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Kindergarten Soldier: The Military Thought of Lawrence of Arabia

J. A. English
Military Affairs, Vol. 51, No. 1. (Jan., 1987), pp. 7-11.
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Mon Nov 26 06:26:41 2007

The Military
Thought of
of Arabia
by J. A. English
Princess Patricia's
Canadian Light Infantry


"I feel a fundamental crippling incuriousness about

our officers. Too much body and too little head."

HE slight irony in the foregoing expression of concern by

Lawrence of Arabia was that he was physically a rather
smallish man with a larger than normal head. He was described,
nonetheless, as being "incredibly tough." For two years he
lived and fought with the Arabs; he wore Arab clothes, ate Arab
food, and suffered Arab diseases and fleas. Though he considered himself "not a man of action," he made a point of doing
anything the Arabs could do and doing it better. Able to ride a
camel faster than many of them, he could reputedly also run
alongside one that was moving and swing the roughly nine feet
into its saddle easier than most others. Because of feats like this,
the Arabs readily accepted him and were prepared to follow him
to the ends of the earth. Yet, while he might have stepped from
the pages of Kipling, Lawrence was more than an imperial hero;
he was also a prophet, whose message was that war was not only
an affair of flesh and blood, but one of ideas.' It is for this reason

that the chronological development of his military thought

should be of interest to practicing military professionals.
Notwithstanding that Lawrence's Arab campaign was essentially a sideshow to a sideshow, a "tussel in a turnip field," he
wrote, its aura of high adventure and glamour thrust him into
legend. With over 30 books written about him, he remains after
Winston Churchill arguably the most renowned Englishman of
the 20th century. His own Seven Pillars of Wisdom was ranked
by the latter among "the greatest books ever written in the
English language." While literary quality alone ensures its
place in this category, it also continues to stand as an essentially
accurate account of the Arab Revolt. Yet it is more than epic
history, for hidden within its pages is a profundity of military
thought that remains relevant to this day. Lawrence's military
leadership, moreover, has been compared with that of Marlborough and Napoleon, on whose birthdate he was born. He has
been hailed as the progenitor of modem guerrilla warfare and as
the master from whom Orde Wingate and Lord Wave11 drew
lessons of strategy and tactics; the man to whom, according to
Sir Basil Liddell Hart, the widespread use of guerrilla warfare

from World War I1 onwards can be indirectly a t t r i b ~ t e dBy

. ~ his
own admission, however, Lawrence "was unlike a soldier" and
"hated soldiering"'; he was essentially an Oxford intellectual
who remained "obdurately and often infuriatingly civilian beneath his uniforms. " 4

