Engineers of Victory

Engineers of Victory: The problem solvers who turned the tide in the Second World War.

Paul Kennedy; Backpage.

The winning of great wars always requires superior organization, and that in turn requires people who can run those organizations, not in a blinkered way but most competently and in a fashion that will allow outsiders to feed fresh ideas into the pursuit of victory. None of this can be done by the chiefs alone, however great their genius, however massive their energy. There has to be a support system, a culture of encouragement, efficient feedback loops, a capacity to learn from setback, an ability to get things done All this must be done in a fashion that is better than the enemy’s. That is how wars are won.

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von Clausewitz, On War, xvi

The great commander has many virtues – including physical and moral courage, energy, presence of mind, and staunchness – but the two to which Clausewitz devotes particular attention are coup d’oil (1) and resolution. By coup d’oil he means the rare ability to grasp at lightning speed and as much by instinct as by intellect, precisely what is happening on the battlefield and the steps that must be taken. It is nothing less than the capacity to reach “the rapid discovery of a truth which to the ordinary mind is not visible at all or becomes so only after long examination and reflection”. Resolution, on the other hand, comprises the determination of a commander to stick by a decision once made, using strength of mind to dispel self-doubt about the rightness of his course.

Please email me Adrian Stephan to request information.

Fog of War

Carl von Clausewitz

The fog of war (German: Nebel des Krieges) is the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations.[1] The term seeks to capture the uncertainty regarding one's own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign. Military forces try to reduce the fog of war through military intelligence and friendly force tracking systems. The term has become commonly used to define uncertainty mechanics in wargames.

The word "fog" (German: Nebel), but not the exact phrase, in reference to 'uncertainty in war' was introduced by the Prussian military analyst Carl von Clausewitz in his posthumously published book, Vom Kriege (1832), the English translation of which was published as On War (1873):

War is the realm of uncertainty; three quarters of the factors on which action in war is based are wrapped in a fog of greater or lesser uncertainty. A sensitive and discriminating judgment is called for; a skilled intelligence to scent out the truth.

It has been pointed out that von Clausewitz does not use the exact phrase "fog of war," and also uses multiple similar metaphors, such as "twilight" and "moonlight", to describe a 'lack of clarity'. The first known use of the exact phrase in text dates to 1896 in a book titled The Fog of War by Sir Lonsdale Augustus Hale, where it is described as "the state of ignorance in which commanders frequently find themselves as regards the real strength and position, not only of their foes, but also of their friends."

Wikipedia search "Fog of War."

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