.—General divisions of the Art.—Rules for planning a Campaign.—Analysis of the military operations of Napoleon (search)
would have been completely cut off by Melas; whereas, by the direction which he gave to his line of operations he had, in case of reverse, every means for reaching either the Var or the Valois. (Fig. 6.) Again, in 1806, if he had marched directly from Gera to Leipsic, he would have been cut off from his base on the Rhine; whereas, by turning from Gera towards Weimar, he not only cut off the Prussians from the Elbe, but at the same time secured to himself the roads of Saalfield, Schleitz, and Hoff, thus rendering perfectly safe his communications in his rear. (Fig. 7.) We have said that the configuration of the ground and the position of the hostile forces may sometimes render it advisable to direct our line of operations against the extremity of the enemy's line of defence; but, as a general rule, a central direction will lead to more important results. This severs the enemy's means of resistance, and enables the assailant to strike, with the mass of his force, upon the dissevered