N a truly professional military sense, however, Lawrence

was much in advance of most regular officers. And this was
directly due to the depth and breadth of his personal learning.
Around the age of fifteen he began to read what he subsequently
described as "the usual school boy stuff': Creasy's Fifteen
Decisive Battles of the World; Napier's History of the War in
the Peninsula; Coxe's Marlborough; Mahan's Influence of SeaPower Upon History; and Henderson's Stonewall Jackson (the
last, according to Liddell Hart, "the bounds of many a Staff
College student's horizon"). Mixed with these, Lawrence read
many technical treatises by scholars of antiquity such as the
Roman Vegetius and the Byzantine Procopius, military secretary to Belisarius, who practiced avoidance of pitched battles.
Before and during his stay at Oxford, Lawrence also travelled
five times to France to study castles and battlefields. He visited
Crecy, Agincourt, Rocroi, Malplaquet, Valmy, Sedan, and
several other Franco-Prussian fields of battle. He studied the
tactics of Henry of Navarre and tried to re-fight the whole of
Marlborough's wars. In pursuit of interests that were primarily
medieval, he also claimed to have visited "every 12th Century
castle in France, England, and Wales, and went elaborately into
siege manoeuvres. . . ." Increasingly, the Crusades became the
subject of his special interest, ultimately prompting his 1909
four-month tour of the Levant to study Crusader castles. On his
return he submitted his thesis on "The Military Architecture of
the Crusades," which argued that the Crusaders had taken to the
Middle East those very principles of military architecture that
certain scholars had previously claimed the Crusaders brought
from the Middle East.'
Lawrence:~ Oxford curiosity eventually took him past the
tactical campaigns of Hannibal, Belisarius, and Napoleon to
"Clausewitz and his school, to Caemmerer and Moltke, Goltz
and the recent [post-18701 Frenchmen," all of whose books
seemed to him to be "very partial" or "one-sided." After
looking at Jomini and Willisen, he discovered "broader principles" in Guibert, Bourcet, de Saxe, and 18th-century thinkers. Clausewitz, however, proved to be "intellectually so much
the master of them and his book so logical and fascinating," that
Lawrence "unconsciously . . . accepted his finality" and came
"to believe in him." Thus it was that he also came to be
"obsessed by the dictum of Foch" that the aim in modern
"absolute" war was to seek "the destruction of the organized
forces of the enemy by the one process -battle." To this point,
of course, Lawrence's concerns centred mainly on the abstract,
"the theory and philosophy of warfare especially from the
metaphysical side." With the outbreak of the Arab Revolt in
June 1916, they would become more concrete. He would find
himself as eminence grise to Emir Feisal "compelled suddenly
to action, to find an immediate equation between . . . bookreading and . . . [tactical] movements."'
The Revolt began with abortive attacks by inexperienced
Arab tribesmen on Turkish ganisons in Medina and Mecca.
While poor road communications shortly forced the Turks to
abandon Mecca, they chose to dispatch an expeditionary force
to Medina, which was linked by rail to the main Turkish Army
in Syria. This force subsequently began to advance on Mecca
and the Red Sea port of Rabegh, considered by many British
officers to be the key to Mecca. The actual defence of Rabegh,
however, was thought to depend largely on the availability of
regular troops acting in concert with the Red Sea Fleet. Unfortunately, these were not forthcoming in sufficient number,
and when the Turks roughly swept aside Feisal's defending
Arab irregulars deployed in what Lawrence had erroneously
assessed as "impregnable" hills, both Rabegh and Yenbo were

threatened. In January 1917, therefore, Lawrence and Feisal

turned their backs on Mecca and Rabegh and marched 200 miles
north via Yenbo to capture Wejh, from where they thought they
could better cut Turkish rail communications. Their attention,
clearly, remained fixed on Medina and on how to render it
vulnerable to capture by severing its umbilical cord, the
Damascus-Medina railroad. It was generally believed that the
fall of Medina was a necessary preliminary to the further progress of the Arab Revolt.' In the practical domain of warfare,
Lawrence was obviously still a neophyte. This was to change in
the course of the Hejaz campaign.
While engaged in making "every effort . . . to capture
Medina," Lawrence fell painfully ill for a ten-day period at Abu
Markha. Claiming that "as usual in such circumstances" his
mind cleared and his senses sharpened, he began seriously to
review and contemplate the nature and course of the Arab
Revolt. It quickly dawned on him that the Hejaz War had
actually been won with the capture of Wejh, but that no one
"had had wit to see it":*
We were in occupation of 99 percent of the Hejaz. The
Turks were welcome to the other fraction till peace or
doomsday . . . This part of the war was over, so why
bother about Medina? It was no base for us like Rabegh,
no threat to the Turks like Wejh: just a blind alley for
both. The Turks sat in it on the defensive, immobile,
eating for food the transport animals which were to have
moved them to Mecca, but for which there was no pasture
in their now restricted lines. They were harmless sitting
there; if we took them prisoner they cost us food and
guards in Egypt; if we drove them northward into Syria,
they would join the main Army blocking us in Sinai.'
The movement to Wejh, in fact, modulated the enemy's
action "like a pendulum"; rather than enter Rabegh the Turks
(who were almost there) fell back to Medina. There they split
their forces: one half entrenched about the city; the other dispersed throughout the length of the Hejaz railway to protect it
from Arab irregular action. Lawrence could now see that even
to cut the railway would be folly; the "ideal was to keep his
railway just working, but only just, with the maximum loss and
discomfort." In
Not surprisingly, Lawrence began to accept that it was possible to follow the direction of de Saxe and attain victory
without battle. He postulated, moreover, that because Arab
irregulars constituted no organized force, a "Turkish Foch"
could not really have an aim. It appeared to him, consequently,
that the Fochian ideal represented but one highly "exterminative" variety of war, "no more absolute than another."
Reminding himself that "Clausewitz enumerated all sorts of
war . . . personal wars, joint-proxy duels, for dynastic reasons
. . . commercial wars, for trade objects," he ventured that the
Arab aim "was geographical, to extrude the Turks from all
Arab-speaking lands." In accomplishing this aim, Turks might
be killed, for they were disliked very much, but the killing of
Turks in itself would never be an excuse or aim. If they would go
quietly, the Arab Revolt would end; if not, blood would be shed
to drive them out, but as little as possible."

