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The Myth and Reality of German WarfareOperational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger$
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Gerhard P. Gross

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168371

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168371.001.0001

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Definitions

Definitions

Tactics—Operations—Strategy

Chapter:
(p.7) 1 Definitions
Source:
The Myth and Reality of German Warfare
Author(s):

Gerhard P. Gross

, David T. Zabecki
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813168371.003.0002

This chapter defines three levels of warfare—strategy, tactics, and operations—by tracing varying and often contradictory definitions of these terms throughout history, beginning in classical Greece and ending with modern German theorists. Although these terms are often used interchangeably, it is critical to distinguish between them in order to understand the real-world movement of armed forces. The chapter offers the following definitions as representative of world war thinking: strategy is the long-term plan for achieving a favorable, often political, outcome; tactics is the general command and control of military assets in space and time; and operations are specific, independent military actions taken in the field.

Keywords:   tactics, operations, strategy

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