‘Human conflict finds expression in the first pages of the Bible. Hardly has man begun life on earth when, as the Biblical narrative records with unadorned simplicity, “Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.”
The chain reaction to this event has continued right up to the 20th century. A study of human history cannot therefore be complete without a study of the military events of the past and of the means conceived by nations to secure their own military aims and thwart those of their enemies. Moreover, in ancient times, as today, men devoted much of their technical genius to perfecting weapons and devices for destruction and defense.
Weapons of war thus serve as an enlightening index of the standards of technical development reached by nations during different periods in history.
Since war always involves at least two sides, the development of the art of warfare of one nation can only be fully evaluated in the light of the art of warfare conducted by its enemy, in attack and defense. As an object of military study, a single land or nation is too limiting and conf1ning—and can be misleading. The smallest unit of such a study is a region or a group of peoples who battled each other at some period or another in their history. One must examine the reciprocal effects of such encounters, which enabled each side to gain knowledge of the weapons and fortifications of the other, to copy them and improve upon them.’
The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands, Yigael Yadin, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1963, p.1.
‘These principles are illustrated in cameo form at any boxing match, in which the contenders are even unarmed. The constant movement of the body has a single purpose: to put the boxer in the most advantageous position from which he can both attack and at the same time evade the blows of his opponent.
The predominant role of one fist is to attack — firepower; of the other, to parry – security.
To gain this advantageous position, the boxer has to know where his opponent is — or is likely to be at a given moment — and to seek out his weak spots. In this he is served by his senses — sight, sound, and touch.
His eyes, ears, and hands provide him with the intelligence which, in battle, is provided by reconnaissance units on patrol or at forward observation posts.
The action of his fists and other parts of his body is directed by his brain, through the medium of nerves and muscles.
Their counterpart in warfare is the military commander and his staff, as the brain; their nerves — the communications network; their muscles — trained and disciplined troops.’
The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands, Yigael Yadin, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1963, p.3.