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The Campaign

The calling of the General Election brings me to reach to my bookshelf for “Strategy in a Nutshellâ€? by Captain F. F. Boyd [1915] Gale & Polden Ltd.

It was a pricey book in its day, at one shilling and six pence for 66 small pages (it was sized to fit in a jacket pocket).

The occupants of the parties’ election war rooms (they are referred to as such) might note some of the contents.

At page 37 there is a sketch map of the area around Salamanca (through which the river Tormes passes). The Tormes, in summer, is a slow weedy river (I can report from personal inspection). The map illustrates the geography of the encounter in that area, in 1812, of Wellington and Marmont.

At page 9 there is a sketch map of the ground from Chesapeake Bay to the Alleghanies and north to Harrisburg from Manassas Junction. This was the theatre of operations (the book is good on terms like that) for Bull Run, the first full battle of the American Civil War.

Captain Boyd’s copyright has expired and the following are some of his dictums;

“Strategy is the method by which a commander seeks to bring his adversary to battle.

The fruits or objects of strategy are two:-

(1) To place your army in such a position that the chances of victory owing to superiority of numbers, position, morale, etc. are greatly in your favour.
(2) That having secured the victory, the fruits of it may be very great.

Tactics is the method employed by a commander to defeat his adversary in battle.

Base. These are of two kinds, base of operations and base of supply. These may or may not be the same. Base of Operations is the fortress or frontier or tract of land, from which the army starts on a hostile expedition, as for instance, the German armies were based on the German Frontier in 1870, or the British were based on the lines of Torres Vedras in the Peninsula. The Base of Supplies is the town, district, or country from which the army draws its supplies, i.e., England in the Peninsular War.

Lines of Communications are the lines of road, railway, river etc., connecting an army with its base. Along these lines all supplies, etc., are passed to the army, and down which prisoners, wounded, etc., are sent to the base…â€?

This is clearly good stuff for the people in the war rooms.

Now some things are immediately obvious; Fianna Fail should avoid the Corrib as a base of supplies. The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has waged a burnt earth campaign and denied the use of the water there to the opponents (and his party).

Again, Fianna Fail should instruct canvassers to take no chances with dogs and the like. The party has opened pre-election hostilities with the nurses and hospital consultants, and cannot expect medical treatment for any injuries sustained in the campaign.

Therefore the Fianna Fail lines of supply will, of necessity be long.

Further ruminations await the progress of the campaign.

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  1. By The DOBlog » Dissolve this for headaches… on Sunday, April 29, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    […] Mr McGarr over at McGarrSolicitors has his thought […]