B H Liddell Hart Quotes & Wallpapers

B H Liddell Hart
Total Quotes: 75


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. B H Liddell Hart

If we clear the air of the fog of catchwords which surround the conduct of war, and grasp that in the human will lies the source and mainspring of all conflict, as of all other activities of man's life, it becomes clear that our object in war can only be attained by the subjugation of the opposing will. All acts, such as defeat in the field, propaganda, blockade, diplomacy, or attack on the centres of government and population, are seen to be but means to that end. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

Direct experience is inherently too limited to form an adequate foundation either for theory or for application. At the best it produces an atmosphere that is of value in drying and hardening the structure of thought. The greater value of indirect experience lies in its greater variety and extent. History is universal experience, the experience not of another, but of many others under manifold conditions. B H Liddell Hart

As has happened so often in history, victory had bred a complacency and fostered an orthodoxy which led to defeat in the next war. B H Liddell Hart

In should be the duty of every soldier to reflect on the experiences of the past, in the endeavor to discover improvements, in his particular sphere of action, which are practicable in the immediate future. B H Liddell Hart

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

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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

The unexpected cannot guarantee success, but it guarantees the best chance of success. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

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

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. B H Liddell Hart

The art of the indirect approach can only be mastered, and its full scope appreciated, by study of and reflection upon the whole history of war. But we can at least crystallize the lessons into two simple maxims- one negative, the other positive. The first is that, in face of the overwhelming evidence of history, no general is justified in launching his troops to a direct attack upon an enemy firmly in position. The second, that instead of seeking to upset the enemy's equilibrium by one's attack, it must be upset before a real attack is, or can be successfully launched B H Liddell Hart

A complacent satisfaction with present knowledge is the chief bar to the pursuit of knowledge. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

...regrettable as it may seem to the idealist, the experience of history provides little warrant for the belief that real progress, and the freedom that makes progress possible, lies in unification. For where unification has been able to establish unity of ideas it has usually ended in uniformity, paralysing the growth of new ideas. And where the unification has merely brought about an artificial or imposed unity, its irksomeness has led through discord to disruption. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

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

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. B H Liddell Hart

Every action is seen to fall into one of three main categories, guarding, hitting, or moving. Here, then, are the elements of combat, whether in war or pugilism. B H Liddell Hart

Direct pressure always tends to harden and consolidate the resistance of an opponent. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

For if we merely take what obviously appears the line of least resistance, its obviousness will appeal to the opponent also; and this line may no longer be that of least resistance. In studying the physical aspect, we must never lose sight of the psychological, and only when both are combined is the strategy truly an indirect approach, calculated to dislocate the opponent's balance. B H Liddell Hart

In any problem where an opposing force exists and cannot be regulated, one must foresee and provide for alternative courses. Adaptability is the law which governs survival in war as in life ... To be practical, any plan must take account of the enemy's power to frustrate it; the best chance of overcoming such obstruction is to have a plan that can be easily varied to fit the circumstances met. B H Liddell Hart

The most dangerous error is failure to recognize our own tendency to error. B H Liddell Hart

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

The chief incalculable in war is the human will. B H Liddell Hart

In a campaign against more than one state or army, it is more fruitful to concentrate first against the weaker partner than to attempt the overthrow of the stronger in the belief that the latter's defeat will automatically involve the collapse of the others. B H Liddell Hart

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

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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

The easiest and quickest path into the esteem of traditional military authorities is by the appeal to the eye, rather than to the mind. The `polish and pipeclay' school is not yet extinct, and it is easier for the mediocre intelligence to become an authority on buttons, than on tactics. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

Loss of hope rather than loss of life is what decides the issues of war. But helplessness induces hopelessness. B H Liddell Hart

Helplessness induces hopelessness, and history attests that loss of hope and not loss of lives is what decides the issue of war. B H Liddell Hart

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

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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

The principle of compulsory service, embodied in the system of conscription, lias been the means by which modem dictators and military gangs have shackled their people after a coup d'etat, and bound them to their own aggressive purposes. In view of the great service that conscription has rendered to tyranny and war, it is fundamentally shortsighted for any liberty-loving and peace-desiring peoples to maintain it as an imagined safeguard, lest they become the victims of the monster they have helped to preserve. B H Liddell Hart

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 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. B H Liddell Hart

The profoundest truth of war is that the issue of battle is usually decided in the minds of the opposing commanders, not in the bodies of their men. B H Liddell Hart

Vitality springs from diversity - which makes for real progress so long as there is mutual toleration, based on the recognition that worse may come from an attempt to suppress differences than from acceptance of them. For this reason, the kind of peace that makes progress possible is best assured by the mutual checks created by a balance of forces-alike in the sphere of internal politics and of international relations. B H Liddell Hart

The search for the truth for truth's sake is the mark of the historian. B H Liddell Hart

It should be the aim of grand strategy to discover and pierce the Achilles' heel of the opposing government's power to make war. Strategy, in turn, should seek to penetrate a joint in the harness of the opposing forces. To apply one's strength where the opponent is strong weakens oneself disproportionately to the effect attained. To strike with strong effect, one must strike at weakness. B H Liddell Hart

[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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

In war, the chief incalculable is the human will. B H Liddell Hart

If you want peace, understand war. B H Liddell Hart

Natural hazards, however formidable, are inherently less dangerous and less uncertain than fighting hazards. All conditions are more calculable, all obstacles more surmountable than those of human resistance. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

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

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. B H Liddell Hart

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

Opposition to the truth is inevitable, especially if it takes the form of a new idea, but the degree of resistance can be diminished- by giving thought not only to the aim but to the method of approach. Avoid a frontal attack on a long established position; instead, seek to turn it by flank movement, so that a more penetrable side is exposed to the thrust of truth. But, in any such indirect approach, take care not to diverge from the truth- for nothing is more fatal to its real advancement than to lapse into untruth. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

If you wish for peace, understand war. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

While hitting one must guard ... In order to hit with effect, the enemy must be taken off his guard. B H Liddell Hart

If you find your opponent in a strong position costly to force, you should leave him a line of retreat as the quickest way of loosening his resistance. It should, equally, be a principle of policy, especially in war, to provide your opponent with a ladder by which he can climb down. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart

Avoid self-righteousness like the devil- nothing is so self-blinding. B H Liddell Hart

In reality, it is 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. B H Liddell Hart

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. B H Liddell Hart



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