The Duties of the General Staff

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H.M. Stationery Office, 1893 - Armies - 534 pages
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Incredible book that shows the life of a general, by a very amazing man.

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Page 249 - Staff with quarters, which tells on the troops that may happen to be quartered in the same place ; and these are quite ready enough, as it is, to occasionally look with a certain amount of dislike — though in most cases it is entirely uncalled for — on the personnel of the higher Staffs. Finally, it should be remembered — and this is the most weighty argument against the proceeding — that idleness is at the root of all mischief.
Page 248 - Divisional Staff representatives of all the various branches and departments according to any fixed rule. " There cannot be the slightest doubt that the addition of every individual not absolutely required on a Staff is in itself an evil. In the first place, it unnecessarily weakens the strength of the regiment from which an officer is taken. Again it increases the difficulty of providing the Staff with quarters, which affects the troops that may happen to be quartered in the same place ; and these...
Page 251 - ... military accounts, with a total force of 366 officers. The cartographic service is intrusted to the Geographical Military Institute. This is divided in two sections, the one having administrative and supervisory functions, the other executive. The former has 21 army officers under the high guidance of the chief of the general staff of the army, and the latter has 11 geographical engineers and HOtopographists.
Page 2 - As long as Armies were small, and movements, encampments and fighting formations were laid down by hard and fast regulations, the want of trained General Staff Officers was less felt. The plan determined by the General in command usually contained the details of execution. . . . But this state of affairs no longer exists. The enormous numerical strength of modern Armies, and the way they must be organized to meet the constantly changing requirements of war, render necessary great differences in carrying...
Page 249 - When there are too many officers on a Staff they cannot always find the work and occupation essential for their mental and physical welfare, and their superfluous energies soon make themselves felt in all sorts of objectionable ways. Experience shows that whenever a Staff is unnecessarily numerous the ambitious before long take to intrigue, the litigious soon produce general friction, and the vain are never satisfied. These failings, so common to human nature, even if all present, are to a great...
Page 2 - But this state of affairs no longer exists. The enormous numerical strength of modern Armies, and the way they must be organized to meet the constantly changing requirements of war, render necessary great differences in carrying out the details of military operations even under apparently similar circumstances of time and place. Consequently the higher leaders and Commanders require...
Page 248 - Staffs to the smallest possible dimensions is moreover vindicated by restricting every Staff to what is absolutely necessary, and by not attaching to every Army, Army Corps and Divisional Staff representatives of all the various branches and departments according to any fixed rule. "There cannot be the slightest doubt that the addition of every individual not absolutely required on a Staff is in itself an evil. In the first place, it unnecessarily weakens the strength of the regiment from which an...
Page 403 - ... for brief periods certain commands have had scant supplies, but these conditions arose entirely from exigencies of military operations, and not from inadequate supplies. In alluding to the difficulties attending the alimentation of troops in campaign, a distinguished commentator recently remarked: " Feeding large armies during active operations in the field may be looked upon as a problem as yet in the main unsolved and as one, indeed, that will always remain so.
Page 4 - Staff is consequently called upon to act as a directing and explaining body towards these individuals by keeping itself in constant communication with them, the Chief of the General Staff being at the same time regarded, in a general way, as head of the whole Staff. Officers of the General Staff are invested with no military command. But even, without having any command, they can make themselves extremely useful in an engagement by carrying out any special and important duties that may be entrusted...

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