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Baron de Jomini, Summary of the Art of War, or a New Analytical Compend of the Principle Combinations of Strategy, of Grand Tactics and of Military Policy. (ed. Major O. F. Winship , Assistant Adjutant General , U. S. A., Lieut. E. E. McLean , 1st Infantry, U. S. A.), Chapter 1: the policy of war. (search)
ted, however, that there may be a great difference in the nature of the operations that shall be undertaken, according to the divers chances to be run. For example, two hundred thousand French wishing to subject Spain, aroused against them as one man, would not manoeuvre like two hundred thousand French wishing to march upon Vienna, or any other capital, there to dictate peace (1809); and they would not do the guerillas of Mina the honor to combat them in the same manner that they fought at Borodino. This, in reply to Major Proketsch, who, despite his well known erudition, believed himself able to sustain that the policy of war could have no influence upon its operations and that war should always be made in the same manner. Without going so far for examples, could it be said that the two hundred thousand French of whom we have just spoken, ought equally to march upon Vienna, whatever should be the moral condition of the governments, and of the population between the Rhine and the I
Baron de Jomini, Summary of the Art of War, or a New Analytical Compend of the Principle Combinations of Strategy, of Grand Tactics and of Military Policy. (ed. Major O. F. Winship , Assistant Adjutant General , U. S. A., Lieut. E. E. McLean , 1st Infantry, U. S. A.), Chapter 2: military policy, or the philosophy of war. (search)
t of the nature of arms, or the organization of troops. The means of destruction are being perfected with a frightful progression; the congreve rockets, of which the Austrians have succeeded, it is said, in regulating the effect and the direction; the schrapnell shells, which launch floods of grape to the range of the ball; steam guns of Perkins, which vomit as many balls as a battalion, are going to centuple perhaps the chances of carnage, as if the hecatombs of the species of Eylau, of Borodino, of Leipzig, and of Waterloo, were not sufficient for desolating the European populations. If sovereigns do not unite in congress to proscribe those inventions of death and destruction, there will remain no other course to take than to compose the half of armies of cuirassed cavalry, to be able to capture with the greatest rapidity all the machines; and the infantry even will be compelled to retake its iron armour of the middle ages, without which a battalion could be struck down before
Baron de Jomini, Summary of the Art of War, or a New Analytical Compend of the Principle Combinations of Strategy, of Grand Tactics and of Military Policy. (ed. Major O. F. Winship , Assistant Adjutant General , U. S. A., Lieut. E. E. McLean , 1st Infantry, U. S. A.), Chapter 4: grand tactics, and battles. (search)
and that of the extremity, having almost the whole of the assailing masses to combat,will be overwhelmed and probably destroyed. This was the manoeuvre which caused Napoleon to triumph at Wagram and at Ligny; it was what he wished to attempt at Borodino and which only succeeded imperfectly on account of the heroic defense of the troops of the left wing of the Russians, that of the division Paskevitch il the famous redoubt of the centre, then by the arrival of the corps of Baggavout upon the win, at Brienne, he presented a kind of convex order nearly like that in figure 7, at Wagram we see him adopt an order quite like that in figure 12, directing two masses upon his centre and his right, refusing his left, which he wished to repeat at Borodino, as well as at Waterloo before the arrival of the Prussians. At Eylau, although the encounter was almost unforeseen on account of the unlooked for offensive return of the Russian army, he outflanked the left almost perpendicularly, whilst upon
Baron de Jomini, Summary of the Art of War, or a New Analytical Compend of the Principle Combinations of Strategy, of Grand Tactics and of Military Policy. (ed. Major O. F. Winship , Assistant Adjutant General , U. S. A., Lieut. E. E. McLean , 1st Infantry, U. S. A.), chapter 7 (search)
rtillery, at least at a certain distance. It was seen at Waterloo how much it cost the French cavalry for having acted against this rule, and the cavalry of Frederick experienced the same fate at Kunersdorf. We may, nevertheless, find ourselves called upon to engage the cavalry alone; but, in general, a charge upon a line of infantry which should already be found engaged with the adverse infantry, is that from which we could expect the most advantages; the battles of Marengo, of Eylau, of Borodino, and ten others, have proved this. Meanwhile there is a case in which the cavalry has a decided superiority over infantry; it is when there falls a beating rain or snow, which wets the arms and deprives the infantry of its fire; the corps of Augereau had a cruel proof of it at Eylau, and the left of the Austrians experienced the same fate at Dresden. Great charges are also executed with success against infantry, when we should have already succeeded in shaking it by a fearful fire of
Baron de Jomini, Summary of the Art of War, or a New Analytical Compend of the Principle Combinations of Strategy, of Grand Tactics and of Military Policy. (ed. Major O. F. Winship , Assistant Adjutant General , U. S. A., Lieut. E. E. McLean , 1st Infantry, U. S. A.), Conclusion (search)
s. If your lines of operations have been skillfully chosen, your movements well disguised; if the enemy, on the contrary, make false movements which permit you to fall upon the yet dispersed fractions of his army, you will be able to conquer without pitched battles, by the sole ascendancy of your strategic advantages. But if the two parties find themselves in equally good condition at the moment when the rencounter shall have place, then there will result one of those great tragedies like Borodino, Wagram, Waterloo, Bautzen, and Dresden, in which the precepts of grand tactics indicated in Chapter IV, will certainly be able to exercise a notable influence. If certain obstinate military men, after having read this book, after having studied attentively the discussed history of a few campaigns of the great masters, maintain still that there are neither principles nor good maxims of war, then one could only pity them and reply to them by the famous saying of Frederick the Great: A mul