AVING generally determined the proper course of the Arab

Revolt, Lawrence proceeded to juxtapose "the whole
house of war in its structural aspect, which was strategy, in its
arrangements, which were tactics, and in the sentiment of its
inhabitants, which was psychology." The first confusion he
suspected was a seemingly false antithesis between strategy and
tactics. To Lawrence, these were "only points of view from
which to ponder the elements of war." Like J.F.C. Fuller,
Lawrence agreed there were three elements, but he declared
them to be the Algebraical element of things, the Biological
element of lives, and the Psychological element of ideas. The
first element, or hecastics as Lawrence delighted in terming it,

appeared to be purely scientific, subject to the laws of mathematics, devoid of humanity, and essentially formulable. It
dealt with known invariables, f i e d conditions, space and time,
inorganic things like hills and climates and railways, with
mankind in masses too great for individual variety assisted by
mechanical means. In the Arab case, this aspect meant focussing on how the Turks would defend the areas to be liberated.
In Lawrence's view, it would no doubt take the form of "a
trench line across the bottom if we came like an army with
banners." But, he reasoned,

. . . suppose we were an influence . . . an idea, a thing

invulnerable, intangible, without front or back, drifting
about like a gas? Armies were like plants, immobile as a
whole, firm-rooted, nourished through long stems to the
head. We might be a vapour, blowing where we listed.
Our kingdoms lay in each man's mind, and as we wanted
nothing material to live on, so perhaps we offered nothing
material to the killing. It seemed a regular soldier might
be helpless without a target. He would own the ground he
sat on, and what he could poke his rifle at.12
Lawrence ultimately appreciated that the Turks would require
roughly 600,000 men to subjugate Arab temtory; as they had but
100,000 troops available, however, the process would be
"messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife."13
Lawrence's second element, which he called bionomics, had
to do with "the breaking point, life and death, or less f i a l l y ,
wear and tear." In his opinion, Foch and other philosophers of
war had made an art of it and elevated one aspect, the shedding
of blood, as the price of victory. It was "humanity in battle," a
leavening of "sensitive and illogical" variability, against
which "generals guarded themselves by the device of a reserve." It was not the "nine-tenths of tactics . . . certain enough
to be teachable in schools," but rather the "irrational tenth"
that could be "felt" mainly by instinct and remained forever the
test of genera1s.Bionomics was not limited to humanity, however, and carried over into material. In Lawrence's opinion, the
key was to attack, not the Turkish Army but its materials; the
destruction of a Turkish bridge or railway, machine or gun, or
cache of high explosive was far more profitable than the death of
a Turkish soldier. In the Arab Army, on the other hand, materials were easier to replace than casualties. This naturally
dictated a "war of detachment" in which attacks were
launched, not necessarily against enemy weaknesses or even
strengths, but, instead, against his most tactically accessible
material. There thus "developed an unconscious habit of never
engaging the enemy at all."14 The Turkish soldier was rarely
given a target.
Borrowing a word from Xenophon's Anabasis, Lawrence
described his third or Psychological element as diathetics. The
scope of diathetics was unbounded; it encompassed propaganda
and the motivation and conditioning of one's own soldiers in
groups and as individuals. Essentially, it dealt with "uncontrollable~,with subjects incapable of direct command." Beginning with his own troops Lawrence placed diathetics in perspective as follows:
We had to arrange their minds in order of battle, just as
carefully and as formally as other officers arranged their
bodies: not only our own men's minds, though them first:
the minds of the enemy, so far as we could reach them: and
thirdly, the mind of the nation supporting us behind the
fiing-line, and the mind of the hostile nation waiting the
verdict, and the neutrals looking on.Is
In Lawrence's view, the diathethic was "more than half the
command." He saw war as not just a matter of weapons and
bloodshed but of ideas and intellect. In the Arab Revolt regular
forces were so scarce that "irregulars could not let the metaphysical weapon rust unused." The effectiveness of the Arab
army was based on the personal effectiveness of the individual
fighter. l 6

