- By Thomas E. RicksThomas 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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."