Topic: Military Theory
The Timeless Verities of Combat
From Understanding Combat; History and Theory of Combat, Col. Trevor N. Dupuy, US Army, Ret., Paragon House Publishers, 1987
1. Offensive action is essential to positive combat results.
2. Defensive strength is greater than offensive strength.
3. Defensive posture is necessary when successful offence is impossible.
4. Flank or rear attack is more likely to succeed than frontal attack.
5. Initiative permits the application of preponderant combat power.
6. Defenders' chances of success are directly proportional to fortification strength.
7. An attacker willing to pay the price can always penetrate the strongest defences.
8. Successful defence requires depth and reserves.
9. Superior combat power always wins.
10. Surprise substantially enhances combat power.
11. Firepower kills, disrupts, suppresses and causes dispersion.
12. Combat activities are always slower, less productive, and less efficient than anticipated.
13. Combat is too complex to be described in a single, simple aphorism.