Everyone interested in military and war strategies would have heard about Sun Tzu’s Art of War. The book elucidates many war strategies that were tried and tested in the practical world of the famed Chinese general. Similarly, implementing carefully crafted war tactics led armies to victory even when the odds were against them.
Holding a line by constricted battlefield
The war tactic allowed the Greek army led by King Leonidas I to hold their stance and defeat the massive army of Xerxes for two days. Greek contingent of 7000 men held their position between a steep hillside and see. The geography of the battlefield didn’t allow Xerxes’ massive army of 70,000 men to use their colossal number to their advantage as the battleground was only limited to a few feet. Greeks maintained their flank for two days until they were betrayed by their own, Ephialtes. He told the Persian army about another path to Sparta around Thermopylae.
Arminius was a German officer who lured Roman officer Varus into an ambush. He was marching with three contingents of 20,000 men through the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD to crush the German revolt. When all his army was forced to walk on a single path through the woods, Arminius attacked them with full force. The roman army was defeated both physically and mentally. Romans did not anticipate the attack as they considered that German tribes lack discipline.
The Russians surrounded the German army from Stalingrad and ambushed it from all sides starting from 19 November 1942. This manoeuvring of troops didn’t allow any necessary provisions to pass through the encircling Russian army. The only option with force is to find a way out, attack, or surrender. Operation Uranus was designed on this tactic which led Russian to tilt the balance in their favour. Soviets surrounded the Germans and attacked them with deadly bonds and tanks, thus sealing the fate of Nazi Germany in WWII.
Committing the reserve
One of the principles of war is to create maximum impact out of minimum efforts. It is done to keep a part of the force to handle any unexpected events like acting as a reinforcement for a vulnerable or weal flank. Napoleon devised a plan based on this strategy to make Astro-Russian forces attack his right flank in 1805. After attack. He was under tremendous pressure to attack with full force, but he resisted until his enemies could not retreat from their stance. He released his troops on unguarded enemies to smash their core and take them from the isolated left. The victory was only a consequence that followed in the battle of Austerlitz.
Concentration of Power
Clausewitz, a German strategist, believed that the most crucial point in battle was to accumulate all the resources and know the exact moment on when to strike. The tactic of attacking only when necessary help in prioritising the artillery. Germans adopted the Flying Circus formation in 1917 in WWI to their advantage.