The Battle of Blenheimby Hilaire Belloc
A battle is no more than an incident in a campaign. However decisive in its immediate result upon the field, its
The proper understanding of a battle and of its historical significance is only possible in connection with the campaign of which it forms a part; and the campaign can only be understood when we know the political object which it was designed to serve.
A battle is no more than an incident in a campaign. However decisive in its immediate result upon the field, its value to the general conducting it depends on its effect upon the whole of his operations, that is, upon the campaign in which he is engaged.
A campaign, again, is but the armed effort of one society to impose its will in some particular upon another society. Every such effort must have a definite political object. If this object is served the campaign is successful. If it is not served the campaign is a failure. Many a campaign which began or even concluded with a decisive action in favour of one of the two belligerents has failed because, in the result, the political object which the victory was attempting was not reached. Conversely, many a campaign, the individual actions of which were tactical defeats, terminated in favour of the defeated party, upon whom the armed effort was not sufficient to impose the will of his adversary, or to compel him to that political object which the adversary was seeking. In other words, military success can be measured only in terms of civil policy.
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