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The Heartbeat of Military Operations

History of Combat Orders

The five paragraph order template utilized by most Western militaries today was initially developed by the Prussian Army during the German Wars of Unification. Observers from other nations, impressed by the Prussian Army's performance on the battlefield, adopted portions of this new "orders process" to then develop their own versions of battlefield orders. This archive contains documents that depict the evolution of combat orders over the last century and a half, and that still have lessons for commanders today on the battlefield. 

Douglas Haig, 1907

Lieutenant Colonel Knut Czeslik, Germany, 1991

The General Service Schools Press. USA, 1922

FM 17-33 Tank Battalion, USA, 1949

Lieutenant Burde, Germany, 1899

Colonel Von Spohn, Germany, 1907

Coastal Field Artillery Journal, 1925

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