Maneuver Warfare

Maneuver Warfare


Worthwhile article that dovetails WW2 Military History with the current events in Ukraine.

Highly Recommend you download this book to a flash drive and keep for future reference.



Military History: History’s Last Left Hook?

left hook

Military Envelopments with Strategic Implications

“Left hook” is a boxing term for a short, sideways, inside punch which often lands on an opponent’s jaw. Left hooks generally come as a surprise because for most people it is much harder to punch with their left arm. So, while boxers may continuously jab, cross, and uppercut, the perfectly placed “left hook” can mean all the difference in a match, and its effects can be devastating. For orthodox or in-fighters the left hook is closer to land on your opponent, and for experienced boxers, the “left hook” is no random move. Successful boxers study their opponent, their moves and patterns; through deliberate and practiced blows they know when and how to throw the perfectly timed “left hook.”

Much like the football team that continuously runs the ball up the middle and passes only on occasion, the perfectly timed hook can surprise the most seasoned opponent and keep them off guard. Outside the ring, the term “left hook” has become a metaphor for a shocking and evasive move against an opponent.

One of history’s first large scale “left hooks” took place during the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage. The fundamental principles of that ancient conflict can be seen in World Wars I and II, and even Desert Storm: all these “left hooks” share the common principles of surprise, shock, timing, overwhelming force, precision, and deception; they are military envelopments with strategic implications.

Are the principles of the “left hook” timeless?

Hannibal Barca

Hannibal’s actions at the Battle of Cannae during the 2nd Punic War in 216 B.C. created the gospel of strategic envelopment. Hannibal’s successes were catastrophic for the Romans, and the repercussions of his actions were felt for centuries. Before the battle, Hannibal had concluded a multi-year journey from Carthage (in northern Africa) through modern-day Spain, southern France, and into the Apennine peninsula from the north. Hannibal had led 50,000 foot soldiers, 9,000 cavalry, and 37 war elephants across the Pyrennees and the Alps. The movement of his entire army was itself acontinental envelopment.

Read the Remainder at Medium

The OODA Loop, Revisited


John Boyd’s OODA loop teaches troops how to make the right decision with little time and scant info.

By Mike Grice

You make decisions every day. Dozens and dozens of them. Some are easy — coffee or latte? — and some are more complex. Regardless of what kind of decision you need to make, you generally have as much time and information as you need to make the best call.

In the military, though, decisions must be made both quickly and correctly. In combat, time and information are fleeting commodities, and waiting for more information to make a decision can have disastrous results.

Combat is a time-competitive environment, and every decision is made against an enemy who is doing his best to beat, and kill, you. John Boyd, an Air Force fighter pilot and later an innovative and impactful theoretician, spent his life studying, refining, and theorizing how to make the best decision. His conceptual decision-making model has proven tremendously effective in not just studying how decisions are made, but also to prepare people to make the best decisions.

Read the Remainder at Task and Purpose