Lawrence concluded that the Algebraical element translated

into terms of Arabia "fitted like a glove." Bionomics, in turn,
determined the tactical approach most appropriate for Arab
tribesmen. Battles in Arabia were considered a mistake, the
only direct benefit emanating from the amount of ammunition
fired off by the enemy. They seemed to Lawrence "impositions
on the side which believed itself weaker, hazards made unavoidable either by lack of land room or by the need to defend a
material property dearer than the lives of soldiers." This was
his refinement of de Saxe, to whom "irrational battles were the
refuge of fools." Clearly, the Arabs lacked hitting power, but as
they had no material to lose, they had nothing really to defend.
Their strength lay in speed and time, in bully beef rather than

CCORDING to Liddell Hart, Lawrence "was more deeply

steeped in knowledge of war than any other general of the
[Great] war." He was also, in the assessment of Brigadier
Shelford Bidwell, able to say "as much in one paragraph as
Clausewitz says in a chapter."'* But if Lawrence's highly
intellectual approach enabled him to master strategy, his tactical skill was founded upon practical experience and an impressive ability to appreciate a situation logically. Whenever he
"took a decision or adopted an alternative," it was only after
"studying every relevant - and many an irrelevant - factor.
Arab tribal structure, religion, social customs, language, and
appetites, as well as geography, were all at his "finger-ends.""
He also had an excellent eye for ground. He quickly pointed out,
for example, that an attempt to take Akaba from the seaward
would disgorge attacking forces onto a beach where they
"would be as unfavourably placed as on . . . Gallipoli . . . [and]
under observation and gun-fire from coastal . . . granite hills,
thousands of feet high, . . . impracticable for heavy troops: the
passes through them being formidable defiles, very costly to
assault or to cover."*O One can additionally sense Lawrence's
feel for ground from the following topographical description
related to his greatest victory, the battle of Tafiieh:
The road dipped into a grove of fig-trees, knots of blue
snaky boughs; bare, as they would be long after the rest of
nature was grown green. Thence it turned eastward, to
wind lengthily in the valley to the crest. I left it, climbing
straight up the cliffs. . . . [This] . . . shortened my time
appreciably, and very soon, at the top, I found a level bit,
and then a last ridge overlooking the plateau.
This last straight bank, with Byzantine foundations in
it, seemed very proper for a reserve or ultimate line of
defence for Tafileh. To be sure, we had no reserve as yet
. . . but . . . here was their place. . . .
The tiny plain [of the coming battlefield] was about two
miles across, bounded by low green ridges, and roughly
triangular, with my reserve ridge as base.'l

