Alexander the Great: Lessons in Strategy (Strategy and by David J. Lonsdale

By David J. Lonsdale

This ebook bargains a strategic research of 1 of the main amazing army careers in historical past, picking out the main pertinent strategic classes from the campaigns of Alexander the nice. David Lonsdale argues that because the center ideas of process are everlasting, the examine and research of ancient examples have price to the fashionable theorist and practitioner. additionally, as method is so advanced and not easy, the outstanding occupation of Alexander offers the right chance to appreciate top perform in process, as he completed impressive and non-stop good fortune around the spectrum of war, in numerous situations and environments. This ebook provides the 13 such a lot pertinent classes that may be realized from his campaigns, dividing them into 3 different types: grand process, army operations, and use of strength. every one of those different types offers classes pertinent to the trendy strategic setting. eventually, although, the ebook argues that the dominant consider his luck was once Alexander himself, and that it was once his personal features as a strategist that allowed him to beat the complexities of procedure and attain his expansive pursuits.  

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84 Compellence is ideal for limited objectives, when complete overthrow of the enemy is not desired. This may be particularly important when the attacker wishes to engage in some form of positive relationship with the target after the conflict has ended. It is also a particularly important tool for those who have limited resources at their disposal. In such cases, an attritional campaign would be difficult to sustain, whereas a carefully targeted application of force against valued assets of the enemy may bring success at a reasonable cost.

Also, the limited range of missile weapons in this period meant that there was only a brief period of opportunity to attack the hoplites before they were upon their foes. In a classic open-pitched battle, light-infantry forces could ill afford to be caught in the open by well-armed hoplites. Cavalry forces faced similar practical obstacles on the hoplite field of battle. In an age before stirrups, mounted troops did not possess such a stable platform from which to operate. Therefore, if they were faced with a solid and disciplined phalanx they would be unable to drive home a lance with the required force without becoming unseated.

Such concerns surely require a skilled human touch. As an aside, it is important to note that command cannot be reduced simply to the attributes of the commander. 98 Nevertheless, even in the absence of a military genius, command systems historically have been based upon the principle of hierarchy, with command responsibility resting ultimately with an individual. It is the combination of the commander’s qualities, the command structure, and the command ethos that lays the foundation for good command amid the ever-present stresses and chaos of war.

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