The Principles Of War
Can war be taught? Does its nature allow it to be taught? are basic questions which all those engaged in the profession of Wars have to ponder. With the exception of the common denominator : the man, no two wars have been the same. Inspite of its variable nature war schools have flourished. Foch then a lieutenant colonel discussed some theorms or principles of war in a series of lectures at the French Staff College in the early years of the present century. These were first published in 1903 and the present edition in 1918.
With this limited scope and study of battles which are long past many changes have taken place in our concept, understanding and nature of war due to improved weapons and mobility, necessitating better tactical use of ground This historical study leads Foch to a theory of war, which can be taught and the shape of a doctrine which his pupils were to be taught to practice. He explains it further : What is meant by these words is the conception and the practical application not of a science of war nor of some limited dogmas composed of abstract truths outside which all would be heresy, but of a certain number of principles, the application of which, though they will not be open to discussion once they shall have been established, must logically vary according to circumstances which always tending towards the same goal and that an objective goal.
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