The history of war operations is peculiarly interesting to two classes of readers. The student of war as a science finds a source of information and ideas in almost every action; the student of history as a science has a remarkable opportunity not only for the co-ordination of accounts which are often conflicting and frequently confused but for the study of sources of error. That there are special reasons for confusion in war history is obvious. In the first place all those immediately concerned are under exceptional stress of excitement and in the case of the most responsible officers under considerable mental strain; in the second place the very nature of events prevents eyewitnesses from seeing more than one thing at a time while the general smoke and confusion of battle, “the fog of war,” prevents them from seeing that one thing any too clearly. Even senior commanders, compiling accounts from their own experiences, from the reports of others, or from both combined, are liable to mistakes. They rarely have the accounts of the other side and still more rarely exercise unbiased judgment in studying the accounts of their own followers.
Damn the Torpedoes. . .?
By Lieutenant Colonel Wilfrid Bovey, R.O.