The Principles of War Podcast
Principles of War

0 – The Principles of War and You

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We look at how the Principles of War podcast is going to work, what we want to do and how we are going to do it.

We discuss how terrain plays a part in the outcomes of battles and we will be looking at leadership.

What role does leadership play in battle? What about Post H-Hour Execution and leadership?  We look at some examples from General Grant’s experiences that lead him to be the Commander of the Army of the Potomac.

We discuss each of the principles and give a brief example of why each is important.

Selection and the Maintenance of the Aim.  Probably the most important of the principles.

Concentration of Force – My strategy is 1 against 10 – my tactics 10 against 1. The

Economy of effort – if you aren’t the main effort, you will be short of everything except the enemy.

Co-operation – why is this so difficult to achieve.  We briefly looked at the problems with co-operation for the D-Day landings.

Security – Truth is so precious it should be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

Surprise – To surprise the enemy is to defeat them.  The Germans driving through the Ardennes forest in 1940.  We talk briefly about technical surprise.

Flexibility – Auftragtaktik and Mission Command. We look at Yom Kippur.

Offensive Action – Britzkrieg.

Sustainment – Supplies set the left and right of arc of what is possible.  Sherman’s march to the sea and the Atlantic Conveyor in the Falklands.

Morale – The Army of the Potomac after the Battle of the Wilderness.

Sun Tzu said -The art of war is of vital importance to the State.  It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.  Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.

This is why we need to understand the principles of war.

Related posts

72 – Panzergruppe Kleist – German Centre of Gravity – Battle of France Part VIII


84 – Montgomery, Fighting Power and turning moral around in the 8th Army


58 – Reflections and lessons learnt from the Battle of Long Tan

James Eling


Dave Walker June 7, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Great work James. Looks like a fantastic resource for your target audience.

LTC Andy O'Connor August 29, 2022 at 10:08 pm

Dear sir or ma’am,

I am a fan of your podcast however, whenever I follow links or search for podcast notes I always end up in the same place that seems to be stuck on content from March 2022. The “latest podcast” still shows as Episode 87.

Floris December 30, 2022 at 12:18 am

James! interesting podcast really good work on combining military theory with historical examples! i wonder could you tell me what book your referencing in podcast number 0 15:14 about suprise (im hearing irfield but im not sure)

admin January 18, 2023 at 11:55 am

Hi Floris, it is Waldemar’s Erfurth Surprsie. A little bit of an esoteric reference, but well worth the read!

Ray June 16, 2023 at 2:02 pm

Hello James, great podcast with exceptional educational value. I’m American and I noticed that you often sign off by saying something like “yeupaquay” (I’m sure I have mangled it). How do you spell that word correctly and what does it mean? I rekon it’s eithe an aboriginal term or your version of “oorah?” Thank you. Keep them coming!

Charles Bryers April 4, 2024 at 3:47 am

Hi James, I am contacting you on behalf of Army’s Professional Military Education (PME) Cell, the people responsible for the COVE and Army’s informal professional military education. I wasn’t able to find an email address so I thought I’d reach out here. The Army PME Cell is reporting on the state of Army PME and the desired future state. Part of this report is an understanding of what informal PME is available, and how Army personnel engage with the PME Providers and content creators within and outside of Defence. 

We have seven questions that aim to collect data on the resources available for informal PME, and how they support the development of members of the profession of arms. We would greatly appreciate your support in answering these questions. Your contribution will assist Army to shaping and enhancing Army’s future PME, an important part of developing an effective land force.

If you’re interested in participating, please reach out to me via email and I’ll send the questions through.




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