Mahan summarized the fundamental importance of historical study in his famous dictum: “Historical occurrences, analyzed and critically studied, have been the curriculum through which great captains have trained their natural capacity for supreme command.”1
Unfortunately, for every Mahan who wrote analytically, there are thousands of authors who were and are content to write mere stories about military events. The principles of war are buried in their data, but rarely named. Today’s books are designed to sell to the general public, but the serious officer must consult them. This article is designed to help an inexperienced reader to exhume the principles from popular glamor, to appreciate how leaders of the past like the leaders of today recognized and solved their military problems. It is our purpose to provide a simple system for critical study of uncritical narratives.
With the advantages of omniscient hindsight and the detachment of not being responsible for decision and action, we can all profitably scrutinize the problem-solving of past leaders. We thus take the first steps toward solving our own similar problems when they arise. We know that officers who have had advanced training can readily gain useful knowledge from any battle story, no matter how colorfully written. This is because familiarity with a process of logic such as the Armed Forces Estimate Form habituates an officer to the ready recognition of military essentials.2
What about young officers who have not encountered the Armed Forces Estimate Form, yet wish to read profitably? They may appreciate that experience is the residue of problem-solving, that understanding the problem-solving by others vicariously gives some of the experience of others without undergoing physical hazards. Recognizing the benefits of contemplative reading, young officers are not today too often likely to be in circumstances where copies of Mahan or Clausewitz can be digested. They may be lucky to have magazines or, at best, popularized battle narratives written for the home front.
The system hereafter detailed is intended to provide a junior officer or an interested civilian with a vestpocket method of tactical analysis so that he may profitably read whatever comes to hand. A very, very distant cousin to the Armed Forces Estimate Form, the system is vulnerable to the usual criticisms about oversimplification. Such criticisms, however, will slight the purpose of presuming to set down a kindergarten view of the principles of war. This is only meant to be a spring board for independent thinking. Only rudimentary and partial aspects of the principles of war will be treated in relationships which are convenient for the casual reader to remember. The system is only a point of departure.
Admittedly, the chart of the suggested linkage of the principles of war is imperfect. In some schools of military philosophy, some of the principles presented are not considered to be principles at all. In other schools, there are more principles. In still others, there are different names. Those used here, however, cover most of the aspects of a battle or campaign. If accepted in the meanings intended, they will erect an orderly foundation for future, broadening study.
First of all, let us define our terms.
Working Definitions of the Principles of War
The objective is that which is to be accomplished. The Naval War College considers the objective to be the fundamental principle of war, according to Sound Military Decision. Contingent upon relative force, space, and opportunity, there are minimum and maximum objectives. Subordinate to the major objective of a command, there are the contributing minor objectives of subordinate units, which, in turn, have the contributing objectives of tactical elements. The objective is at the apex of a pyramid of contributing objectives. As Rear Admiral C. R. Brown of the Naval War College said, the objective “is the connecting link which, alone, can impart coherence to war. . . . Without the objective, all other principles are pointless. It gives the commander the ‘what.’ The other principles are guides in the ‘how.’ "3 Thus, in the planning stage, consideration of all principles is involved in the selection of the objective.
The offensive is the act of seeking to attain control not already held. Conversely, the defensive is the act of seeking to retain control already held. Each campaign or battle is usually a blend of defensive and offensive operations by both sides. This blend often produces two different in-between types. One, the offensive-defensive, is offensive in nature and defensive in purpose. The other, the defensive-offensive, is defensive in nature and offensive in purpose.4
Economy of Force is that distribution of resources which contributes best to the attainment of the objective. It is the apex of a pyramid of logistics, communications, bases, and positions. It gives the means between a pistol and an atom bomb to stop a tank. In offensive operations, it is the ultimate measure of concentration, since precise application of economy of force produces the correct mass at the point of decision. In defensive operations, economy of force generally establishes the lines to be held.
