Contemplating strategy after reading about Napoleon Bonaparte

I found this great article about Napoleon Bonaparte. I am a big fan of him.

Rapidity of movements.
“The strength of an army,
like the power in mechanics,
is estimated by multiplying
the mass by the rapidity …
Press on !” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Five principles guiding the development of his plans.

Before every campaign Napoleon considered all possible options. The Emperor wrote, “There is no man more pusillanimous than I when I am planning a campaign. I purposely exaggerate all the dangers and all the calamities that the circumstances make possible. I am in a thoroughly painful state of agitation. This does not keep me from looking quite serene in front of my entourage; I am like an unmarried girl laboring with child.”

In the months and weeks before operations actually commenced he would begin to collect information. In addition to reading an enormous number and variety of books bearing on the enemy and the theater of war, he studied the volumes of intelligence reports forwarded by the agents that he had scattered throughout Europe. He would pursue works of political history, accounts of the state of roads and bridges, reports on the politicians and generals, and even studied patterns of food stockpiling and distribution.

  1. The primary objective is the destruction of the enemy ‘ s armies
    or the main army. That done, any remaining problems could be
    easily solved. If the enemy did not want to risk a battle, they might be forced
    to do so by a threat to their capital city.
  2. All forces must concentrate on the task of attaining the objective.
  3. Operations must be designed to surprise and confuse the enemy.
    Always, he sought to seize and keep the initiative, to impose his
    will on the enemy.
  4. Every effort must be made to render the enemy helpless through
    the severance of his lines of supply, communications, and retreat.
    His favorite movement was to envelop one of the enemy’s army’s
    flanks and threaten its rear and communications, forcing it either
    to retire hurriedly or to turn and fight at a disadvantage.
  5. The security of French forces must be guarded to prevent surprise.