In military research publications there is always a great deal of talking about initiative.

In military research publications there is always a great deal of talking about initiative.

But what is "initiative" exactly? O never found any good definitions of it. Is it aggression? Being first? Being stealthy? Thinking steps ahead of enemy? Everything combined?..

Who knows good sources with good definitions?

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Its codename for doing something and pretending to know what the frick you are doing

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's reacting to the situation you are in rather than the situation you planned for.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Do shit before they do. Source: I made it up
    Frick you, gonna drink some more Ripped Fuel
    TAINTED LOVE OWOWOWOW

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Having a coherent plan, carrying it out properly, and being able to respond to situational changes in an effective manner. The opposite is damage control and a war where the enemy gets to set the tempo.

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Its when you roll d8 to determine whos turn its gonna be first

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      What fricking system are you playing in? WTF?
      Roll a d20 you freak

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        OSR you 5e pleeb

        [...]
        I role d6 and you will cope and seethe.

        T1d6D, 2d6 bros keep winning

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      What fricking system are you playing in? WTF?
      Roll a d20 you freak

      I role d6 and you will cope and seethe.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >d8
      N00B!!

      [...]
      I role d6 and you will cope and seethe.

      T1d6D homosexual

      OSR you 5e pleeb
      [...]
      T1d6D, 2d6 bros keep winning

      How about 3d6?

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It when you choose where and when you fight, not having the initiative mean the opposite side choose at your place.

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Seizing and capitalizing upon opportunities as quickly as possible to maximize gains

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    losing the initiative - cant start fires because all your stuff has to be used in putting out fires instead
    gaining the initiative - putting out the fires and then being able to torch the enemy before they come again

    simple

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    at the strategic level, having the initiative means being able to act rather than react
    if one side is able to choose when and where they want to engage, then they are said to have the initiative

    at the tactical level, having high initiative means that individual units are more likely to act independantly
    to give an example, PACT forces during the cold war were considered low initiative units, they were usually given a script to follow on the attack and were only expected to go off script if the oppurtunity arose, so they were to execute their drilled and pre-planned maneuvers to accomplish their given objective and only deviate if it did not upset their time table
    NATO armies were seen to have much higher initiative, while they were given an overall goal to follow, they were expected to make their own decisions, if the enemy was weak in one area, they could attack it as long as it helped their overall goal

    PACT forces were built around macro, each unit was expected to be able to carry out their orders very quickly and efficiently, and commanders could create and execute plans with little issue
    but their soldiers would easily get turned around or defeated in detail because each unit responded slowly to changing situations
    NATO armies in contrast were built for micro, they were much slower and less quick to move at the top levels and orders could be out of date by the time they arrived, but each unit could be depended on to act on their own without much supervision, attacking or defending fluidly based on local situation

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Very nice post actually.

      >act rather than react

      Could you please try to define what's the difference more precisely?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        acting is choosing what you do
        reacting is letting the enemy choose what you have to do

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Military manoeuvres should (this is an important word) have a defined objective
        When one army attempts to achieve an objective that involves combating the enemy army, they are taking the initiative. The army they engage has relinquished the initiative, intentionally or otherwise.
        In short, the army attempting to reach an objective has initiative, and the army trying to prevent the other from reaching that objective does not
        Generally the army that has initiative should know what "the plan" is to try and break through and achieve their goals. The army without initiative, by contrast, is just preparing for a range of things that the other army might do because they don't know for sure how they're gonna try and reach that goal.
        As such, lacking initiative forces you to be reactive, not active. For this reason, most officers prefer to have the initiative themselves, and in some cases officers will try to seize the initiative even when their prospects of doing anything with it are slim to none. To oversimplify:
        Initiative=trying to achieve your goals
        No initiative=trying to prevent the other guy from achieving his goals
        "attacking" and "defending" tend to be unhelpful terms in warfare because, for example, a defensive strategy will often involve localised attacks (e.g. spoiler attacks) which is why initiative is the better term for this distinction

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Could you please try to define what's the difference more precisely?
        at the most basic level, if youre acting then youre the ones setting the terms
        if youre reacting, then your plan revolves around what the enemy is doing

        so in the early stages of WW2, the germans had the initiative against the russians
        when they made a plan, they could set their objectives and time table, while the soviets were forced to make plans based around what the germans were doing
        the germans could choose to attack moscow because it would further their plan, the soviets had no choice but to defend moscow

        later in the war, the situation reversed
        when the soviets launched operation bagration, they were the ones deciding what was and wasnt important and they could determine when they wanted to attack, in this case they deliberately set it in summer to lineup with operation overlord to split german forces perfectly in half
        the germans can be said to have little initiative, they have to deploy their troops to defend where bagration will take place and they cant alter the time when it will happen, they are reacting and the soviets are acting

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          Yeah, it's a good example.

          Soviets prepared to attack Europe, Germans made preventive attack, but because the USSR had planned that from way earlier and got so much more firepower and resources - they still won.

          So who had the initiative at the end?

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            Dumb Black person, both Soviets and Germans attacked Europe. What you're talking about was a race to who can backstab whom the quickest.

            • 2 months ago
              Anonymous

              Germany is a European nation, while the USSR and the USA are not.

              Germany attacking Belgium - inter-European civil war.
              USSR/USA attacking Europe - attack on Europe by an external force.

              Pretty simple logic.

