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Essay on Defence of Duffers Drift Book Report

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DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
B COMPANY, 442nd SIGNAL BATTALION
FORT GORDON, GEORGIA 30905

ATZH-LCB-B 17 Feb 12

MEMORANDUM FOR TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, WOBC

SUBJECT: Book Review on The Defence of Duffers Drift by Ernest Swinton

1. The Defence of Duffers Drift was written by British Major General Ernest Swinton. Swinton’s main focus was to portray a series of events or battles he commanded during the South African War, occurring from 1899-1902. As a brand new officer, Swinton was giving the mission to protect Duffers drift at all costs. With no combat experience, this young officer had to devise a plan to protect his soldiers and to successfully complete his mission. As one reads this book
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He used this battle as a lessons learned so that he could apply it to other battles he would soon face.

3. Throughout this book Swinton portrays his battles as dreams, more or less, nightmares. He tells stories of six dreams in total learning and improving from his struggles and triumphs. He learns that in his battles, the natives are to never be trusted. They are spies that notify the enemy of his whereabouts. He captures all that his army can take to cut down on informants. This would include taking wives, children, and servants. He discusses how there is no flanks, nor rear, but all front lines. This would also mean ensure that your backs are not exposed so the enemy cannot sneak up on you and shoot

ATZH-LCP-P SUBJECT: Book Review on Defence of Duffers Drift by Ernest Swinton

you from behind. Throughout all of Swinton’s battles he also discovered that putting his army on top of the obstacle was not the best tactical move. He needed to ensure that he strategically placed his army so they could see their enemies approaching and have the advantage. Trenches were best used as a distraction and he should scatter his soldiers instead of keeping them bunched up. Another valuable lesson was to look over his area using the enemy’s point of view. Using trenches as purely a disguise would help divert the enemy’s attention, again given Swinton the upper hand. The most important lesson learned was to ensure the element of surprise
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