How to Clear a House (Vietnam, 1968)

h.  The assault party is divided into 2 groups, the searching party and the covering party. The covering party protects and aids the advance of the searching party. The searching party provides covering fires and protection for the covering party as it displaces. The searching party enters and clears all buildings that the unit is responsible for clearing. i.  Prior to entering buildings or rooms of buildings, which are believed to contain enemy, a grenade is thrown in a window or door or some other opening in the building. j.  A searching team is normally composed of at least two…
Continue Reading »

Soviet Hearts&Minds in Afghanistan (1988)

The Soviet army’s fixation with large-scale military operations during the war proved completely unproductive and did little to further Soviet war aims. Rarely did the 40th Army or the Afghan army hold terrain after clear­ing it of anti-government forces. In 1986, the commander of the Soviet armed forces told the Politburo that, “There is no single piece of land in this country which has not been occupied by a Soviet soldier. Nevertheless, the majority of the territory remains in the hands of the rebels . . . There is no single military problem that has arisen and that has not…
Continue Reading »

Reading a Gentleman’s Mail (Philippines, 1898)

To the President of the Rev. Govt. , Malolos, from Cailles, Pineda, Sept. 15, 1898, 5 :  I inform your excellency that I have complied faithfully with your orders.  The outgoing force was grand.  I am at the head of a column of 1,800 men, almost all uniformed, three bands of music; left Singalong for Ermita, going through the San Luis paddy fields to the Puerta Real, Manila.  As we came to the Luneta from Calle Real, Ermita, Americans and natives fell in behind, yelling "Viva Filipinos, Viva Emilio Aguinaldo."  We answered "Viva America, Viva la Libertad."  The Americans presented…
Continue Reading »

Coup and Counter-Counter-Coup (1963)

Returning from the Army Command and General Staff College in the summer of 1957, I had the privilege to begin a close professional association with President Diem that lasted for nearly three saw first hand the strong talent for leadership President Diem exhibited, his great concern for the people of Vietnam, and the earnest efforts he made on behalf of security for the country. I came also to appreciate the brilliance of Mr. Nhu, the President's brother.  He was an innovative thinker - not a real leader as was Diem - but a man of ideas.  The President would sign…
Continue Reading »

The Duke Counts his Beans (1812)

Gentlemen, Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.  We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty's Government holds me accountable.  I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer.  Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.…
Continue Reading »

“Attack!” (the Soviet way) (1943)

From a radio talk to Red Army men at Stalingrad by Lieutenant General V. I. Chuikov, Commander, 62nd Soviet Army: LET YOUR attack be a headlong one.  Get to the enemy in one leap.  In open spaces where the enemy is target-firing, you must make short runs singly, jump up in a trice and forward like an arrow.  It is important to give the Germans no time to take aim; run for two or three seconds and then drop like a stone to the ground.  Crawl unnoticed from the spot where you dropped, to the side, and when you get…
Continue Reading »