The only thing harder than getting a new idea into the military mind is to get an old one out.

— B. H. Liddell Hart

The most scandalous B. H. Liddell Hart quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development

Ensure that both plan and dispositions are flexible, adaptable to circumstances.

Your plan should foresee and provide for a next step in case of success or failure.

25

The downfall of civilized states tends to come not from the direct assaults of foes, but from internal decay combined with the consequences of exhaustion in war.

20

The most effective indirect approach is one that lures or startles the opponent into a false move - so that, as in ju-jitsu, his own effort is turned into the lever of his overthrow.

20

A complacent satisfaction with present knowledge is the chief bar to the pursuit of knowledge.

18

In war the chief incalculable is the human will, which manifests itself in resistance, which in turn lies in the province of tactics. Strategy has not to overcome resistance, except from nature. Its purpose is to diminish the possibility of resistance, and it seeks to fulfil this purpose by exploiting the elements of movement and surprise.

17

For whoever habitually suppresses the truth in the interests of tact will produce a deformity from the womb of his thought.

17

Air Power is, above all, a psychological weapon - and only short-sighted soldiers, too battle-minded, underrate the importance of psychological factors in war.

16

The most consistently successful commanders, when faced by an enemy in a position that was strong naturally or materially, have hardly ever tackled it in a direct way. And when, under pressure of circumstances, they have risked a direct attack, the result has commonly been to blot their record with a failure.

14

The more closely [the German army] converged on [Stalingrad], the narrower became their scope for tactical manoeuvre as a lever in loosening resistance. By contrast, the narrowing of the frontage made it easier for the defender to switch his local reserves to any threatened point on the defensive arc.

14

Guerrilla war is a kind of war waged by the few but dependent on the support of many.

10

Inflict the least possible permanent injury, for the enemy of to-day is the customer of the morrow and the ally of the future

10

In the case of a state that is seeking not conquest but the maintenance of its security, the aim is fulfilled if the threat is removed - if the enemy is led to abandon his purpose.

10

About B. H. Liddell Hart

Quotes 69 sayings
Nationality British
Profession Historian
Birthday October 16

Loss of hope rather than loss of life is what decides the issues of war.

But helplessness induces hopelessness.

9

To ensure attaining an objective, one should have alternate objectives.

An attack that converges on one point should threaten, and be able to diverge against another. Only by this flexibility of aim can strategy be attuned to the uncertainty of war.

7

In strategy the longest way round is often the shortest way there- a direct approach to the object exhausts the attacker and hardens the resistance by compression, whereas an indirect approach loosens the defender's hold by upsetting his balance.

7

It is thus more potent, as well as more economical, to disarm the enemy than to attempt his destruction by hard fighting ... A strategist should think in terms of paralysing, not of killing.

6

No man can exactly calculate the capacity of human genius and stupidity, nor the incapacity of will.

6

War is always a matter of doing evil in the hope that good may come of it.

6

The theory of the indirect approach operates on the line of least expectation.

6

The military weapon is but one of the means that serve the purposes of war: one out of the assortment which grand strategy can employ.

5

I used to think that the causes of war were predominantly economic.

I came to think that they were more psychological. I am now coming to think that they are decisively "personal," arising from the defects and ambitions of those who have the power to influence the currents of nations.

5

[The] aim is not so much to seek battle as to seek a strategic situation so advantageous that if it does not of itself produce the decision, its continuation by a battle is sure to achieve this. In other words, dislocation is the aim of strategy.

5

In reality, it si more fruitful to wound than to kill.

While the dead man lies still, counting only one man less, the wounded man is a progressive drain upon his side.

5

This high proportion of history's decisive campaigns, the significance of which is enhanced by the comparative rarity of the direct approach, enforces the conclusion that the indirect is by far the most hopeful and economic form of strategy.

5

The predominance of moral factors in all military decisions.

On them constantly turns the issue of war and battle. In the history of war they form the more constant factors, changing only in degree, whereas the physical factors are different in almost every war and every military situation.

4

It is folly to imagine that the aggressive types, whether individuals or nations, can be bought off ... since the payment of danegeld stimulates a demand for more danegeld. But they can be curbed. Their very belief in force makes them more susceptible to the deterrent effect of a formidable opposing force.

4

A modern state is such a complex and interdependent fabric that it offers a target highly sensitive to a sudden and overwhelming blow from the air.

4

For even the best of peace training is more theoretical than practical experience ... indirect practical experience may be the more valuable because infinitely wider.

4

The effect to be sought is the dislocation of the opponent's mind and dispositions - such an effect is the true gauge of an indirect approach.

4

While there are many causes for which a state goes to war, its fundamental object can be epitomized as that of ensuring the continuance of its policy - in face of the determination of the opposing state to pursue a contrary policy. In the human will lies the source and mainspring of conflict.

4

While the nominal strength of a country is represented by its numbers and resources, this muscular development is dependent on the state of its internal organs and nerve-system - upon its stability of control, morale, and supply.

4

The nearer the cutting off point lies to the main force of the enemy, the more immediate the effect; whereas the closer to the strategic base it takes place, the greater the effect.

4

The more usual reason for adopting a strategy of limited aim is that of awaiting a change in the balance of force ... The essential condition of such a strategy is that the drain on him should be disproportionately greater than on oneself.

4

Air forces offered the possibility of striking a the enemy's economic and moral centres without having first to achieve 'the destruction of the enemy's main forces on the battlefield'. Air-power might attain a direct end by indirect means - hopping over opposition instead of overthrowing it.

4

The unexpected cannot guarantee success, but it guarantees the best chance of success.

4

For the spread and endurance of an idea the originator is dependent on the self-development of the receivers and transmitters.

4

An army should always be so distributed that its parts can aid each other and combine to produce the maximum possible concentration of force at one place, while the minimum force necessary is used elsewhere to prepare the success of the concentration.

4

It is only to clear from history that states rarely keep faith with each other, save in so far (and so long) as their promises seem to them to combine with their interests.

4

Avoid self-righteousness like the devil- nothing is so self-blinding.

3

The search for the truth for truth's sake is the mark of the historian.

3

A commander should have a profound understanding of human nature, the knack of smoothing out troubles, the power of winning affection while communicating energy, and the capacity for ruthless determination where require by circumstances. He needs to generate an electrifying current, and to keep a cool head in applying it.

2

The practical value of history is to throw the film of the past through the material projector of the present on to the screen of the future.

2

The urge to gain release from tension by action is a precipitating cause of war.

1

The implied threat of using nuclear weapons to curb guerrillas was as absurd as to talk of using a sledge hammer to ward off a swarm of mosquitoes.

1

The hydrogen bomb is not the answer to the Western peoples' dream of full and final insurance of their security ... While it has increased their striking power it has sharpened their anxiety and deepened their sense of insecurity.

1

The higher level of grand strategy [is] that of conducting war with a far-sighted regard to the state of the peace that will follow.

0

The blurring of the line between policy and strategy] encouraged soldiers to make the preposterous claim that policy should be subservient to their conduct of operations, and (especially in democratic countries) it drew the statesman on to overstep the definite border of his sphere and interfere with his military employees in the actual use of their tools.

0

If you wish for peace, understand war.

0

To foster the people's willing spirit is often as important as to possess the more concrete forms of power.

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