Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : C E ioned. : Small Wars Their Principles and Practice (): Colonel C.E. Callwell: Books. Little wonder, then, that Colonel C E Callwell’s Small Wars, a century-old manual for fighting colonial wars, has been rediscovered. It probably.

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The French conquest of Algeria is a remarkable illustration of this. As the force did not reach Abu Hamed this notable item in the programme was not actually carried out; but it is practically certain that it would have been, had not the River Column been recalled.

In some cases they do not hold good at all. But in uncivilized countries it is almost impossible to predict the rate at which the force will advance.

Small Wars Their Principles and Practice

Shortly afterwards Callwell returned to Woolwich; then in late he passed the entrance examination to the Staff College[1] where he was a student from February [2] into In great campaigns of modern history it has come to be considered as the usual objective that the capital of the hostile nation should be threatened, and that it should if possible be actually captured.

But let that not detract from the richness of military theory and historical insight to be found in the pages of Small Wars.

In cases such as these the objective will generally be clear and well defined. With this observation duly noted, Major Callwell sees the basic strengths of the western forces arising from their discipline and generally superior weaponry.

Inconvenient as it is that the enemy seems always to be so well informed as to what the regular army does or is going to do, this circumstance can sometimes be turned to account.

After studying available sources of intelligence, the Paris War Office decided to make a carriageable road from the point selected for smal, and to trust almost entirely to wheeled transport. But it was found that the transport of the desert force had completely collapsed under the strain thrown upon it, and that the necessary food for the force intended for this enterprise could not have been carried.


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In this volume, therefore, questions of organization will be as far as possible avoided. The Ashantis during the campaign of on several occasions assembled in large bodies; they did not hesitate to risk a general c.e.calkwell when their leaders thought an opportunity offered. A small force was left isolated, and the reinforcements sent to its assistance were overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers.

This was the case in Egypt into a certain extent in Tonkin as far as the Chinese were concerned, and also in a measure in the Indian Mutiny.

At the outbreak of hostilities between the British and the Boers inthe prevailing opinion in Natal, and in South Africa generally, was that the Boers would fight with little spirit and would easily lie dispersed by the slender force under Sir G. It must be remembered that the transport animals themselves have to c.e.callwel fed, and that if no forage is obtainable they have to carry their smaol food.

In countries where small wars take place, communications are generally most indifferent. Their length and liability c.e.csllwell attack.

He went on to chronicle lessons from those experiences, as each offered multiple opportunities to consider and reconsider how best to wage counterinsurgencies. What is known technically as “intelligence” is defective, and unavoidably so. The expeditionary force under Sir N. The quality of C. The force was now in desperate straits from want of water and had to retire to seek it, abandoning everything.

Wikisource has original text related to this article: It was so in the Chinese war ofwhen all efforts at negotiation failed till the allied forces were at the gates of Pekin.


It is the difficulty of bringing the foe to action which, as a rule, forms the most unpleasant characteristic of these wars; but when such opponents can be thoroughly beaten in the open field at the commencement of hostilities, their powers of further serious resistance often cease.

The question of water also greatly influenced the operations of the desert force, and introduced this important element of supply into the problem. Like many of the Russian campaigns in Asia, like the French Madagascar expedition ofand like many other small wars, it was essentially a campaign against nature, a struggle against the difficulties arising from supplying the wants of troops traversing great stretches of desert country.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply. But the River Column had also become practically inoperative, likewise on account of supply. In Algeria the French were incessantly despatching expeditions against the Kabyles which could effect nothing because the enemy disappeared.

The invaders went to work with marked deliberation. Once the two armies really confront each other, and the veil which has hidden one from the other is rent asunder, each can guess not only the position and strength but also the intentions of the, other, and each can infer how the other will act in the various contingencies that may arise.

Against them, the invaders pitted not just superior armament, but method, discipline, and cohesion. One fruitful source of trouble, for instance, is that the route to be followed may not be accurately known.