By Douglas Wilson Johnson
From the advent . . .
"Do the mountains guard the military, or does the military shield the mountains?" the matter is an previous, one, and has claimed the eye of army experts in all nations and in all times.
Expressed in broader phrases, it's the oft-debated query as to the relative effect of topography upon process and strategies below altering stipulations of conflict. it's an ever-recurring
question, for every "revolution" in equipment of wrestle brings in its educate a physique of opinion reason on demonstrating that, below the
new stipulations of battling, topographic stumbling blocks have misplaced their importance, strategic gateways not exist, and commanding
positions not "command." Then, as opposing forces percentage within the new discoveries, or revenue in equivalent degree via new systems,
the primary value of topography reasserts itself, and every aspect maneuvers for an valuable place at the terrain
as one of many must haves to victory in battle.
The query remains to be a dwell one. The conflict of this day employs numerous innovations and technical units, each one of which can seem to lessen, if to not wreck, the effect of topography
upon army operations. What safeguard is a river channel, whilst the trendy army engineer can throw bridges throughout it in a couple of hours, defended by way of artillery which could achieve the enemy
many miles past the farther financial institution? What desire has the artillery
for hill positions, while weapons at the moment are in most cases hid in valleys and ravines, firing with terrific accuracy upon objectives
the gunners by no means see? With sound-ranging and flashranging units to identify enemy batteries, with airplanes and aerial photog'1lphy to find those and different goals and to exercise
surveillance over enemy routine, of what value is a paltry elevation of a few few tens or hundreds and hundreds of ft, dignified in prior wars as "dominating heights?" So may one multiply,
indefinitely, queries the typical solution to which might appear to be that during the conflict of the current time the innovations of guy have lowered to insignificance the ro1e of Nature.
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Battlefields of the World War: Western and Southern Fronts; A Study in Military Geography by Douglas Wilson Johnson