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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wars are won or lost on morale

Wars rarely end because of the annihilation of one side, although the fall of Carthage and Constantinople are prominent examples. Wars usually end when the morale of one side reaches its breaking point. Here are some examples of events which broke the spirits of various armies/nations:

1. Lee's surrender
2. Hitler's suicide
3. The attack on the US embassy during the Tet Offensive
4. Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo

How can morale be maintained?

1. Avoid heavy losses- this is more important than inflicting heavy losses
2. Take and keep territory
3. Make it impossible for your army to retreat (burn bridges/ships)

The absolute worst thing for morale is a stalemate. It does not break morale quickly but it always breaks morale eventually.

Maintaining morale in your own army is much more important than trying to demoralize the enemy. 

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