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the future leaders of the Army harden their “art of war”

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William Molinie
07:05, November 24, 2022modified to

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07:42, November 24, 2022

War is not just a question of the number of shells available, troops or billions of euros mobilized. It is also an art. That of strategy, reflection, situational intelligence. If Russian officers have long resorted to chess, the Americans have developed an acute culture of “wargame”. The French want to catch up.

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The Army War School organized for the first time on Wednesday at the Invalides in Paris an inter-allied “wargame” tournament. The future American, Belgian, German, British, Italian and of course French military leaders clashed on game boards. With dice and pawns.

Against the Germans, the game was tight. But with controlled risk-taking, the French artillery was able to break through the German cavalry. The war game allows this at a lower cost. Because the dead and the destroyed material are virtual. But the strategy and the military thought are built there. “War is above all a clash of wills, of intelligences. It obviously has a scientific part. But also an artistic, tactical part, the glance… And that’s exactly what we are trying to develop “, explains Colonel Sébastien Chènebeau, director of the school of war-land.

Identify blind spots, weaknesses

The wargame allows staffs to test maneuvers virtually. The Americans have also used it during recent overseas operations. By virtually recreating a maneuver, and confronting it with an adversary, leaders more easily identify blind spots, flaws and weaknesses in their system.

But this culture of “wargame” has long been neglected by the French armies. “In the years following the defeat of 1870, the French army took a little interest in war games. For example, we translated German war games. But in the end, it didn’t take because we didn’t “did not succeed in really integrating them into the training. It was rather something that was used more in the circle of officers, in the evening”, continues the reserve commander Antoine Bourguilleau, author of the book “Jouer la guerre”.

The French Army is therefore returning to it today. Its future great chefs will spend around forty hours on this type of game board this year.

Source: Europe1

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