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Starvation

 

Disciplines > Warfare > Tactics > Starvation

Action | Analysis | Example | Analogy | See also

 

Action

Remove all sources of food for your enemy's armies and citizens.

Sink their supply ships. Lay siege to their cities. Cut off their supply lines. Poison their food and water sources. Burn their fields. If you are retreating, use Scorched Earth.

Then when they are weak and ill from hunger, threaten attack unless they concede.

Analysis

'An army marches on its stomach' as they say, and requires a huge logistical exercise to keep it fed. This either requires a supply train or taking food from the local populations.

Without sufficient food the army becomes weakened, demoralized and mutinous.

Likewise a well-fed population may well support a distant war, but if it is being starved, it will argue more quickly for peace.

Example

In the second World War, the German U-boats sank many supply ships heading for Britain, which had to implement a system of food rationing.

Analogy

In negotiations one tactic that can be used is to keep talking through meal times. The other side, desperate to eat, may well concede a few points.

See also

Demoralization in war

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