In fact, one could draw a parallel between Lawrence's masterful

descriptions of ground in Seven Pillars of Wisdom and a soldier
training for the sniper trade drawing panoramas. The first uses
words; the second, sketches. Both are works of art.
As Lawrence saw it, strategy was "eternal, and the same and
true," but tactics were "the ever-changing languages through
which it speaks." While a general could learn from "Belisarius
as from Haig," soldiers could not - they had "to know their
means."2z That Lawrence knew his means there can be little
doubt. He was well acquainted with the use of demolitions and
mines, and he took a keen interest in weaponry. While rejecting
bayonets as "unintelligent masses of steel, generally fatal to the
fool behind them," he embraced the light automatic rifle. Machine guns proper, except when mounted in armoured vehicles,
were too heavy for the "tempi" of his battles; automatics such
as the Lewis light machine gun or Hotchkiss (more resistant to
mud and sand) were his preference. At one point his bodyguard
of 48 men possessed 21 automatics. Manifesting a prescience far
in advance of his era, he also said that were he to gain control of

a factory that made Hotchkiss guns, he would have them supersede the rifle. Final testament to Lawrence's tactical aucumen,
however, is that he was ultimately able to coordinate combined
operations of camelry , armoured cars, and aeroplanes. 23
When Lawrence published "The Evolution of a Revolt" in
the first issue of the Army Quarterly in October 1920, it exerted a
profound and seductive influence upon Liddell Hart, who was
already disillusioned by the seeming senseless attrition of the
Great War. Though he would later record in his Memoirs that
they had but "a brief exchange of letters in 1921 about . . . [this]
reflective article," he had by 1934 published a detailed biography of Lawrence. In it he debunked Clausewitz and linked
Lawrence to de Saxe, who always "kept his mind on the ultimate aim of war, to which battle is only a means." Here,
rudely, can be seen the roots of the "Indirect Approach," that
pervasive philosophy of war developed later at some length and
in reasonably specific terms by Liddell Hart himself. Essentially, it reiterated the same message as "The Evolution of a
Revolt" - the general avoidance of pitched battles, the influence of ideas, the use of indirect pressures, and the value of
small, highly mobile forces of intense firepower. To Shelford
Bidwell, Liddell Hart was "a synthesizer as much as an originator"; he was "the medium, but the ghost was L a ~ r e n c e . " ' ~
In this regard, of course, it is significant to recall Liddell Hart's
comment that of all people he had known personally, including
Winston Churchill, he "would rate T.E. Lawrence and David
Lloyd George the most interesting and gifted."z'
It was worth further notation, moreover, that in 1927 Lawrence was invited by Liddell Hart, then military editor to the
Encyclopaedia Britannica, to write an article on "guerilla
warfare." The latter, "remembering that article of his . . . felt
that no one was so well fitted to deal with the subject." For
whatever reason, Lawrence was unable to produce such an
article, but he did offer some extremely significant comment.
Stating that-he only limited what he said to "irregular warfare"
to "provoke . . . soldiers to battle on my own ground," he
ventured that "for 'irregular war' you could write 'war of
movement' in nearly every place, and find the argument fitted as
well or ill as it did." In short, the philosophical substance
Lawrence gave to his methods was intended to have more
universal application. He was, after all, one of the few who
really knew his Clausewitz and perceived that there were several "varieties" of war. His major criticism of the great Prussian theorist was that the "logical system of Clausewitz . . .
leads astray his disciples -those of them, at least, who would
rather fight with their arms than with their legs." Quite obviously, Lawrence balanced Clausewitz with de Saxe, who
warned of the perils of the blind, unthinking adoption of military maxims.zhIn this context, the following comment of Lawrence to Liddell Hart is most apt:
A surfeit of the "hit" school brings on an attack of the
"run" method; and then the pendulum swings back. You,
at present, are trying (with very little help from those
whose business it is to think upon their profession) to put
the balance straight after the orgy of the late war. When
you succeed . . . your sheep will pass your bounds of
discretion, and have to be chivied back by some later
strategist. Back and forward we go.Z7

