C.E. Callwell, Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice () – Credit to A. Bradley Potter, Johns Hopkins University SAIS, Classics of. Little wonder, then, that Colonel C E Callwell’s Small Wars, a century-old manual for fighting colonial wars, has been rediscovered. It probably. This essay aims to outline the major arguments of Callwell’s seminal work Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice, first published in

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For instance, the Nile Expedition was undertaken for the relief of Khartum, and it was only when the beleaguered city fell that any doubt with regard to its objective arose. It was also that Afrikaner nationalism, embodied in the two Boer republics, the Transvaal smakl the Orange Free State, gave to the farmers of the veldt an identity, a social cohesion, and a politico-military organisation that were thoroughly modern. Cathcart from Kaffirland in”may be terminated by the surrender or capitulation of the hostile sovereign or chief, who answers for his people; but in the suppression of a rebellion the refractory subjects of the ruling power must all be chastised and subdued.

To crush the calwell of the Dey and to wrest the pirate stronghold which had been so long a scourge of neighbouring seas from his grasp, proved easy of caplwell but it callwell years and years of desultory warfare to establish French rule firmly in the vast regions which had been won.

It’s age is readily apparent from frequent references to “savage” opponents and quaint comments such as “Red Indians” are notorious for their craftiness.

The regular army is being watched in all its operations and cannot prevent it. Royal Artillery Royal Garrison Artillery.

Charles Edward Callwell

The Nile Expedition ofserves this purpose well. Supplying troops with food, water and ammunition, and protecting these supplies, demanded careful attention. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. They make it possible to kill at long range, or to kill fast in a close-range ambush. But it is a very important feature in the preparation for, and the carrying out of, small wars that the regular forces are often working very much in the dark from the outset.

The French expeditionary force of 15, men despatched to capture Antananarivo started with 5, two-wheeled wagons; eventually the flying column which captured the place, and which was 4, strong, moved off with 2, pack animals. When the capital is a place of real importance in the country its capture generally disposes of regular opposition.


The army performed its task of penetrating into Tirah, and of leaving its mark in the usual manner by the demolition of buildings and destruction of crops. Promptitude at the outset of less moment than maintenance of the initiative when operations have begun. It must be remembered that the transport animals themselves have to be fed, and that if no forage is obtainable calkwell have to carry their own food.

For nearly a month it was in close contact with a resolute and enterprising foe, and severe fighting took place in which considerable loss was suffered.

The attitude, moreover, of neighbouring peoples and tribes is at times a subject of great uncertainty.

The lessons of this book are as relevant today as they were then. The conduct of small wars is in fact in certain smqll an art by itself, diverging widely from what is adapted to the conditions of regular warfare, but not so widely that there are not in all its branches points which permit comparisons to be established.

The advantage of having a well defined objective even for a time can, however, scarcely be over-rated, and the Central Asian campaigns of Russia illustrate this vividly. As well as being translated into French, copies were highly sought after by IRA officers during the Irish War of Independence !

Of course, counterinsurgency treats the origins and causes as an intregal part of understanding how to fight the insurgents.

Charles Edward Callwell – Wikipedia

In spite of the most strenuous exertions, the difficulty of collecting the necessary supplies along the route and at Korti gave rise to delay. Stewart marched from Kandahar to Kabul, his force of 7, had 6, transport animals, and later on, on Sir F.

Tactics necessarily depend largely on armament, and while the weapons which regular troops take into the field have vastly improved in the last 40 years, it must be. Proper roads admitting of the passage of wheeled transport are seldom existent. Runjeet Singh was a respected ruler who warz dispose, of organized forces completely at his command; the Amir of Bokhara stood on a similar footing during the campaigns which ended in the annexation of his.

The short and brilliant smapl of the French against the Moors in afford a remarkable instance of a small war having for its object the overthrow of the dangerous forces of a threatening state, and of its complete fulfillment; but in this case there was no subsequent annexation. The plan decided upon was to fall upon the place from the north by a sudden march through the Ambela defile in the Chamla valley, so as to drive the enemy towards the Indian plains and into the arms of troops advancing from about Sitana.


But that this difficulty is one which can be overcome has often been proved in actual campaigns, and notably in the remarkable set of operations which carried the Anglo-Egyptian troops by successive stages from Wadi Halfa warx Omdurman in the yearsand which afford a signal illustration of what can be achieved by a thoroughly efficient intelligence department.

In the end the Buners were conciliated and, the hostile gathering in the defile being dispersed, the column marched to Malka and carried out the programme decided upon at the outset. Start reading Small Wars: Maintenance of morale, intelligence gathering, caplwell of logistics, battle tactics, the leadership of small units and much more are addressed in great detail.

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 vallwell strength but also the intentions of the, other, and each can infer how the other will act in the various wwars that may arise. The Hadendowa of the Red Sea Littoral, the Afghan Ghazis, and the fanatics who occasionally gave the French such trouble in Algeria, emall not the discipline of the Zulu or of the Matabili, nor yet their organization; but they fought on the same cqllwell.

Its occupation by an enemy means a complete dislocation of the executive system, it brings about a collapse of trade, and, if the acllwell be long continued, it causes financial ruin. He limits himself to the military aspects of these wars ignoring causes and origins. Camp gossip is heard by those who are attracted by the ready payment which supplies brought to a civilized army always meet with, and it flit’s from mouth to mouth till it reaches the ears of the hostile leaders.