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Old 06-18-2017, 02:37 PM   #29
Join Date: May 2007
Default Strategy and Tactics -- and Operations

Multiple layers of decision making.

Policy -- what's important to this nation (or group of nations.) How do we get it? Can we do so without fighting? Do we fight alone -- or with allies? What will we give up to get the support of allies? (& much more.)

Strategy -- since we've (presumably) decided to fight, how do we use fighting to attain our national goals? Which theater of operations do we choose (or are forced into by our opponents?) Do we go for seizing resources (oil fields, say) or destroy the enemy's forces or maneuver him out of the area without fighting? If we go after the enemy's military strength, which part do we go after first? What's important in this theater of operations, and how do we get it?

Operations -- the use of battle and maneuver within a theater of operations to gain the objectives decided on at the strategy level.

Tactics -- the use of firepower, maneuver, and shock on the battlefield to destroy enemy forces, capture key points (terrain) or otherwise win battles.

Examples -- early 1863, the Confederates, in Virginia.

Policy -- defend slavery by maintaining an independent Confederacy.

Strategy -- stand on the strategic defensive. Put the onus of continuing the war on the d--n Yankees. Make their army come to yours. Defend Richmond for its economic & political importance.

Operations -- if the Yankees can choose when & where to fight their firepower & numbers will swamp the Army of Northern Virginia. Therefore, don't give them that time -- let 'em get to a battlefield, let 'em prepare to attack -- then strike at them. Find isolated detachments and hit them by surprise & with superior numbers.

At Chancellorsville, send Stonewall Jackson around the Union right to bushwhack an isolated Union corps.

Tactics -- Get on their flank. Maintain surprise. Hit 'em with everything you've got like an avalanche.

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