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"The Defence of Duffer's Drift" was first published in 1907, as an essay in small unit tactics for junior leaders in the British Army. Its author, Ernest Dunlop Swinton, based the essay on his experiences in the Boer war in South Africa. The book has become a classic, familiar to generations of British and American soldiers from their professional military education. The premise for Swinton's essay is "The Defence of Duffer's Drift" by Lieutenant Backsight Forethought and his fifty-man platoon. The Drift is a difficult piece of ground and Forethought expects an attack in the near future. In a series of dreams, Forethought tries repeatedly to defend the Drift, only to make fatal mistakes. However, with each new dream, Forethought has the opportunity to learn from his errors in the previous dream. The result is an insightful exploration of small unit tactics and leadership that is as useful today as it was when first written. Swinton's prose is simple and accessible. The lessons of each defense are summed up at the conclusion of each chapter. "The Defence of Duffer's Drift" is very highly recommended to the junior leader, whether officer or NCO, as an amusing but realistic lesson in tactics.
The Defence of Duffer's Drift by Ernest Dunlop Swinton Any fool can get into a hole."-Old Chinese proverb. "If left to you, for defence make spades."-Bridge Maxim. I felt lonely, and not a little sad, as I stood on the bank of the river near Duffer's Drift and watched the red dust haze, raised by the southward departing column in the distance, turn slowly into gold as it hung in the afternoon sunlight. It was just three o'clock, and here I was on the banks of the Silliaasvogel river, left behind by my column with a party of fifty N.C.O.'s and men to hold the drift. It was an important ford, because it was the only one across which wheeled traffic could pass for some miles up or down the river. MAP OF DUFFER'S DRIFT. The river was a sluggish stream, not now in flood, crawling along at the very bottom of its bed between steep banks which were almost vertical, or at any rate too steep for wagons everywhere except at the drift itself. The banks from the river edge to their tops and some distance outwards were covered with dense thorn and other bushes, which formed a screen impenetrable to the sight. They were also broken by small ravines and holes, where the earth had been eaten away by the river when in flood, and were consequently very rough. We are delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. The aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature, and our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. The contents of the vast majority of titles in the Classic Library have been scanned from the original works. To ensure a high quality product, each title has been meticulously hand curated by our staff. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with a book that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic work, and that for you it becomes an enriching experience
A few experiences in field defence for detached posts which may prove useful in our next war. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
A classic in small unit tactics in the British and U.S. Army, this book is recommended by the Commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School "for the modern professional soldier." It is a thoroughly enjoyable read--witty, suspenseful AND instructive. The "hero" is Lieutenant Backsight Forethought (BF to his friends), who has been left in command of a 50-man reinforced platoon to hold Duffer's Drift, the only ford on the Silliaasvogel River available to wheeled traffic. Here is his chance for fame and glory. He has passed his officer courses and special qualifications. "Now if they had given me a job," says BF, "like fighting the Battle of Waterloo, or Gettysburg or Bull Run, I knew all about that, as I had crammed it up..." While BF's task appears simple enough, the Boer enemy causes a multitude of problems, which he (and you as you follow his predicaments) needs to solve. BF eventually gets there, but not before he makes a series of tactical errors along the way. He learns, as does the reader, what errors to avoid in the future.
Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 the U.S. military found itself in a battle with a lethal and adaptive insurgency, where the divisions between enemy and ally were ambiguous at best, and working with the local population was essential for day-to-day survival. From the lessons they learned during multiple tours of duty in Iraq, two American veterans have penned The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa, an instructional parable of counterinsurgency that addresses the myriad of difficulties associated with war in the postmodern era. In this tactical primer based on the military classic The Defence of Duffer’s Drift, a young officer deployed for the first time in Iraq receives ground-level lessons about urban combat, communications technology, and high-powered weaponry in an environment where policy meets reality. Over the course of six dreams, the inexperienced soldier fights the same battle again and again, learning each time—the hard way—which false assumptions and misconceptions he needs to discard in order to help his men avoid being killed or captured. As the protagonist struggles with his missions and grapples with the consequences of his mistakes, he develops a keen understanding of counterinsurgency fundamentals and the potential pitfalls of working with the native population. Accompanied here by the original novella that inspired it, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa offers an invaluable resource for cadets and junior military leaders seeking to master counterinsurgency warfare—as well as general readers seeking a deeper understanding of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just as its predecessor has been a hallmark of military instruction, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaa will draw the road map for counterinsurgency in the postmodern world. Visit a website for the book here: www.defenseofJAD.com
“Brilliant, hardhitting description of modern war on the U.S. Army’s premier training ground. A must-read tactical primer for today’s warrior.”—John C. “Doc” Bahnsen, Brigadier General, USA (Ret.) At the turn of the century a small, humorous book on tactics was published. The Defense of Duffer’s Drift quickly became a bestseller and today is still widely read. The Defense of Hill 781 is a modem version of this classic—a tactical primer with ample funpoking, but with serious lessons to be learned. Lt. Col. A. Tack Always Finds himself in the California high desert, alone, disheveled, confused. A guide soon appears to inform him of his situation: He has died and is now in Purgatory (his humility in the Army was somewhat lacking) where he must atone for past sins. Purgatory is, aptly, the U.S. Army’s National Training Center (NTC), and Lt. Col. Always may earn his way out by completing a successful mission. Through a series of six missions, the reader plans and fights with Lt. Col. Always, making the split-second decisions that determine victory or defeat, life or death. Through successive difficulties, some important lessons are burned into the commander’s brain—lessons about tactics, about people, about what it takes to fight a winning battle. Like Duffer’s Drift this book is a valuable resource for all military tacticians. For the armchair general, it is a fascinating look at how the members of a military unit work together in combat.
Air Force officers of all ranks, from cadets to generals, both active duty and reserves, will find this revised edition essential reading for a successful career.
The real story of how Winston Churchill and the British mastered deception to defeat the Nazis - by conning the Kaiser, hoaxing Hitler and using brains to outwit brawn. By June 1940, most of Europe had fallen to the Nazis and Britain stood alone. So, with Winston Churchill in charge the British bluffed their way out of trouble, drawing on the trickery which had helped them win the First World War. They broadcast outrageous British propaganda on pretend German radio stations, broke German secret codes and eavesdropped on their messages. Every German spy in Britain was captured and many were used to send back false information to their controllers. Forged documents misled their intelligence. Bogus wireless traffic from entire phantom armies, dummy airfields with model planes, disguised ships and inflatable rubber tanks created a vital illusion of strength. Culminating in the spectacular misdirection that was so essential to the success of D-Day in 1944, Churchill's Wizards: The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945 is a thrilling work of popular military history filled with almost unbelievable stories of bravery, creativity and deception. Nicholas Rankin is the author of Dead Man's Chest, Telegram From Guernica and Ian Fleming's Commandos. 'This is a story clamouring to be told. We could not have imagined the scope of the inventiveness, the daring of these people's imaginations . . . I could not stop reading this book.' Doris Lessing
A collection of essays by twelve historians guides the reader through the history of the British Army's experiences in South Africa in the 120 years leading up to the First World War.

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