Simplicity is clarity. In command, simplicity is attained by doctrine and unified command. Doctrine was defined by Mahan to be “a similar habit of thought.” Where a concise order can be given to a well indoctrinated unit, a more detailed order will be needed for a poorly indoctrinated unit. Eliminating complex detail and building freedom of local initiative is a prime goal of training. The simpler a directive a commander can confidently issue, the better. Simplicity extends also to such matters as tactics and weapons design. However, simplicity can become a fetish, with dangers equivalent to those of complexity: simplicity is not convenience.
Movement is the art of combining and maintaining forces so as to have the smallest possible loss of tactical power. Movement is a variable of distance, time, and speed, mobility, or ease of movement, and is directly influenced by economy of force, security, and coordination. Economy of force may require movement to great distance at greater than economical speed in less than normal time. Security may compel use of lines of operations longer than the shortest geographic distance. Coordination may require for mutual support an advance or retreat geared to less than the speed of the slowest unit. Speed as a factor of logistics also limits strategy by establishing the rate of supply and resupply. In any specific operation, correct movement results from correctly balancing all such factors.
Security is the art of anticipating and minimizing unproductive loss resulting from enemy action. In Admiral Brown’s succinct words, security “is more than mere information. . . . Nor is security always attained by defense. As often as not it can be achieved by attack.” When all enemy capabilities have been estimated, sound doctrine is the instrument for furthering security. As Mahan said, “It is the inspiration of common purpose and common understanding which, when the unexpected occurs, supplies the guiding thought to meet the new conditions and bend them to the common end. If this condition be adequately attained, the mind of the commander-in-chief will be omnipresent throughout his command; the most unexpected circumstances will be dealt with by his subordinates in his spirit as though he were present bodily.”5
Cooperation is the unity of force attained by the harmonious working together of all parts of a command. Cooperation, in Mahan’s opinion, is “the essential factor in military operations.”
Concentration is the art of distributing forces so that they will be superior to the enemy at successive points of contact or, if sufficient power is available, to attain superiority in one quarter while the enemy is held in other quarters long enough to permit the main attack to reach its full result. Mass may be considered as the end product of concentration.
Surprise is the confrontation of an enemy with force he is not prepared to meet. The maximum effects of surprises are demoralization and shattered control. It should result from successfully penetrating enemy security by concentration. It does not necessarily mean surprise in the popular, “peek-a-boo” sense. An enemy may learn almost minutely well in advance what force he will have to face, yet be maneuvered into over-extension or logistically crippled or well pinned down, so that he cannot mass to stop attack.
Aggressiveness is the predisposition of mind to exploit superiority or to reject inferiority.6 It is sometimes called “the spirit of the offensive” or “the pure offensive spirit,” but the quality is also obviously to be found in defensive situations. It is not to be confused with recklessness.
So much then for working definitions. They are far from complete.7
Suggested Method of Battle Analysis
The circle in Figure I is an attempt to draw reasonable cause and effect relationships linking the principles of war as each successively becomes paramount in the development of an operation. At any point in the circle, a principle is the sum of the effects of its predecessors. The method begins and ends full circle with the unifying principle of the objective. The circle asserts that a pattern is discernible in the offensive operations of a task element or a fleet. In a battle of maneuver rather than position, the pattern is also present in dynamic defense but not in static defense which completely relinquishes initiative.
For convenience in applying the analytical circle to popular battle narratives, it may be thus summarized:
Having his Objective in mind, a commander, as necessitated by an Offensive or Defense, evaluates his courses of action and makes a decision consistent with Economy of Force. He issues directives whose Simplicity is in direct proportion to the indoctrination of his forces. These forces initiate Movement, in which Security husbands resources prior to commitment and Cooperation provides the mutual support which leads Movement to produce effective Concentration. The mass produced by Concentration should produce Surprise. The degree of Aggressiveness with which Surprise is exploited will usually be the measure of attaining the Objective in fact.
The analytical circle will now be demonstrated by evaluating Russian operations during the Battle of Tchesme, July 5-7, 1770. Tchesme is selected for two reasons. First, since Tchesme is comparatively unfamiliar to American readers, there will be little distraction by previous knowledge, as would be the case if as famous a battle as Trafalgar or Jutland were used. Secondly, Tchesme is one of the proudest boasts of Russian naval history, and we of the West know too little about the Russian Navy.
The following is an effort to narrate the details of Tchesme as the story might appear in a popular history of Russia. It is greatly condensed from an account of some seventy pages in an official magazine published by the Czarist Admiralty.8
Narrative of Tchesme
The Russian Navy first dared to venture into the Mediterranean during one of Russia’s perennial embroilments with Turkey. Catherine in 1768 coveted a foothold upon the Black Sea, which her army could easily reach at Azov. Her navy, however, had to come from the Baltic to hammer at the Dardanelles. Her Baltic fleet was strong, with an excellent base on the island of Cronstadt in the throat of the Gulf of Finland.
In the latter part of 1769, two detachments totalling ten ships-of-the-line and six frigates and supporting craft left Cronstadt for Gibraltar. Admiral Spiridov commanded the first and larger detachment;9 a half-pay British naval captain named John Elphinston commanded the second, as a Rear-Admiral. The relations of Spiridov with the foreigner were not improved by Catherine’s devious granting by letter of seniority to Elphinston. Both were directed to serve under a Com- mander-in-Chief, Count Alexei Orlov, who had a realistic view of Russian naval ability. Orlov throttled his feelings and patriotically welcomed Elphinston and a dozen lesser Britons.
With a handful of troops, Orlov was preoccupied with seizing the westernmost peninsula of southern Greece, when the challenge of his presence in Turkish waters was answered by a naval force double his own in numbers. Perhaps inspirited by the combative traditions of seasoned veterans like Elphinston and Commodore Greig, Orlov did not wait for the Turks to strike. Instead, he went looking for a decisive battle which would give him command of the sea.
Orlov soon found his enemy, anchored just outside Tchesme, a niche in the mainland of Anatolia, screened from the Aegean by the island of Chios. (See Figure II.) Late in the afternoon of July 4th, 1770, Orlov battled a north-easterly wind to advance in long, time-consuming tacks along the western coast of the island. Hampered by the limitation of square-rigged ships which could not sail closer than six points into the wind, Orlov had to curb his impatience and wait for a morning battle.
During the night, the wind shifted towards the west. Thus, at dawn, with the wind blowing north-north-west, Orlov had the incredulous Turks to the south and in the lee, helpless to deny him action. By mid-morning, however, some six miles distant from his foe, Orlov doubted if the Turks were at all reluctant to have him attack. Heaving to for consultation with his senior officers, Orlov faced an unenviable situation.
The 21 Turkish ships and frigates were admirably disposed. Anchored with spring lines on their cables, which would enable them to rotate ships halfway about, the Turks were drawn up in two tight, arching lines. Ten heavy ships of 70 to 100 guns were in the seaward line. Eleven smaller vessels were in the inner line about a half mile from the coast, situated to fire between the open spaces in the outer line. Many galleys and small sailing vessels nervously hovered near the shore, ready to carry out troops from an army camp on the heights above the battlefield, should replacements be needed for the ships’ guncrews.
The second line alone matched Orlov’s eight 66s and lone 80 with seven 60-gun ships, two 50s and two 40s, but the overwhelming Turkish force made their numbers seem invincible by anchoring their leading ships close to a tiny islet to deny Orlov a parallel approach. Orlov’s council was undaunted and debated methods of attack, rather than the advisability of retiring without a fight.
After weighing all advice, Orlov chose to approach in column, swinging up into the wind so as to be able to fight under sail power, and thus retain some freedom of action. When sufficient distance had been opened to the west of the Turks, Orlov at 11 a.m. turned his column straight for the center of the enemy position. Shortly before noon, the Turks opened fire.
For almost a half hour, the Russians were unable to shoot back because their broadsides were masked by their head-on approach. Then, finally, Spiridov’s division in the lead was able to swing north. Paralleling the Turks, the Russians came in one by one. The action became general. Clouds of black powder smoke blew down on the Turkish gunners, minimizing the full effect of their superior volume of fire power. Offsetting this, however, Orlov discovered that his ships did not maneuver as well as he had hoped with sails aback.
