Military Tactics (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Tactics is a military science dealing with the securing of objectives set by a strategy through the deployment and direction of troops, weapons, ships, and aircraft, and their effective maneuvering against an enemy.
The successful use of military tactics requires a knowledge of available resources and how to combine them with use of personnel to achieve the maximum benefit. It also requires the ability to change. The great armies of the world are remembered for their tactical innovations, while the forces they defeated clung to antiquated theories of warfare. Alexander the Great achieved success against the numerically superior Persian troops of Darius I the Great through the deployment of the phalanx in conjunction with a new tactic of subdividing the infantry into brigades, regiments, and companies. Facing an enemy that relied on chariots as its first line of offense, Alexander ordered his light infantry into battle in front of the phalanx line. Before the chariots reached the main body of troops, the light infantry had inflicted damage primarily through the use of arrows. The phalanx then opened to provide passages for the bolting horses, and Alexander’s cavalry captured them in the rear. Although Alexander successfully deployed his troops using this tactic, commanders after him failed to combine the use of separate units with the phalanx and subsequently achieved inferior results. Military leaders who believe in “principles of warfare” often...
(The entire section is 1420 words.)
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