Principles of War

WPI Military Science: 9 Principles of War: “9 Principles of War

The nine Principles of War, as defined in the Army Field Manual FM-3 Military Operations:


Mass Concentrate combat power at the decisive place and time

Objective Direct every military operation towards a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable objective

Offensive Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative

Surprise Strike the enemy at a time, at a place, or in a manner for which he is unprepared

Economy of force Allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts

Maneuver Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power

Unity of command For every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander

Security Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage

Simplicity Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough understanding “