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Posted August 23, 2012
I first read this book back in 1994 at the Engineer Offiver Basic
Course. As a newly minted Second Lieutenant, the fundamentals taught by
Swinton were fresh and necessary. As an Engineer Officer, where our
responsibility was mobility, countermobility and survivability, the
lesons were especially relevant. First published in 1907, this classic
tale of Subaltern Backsight Forethought and his detachment tasked to
defend Duffer's Drift during the Boer War, is a lesson in basic small
unit tactics. From the very first lesson of ensuring that the defenses
are perpared before resting to the last lesson of expert use of terrain,
cover and concealment, the easy reading book reinforces the lessons of
terrain analysis, solid tactics and common sense. On a deeper level,
the book remains relevant to the business person in a way that is
similar to a Sun Tzu or Machiavelli. Understand the fundamentals, do not
trust the enemy, understand the landscape you will fight on, see
yourself from the enemies point of view, use available resources,
continue to learn from your mistakes and continuously improve. Still
relevant for the modern soldier because of the focus on fundamentals,
the non-soldier has much to gain by reading the book as well.
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Posted February 13, 2012
Posted December 30, 2012
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