The objective has been a brief but inclusive treatment of the fundamentals of the military profession, i.e., the profession of arms. The emphasis, naturally, is on the exercise of mental effort in the solution of military problems, more especially in our Navy. An enormous literature has been consulted, and research has included all available and pertinent military writings. Care has also been taken to include, from civil sources, the findings of those authoritative works which deal with related matters and with the applicable underlying truths.
the essential elements of a military situation are, in fact, the significant values. Such values, themselves, vary with the viewpoint of the person concerned. Accordingly, because of the difference in objectives (defined above), what is strategy as viewed by a commander on a higher echelon may have more of a tactical aspect to those on a lower (page 10). Immediate objectives and ultimate objectives (page 54) can scarcely be understood in their true proportions unless the point of reference is clear. The point of view of the commander, as established by the position he occupies in the chain of command, is, therefore, to be taken into consideration in every phase of the solution of a problem,--in the determination of the appropriate effect desired (page 43), of relative fighting strength (page 35), and of courses of action and the detailed operations pertaining thereto (page 88).
On the basis of these facts, instantaneous and easy understanding of all the elements involved is not to be expected. Were suc