Logo: to the web site of the Swedish Defence University

fhs.se
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Mastering Tactics: Exploring and measuring victory in battle
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History. Finnish National Defence University .ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5206-9745
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 [en]
battle, decision-making, land warfare, manoeuvre warfare, military tactics, problem solving, victory in combat, wargames, war studies
Keywords [sv]
strid, beslutsfattande, landkrigföring, manöverkrigföring, militär taktik, problemlösning, seger i strid, krigsspel, krigsstudier
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11465ISBN: 978-91-88975-21-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11465DiVA, id: diva2:1738517
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
List of papers
1. A tentative model on effective army combat tactics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A tentative model on effective army combat tactics
2020 (English)In: Comparative Strategy, ISSN 0149-5933, E-ISSN 1521-0448, ISSN 0149-5933, Vol. 39, no 5, p. 490-504Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to form a model on effective tactics. We selected five theorists, three of which also provided support from quantitative analysis on winning battles. The theorists all advocate the use of maneuver warfare, developed from the German WWII-approach.[1] The analysis indicates the importance of accomplishing a sequence in battle of surprise attacks, followed by shock action, and prompt exploitation in order to accomplish an organizational breakdown of enemy force. Tactical defeat is foremost a result of psychological reactions by the enemy rather than from physical destruction by superior material resources at the point of assault.German WW II approach covering both the tactical and operational level of German ground warfighting until 1945. This is still the theoretical bas in maneuver warfare including features such as mission-type orders (Auftragstaktik), decisive point, centre of gravity (Schwerpunkt) and intent (Absicht). We have pointed out important parts from the German WWII warfare (mechanized) style in a model, although not flawless, in our discussion on victory in battle.

Keywords
winning in combat, maneuver warfare, surprise, shock, exploitation.
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-9447 (URN)10.1080/01495933.2020.1803713 (DOI)
Available from: 2020-09-30 Created: 2020-09-30 Last updated: 2023-02-23Bibliographically approved
2. Exploring military victory in battle: a qualitative study on contemporary tactics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring military victory in battle: a qualitative study on contemporary tactics
2020 (English)In: Defence Studies, ISSN 1470-2436, E-ISSN 1743-9698, Vol. 20, no 2, p. 163-181Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines simulated battle settings, to analyze how tactics are performed and victory is achieved by observing tacticians dueling in wargames. In contemporary warfare, victory in battle relates to a wide variety of elements. According to military theory, these elements commonly involve deployment, reconnaissance, manoeuvre, breakthrough, tempo, surprise, exploitation, and shock, resulting in enemy organizational breakdown. Ideally, if one side in combat exploits all elements successfully, the likelihood of victory increases. Although the use of the tactical elements is not always obvious to the participants, the study indicates a correlation between using the elements and victory in a wargame setting. Although wargames inherent bias by not being the real world, they are used in training, education and analysis worldwide. The study also illustrates that the participants view tactical victory differently in battle.

Keywords
Defence studies, victory, wargaming, tactics, land warfare, military problem solving
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11209 (URN)10.1080/14702436.2020.1750300 (DOI)
Available from: 2022-12-13 Created: 2022-12-13 Last updated: 2023-02-23Bibliographically approved
3. Decision-making style and victory in battle: Is there a relation?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decision-making style and victory in battle: Is there a relation?
2022 (English)In: Comparative Strategy, ISSN 0149-5933, E-ISSN 1521-0448, Vol. 41, no 4, p. 415-436Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Can decision-making styles impact victory and defeat in armed conflicts? To answer the question of whether decision-making styles are linked to the victories and defeats of individual tacticians, this study utilizes five general decision-making styles: Rational, Intuitive, Dependent, Avoidant and Spontaneous. The aim of this study is to examine whether one or several of the general decision-making styles (GDMS) have an impact on tactical outcomes in wargames. A total of 104 officers and academics participated in the study. The study’s foremost conclusion is that the Dependent style is significantly connected to defeat in the wargame’s dueling set up.

National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11017 (URN)10.1080/01495933.2022.2087436 (DOI)
Available from: 2022-08-01 Created: 2022-08-01 Last updated: 2023-02-23Bibliographically approved
4. How to win in combat – an ideal model applied in a scenario
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How to win in combat – an ideal model applied in a scenario
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
Keywords
tactics, victory in combat, scenario, wargame
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11469 (URN)
Available from: 2023-02-24 Created: 2023-02-24 Last updated: 2023-02-24Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(873 kB)1424 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 873 kBChecksum SHA-512
875de4fade36cefcbf55688e909912a20591335954e2736bed130b5be5885e48f116fd98b6a495da5c84141e32bb74a155af430fa5a881457ddc4044314afdb7
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
Spikblad Engelska(300 kB)106 downloads
File information
File name SPIKBLAD01.pdfFile size 300 kBChecksum SHA-512
de34d6d26bb54e806163dc8c5de8f8c0ca16d927dad0cd83f77f2cfec7f9bc2415c8eeb3436abc50192983651bf21b6466ac08782346a30898149240e97b0fd8
Type spikbladMimetype application/pdf
Spikblad Svenska(301 kB)140 downloads
File information
File name SPIKBLAD02.pdfFile size 301 kBChecksum SHA-512
3c9eb070bdbbe2e0026e10a94079980f0b69ec93e9592aedb6e77f08a20a7e4340d32217cfe2ff731bb284251a9943168950f45c10f66cdcd7d42a3c1cfc6816
Type spikbladMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Henåker, Lars
By organisation
Department of War Studies and Military History
Political Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1424 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 3911 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf