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How to win in combat – an ideal model applied in a scenario
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Joint Warfare Division. Finnish National Defence University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5206-9745
2016 (English)In: Zeszyty Naukowe Akademii Obrony Narodowej, ISSN 0867-2245, Vol. 103, no 2, p. 5-23Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Are our tactics effective compared to our opponent or not? Since tactics are about how to use time, units and resources in the best possible way to win or gain advantages in battle, it becomes important to be able to evaluate and measure the outcome. The purpose of this paper is to give an example of how a designed scenario in a specific military tactical situation can work as a frame for an ideal model of win or lose in combat. From the theories about how and why we are winning and losing in battles, an ideal model of the most important criteria has been compiled. The ideal model is not a “law” or the ultimate truth but more of an empirical path of knowledge and to be used as a hypothesis. A specific military combat scenario is used in visualising and to measure the quality of the tactician’s plan and action. The tactical scenario is operationalised in the narrative based on conventional warfare in future high-intensity and high-tech level conflicts. It is thus essential for the tactician to be proficient in knowing his/her units, resources and capabilities, regarding how their mobility and firepower can be optimised at different times and in different sequences. Tactical criteria can be tested in various scenarios but need to be measured more thoroughly by using wargames.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Warszawa, 2016. Vol. 103, no 2, p. 5-23
Keywords [en]
tactics, victory in combat, scenario, wargame
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11469OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11469DiVA, id: diva2:1739196
Available from: 2023-02-24 Created: 2023-02-24 Last updated: 2023-02-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Mastering Tactics: Exploring and measuring victory in battle
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mastering Tactics: Exploring and measuring victory in battle
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation investigates effective military tactics in contemporary battle by measuring parameters behind successful and less successful tactical performance. As such, knowledge of tactics gives practitioners, scholars, and scientists in war studies a better understanding of battle results. The purpose of the dissertation is to test existing theories to create a new theory about what influences tactical results in battle and provide an explanation of what leads to tactical victory. Victory can be explained by tactical elements that affect success during battles. Moreover, victorious battles can partly be explained through some of the skills tacticians possess in comparison to those who lose their duels. Furthermore, the dissertation is an approach to critically evaluate tactical competence and identify what is successful tactics and how the theories are consistent with practical experiences. With increased insight into who and how tactics affect the victory or loss of battle, we have the opportunity to improve the development of skills in the field of military and tactics that research, analyse, and practice warfare. The dissertation consists of four independent articles. These articles correlate personal capabilities such as level of expertise, attitude, general intelligence, and individual decision-making styles, to levels of victory. Summarizing all four articles leads to three major conclusions: (1) contemporary manoeuvre warfare contains successful measurable elements when similar opponents engage in combat. (2) Tacticians who follow the steps from the ideal model representing “best practices of performing tactics” increase their chances of winning the duel, especially if the opponent does not follow any or fewer steps at the same time. (3) Personal decision-making styles influence tactical results in battle. These conclusions are relevant when drawing up effective tactics as well as tactician profiles in the future.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling undersöker dagens effektiva militära taktik i strid genom att mäta parametrar bakom framgångsrika och mindre framgångsrika taktiska prestationer. Som sådan ger det kunskap till forskningen om taktikens utövning inom krigsstudier en bättre förståelse för stridens utfall. Syftet med avhandlingen är att pröva befintliga teorier samt att skapa ny teori om vad som påverkar taktiska resultat i strid för att förklara vad som leder till taktisk seger. Seger kan förklaras genom taktiska element som påverkar framgång i striden. Segerrika strider kan delvis förklaras genom några av de färdigheter taktiker besitter i jämförelse med de som förlorar duellen. Vidare har avhandlingen ett förhållningssätt för att kritiskt utvärdera taktisk kompetens och identifiera vad som är framgångsrik taktik samt hur teorierna stämmer överens med praktiska erfarenheter. Med ökad insikt över vem och hur taktik påverkar stridens seger eller förlust har vi möjlighet att förbättra kompetensutvecklingen inom militär taktik för forskare, analytiker och för dem som utövar krigföring. Avhandlingen består av fyra fristående artiklar. Dessa artiklar söker samband mellan personliga förmågor som expertis, attityd, allmän intelligens och individuella beslutsstilar till olika nivåer av seger. När vi sammanfattar alla fyra artiklarna leder det till tre viktiga slutsatser: (1) Dagens manöverkrigföring innehåller framgångsrika mätbara element då en konventionell motståndare engageras i strid. (2) Taktiker som följer stegen från den ideala modellen som representerar "den bästa praxis för att utföra taktik" ökar sina chanser att vinna duellen, speciellt om motståndaren inte följer några eller färre av stegen samtidigt. (3) Personliga beslutsfattningsstilar påverkar taktiska resultat i strid. Dessa slutsatser är relevanta vid utarbetandet av effektiv taktik såväl som för taktikers profil i framtiden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Försvarshögskolan (FHS), 2023. p. 143
Series
Swedish Defence University Thesis Series, ISSN 2004-6871 ; 1
Keywords
battle, decision-making, land warfare, manoeuvre warfare, military tactics, problem solving, victory in combat, wargames, war studies, strid, beslutsfattande, landkrigföring, manöverkrigföring, militär taktik, problemlösning, seger i strid, krigsspel, krigsstudier
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11465 (URN)978-91-88975-21-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-03-29, Sverigesalen, Drottning Kristinas väg 37, Stockholm, 12:30 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-03-01 Created: 2023-02-22 Last updated: 2024-01-08Bibliographically approved

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