MOSSCOMES – principles of war

patch (125x125) (125x125)
In the previous post, I described the rescue of the 2,122 internees held captive in Los Banos camp on Luzon, P.I. and stated that the operation followed the nine principles of war. In all military academies, this concept is taught and many of the students use the acronym MOSSCOMES to remember each one.

One POW, on the way back to the Allied lines spotted an Air Force Wing flying overhead. He looked up and said, “Hundreds of planes arrived just like they (FDR) promised in 1942 – but, oh my God, they are so late!” Thankfully, by the powers that be, Gen. Swing used his youthful training to plot their escape. This mission is still discussed in some military schools todays.

M – Mass – concentrate overwhelming combat power at the decisive place and time. This way, even smaller forces can achieve the desired results.
O – Offensive – To seize, retain and exploit the initiative. Take the offensive position and keep going.
S – Surprise – Strike the enemy at a time, at a place or in a manner for which he is unprepared. Surprise can come in the form of rate of speed, the size of the force, the direction by which the attack is made or deception.
S – Simplicity – Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and use clear, concise orders to ensure understanding.
C – Command – Unity of command for every objective ensures unity of effort under one responsible commander.
O – Objective – This is the ultimate purpose of war; the destruction of the enemy’s ability to fight.
M – Maneuver – Movement of your forces in relation to the enemy so that you retain the upper hand. To place the enemy in a position of disadvantage.
E – Economy of force – Use most of your power for the main objective, then use a minimum force for the secondary efforts. NO part of the force should be left without a purpose.
S – Security – Having a solid security, you reduce the chances of hostile acts and surprise. You want nothing to distract your force from it’s initial purpose.

Wartime poster, Loss Banos

Wartime poster, Loss Banos


More current news – The town just north of me here in So. Fla. once again finds time to honor our veterans. The Ascension Lutheran Church will honor the “Four Chaplains.” The clergymen of different faiths whose transport ship, theDorchester was torpedoed 3 February 1943 gave their life jackets away to servicemen and went down with the ship together. A commemorative bench is being placed in Veterans Memorial Park in their honor.

A quote from late author, Michael Crichton – “If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”

About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on January 30, 2013, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I truly honor General Swing as my dad’s 11th AB CG. However,
    as a Los Banos planner his biggest contribution was to sign-off
    on the work of others like Henry Muller, Doug Quandt,
    and Glenn McGowan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post, good read, informative information, thank you for posting it.


  3. The MOSSCOMES principles really do make considerable sense.
    An inspiring story indeed regarding the four chaplains.


  4. Great quote and it was interesting to learn the 9 principles. Interesting to learn about the chaplains too.


  5. I found this very interesting and educational. And the quote form Michael Crichton says so very much with a few words.


  6. What a great war poster! I love the quote from Michael Crichton.


  7. I really liked this – It is so typically military – short, concise, simple – everything an army needs. Thanks for the education. I’m enjoying school again.


  8. A reblogué ceci sur Lest We Forget and commented:
    More about Pacific Paratrooper


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