Best Defense

You already banned Powerpoint? Great, next you might eliminate written orders

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on July 8, 2010. I was reading a 1986 paper from the School of Advanced Military Studies about generalship and was interested ...

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While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on July 8, 2010.

I was reading a 1986 paper from the School of Advanced Military Studies about generalship and was interested by this quotation from Hermann Balck, a senior German general of World War II:

Even my largest and most important operations orders were verbal [oral]. After all there wasn’t any need for written orders. As division commander, I forbade the use of written orders within my division."

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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