C.E. Callwell, Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice () – Credit to A. Bradley Potter, Johns Hopkins University SAIS, Classics of. Little wonder, then, that Colonel C E Callwell’s Small Wars, a century-old manual for fighting colonial wars, has been rediscovered. It probably. This essay aims to outline the major arguments of Callwell’s seminal work Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice, first published in

Author: Keshakar Mikagar
Country: Comoros
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Finance
Published (Last): 13 January 2009
Pages: 483
PDF File Size: 7.85 Mb
ePub File Size: 14.72 Mb
ISBN: 774-7-81221-293-6
Downloads: 36219
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Gajar

Customers who viewed this item also viewed. So it comes about that campaigns of conquest and annexation mean for the most part campaigns against forces which, however irregular they may be in their composition, are nevertheless tangible and defined.

Face to face with Sudanese and Zulus old orders of battle, discarded in face of the breech-loader and of shrapnel shell, are resumed again. Arrangements for repelling night attacks.

Charles Edward Callwell – Wikipedia

Showing of 13 reviews. In an insurrection this is indeed generally the case – it was so in the Indian Mutiny. This arises from the social system in such theatres of war and from the manner in which the inhabitants live. It is that in small wars the habits, the customs, and the mode of action on the battlefield of xallwell enemy should be studied in advance.

In the last Afghan war Kabul was occupied early in the campaign, after the overthrow of the troops of Yakoub Khan. A facsimile edition of Small Wars: As far back as Roman times historians like Tacitus recorded accounts of regular forces battling local guerrillas, and from these origins a long tradition of studying wasr peculiar types of conflicts was born. They are brave and even reckless on the battlefield. The consequence was that the campaign was entered upon with an insufficient force, and that unnecessary loss was on several occasions incurred in attacking fortified localities without proper preparation.

Previously to the second attack on Dargai 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 on the position with one column and to turn the right with another.

Small Wars by Colonel C E Callwell : a Military Times Classic – Military History Monthly

For a given force proceeding a given distance at a given rate, the amount that will be required is a question of figures, and, in a theatre of war possessing good communication, problems of this land can be worked out with considerable probability of the results arrived at in practice corresponding to those arrived at in theory.

Such warriors depend on spears and knives and not on firearms. A great read, if not very politically correct by modern standards. Above Wadi Halfa up to the Third Cataract see the plan facing next page the Nile, at the season when the despatch of the force really commenced, and for several months afterwards, forms a series of rapids most difficult to navigate. The Zulu war was a campaign of this nature – the disciplined armies of Ketchwayo were a standing danger to Natal, and the coming of the Zulu power was indispensable for the peace of South Africa; the war, however, ended in the incorporation of the kingdom in the British Empire.


The military specialist discovers in Callwell lessons applicable to what today is called “low-intensity conflict. Owing to the supply question the desert force had thus become inoperative.

The intelligence department finds great difficulty in organising an efficient service of espionage for obvious reasons – the spy captured by civilized troops does not have a very good time, in the hands of barbarians his lot is even more unenviable. Flank attacks give better chance of decisive victory.

An index has been added.

Don’t have a Kindle? It is then that the regular troops are forced to resort to cattle lifting and village burning and that the war assumes an aspect which may shock the humanitarian. The cqllwell 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.

Whenever a regular army finds itself engaged upon hostilities against irregular forces, or forces which in their armament, their organization, and their discipline are palpably inferior to it, the conditions of the campaign become distinct from the conditions of modern regular warfare, and it is with hostilities of this nature that this volume proposes to deal.

The two Afghan callwsll, and especially the first, may be included in this category. Amazon Second Chance Pass warx on, trade it in, give it a second life. The Chitral campaign was analogous.

Naval History and Heritage Command

Certain rules of conduct exist which are universally accepted. Advantages of this formation in bush fighting. An ability to adapt to terrain and climate, to match the enemy in mobility and inventiveness, to collect intelligence, and above all the capacity to “seize what the enemy prizes most, ” will determine success or failure. The earlier chapters will deal with the general principles of strategy, the later chapters with tactics.

The separation of force on the battlefield.

The capture of Algiers in closed the campaign as one against armies including troops of all arms; it proved, however, to be only the prelude to years of desultory warfare. Lockhart had ordered the tribesmen’s attention to be occupied in front, while a force was to proceed as rapidly as possible, past the front of Dargai so as to threaten their line of retreat; this turning movement was not, however, carried out, the result being that great difficulty was experienced in capturing a position which would probably have been evacuated by the enemy the moment our troops had established themselves in rear of it.

But the causes which tend to bring about this uncertainty differ considerably in irregular warfare from those prevailing in great campaigns. And although the troops in small wars find their opponents as a rule skilled in the arrangement of ambushes and the carrying out of surprises, masters in the art of military deception, crafty and cunning, they find them on the other hand to be by no callwelll so wary in avoiding snares as they are artful in setting them.

Strategy and tactics alike are in great campaigns governed, in most respects, by a code from which it is perilous to depart. The main points of difference between small wars and regular campaigns in this respect are that, in the former, the beating of the hostile armies is not necessarily the main object even if such armies exist, that moral effect is often far more important than material success, and that the operations are sometimes limited to committing havoc which the laws of regular warfare do not sanction.


Experience shows that in small wars very great distances have often to be traversed through barren arid districts, where the soil is not cultivated, where no sheep or cattle are to be found, where a scanty population subsists on food unsuited for European soldiery, and where no forage for horses or callwelo exists.

He assumed from the position of what he took to be the sea, that the point he was making for lay quite differently from that what was shown on the map, and he started his zmall in an altogether false direction. In great campaigns of modern history it has come to be considered as the usual objective that the capital of the hostile nation should be threatened, and that it should if possible be actually captured.

Small Wars Their Principles And Practice

The French razzias in Algeria. The conquests small not achieved by any display of mighty force, the actual Russian armies in these operations were rarely large, but the objectives were always clear vallwell determinate; the capture of one city was generally held sufficient for a war, but it thereupon became a Russian city.

No fort existed, and the place was destitute of any importance whatever, military or other. Supply a matter of calculation, but there is always great risk of this being upset by something unforeseen. There are armies the overthrow of which will generally bring the head of the hostile state to reason.

On the other hand, an under-estimate of the resources of a district may lead to the troops being encumbered with a mass of transport which might have been dispensed with, and which hampers them in their operations.

The campaign proper would only begin after passing Korti. Earlier in this chapter the enormous amount of transport required for a force penetrating far into a territory destitute of supplies has been pointed out.

Modern magazine rifles shift the military balance in favour of the guerrilla. It is recommended to officer as a valuable contribution on the calpwell of the conduct of small wars. To ensure the water supply it was of vital importance to secure the Kassassin lock on the sweet water canal, which marked the course of the proposed line of operations, and owing to the difficulty of forwarding supplies up to this point it was necessary to send the smallest possible force to seize it, and to hold it.

This made them vulnerable to the superior firepower of their opponents.