For an hour, the action was confused. Spiridov heavily engaged Hassan Pasha, the Turkish commander, until the Turkish flagship was set ablaze. The two ships were yardarm to yardarm when a blazing mast toppled into Spiridov’s weather-deck. Powder flashed to an open magazine in Spiridov’s ship, which blew up suddenly, a few moments ahead of explosions that disintegrated Has- san’s ship.
Both commanders were saved, but the double disaster cost the Russians the bulk of their 523 killed. The fight ended by mutual consent, as the Turks under cover of powder- smoke cut their cables and drifted down under the batteries of the little town of Tchesme. Orlov either could not or would not organize his forces to stop the retreat. Thus, when night fell, the Turks were seemingly snug again in another, even more unassailable position.
The entrance to the tiny harbor was scarcely a mile wide. The channel was very narrow, controlled by strong land batteries on either side. (See Figure III.) Undaunted by the failure of their first tactical disposition, the Turks formed a double line tightly across the harbor, their combined broadsides bearing on the entrance.
Orlov was deprived of even the limited choice of approach he had had in the first phase. If he wished to come to grips again, he had to follow a line which not only led straight into a “T” but was also defended by land batteries. The situation was made for a commander bold enough to employ one of the oldest devices of naval war—fireships. Orlov ordered Greig to prepare four. The process of gutting four Greek Merchantmen and stuffing them with casks of powder and inflammables required a day. Orlov used the delay of July 6th to divert the Turks with a mortar-vessel and the distant cannonading of four ships and two frigates.
When the fireships were ready, Greig was put in command. Into the night of July 6th- 7th, Greig bombarded the densely crowded Turks and merchantmen huddled in the tiny harbor. It was almost impossible to miss and the arching shells from the Grom mortar-boat did great damage.10 Scornful of the land batteries, Greig pushed his bombardment group to within 800 yards.
At 1:30 a.m., one of the Grom’s shells ignited a Turkish ship-of-the-line. Parched wood and hemp swiftly blazed. Fire spread to other ships. Within a half-hour, two Turks blew up, affording confusion to protect Greig’s fireships.
One fireship under a British officer was sunk by alert Turkish galleys. Another Briton ran afoul of a ship already ablaze. The third, under Lieutenant Ilyin, successfully reached the northern head of the Turkish line. Firing his trains, Ilyin did a perfect job. The wind swiftly carried the fire he started into the rest of the fleet, so that the fourth fireship did not have to start in to attack.
Within two hours, Orlov was attempting feverishly to save a prize or two. Only the 60-gun Rodos and a few galleys were saved. By 0800, July 7th, the fleet that Orlov had set out to destroy was charred fragments and blackened corpses. At least 10,000 Turks died. Orlov lost fewer than twenty men.
The Battle of Tchesme was complete annihilation. There were no escapes. It was a naval Cannae, surpassing even Nelson’s victory at the Nile for completeness, and yet there are Americans who are astonished to learn that Soviet Russia is building a vast submarine armada. Too many Americans naively believe that Russia has never had a navy.
Analysis of Tchesme
It will be noted that no principles of war were mentioned in the preceding account, yet by asking specific questions derived from each principle, we will find that the answers were given either in the narrative or may be perceived in the sketches. This is true of most non-technical battle accounts. Extracting the principles is relatively easy even when writers shy from using them by name.
To illustrate this, let us organize a rudimentary set of questions about the Russians at Tchesme.
(1) Did Orlov have an objective in mind? His objective was to destroy the Turkish fleet in order to eliminate threats to his operations in Greece.
(2) Did Orlov’s objective further the national objective? Destruction of the bulk of the Turkish fleet contributed heavily to Catherine’s Black Sea coastal operations. Obviously, the ships lost at Tchesme could not help the Turks at Azov.
(3) Was the correct objective selected? The alternative was to continue operations in southern Greece and await the Turkish fleets. No conquest in southern Greece would have been secure so long as control of the sea was disputed. (Actually, Orlov was unable to exploit his victory because he had too few troops.) Another way of phrasing this question would be: what will result from attainment of the chosen objective?