T would appear, then, that Lawrence's depth of military

thought makes him more than just the father of modem
guerrilla warfare. The charge that Liddell Hart's theory of the
Indirect Approach founders because it is based on a limited
interpretation of irregular warfare and applied to regular warfare, must be dismissed accordingly. This is not to say, of
course, that Lawrence is undeserving of being called the intellectual apostle of the guerrilla and deliberate exploitation of
insurgency phenomena. There is indeed reasonably hard evidence to indicate that the philosophically inclined Chinese
took his ideas seriously. As early as 1936 a Western observer

noted that General Lu Cheng-ts'ao, commander of the Central

Hopei Communist guerrillas, had a copy of Seven Pillars of
Wisdom at his elbow. The general reputedly stated at the time
that he and other guerrilla commanders considered it to be "one
of the standard reference books on strategy." There is also
reason to believe that, even more than Sun Tzu, Lawrence has
for many years "been discreetly plagiarized by . . . Mao Tsetung, and his ~ o h o r t s . " ' ~
What Lawrence really did, however, was not devise a prescription for modem guemlla warfare; his method was essentially antithetic to the compartmentalization of war. Instead, he
looked at the whole of warfare to confirm the strategical-tactical
courses of action he adapted to the Arabian scene. To Lawrence, war was "antinomian" - subject to rules, perhaps, but
certainly not laws -and in accord with de Saxe's conception of
war as "obscure and imperfect." From Clausewitz he also knew
that "two wars seemed seldom alike," and that often "the
parties did not know their aim and blundered till the march of
events took control." He thus mobilized his intellect to compensate for inferior military strength. He was creative rather
than methodical in his approach, and he deliberately adopted
the tactics of the weak. Had be been a Turk, he would doubtless
have reacted quite differently, though probably not less brilliantly. "We kindergarten soldiers," he wrote, "were beginning our
art of war in the atmosphere of the twentieth century, receiving
our weapons without prejudice. To the regular officer, with the
tradition of forty generations of service behind him, the antique
arms were the most favoured." Not surprisingly, this "kindergarten soldier" strongly recommended that "new soldiers . . .
read and mark and learn things outside drill manuals and tactical diagrams," for he knew much better than most that, "with
2,000 years of examples behind us we have no excuse, when
fighting, for not fighting well."29
1. Phillip Knightley and Colin Simpson, The Secret Lives of
Lawrence o f Arabia (New York: McGraw-Hill. 1970). 9, 89:
B.H. l id dill Hart, T:E. Lawrence (London: Jonathan Cape,
1934), 25-26; Shelford Bidwell, Modern Warfare (London: Allen Lane, 1973), 197; and T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of
Wisdom (London: Jonathan Cape, 1940), 580.
2. Secret Lives, 1, 87-88, 260; Robert Graves and B.H. Liddell Hart, T.E. Lawrence to his Biographers (London: Cassell,
1963), 49; and Jeffrey Meyers, The Wounded Spirit (London:
Martin Brian & O'Keffe, 1973), 22, 28,94-95.
3. Seven Pillars, 117. Chapter 33 of Seven Pillars is based
almost completely on Lawrence's "The Evolution of a Revolt,"
Army Quarterly, 1 (October 1920), 55-69.
4.- James orris, Farewell the Trumpets (Bungay, Suffolk:
Pennuin. 1980). 255.
5 T.E. ~ a w r e n c e ,21, 164-166; Secret Lives, 25-28; Biographers, 50; and see also Richard Aldington, Lawrence of Arabia
(London: Collins, 1955), 120-122. Lawrence also reputedly
studied the campaigns of Mohammed, Saladin, and Egyptian
general Ibrahim Pasha. Wounded Spirit, 17.
6. Secret Lives, 25-28; Seven Pillars, 117, 193-194; T.E. Lawrence, 165-166; and "The Evolution of a Revolt," Army Quarterly, 1 (October 1920), 58. Lawrence was greatly affected by
Belisarius, parts of whose campaigns he translated from the
histories of Procopius, which focus on them. Biogra hers 130.
He also appears to have been strongly influenced gy ~ t : ~ e n .
Rudolph von Caemmerer, who wrote The Development of Strategical Science in which were covered Jomini, Clausewitz,
Wilhelm von Willisen (junior to Clausewitz by ten years and
author of Theory of Great War), Moltke the Elder, and Colmar
von der Goltz (who wrote the Conduct of War and The Nation in
Arms). See Rudolph von Gaemmerer, The Development of
Strategical Science (London: Hugh Rees, 1905). Comte Jacques
d e Guibert wrote Essai gknkral de tacticque (Liege,
1775).Pierre de Bourcet was an expert in mountain warfare and
advocated smaller mobile groupings of divisional size.
7. Secret Lives, 57-58; John E . Mack, A Prince of our
Disorder (Boston: Little, Brown, 1976), 113, 129, 148-151;

