The operations of the landed expedition corps on the whole can be

conducted according to the principles set down by the commanders of

the troops, but these principles must take into account the particular

conditions under which the forces operate. The well-known marine

writer, Mahan, emphasizes the fact that a landing operation must be

offensive to succeed. Military history shows that after boldly carried

out landings at Abukir and Cape Breton, for example, the success of

the extensive operations was impaired, almost lost, because of lack of

energy and rapidity of execution of offensive movements. The assembled

strength must be thrown forward on the line of least resistance.

Defensive strategy should be used only when a delay is necessary to

receive expected reenforcements. The primary aim of the operations is

to dispose of hostile forces, within the shortest possible time and

with the least loss to ourselves.

During the progress of the operations the country through which the

troops pass can be drawn upon to supplement equipment and supplies,

but the speed of the advance and the efficiency of the troops must not

be decreased through extended raids. While the distance to the

objective of the invasion is generally not great, it should be our

endeavor to be independent of our base of supplies. Much progress has

been made in the methods of making condensed foods, for man and horse,

which will help to solve the problem of provisions. The army of

invasion can also take an important site in the hostile country and

utilize it as a base of operations. Continuous communication with the

home country is therefore not absolutely necessary. In a densely

populated and rich country it is easy to secure provisions and

supplies. The maintenance of long lines of communications is hazardous

in that it requires excessive guard duty. When the battle fleet has

gained command of the sea it will be in a position to protect

continuously the base on the coast, and would also make it possible

for the corps of invasion to select new bases. Sherman's march to

Savannah in the Civil War has shown the practicability of this plan.

After one objective has been attained, it should be possible for the

expedition to reembark to land at some other point on the coast for

further operations.

Against the enemy's defenses we must throw our full strength and avoid

enterprises that involve a delay or a weakening of our forces. Dearly

purchased victories will in the end defeat our own aims.

If the operations of the troops are carried on along the coast, or if

the objective of the operations is a harbor or a coast fortification,

the battle fleet should act in unison with the land forces.

Battleships are superior to the field artillery, as they can be moved

at will and so are hard to put out of action. Continuous bombardment

from the battleships would prove effective aid for the troops.

It is important, then, that the command of land and naval forces be

joined in a commander-in-chief who would direct the field forces as

well as the naval forces. Small coast defenses of seaport cities could

not for any length of time withstand such a combined attack. It is

certain also that present-day coast defenses could not withstand an

energetic attack from the land side. They are more vulnerable than

inland fortresses because they are open to attack simultaneously from

land and water. However, if the battle fleet cannot gain the command

of the sea, and must retreat before the opposing forces, the

operations of the landed troops must be conducted wholly as a war on


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