Maintenance of the Objective as a principle of war.

This means choosing a reason for being on the battlefield and sticking with it. In warfare, the commander regularly operates with very little information about what is going on. As the situation develops, there is temptation to change objectives. This wastes time and energy (and men). History has shown that the army that that consistently peruses its original goal is likely to succeed. An example can be found in the Arab-Israeli wars. The Israelis ruthlessly maintained their objectives, ignoring temptations to surround bypassed Arab formations. This straightforward attitude always resulted in the destruction of far larger Arab forces.
By contrast, the Egyptians, in 1973, changed their pan after crossing the Suez Canal. Instead of digging in to receive the Israeli counterattack, they launched further attacks of their own. This resulted in heavy Egyptian losses, setting the stage for a successful Israeli crossing of the canal.

Back to Principles of War
Back to Jane’s Military History Nodes

Sources: See Principles of War main page

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.