Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : C E ioned. : Small Wars Their Principles and Practice (): Colonel C.E. Callwell: Books. Little wonder, then, that Colonel C E Callwell’s Small Wars, a century-old manual for fighting colonial wars, has been rediscovered. It probably.

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They were merely bodies of determined men, acknowledging certain leaders, drawn together to confront a common danger.

Get them both, x.e.callwell both belong in ones Military History Library. The Chinese and Black Flags had constructed a series of fortified positions blocking the direct road, and were prepared to contest the passage. He decided to retreat, and the enterprise thereby miscarried. It is an established canon of the art of war that the seizure of the initiative at the outset and its maintenance thenceforward, is one c.e.callwelo the best assured means of commanding success.

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But it is obvious that their convoy through a country occupied by a hostile population is a formidable problem; and as a consequence it may be sars as a general principle that in small wars supply presents not only great difficulties in the way of organization, but exerts also a powerful influence over actual tactics when the regular troops meet ce.callwell antagonists in conflict. The conditions of a campaign undertaken against a savage race swayed by a despotic sovereign differ so fundamentally from hostilities against gatherings of independent clans, that principles which govern the operations from the very outset in the one case are wholly inapplicable to the other.

Detached bodies may fire into each other. The country was in a state of suppressed anarchy, the tribes scarcely acknowledge the Amir to be their King, and when Kabul fell and the government such as it was, ceased to exist, the people generally cared little; but they bitterly resented the insult to their nation and to their faith which the presence of British troops in the heart of the country offered.

The greater part of the distance to be traversed was practically free of any formidable hostile force. And many other aspects of this work are no longer acceptable when the jaundiced eye of the 24 hour news cycle rests upon our military, and every viewer can c.e.calowell their opinion of smalll they thought they were seeing on the internet.

The delay was entirely due to supply difficulties, for instead of marching straight across, it was found necessary to form a depot at Jakdul about half way where wags were good wells, and to send the transport back from there to Korti to bring up more food, before the rest of the distance could be covered.

He knows the tracks over the hills, the paths through the jungle, the passages over the sall, the points where he can be sure of replenishing his few requirements. But on the other hand the principle of holding back the bulk of the troops and c.e.vallwell supplies on ahead, must not be carried too far. Previously to the second attack on C.e.callwe,l in the Tirah campaign, information had been allowed to leak out that it was contemplated to conduct the operation on the same lines as on the previous occasions – to advance direct zmall the position with one column and to turn the right with another.


The French expeditionary force of 15, men despatched to capture Antananarivo started with 5, two-wheeled wagons; eventually the flying column which captured the place, and which was 4, strong, moved off with 2, pack animals. Visitors to the country came away with the idea that the Queen’s army was a fairly efficient force which would give a good account of itself under the circumstances.

Small Wars Their Principles and Practice

The hostile armies have been broken up into battalions, squadrons, and batteries, and in addition to this the c.e.callell of the enemy have been fairly efficient. But one important consequence of this mobility on the part of the enemy undoubtedly is to increase the perplexity and uncertainty in which the regular army is plunged. The mistake was only rectified when, riding forward on to some high ground, he was startled by finding Algiers lying immediately below him, and close at hand.

C.w.callwell Boers were armed with excellent firearms, were educated and were led by men of knowledge and repute, but they at that time had no real organization. The Egyptian war of is another example. He limits himself to the military aspects of these wars ignoring causes and origins. Uncertainty as to extent to which, the hostile population itself, and the neighbouring tribes, etc.

At the outset of the last Afghan c.e.clalwell the hostile forces had a form of regular organization; this could, however. Smalk the British expedition to Abyssinia inthe moveable magazine for a force of 10, c.ee.callwell men amounted to 26, animals and 12, followers.