(1) Did Orlov seek to gain or retain control? Orlov sought battle near Turkey to retain control near Greece, where the successful operations of his troops lent a defensive complexion to what might seem purely offensive.
(2) Who had the initiative? The Turks had ventured out upon an offensive-defensive. They knew where Orlov was and what he was attempting to do. They had a chance to seize the initiative as the best means of defending their national interests, but it was Orlov who displayed decisive energy. The fate of the Turks at Tchesme vividly displays the folly of passive defense, even when an attacking force is only half the strength of the defense.
(3) Was the offensive inhibited by strategic, tactical, or logistic considerations? Orlov could not afford protracted delay in clarifying the issue of command of the sea. His base was in the Baltic; the Turks could fall back upon the nearby Dardanelles. Time favored the Turks. (Actually, the British were friendly to the Russians in this campaign. Orlov was free to draw upon Port Mahon in Minorca for base assistance. However, the distance to Mahon was still ten times that which confronted the Turks.)
Economy of Force
(1) Did Orlov use every tactical weapon? Every ship was engaged in the first attack. In the fireship attack, it will be noted that only half of the heavy ships were used. However, this choice of half his force was a calculated balance between adding the utmost to the mass of relatively ineffectual solid shot, and allowing the covering ships maximum freedom of movement in the mission of protecting the fireships.
(2) Did position contribute to the battle? The strong defensive positions chosen by the Turks boomeranged. In the first position, they relinquished option of movement except retreat into the deadly pocket of Tchesme. In the second, ostensibly confronting the Russians with advance through a narrow defile, the Turks themselves were trapped. Escape from fire would have brought them into the supporting line of Greig’s ships. If they broke through, they were still within reach of Orlov’s support group waiting to windward. The Turks abandoned maneuver and died.
(3) Did bases contribute to the battle? Tchesme offered false security.
(4) Did communications contribute to the battle? Orlov’s tactical communications proved inadequate for him to maintain control during the first attack. (This, however, was generally true in black powder days and stressed the importance of doctrine.) It was his strategic communications which initially persuaded him to take the offensive.
(1) Was Orlov’s force indoctrinated? Not sufficiently. The mixture of Russian and British officers prevented perfect unanimity of thought. This was seen at Orlov’s prebattle conference. Elphinston wanted to sail down from the north and anchor along the Turkish line, and shook his head at Orlov’s decision. (Elphinston’s concept, anticipating by thirty years Nelson’s solution of a similar situation at the Nile, might have made an appreciable difference when the Turks temporarily escaped by cutting their cables.)
(2) Was economy of force impaired by complex orders? Not at all. Orders were extremely simple and effective.
(3) Did unit commanders clearly understand their individual contributions to the main objective? The account does not go into sufficient detail to answer this, except in the minor instance of Midshipman Gagarin of the fourth fireship. Gagarin was so familiar with Greig’s plan, he did not pursue his orders after Ilyin’s success. (Nor was Gagarin censured for holding back.)
(1) Was the planned move simple? From the evidence as given, yes. (Actually, Orlov’s manner of coming about in the first attack was poorly executed, so that his force was strung out. He did not take the seaman’s maneuver, but as will be noted under concentration, this was not a fatal flaw.)
(2) Was the shortest line of advance followed in the attack? No. Orlov reached well to the west. However, the time consumed put the sun well up in the sky and removed it as a hazard to gunnery.
(3) Was the best line of advance taken? Elphinston would have answered emphatically “No!”
(4) Was the movement flexible or rigid in concept so that the unforeseen could disorganize it? Orlov had not issued orders other than to engage the enemy in the first attack. Thus, when the Turks cut cables, the Russians were content to preserve their order of battle. The Russian rear could easily, with initiative, have stood athwart the Turkish line of retreat. Orlov could have anticipated and provided a counter for this Turkish course of action.
