08 May 2014

All the factors you need to know

I'm halfway through reading 1914-1918, a very fascinating history about the First World War, and also the first time I have ever read a comprehensive account about the efforts and issues facing each country on both sides. It's also much more complicated than we were ever led to believe in school or in the media.

In what can be fairly described as the first "total war", the factors that had to be considered by everyone involved included:
  • aims
  • doctrine
  • planning
  • alliances
  • politics
  • diplomacy
  • strategy
  • tactics
  • operations
  • environment (ie, topography, weather and time of day)
  • manpower
  • matériel
  • technology
  • production
  • logistics
  • intelligence
  • morale
  • propaganda
  • financing
  • funding
I'm sure I've captured everything, and it was crucial that in a total effort such as this, all had to be taken into account and properly executed in order to assure victory. The fact that there were so many failures along the way helps to make this book an excellent text for assessing why. It also gives you pause to think how this can be applied to other ventures that are of less than life-and-death importance.