Historical Strategy Development

Historical Strategy Development

The principles of military strategy development can be found as far back as 500 BC in the works of Sun Tzu and Chanakya.

The campaigns of Alexander the Great, Chandragupta Maurya, Hannibal, Qin Shi Huang, Julius Cæsar, Zhuge Liang, and Khalid ibn al-Walid demonstrate strategic planning and movement.

Mahan describes in the preface to The Influence of Sea Power upon History how the Romans used their sea power to effectively block the sea lines of communication of Hannibal with Carthage; and so via a maritime strategy achieved Hannibal's removal from Italy, despite never beating him there with their legions.

In 1520 Niccolò Machiavelli's Dell'arte della guerra (Art of War) dealt with the relationship between civil and military matters and the formation of the grand strategy.

In the Thirty Years' War, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden demonstrated advanced operational strategy that led to victories in Holy Roman Empire area.

It was not until the 18th century that military strategy was subjected to serious study.

In the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), Frederick the Great improvised a "strategy of exhaustion" (see Attrition warfare) to hold off his opponents and conserve his Prussian forces.

Assailed from all sides by France, Austria, Russia and Sweden, Frederick exploited his central position which enabled him to move his army along interior lines and concentrate against one opponent at a time.

Unable to achieve victory, he was able to stave off defeat until a diplomatic solution was reached. Frederick's "victory" led to great significance being placed on "geometric strategy" which emphasized lines of manoeuvre, awareness of terrain and possession of critical strongpoints.

Source {From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on Military Strategy}

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