(5) In the fireship attack, did the fireships have a free line of operations or was their movement dictated by enemy dispositions? The Turks could easily have met the fireship attack. The extreme windward point was the optimum point of attack, and the fireships did advance in this direction. The Turks were inert. It is obviously a tremendous advantage to know what line an enemy must follow, but use must be made of the knowledge.
(1) Can an alert enemy defeat the attacker’s moves toward concentration? During the initial attack, the Russians exploited the wind at Tchesme to deny the Turks any movement except an inferior one to leeward. In the short time of the Russian advance, The Turks could not have close hauled away from anchor to form a line of battle.
(2) Did the attacker have a clear line of retreat in case of disaster? This may have been Orlov’s motive in preserving mobility.
(3) Did the attacker expose himself to defeat in detail before combining and deploying? Orlov deliberately advanced into a “T.” Such an advance against 1770 British gunners would have meant heavy loss. As it was, Orlov’s lead ships, helpless to shoot for thirty minutes, had little damage despite the awesome array of Turkish cannon. Against Turkish gunnery, the risk was more apparent than real.
(1) Did attacking elements have mutual support? In the first attack, it would seem so. (Actually, Orlov’s attack violated at least Elphinston’s concepts of mutual support.) In the case of the fireships, mutual support was clearly provided.
(2) Were attacking elements harmonious? The Spiridov-Elphinston relationship held the seeds of trouble.
(3) Was cooperation limited by physical factors? Land battles of 1770 would obviously be influenced by terrain. At sea, powdersmoke was an equivalent physical factor. Had Orlov decided to stop the Turkish retirement to Tchesme as the maneuver was taking place, he would have been unable to make his wishes known.
(1) What was the attacker’s plan for attaining local superiority? In the first attack, Orlov did not have a clear plan for overwhelming the portion of the superior Turkish force. In a blind ship-to-ship action, the Russians had only one advantage: few of their shots would be wasted, since misses at the first line might hit the second. Orlov merely accepted the conditions of battle established by the Turks. In this, he was neither better nor worse than his naval contemporaries. In the fireship attack, however, Orlov cleverly .turned the enemy’s mass against him. (It should be pointed out that an eighteenth century concept of concentration was little more than very close mutual support. An eighteenth century tactician would have applauded the initial Turkish disposition, for an almost continuous fire-front was obtained. The disposition of ships in Tscheme, however, would have been condemned by a Western admiral.) Concentration is the apotheosis of war. If time can be found to study only one principle, that one should be the means of producing superior mass at the correct, decisive point.
(1) Did the attacker’s movements successfully result in concentration? In the initial attack, no. The Turks may have been amazed at Orlov’s boldness in attacking with an inferior force, but his approach did not demoralize them. In the fireship attack, however, Turkish mass defeated the Turks. Surprise was clearly attained.
(2) Could the attacked elude or nullify the attacker’s decisive mass? Since there was no true concentration in the initial attack, the Turkish fleet, minus its destroyed flagship, easily got away. In the fireship attack, the Turks had to watch the full course of destruction they had neglected to avert.
(3) Did the attacker employ a secret weapon? Fireships were hardly new, but since the Turks had not anticipated them, the Russians had the effects of a secret weapon. The sinking of one fireship by galleys points to the means the Turks had for furthering their security. Their ten huge galleys were able to move in any direction like steamers, yet two fireships passed them unmolested. The galleys and the swarm of galliots could have been organized into real defensive support instead of left to individual initiative.
(1) Did the attacker exploit his successful breach of enemy security? After the fireship attack, there was no need. Orlov, however prudently provided a reserve to windward, ready for anything.
(2) Was the attacker satisfied with limited results? Orlov aimed at the seemingly impossible objective of annihilation and attained it. Many commanders of the period would not have attacked the Turks in their first strong position, much less the second.
(3) Was the attacker discouraged by enemy strength or counter-action? Orlov knew before he sailed from Modon in Greece that he had only half the strength of his foe. He was mentally prepared for inferiority, but aggressive in decision and execution.
(4) Was the attacker rash rather than determined? Had Orlov lost during his initial attack, he would unquestionably have been adjudged a fool for attacking such a strongly placed enemy. His knowledge of the Turks, however, seems to have been such that he could plan an attack with confidence. (In any case, success is the criterion, Nelson at Trafalgar gambled in a similar movement and was also more than exonerated by victory.)
