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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Supplies have then to be carried sufficient to subsist the force while it traverses the whole distance, and the consequence of this is that supply trains grow to an enormous size and become very troublesome to control and difficult to protect.

The question of the wounded.

In many cases they hold good only partially. As a general rule the quelling of rebellion in distant colonies means protracted, thankless, invertebrate war.

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Operations and intelligence were divided into two independent branches, with Callwell as Director of Military Intelligence from 23 December until 3 Januarywhen George Macdonogh took over. He addresses in detail the impact of terrain, vegetation, and local culture on operations. The two Afghan wars, and especially the first, may be included in this category.

The French, on the other hand, entered upon their final campaign against the Malagasies with an exaggerated notion of the opposition they were likely to meet c.e.callewll. First off, he refers to the European’s local opponents as “semi-civilized, savages, Asiatics”, etc. This is a famous and frequently reprinted book often mentioned in the context c.e.callqell counterinsurgency.

C.E. Callwell, Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice () | Small Wars Journal

This page was last edited on 9 Julyat The Kaffir and Matabili rebellions in South Africa have always proved most difficult to suppress. It is clear that the longer the troops are operating in a resourceless country the more supplies will they want, and the larger will be the transport columns.


One of the most telling lessons of the whole book is “deal not with a hostile army, but with a hostile population”, a premise that is often forgotten by militaries prepared for symmetrical, national armies.

The operations on the North-West Frontier of India in afford admirable examples of another form of guerilla warfare that against the well armed fanatical cut-throat of c.e.cllwell hills, lighting in a terrain peculiarly well adapted to his method of making war. From this striking fact there is to wrs deduced a most important military lesson. Neither the commander-in-chief nor his brigadiers seem to have had any idea that they were within a few miles of an army five-fold superior to their own, and consisting of formidable warriors effectively armed and full of fight, when the unfortunate nocturnal advance was made which brought on the battle.

The destruction of a formidable alien military power will necessarily involve external war.

Small Wars Their Principles And Practice

Sometimes, however, the circumstances do not admit of it, and then their villages must be demolished and their crops and granaries destroyed; still it is unfortunate when this is the case.

Of these the former may be said upon the whole to be the most important as a rule. Runjeet Singh was a respected ruler who could 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. One of the Russian columns against Khiva was indeed obliged to turn back and suffered considerably from privations. The unfortunate reverse suffered by the Italian troops at Dogalt near Massawa arose almost entirely from ignorance of the hostile strength.

When the capital is really the focus and centre of a State, however barbarous, any approach to organized resistance under the direct control of the head of the State, will almost always cease when the capital falls; but it does not by any means follow that the conflict is at an end. Drawing the enemy on by exposing baggage c. In previous campaigns, moreover, the Malagasies had given the French a good deal of trouble.


This doubt reflects cc.e.callwell in the movements of the regular forces; it dogs them in their advance, cramping their liberty of action to such an extent that it not unfrequently brings them to a complete standstill, to the great encouragement of the enemy and to the detriment of a decisive campaign.

Square formation as an order of march. In the end General Duchesne threw the paper scheme to the winds, and, pushing on with a fraction of his army equipped with pack transport, made short work of the Hovas before Antananarivo.

It follows therefore from their very nature, that the initiative in small wars at the start belongs to the regular force, and that the question of seizing it does not in consequence arise. In the British expedition to Abyssinia inthe moveable magazine for a force of 10, fighting men amounted to 26, animals and 12, followers. The most satisfactory way of bringing such foes to reason is by the rifle and sword, for they understand this mode of warfare and respect it.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charles E. The great nation which seeks expansion .ce.callwell remote quarters of the globe must accept the consequences. This reprint adds vital historical dimension to the growing literature on unconventional conflict.