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The Defence Of Duffer's Drift - A Lesson in the Fundamentals of Small Unit Tactics Paperback – 20 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Merchant Books (20 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603861998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603861991
  • Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 0.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,540 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton (1868 -1951) was a military writer and British Army officer. Swinton is credited with influencing the development and adoption of the tank by the British during the First World War. He is equally renown for popularising the term "no-mans land". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wordsmith on 5 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a slim book written as a primer for young officers at the time of the Boer war. The narrator dreams he has been given a small force to defend a river crossing. He has to defend against a series of attacks - learning each time from the mistakes he makes. A classic of military writing and one that remains as Fresh as the day it was written.
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Very interesting, unstuffy, slim text on infantry tactics (from the Boer war, more than 100 years ago) but applicable to warfare any time, any place.

Swinton went on to become one of the few senior British army officers thinking intelligently about the appalling WW1, which took the army as much by surprise as everyone else.

His major contribution was to suggest the development of the tank
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Defense of Duffer's Drift 17 May 2011
By Paul S. Teague, Major, US Army Retired - Published on Amazon.com
Major General Ernest Swinton's work The Defense of Duffer's Drift is about a Platoon Leader in the British Army assigned to defend a position called Duffer's Drift during the Boer War. The Platoon Leader, LT Backsight Forethought has a several dreams about how he would defend the position with his 40 Soldiers against the Boers. In each dream he tries a different method of defending the drift but his mistakes result in failure. Like any good Soldier LT Backsight Forethought learns from his mistakes and finally succeeds in his final dream with a successful defense of the Drift. The lesson for young officers is the same Hal Moore would teach: "There is always one more thing you can do to achieve success, and after that one more thing". The book teaches young officers to think through a battle from start to finish in order to better determine enemy actions and reactions. I first read the book in Infantry Officers Basic Course in 1985 where it was required reading, I hope it still is. In addition to all the above the book is well written and fun to read and it only takes an hour or two. I strongly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Didn't expect much, but was I ever surprised! 21 Mar 2013
By Prometheus I - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is considered a classic, so thought I would give it a read. I was expecting it to be pretty dry and a slow slog. I was really surprised by how well the book flowed. Since it describes a small group of defenders it is easy to put yourself in the commander's place. The book is a series of dreams where the group commander sets up a defense from an enemy attack, sees how it fails, and then makes adjustments, thinking he had covered all the bases. Then it fails again, so he makes more adjustments, and fails again. Repeat the dream until successful. I really couldn't put the book down, and it is a fairly quick read. Anyone interested in military strategy and defensive tactics will love this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
good primer on tactics for the late colonial period 3 Jan 2013
By Patrick M. Bloomer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a case study approach that is novel and interesting. the maps are very helpful in understanding the problems. It is focussed on the Boer War but could be extended to several other asymmetric conflicts.
I see why it has been used as a text ... 15 July 2014
By James Kenderdine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I see why it has been used as a text by military academies. In a few pages it takes the reader through a step-by-step introduction on how to defend a position with a small unit. At the sometime it offers some insights into how British were being trained at the time of the Boer War (and unfortunately up to WWI).
Must Read 22 May 2014
By David Sweetman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although written a 100 years ago, this book is a must read for anyone interested in countering insurgencies, learn about basic human nature as well. Packaged well and shipped on time.
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