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Short, easy to digest, and essential to aspiring leaders I read this about 15 years ago and have consistently referenced the lessons. Very interesting Very interesting view of the psychology effects of war but so the men of war Intriguing for any aspiring leader. Good ReadHelped bolster those lessons taught at the basic level of military leadership A very real ancestor to MCDP 1 Warfighting. The Dep Dant gave this to me after a football game Not as good as I had hoped The greatest commanders know the soul of their men Make your men feel confident Story of when they were in the shed and the officer got a haircut Men like to be active, not passive in battle Give them something active to do Each soldier has a different psychology and they must be led a different way Commanders must know the psychology of their men They can t learn it, they must be able to sense it War has a novel psychological effect on soldiers We can learn about war during peacetime from books and maps, but we cannot learn how to help our own men overcome their private battles until war is actually upon us War induces a fog during wargames, operate with as little information as possible on the enemy As a leader you must lead from the front, but not so much that your influence becomes localized Soldiers need a commander who inspires them The commanders job is to inspire confidence It is important to have a backbone of veterans who can teach the younger, less experienced men Spare no expense to have the element of surprise We must be prepared to make decisions in the absence of information Leadership is knowing when to make the decision In peace you prepare as if war were a grammar school game in reality it s like college War is a kaleidoscope of ever changing problems and opportunities When dealing with infantry, half the battle is getting them to believe that they will succeed If you can do this, then half the battle is already won The American officer must be a teacher and leader. Good book short read I picked up this book in 2014 from a colleague that was cleaning out his desk and getting rid of old unwanted military or history books It is one of the best small unit leadership books that I ve read and I later used several examples from the book in leadership talks with small groups.In Battle Leadership, Captain Adolf von Schell documented his experiences as a company grade infantry officer in the Germany Army during the Great War World War I The book was largely written in a narrative format and was captured primarily from lectures von Schell gave to the U.S Army Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA during the period between World War I and World War II The book is a powerful application of lessons learned from personal experiences at the tactical level and applied to the greater areas of military science and defense policy Von Schell described the transformation of individuals and collective units as they progressed from personnel acquisition by the Army, initial training and educations courses to military exercises and ultimately deployment to combat Von Schell drew from combat examples during German campaigns on the western front against France, the southern front against Italy, and the eastern front against Russians His main focus was on the actions and factors that impacted the decisions of tactical combat leaders at the platoon, company, battalion, regimental and division levels in both offensive and defensive operations To summarize, von Schell emphasized the following factors for effective combat leadership character, psychology, personal courage battlefield positioning information processing, mission orders and communications and dealing with complexity and uncertainty For character, psychology, and personal courage, von Schell identified that it is impossible to know how soldiers and leaders would react when they first encountered combat Training and drills, while they were effective for mechanical warfighting skills and processes, did not enable a deeper look into the psychology of individual men and recommend appropriate actions to take when confronted with the anticipation and fear of initial combat It was up to tactical leaders to sense this apprehension in the ranks, and then take small, but meaningful and courageous actions, to alleviate soldiers fears of potential catastrophic consequences from enemy artillery fire and direct fire Leaders used a mixture of humor, courage, information dissemination, storytelling, etc to alleviate fears and build confidence in their units Physical presence was a key command and control and leadership decision during combat Leaders had to craftily balance the requirements to lead from the front and effectively control an operation Mission success depended on being able to quickly see and maneuver to take advantage of opportunities or plug gaps once contact was gained with the enemy If a leader chose to position themselves with the lead element during an attack, it was likely that they would become occupied with individual tasks associated with fire and maneuver and their physical exposure limited their ability to see their entire formation main and supporting efforts After multiple engagements, leaders learned to demonstrate their physical courage in other ways outside of battle and then position themselves on the battlefield in central locations to influence the outcome by controlling supporting efforts such as machine guns and artillery and follow on maneuver forces The freedom of physical positioning was only achieved through effective delegation of combat leadership tasks to the lead elements officers and non commissioned officers. I read this book in less a day and enjoyed 95% of the book The analysis done by the Author on the Psychology of soldiers and officers during the first world war can be applied to any sort of leadership to some extend The Author brings interesting stories from his own experience in the Russian front putting deep understanding of the humanitarian factor in such frightening war.This is unusual book to me and enjoyed reading it As a combat veteran, I can personally attest to the truth and accuracy in this book Adolf Von Schell does a very good job of using real world examples, most of them personal experiences, to illustrate key lessons The main idea is that peacetime training is different than war, and the lessons are mostly concerned with how to make peacetime training effective When reading this book, you must remember that it was written just after WW1, so it is tactically outdated That being said, there are timeless pieces of knowledge that anyone interested in leading troops into combat should know. Quick read at only 95 pages even taking notes Lots of interesting first hand anecdotes as this German officer drew upon his experiences in the First World War German army to talk small unit command to his classmates in The Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1930 Von Schell would return to Germany and his army career, serving in several command positions during the war until killed in December 1944 as a Lieutenant General. Von Schell s book implores that modern leaders look closely at the psychological challenges of warfare and apply increasing efforts to duplicating the chaos of battle in the training ground While Schnell s book is brief and full of many anecdotes, his advice is worth heeding as commander over 80 years later No doubt it s insights will continue to prove valuable on any battlefield of the future.