Demoralization (warfare)

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The Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu wrote: "For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines morale as "the mental and emotional condition (as of enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty) of an individual or group with regard to the function or tasks at hand)".[1]

The Changing Minds website declares:

Morale in warfare is a remarkably important thing. An impassioned small force can and has, many times, defeated a much larger force that has been carefully demoralized beforehand.

Soldiers who lose the will to fight either fight poorly or throw down their weapons with relatively little encouragement. Commanders who are demoralized will likewise avoid battle and more readily sue for peace.

Demoralization also works with the people back in the home nation. If the population supports the war, then there will be many more volunteers and a broad support for a bellicose government. If, on the other hand, the population believes the war is unwinnable and unjust, then any political party supporting the war will be seen as arrogant and out of touch with its electorate.[2]

The Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu wrote: "For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill (a variant translation is "Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.").[3]

See also

Notes