The above questions are merely indicative of those which may be derived from a simple knowledge of the principles of war. To the thoughtful reader, many more lines of examination will become progressively apparent as his knowledge and insight build from one inquiry to another.
It is hoped that a simple, satisfactory means of converting idle reading to fruitful study has been demonstrated.
1. Rear-Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, USN, Armaments and Arbitration, New York, 1912; 206.
2. The Armed Forces Estimate Form, growing out of the “Estimate of the Situation” procedure developed by the Naval War College prior to World War I, equips leaders with a minimum of taught military perception. Training replaces the hit-or-miss selection of war leaders by seniority and the hope that genius might be found as a result of long service records. This training does not deny that genius can instinctively make the correct decisions after a coup d’oeil, but asserts that it is needlessly reckless to wait for leadership to show itself, when acceptable standards of leadership can be attained by systematic exploration of all aspects of a military problem. It may well be that another Clausewitz a hundred years from now may regard the tedious yet exhaustive process of the Armed Forces Estimate Form as the most notable American contribution to the philosophy of war.
3. In “The Principles of War,” U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, June, 1949.
4. From the formulations of Mahan’s philosophy of war by Associate Professor W. H. Russell, published by the Department of English, History and Government, U. S. Naval Academy.
5. Armaments and Arbitration, 201-202.
6. The concept of “exploitation” was suggested in correspondence from Captain F. L. Johnson, USN, of the Naval War College. Captain Johnson’s lecture on the principles of war has since been published.
7. A long passage cited from Mahan will illustrate some of the complexities involved in attempting to define a principle, and should caution a novice about accepting the working definitions of this article as being absolute. In speaking of movement, Mahan said (Armaments and Arbitration, 196-197): it “comprises not only motion but all the dispositions for marches and transportation of supplies which make possible the transference of armies over ground, in advance or retreat. This function of moving armies and their trains has received the technical name logistics. Various derivations have been assigned for this term; the one now (1912) generally accepted is from a Greek word, the root idea of which is ‘calculation.’ It is not necessary to enlarge upon the complications of detail involved in moving huge bodies of men, with their supply- trains, by calculated progress, stage by stage; including each day’s march, each day’s halt, each day’s meals, over roads in any case relatively narrow. All this may be assumed, or left to the imagination. But it should be observed that the special characteristic of this class of operations is movement, pure and simple. The movement, it is true, is minutely organized in many intricate particulars, and therefore is truly a work of military art; but withal it is not accompanied by those particular directive ideas which in strategy and tactics make movement subordinate to action, in which movement is in itself merely contributory. In short, in logistics movement is the principal; whereas in strategy and tactics it is only an agent.”
8. Taken from “Sobstvennourudmuii Journal Kapotan-Komandora S. K. Greiga v Chesmenskiee Pokhad’ (“Autograph Journal of Commodore S. K. Greig in the Campaign of Tchesme”). Morskoi Sbornik, September- November, 1849. Samuel Greig was typical of scores of British naval officers who entered the Russian navy during the reign of Peter the Great, and continued to serve Russia down through the years of Catherine the Great. Peter wanted these officers to enter his service permanently, but the majority were half-pay officers of the Royal Navy who returned to England whenever war threatened. (In passing, it might be mentioned that about the time of the American Revolution, the process was reversed, as numerous Russian officers received Midshipman and Lieutenant training in the Royal Navy.) Russian officers resented foreigners, among whom, it will be remembered, was John Paul Jones.
9. Marines may be interested to know that Spiridov’s seven ships and eight smaller vessels were manned by 5,582 men of whom 1,106 were “sea soldiers.” During the ensuing war to 1774, these sea soldiers and those in Elphinston’s detachment made more than twenty landings in Turkish territory, none involving amphibious assault.
10. It was another Russian, Admiral Nakhimov, who in 1853 introduced the use of horizontal shellfire in naval fire, at the holocaust of Sinope.