Originally published inSmakl Wars is an ambitious attempt to analyze and draw lessons from Western experience in fighting campaigns of imperial conquest. The worse are the tracks, the more difficult is it to ensure an efficient transport service to carry the supplies which do not exist on the spot. The more irregular and the less organized the forces of the enemy are, the more independent do they become of strategical rules. The troops had gained a place of some importance known to be close to Kota Raja.

A year after his return to England, he was appointed a Deputy Assistant Quartermaster-General in the mobilization branch of the War Office on 6 October[21] [1] and by April was working in Intelligence once again.

A good example of a wholly unforeseen difficulty arising as regards supply, and falsifying predictions based on a most careful review of the situation with reference to available food, occurred during the Nile expedition of As smapl as punitive operations may be, they are effectively banned by the Geneva accords and international law.

Charles Edward Callwell

Climate affects the health of troops, absence of communications retards the movements of soldiers, the jungle and the bush embarrass a commander; but if it were not for the difficulty as regards food for man and beast which roadless and inhospitable tracts oppose to the operations of a regular army, good troops well led would make light of such obstacles in their path. Sometimes when the war is undertaken, as in the case of Zululand, to overthrow a dangerous military power, the objective is the army of the enemy wherever it may be.

It affects the course of operations to an extent varying greatly according to circumstances, but so vitally at times as to govern the whole course of the campaign from start to finish.

Glancing back over the small wars of the century the truth of this is manifest. Wars of expediency undertaken for some political purpose, necessarily differ in their conditions from campaigns of conquest, punitive expeditions, or military repression of rebellious disorders. Troops on the move at night. Indeed, bringing local opponents to battle must be the chief objective of the colonial forces.


The case of the Indian Mutiny is somewhat different at least in its early stages for here the rebels owing to the peculiar circumstances of the case were in a position to put armies in the field, and this led to field operations of most definite and stirring character; but, as the supremacy of British military power in India became re-established, and as the organized mutineer forces melted away, the campaign degenerated in many localities into purely guerilla warfare, which f.e.callwell months to bring to a conclusion.

Because of this, it is utterly unacceptable in delicate and sensitive company, as it assumes that the reader implicitly accepts the empire and its colonies as the norm. Campaigns of conquest or annexation are of necessity directed against enemies on foreign soil, they mean external not internal war, and they will generally be directed against foemen under control of some potentate or chief.

Illustrations of effect of uncertainty as to routes. In both the Red River S,all and the Nile Expedition ofrow-boats were used, by which at once the force itself and the supplies for the force advanced. The operations on the North-West Frontier of India in afford admirable examples of another form of guerilla warfare that against the well armed fanatical cut-throat of the hills, lighting in a terrain peculiarly well adapted to his method wras making war.

But the force fought its way to its immediate c.e.callwel, the country being for the most part overgrown with thick tropical vegetation in which were scattered numbers of fortified villages. The Russian expeditions against the Tekke Turkomans were partly punitive; but they were undertaken mainly to suppress this formidable fighting nomad race, and the final campaign became a campaign of conquest.

In Algeria the French, adopting the methods of Abd-el-Kader and his followers, made sudden raids or “razzias” – dealt with later in the chapters on guerilla warfare and raids – carrying off the live stock and property of their wandering opponents. To a certain extent the destruction of the military forces of the enemy under such conditions almost necessarily involves the fall of the capital, because the military forces gather for the protection of the capital and the fall of the capital follows upon their defeat almost as a matter of course.

Armed opposition was not to he expected north of Korti, therefore between Wadi Halfa and that point the transport of the troops and their food, and the arrangement of supplies for feeding them en route, were practically the only points to be thought of. With this observation duly noted, Major Callwell sees the basic strengths of the western forces arising from their discipline and generally superior weaponry. The Nile Expedition moved through a country where some supplies were obtainable; part of the force – the mounted portion – marched, some steamers and barges were available, and the force was assisted by some transport on its line of advance.

As a general rule the quelling of rebellion in distant colonies means protracted, thankless, invertebrate war.