Topic: Military Theory
Manoeuvre Against the Enemy's Rear
Maneuver In War, Col Charles Andrew Willoughby, 1931
"The general idea underlying Napoleon's favorite and most effective system - the maneuver against the rear of the enemy - can be expressed as follows:
(1) Frontal pressure will rarely lead to a decision; the enemy can always withdraw, fight delaying actions in successive positions and finally escape.
(2) Through demonstrations by detached forces, the enemy is drawn away from his bases or capitol.
(3) In rapid, secret concentrations, the mass of the army is moved into the hostile zone of retreat by a march around the enemy's flank; if possible, this movement is under cover of a natural screen: mountain range, forest, etc.
(4) The object is a position astride the enemy's line of communications in order to secure a strategic barrier, usually a river line cutting of his avenues of retreat.
(5) This threat in rear is expected to produce a certain degree of demoralization and a reversal of enemy movements.
(6) Then turn against the enemy in a battle of your own choice, in time and location."