The Defense of Duffer’s Drift is one of the most important works ever written on small unit tactics and is required reading for junior officers in military organizations around the world. It was written by Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton in 1904 when Swinton was a Captain. It details a fictional encounter in the Boer War. The book is narrated by Lieutenant Backsight Forethought (BF) who has been left in command of 50 men to defend a ford in the river. BF has a series of dreams in which his force is defeated by the Boers. After each dream, BF analyzes his performance and determines lessons learned. By the final dream, his force is successful in holding out until relieved. The lessons BF learned are the timeless lessons of small unit tactics and are as valuable today as they were at the turn of the century. The prose are simple and powerful. This book is essential reading for soldiers and students of tactics or military history. This volume also includes introductory material from the U.S. Marine Corps, maps, illustrations, a hyperlinked glossary, and a hyperlinked table of contents.
|Publisher:||Praetorian Press, LLC|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||690 KB|
About the Author
He received the Distinguished Service Order during the Second Boer War. After the war, he wrote his book on small unit tactics, The Defence of Duffer's Drift, a military classic on minor tactics that has been used by the United States military to train its officers. In the years leading up to the First World War, he served as a staff officer and as an official historian of the Russo-Japanese War.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.