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Cavalry in Battle

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 6.9 Cavalry in Battle

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Leopard Secret Teachings 6.9 (59)

Observed lessons

  • The fastest wins. Speed trumps force.
  • Speed will overwhelm the unready.
  • Attack on multiple fronts.
  • Meet a rapid attack with an equally fast and solid force.
  • Seek to cause real damage rather than just shock.
  • Use speed to capture and extract key personnel.
  • Beware of them pretending unreadiness, falling back and then ambushing.
  • Beware of pinch-points where only a few can go through. These can be ambush points or can hinder rapid attack or retreat.
  • Difficult terrain or long pursuits will exhaust horses (and vehicles).

Discussion

Through much of history, the mounted riders in cavalry had the advantage of speed and height over foot soldiers. The modern equivalent is a light military vehicle, though horses can still go to places where vehicles would struggle.

The speed attack is particularly effective when the enemy is unready, for example when they are tired or just setting up. Multiple simultaneous attacks increases the chance of success as the enemy is driven further into chaos. When defending, build the discipline to cope with such attacks.

In business, rapid and powerful attacks at competitors can be very effective. These can be broad, attacking at multiple points, or may be focused in key areas.

See also

Surprise attack, Blitzkreig

 

Sawyer, R.D. (1993). The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, Basic Books

 

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