Fighting by Minutes: Time and the Art of War

Fighting by Minutes: Time and the Art of War

Fighting by Minutes: Time and the Art of War

Fighting by Minutes: Time and the Art of War


This book argues that time is the primary dimension in modern war and explores the paradoxes of warfare's temporal characteristics. Leonhard introduces a bold new theory that focuses on time as the critical component that controls all other aspects of war. Well-grounded in history, Leonhard's work is certain "to take its place as a classic theory of war" according to James R. McDonough, who wrote the foreword.


by ColonelJames R. McDonough

Warfare has changed over time. Now time is changing within warfare. Often described as the fourth dimension, in war time takes the first position. The military commander who can master time will be the victor on the battlefield and in the campaign of which battle is but a part. So argues Bob Leonhard in his theoretical discussion of the changing nature of war.

In the spring of 1993, the U.S. Army was coming to the end of a two- year effort to rewrite its warfighting doctrine, codified in its keystone publication, Field Manual 100-5, Operations. Despite two recent victories in the field (one in Panama, the other in the Persian Gulf), the American army had determined that the strategic environment, available and developing technologies, and evolving military capabilities and demands of the post-Cold War had so dramatically changed that it was prudent to revise its ways of thinking about war, enter into an introspective discussion of the best ways of conducting it, and codify the conclusions of those efforts in a new edition of its warfighting manual.

Bob Leonhard was then a student at the army's Command and General Staff College. Having made the qualitative cut for selection to the army's premier tactical school, his reputation as a soldier was set. So, too, was his reputation as a military thinker, since he had published, a short time earlier, a book on maneuver warfare theory. Even at a relatively early stage in his career his mind was reaching out, exploring--through the crucible of history and his own experiences in leading and training tac-

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