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The Logical Way To Estimate The Situation

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

1st. Consider exactly what you are to do, i.e., your mission as set

forth in the orders or instructions under which you are acting or as

deduced by you from your knowledge of the situation.

2d. Consider all available information of the enemy. What is his

strength? How is he situated? What is he going to do? etc.

3d. Consider all conditions affecting your own troops. What advantages

in number
and position have you over the enemy? What is their morale?


4th. Consider the terrain in so far as it affects the situation.

5th. Consider the various plans of action open to you and decide upon

the one that will best enable you to accomplish your mission (carry out

your task); that is to say, come to a decision.

It is now necessary to express that decision in the form of an order as

the quarterback did in giving the signal, 44--11--17--5.

To enable the will of the commander to be quickly understood, and to

secure prompt cooeperation among his subordinates, field orders are

required to follow a general form.

Under the stress and strain of an engagement there are many causes of

excitement. Unless we have trained ourselves to act along certain lines

in issuing orders, we may forget some important considerations. We have

known people of superb intelligence to do poorly before a large audience

simply from lack of training and experience.