Aspects of Operational Art: Communications, Cannon and Small War

TitleAspects of Operational Art: Communications, Cannon and Small War
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsPepper, Simon
EditorTallett, Frank, and D. J. B. Trim
Book TitleEuropean Warfare, 1350–1750
PublisherCambridge University Press

Operational art – as the term is used in this essay – falls somewhere between strategy and tactics, and concerns the business of warfighting in most of its aspects save the purely political or logistical. The word ‘strategy,’ in the sense of grand strategy, probably did not enter European vocabulary until the end of the eighteenth century. Even excluding grand strategy and the tactical handling of troop formations in combat, operational art is a formidably wide field and this essay’s discussion is limited to three inter-related aspects: developments in the nature of military command and its tools of communication, the heavy weapons available to commanders in the field and in siege warfare, and what was known in all of Europe’s principal languages as ‘small war’.

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