Defensive Battleby@carlvonclausewitz

Defensive Battle

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We have said, in the preceding chapter, that the defender, in his defensive, would make use of a battle, technically speaking, of a purely offensive character, if, at the moment the enemy invades his theatre of war, he marches against him and attacks him; but that he might also wait for the appearance of the enemy in his front, and then pass over to the attack; in which case also the battle tactically would be again an offensive battle, although in a modified form; and lastly, that he might wait till the enemy attacked his position, and then oppose him both by holding a particular spot, and by offensive action with portions of his force. In all this we may imagine several different gradations and shades, deviating always more from the principle of a positive counterstroke, and passing into that of the defence of a spot of ground. We cannot here enter on the subject of how far this should be carried, and which is the most advantageous proportion of the two elements of offensive and defensive, as regards the winning a decisive victory. But we maintain that when such a result is desired, the offensive part of the battle should never be completely omitted, and we are convinced that all the effects of a decisive victory may and must be produced by this offensive part, just as well as in a purely tactical offensive battle.
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Carl Von Clausewitz

Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz was a general and military theorist who stressed the "moral", in modern terms.

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