On Tactics

A Theory of Victory in Battle

  • Subject: Strategy and Weapons
  • Format:
  • Pages:
  • Published:
    May 15, 2017
  • ISBN-10:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Product Dimensions:
    9 × 6 × 1 in
  • Product Weight:
    14 oz
Hardcover $29.95
Member Price $23.96 Save 20%
Book: Cover Type


On Tactics is intended to be the remedy to the chaotic and thus far unformed realm of tactical theory and to answer questions like the one above. Part One of the book will establish a tactical system meant to replace the Principles of War checklist. First, the contextual role of tactics with regards to strategy and war will be established. This will necessarily lean on major strategic theories in order to illuminate the role of tactics. This section will be formed around the Physical, Mental, and Moral planes of battlefield interaction used by theorists such as J.F.C Fuller and John Boyd. Each plane will then be examined in turn, and many of the classic Principles of War will be discussed along with some new ones. It will present some standard methods that tacticians can use to gain an advantage on the battlefield using historical examples that illustrate each concept. These “tactical tenets” include maneuver, mass, firepower, tempo, surprise, deception, confusion, shock, and the role of the moral aspects of combat. Finally, Part One will circle back around by discussing the role of tactical victory- once achieved- in contributed to a strategy. Part One is short by design. It is intended to be both compelling and easily mastered for junior non-commissioned officers and company grade officers, while still rich enough to be interesting to both specialist and non-specialist academics. It is a book meant not just for bookshelves but also for ruck sacks and cargo pockets.

Part Two will build on Part One by exploring concepts with which the tactician must be familiar with such as the culminating point of victory, mission tactics and decentralized command and control, offensive and defensive operations, and the initiative. Part Three will conclude the book examining implications of the presented tactical systems to a variety of other issues in strategic studies.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“...Insightful, well written, and an immediately accessible resource I wish I had as a young officer. On Tactics is a workmanlike survey of thinking about tactical level ground combat - useful and accessible to the military novice and non-expert...” War on the Rocks
“Friedman's On Tactics fills a critical gap and is an important read for both the emerging tactician and seasoned strategist alike. A vital addition to the professional military library for its organizing theory on tactics alone, his substantive appendices and the interwoven historical examples and insights from fellow intellectual heavyweights make this book a must-read for the individual and a must-share for the leader.” RealClearDefense
“This work is an interesting salvo into an area that does deserve review. His position is certainly understandable... This work suggests some interesting proposals.” The Military Review
“The basis of the book is both a challenge and a critique of existing tactical theory... a great read.” The Navy Magazine
“Friedman offers us here a treatise of tactical theory of high quality. The clarity of his style and the clarity of his reasoning are remarkable, and his book will be useful to those who already have knowledge of the subject as well as the uninitiated.” Politique Etrangere
On Tactics contains some excellent sections, and truly insightful observations, most of which will be obvious to most readers. On Tactics addresses a number of issues with precision and skill and says much that practitioners can agree with. If you are new to the subject, then you will be provided with a strong starting point that is unlikely to set you on the wrong path. On Tactics more than passes the mark for making soldiers curious about their profession and should be read by all those who are.” Parameters
“B. A. Friedman has written a brilliant and original work on the theory of tactics. He has captured the essence of the tactical level of war in a way not achieved by anyone else. This should be required reading for all those in the profession of arms.” —Gen. Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.)