Murphy’s Military Laws

16 09 2005

All credits here.

Murphy’s Military Laws

1.  Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you are.

2.  No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.   –  Field Marshall Helmuth Carl Bernard von Moltke

3.  Friendly fire isn’t.

4.  The most dangerous thing in the combat zone is an officer with a map.

5.  The problem with taking the easy way out is that the enemy has already mined it.

6.  The buddy system is essential to your survival; it gives the enemy somebody else to shoot at.

7.  The further you are in advance of your own positions, the more likely your artillery will shoot short.

8.  Incoming fire has the right of way.

9.  If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.

10. The quartermaster has only two sizes, too large and too small.

11. If you really need an officer in a hurry, take a nap.

12. The only time suppressive fire works is when it is used on abandoned positions.

13. The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

14. There is nothing more satisfying than having someone take a shot at you, and miss.

14a.   There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.  –  Winston Churchill

15. Don’t be conspicuous. In the combat zone, it draws fire. Out of the combat zone, it draws sergeants.

16. If your sergeant can see you, so can the enemy.

17. Never worry about the bullet with your name on it. Instead, worry about shrapnel addressed to ‘occupant’.

18. All battles are fought at the junction of two or more map sheets.

    18.1 …printed at different scales;

    18.2 …uphill;

    18.3 …and in the rain.

19. Logistics is the ball and chain of armoured warfare.  –  Heinz Guderian

20. The army with the smartest dress uniform will lose.

21. What gets you promoted from one rank gets you killed in the next rank.

22. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.  –  George Patton

23. If orders can be misunderstood, they have been.

24. Tracer works both ways.

25. If the enemy is in range, so are you.

26. War is like love. To triumph, you must make contact.  –  Attributed to Napoleon

27. Boldness becomes rarer, the higher the rank.  –  Karl von Clausewitz

28. Never reinforce failure. Failure reinforces itself.

29. Only 5% of an intelligence report is accurate. The trick of a good commander is to isolate the 5%.  –  Douglas MacArthur

30. Tactics is for amateurs; professionals study logistics.

31. When a front line soldier overhears two General Staff officers conferring, he’s fallen back too far.

32. It isn’t necessary to be an idiot to be a senior officer, but it sure helps.

33. No captain can do very wrong who places his ship alongside that of the enemy.  –  Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson

34: Only numbers can annihilate.  –  Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson

35a. Always know when it’s time to get out of Dodge.

35b. Always know how to get out of Dodge.

36. Your equipment was made by the lowest bidder.

37. Priorities are made by officers, not God. There’s a difference.

38. Always honour a threat.

39. The weight of all of your equipment is proportional to the cube of the time you have been carrying it.

40. Hell hath no fury like a non-combatant.  –  Charles Edward Montague

41. Fighter pilots make movies; attack pilots make history.

42. There are two kinds of naval vessels: submarines and targets.

43. A lost battle is a battle one thinks one has lost.  –  Ferdinand Foch (Principles de Guerre)

44. Surprise is an event that takes place in the mind of a commander.  –  Jerry Pournelle

45. All warfare is based on deception.  –  Sun Tzu (The Art of War)

46. A little caution outflanks a large cavalry.  –  Otto von Bismark

47. No combat ready squad ever passed inspection.  No inspection ready squad ever passed combat.

48. Five second grenade fuses burn down in three seconds.

49. The enemy diversion you are ignoring is the main attack.

50. Radios function perfectly until you need fire support.

51. If you take more than your fair share of objectives, you will have more than your fair share to take.

52. Professional soldiers are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs.

53. Parade ground inspections are to combat readiness as mess hall food is to cuisine.

54. When in doubt empty the magazine.

55. Snow is not neutral.  –  Frunze Military Academy Maxim




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