"Evolution," 55-57; and Col. A.P. Wavell, The Palestine Campaigns (London: Constable, 1933), 54.
8. "Evolution," 57; and Seven Pillars, 194-195. Lawrence
suffered from fever, dysentry, and boils at Abu Markha, but
meditated when it grew "too hot for dreamless dozing." See
also Desmond Stewart, T.E. Lawrence (New York: Harper &
Row. 1977). 245.
9. " ~ v d u t i o n , " 58.
10. Zbid., 57; Seven Pillars, 232; and Wavell, 55, 203.
1 1 . "Evolution." 58-59: and Seven Pillars. 195-196. "The
Turkish Army was an accident, not a target."
12. "Evolution," 59-60; and Seven Pillars, 197- 198. Bidwell
states Lawrence borrowed the "gas" metaphor from Clausewitz
(see Michael Howard and Peter Paret, eds., On War (Princeton:
University Press, 1976), 481), but it would appear he got it from
John 3:8. Wounded Spirit, 148.
13. Seven Pillars, i98.
14. Zbid.. 198-200: and "Evolution." 60-61.
15. "~volution," '61-62; and Seven Pillars, 200-201. Lawrence was obviously heavily influenced by Clausewitz's idea of
"friction," countless minor instances and individuals combining to lower the general level of performance. On War, 119.
16. Seven Pillars, 201, 348.
17. Zbid., 200-202.
18. Bidwell, 197.
19. David Garnett, ed., The Letters of T.E. Lawrence (London: Jonathan C a ~ e 1938).
769: B.H. Liddell Hart. Memoirs I
(London: asse ell: 1965), 348; and Wounded Spirit, 22.
20. Seven Pillars, 173. Lawrence's epic 600-mile ride
through the desert to take Akaba earned for him a recommendation for the Victoria Cross. It was an extremely important
victory for the British at this time, for in March and Apnl 1917,
they had suffered two disastrous defeats under the command of
General Archibald Murray (to be replaced by General Edmund
Allenby) and had lost 10,000 men. Wounded Spirit, 22-23; and
Secret Lives, 91.
21. Seven Pillars, 486-487. Lawrence was awarded the DSO
for his leadership at Tafieh. Prince, 158.
22. Biographers, 132.


23. Zbid., 130 (Graves); Memoirs, 348; Seven Pillars, 346;

and Wavell, 203.
24. Bidwell. 194-199: Memoirs, 84: and T.E. Lawrence,
25. Memoirs, 339.
26. Zbid.. 84-85: and T.E. Lawrence, 160-161.
27. Memoirs, 85.
28. James Mrazek, The Art of Winning Wars (London: Leo
Cooper, 1%8), 126-133, 137-141; Wounded Spirit, 29; Bidwell,
47; and Lt. Col. Frederick Wilkins, "Guerrilla Warfare," 5-7,
and Walter D. Jacobs, "Mao Tse-tung as a Guerrilla - A
Second Look," 167-168, both in Franklin Mark, ed., Modern
Guerrilla Warfare (Glencoe: Free Press, 1962).
29. Seven Pillars, 1%, 200-201; "Evolution," 61; and Letters, 769.

LtCol, J.A. English has been a

member of the Directing Staff at
the Canadian Land Forces
Command and Staff College
since July 1985. A graduate of
the Royal Military College of
Canada, he received his MA in
History from Duke University
and his MA i n War Studies from
the Royal Military College. He is
the author of On Infantry (Praeger, 1985) and principal editor of
The Mechanized Battlefield: A
Tactical Analysis (PergamonBrassey's 1985). This article was
accepted for p u b l i c a t i o n i n
March 1986.