              • 2 months ago
                Anonymous

                >Europe is a country
                Please demand a refund with regards to your education Anon.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        at the strategic level, having the initiative means being able to act rather than react
        if one side is able to choose when and where they want to engage, then they are said to have the initiative

        at the tactical level, having high initiative means that individual units are more likely to act independantly
        to give an example, PACT forces during the cold war were considered low initiative units, they were usually given a script to follow on the attack and were only expected to go off script if the oppurtunity arose, so they were to execute their drilled and pre-planned maneuvers to accomplish their given objective and only deviate if it did not upset their time table
        NATO armies were seen to have much higher initiative, while they were given an overall goal to follow, they were expected to make their own decisions, if the enemy was weak in one area, they could attack it as long as it helped their overall goal

        PACT forces were built around macro, each unit was expected to be able to carry out their orders very quickly and efficiently, and commanders could create and execute plans with little issue
        but their soldiers would easily get turned around or defeated in detail because each unit responded slowly to changing situations
        NATO armies in contrast were built for micro, they were much slower and less quick to move at the top levels and orders could be out of date by the time they arrived, but each unit could be depended on to act on their own without much supervision, attacking or defending fluidly based on local situation

        Further to this, effective modern warfare requires a lot of assets to be in place to support each other. At an absolute minimum you need artillery set and and well supplied, you need air assets either based nearby or in the sky ready to react quickly, you need infantry supplied with IFV's, and you need armor units set up and ready to push.
        That's a LOT of shit to coordinate and it's near impossible if you're backing up and covering your ass in the face of a heavy offensive push. In a modern war, if you achieve surprise and seize the initiative from the enemy that realistically means they need to abandon large tracts of land in order to fall back and get all their assets in place for a proper resistance.
        We saw this in Ukraine (not that i would really call that a modern war) during the northern counteroffensive - the Russians simply had no ability to resist because the Ukes were cutting in behind their lines of defense and they had to run all the way back to the natural barrier of the river.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        How rich is this mofo?

        I get the impression someone has it out for him, but he seems decent (if a bit obnoxious).

        I am also struck by the idea that he might be supposed to be parodying someone-- and that he might lately have begun to be threatened. Do I gotta do something to relieve some pressure or something? or is it not my problem?

        Anyway, where are my women? Or my better job? You know who I am and what happens to those who displease me!

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        reacting is doing something because of another, in that case the "other" is the one acting which means HE has the initiative. he dictates the rules more than you

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Let's say there are two forces - force A is more maneuverable and force B that is more static but has more firepower.

      Force A executed a maneuver, approached the force B from a less defended side and surprised them.
      But force B still has more firepower compared to force A.

      Who has the initiative - force A, which imposed it's choice of where and when they wanted to engage in a combat or force B, which is caught by surprise but still has more firepower?

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Initiative flows back and forth in combat. It's more about who's lost it by bogging themselves down into something than anything else.

        See

        >But what is "initiative" exactly?
        it means you're the one doing shit and the enemy is the one forced to react to you doing shit. that's literally it.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        A is the active party at the start of the engagement, therefore has the initiative at the beginning.
        B is initially reacting to A's attack. Should B use their fire superiority to gain breathing room and pin or even overwhelm the attacking force A, they gain the initiative by taking the choice of action from them.

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >But what is "initiative" exactly?
    Being the one who sets the tempo, forcing the enemy to react to you and not vice versa.

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    When you have initiative, you are on the offensive and are forcing your opponent to react defensively to your moves. When you keep constant pressure like this, it's hard to counterattack effectively.
    To put it in very simple term, you know how in boxing you sometimes see a fighter just turtling up with their gloves in front of their face, guarding for dear life because their opponent just keeps swinging and they don't have a window to throw any punches themselves? That's initiative, or lack thereof, depending on which side you're looking at

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    "We dictate what happens next"

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    ismannen

  14. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    "initiative" is when one of the sides in a conflict is moving forward.
    remember the glorious "counteroffensive"? the ukies had the "initiative" back then. you've probably noticed already that "initiative" doesn't always correlate with "gains"or "success".

  15. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It means being able to initiate a sucker punch

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    There's two definitions that vary depending on the context. At the strategic level initiative means dictating the terms of the engagement. You, rather than the enemy, determine when and where the fighting is. At the tactical level, it means units are able to respond to the situation presented to them without waiting around to be told what to do.

  17. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Pick up and play a wargame, even a shitty one like 40k, and you'll understand it better than just reading an explanation. Being new to it your opponent will absolutely handle you, and you will get a feeling for what it's like to have all of your decisions being forced upon you by an opponent, and being able to fight when, where, and how you want to.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      > you will get a feeling
      I have the feeling, I want to convert it to knowledge.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Another thing that generally works is mass. Keep some amount of your force, wait until the enemy is about to attack, then launch an attack of your own near/distant to the enemy's attack point. You can throw them off entirely. I know in the military attacking a force in the process of staging/preparing is called a "spoiling attack" but I'm not sure that launching an equivalent offensive, just first, and in an underdefended area while the enemy is preparing for one somewhere else, has a name.

      But yeah you have to launch attacks or absorb ones and time everything in a manner that the enemy can never quite get you in a purely reactive loop. He has to always be afraid that you're going to frick him somewhere he's weak and therefore take actions to prevent it. If he can doomstack and right click on you without punishment for his terminal moronation, you've already lost.

  18. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Some good but incomplete answers. It's limiting the freedom of the opponent by dictating the battlefield.

  19. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I think its how you are until the point guy steps on a mine and now artillery is coming at you

  20. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    same as in chess, you are in the position to make threats that opponent cannot ignore and has to react to.

  21. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    staying one step ahead in the OODA loop

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Only anon who knows.
      Not only being ahead of your enemy but controlling their actions as well.

  22. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    If you ask for permission, the answer will be no.

  23. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    T E M P O

  24. 2 months ago
    synopticon

    >actions in a manner or speed that the opposition hasn't anticipated and planned against

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Let's say there are two forces - force A is more maneuverable and force B that is more static but has more firepower.

      Force A executed a maneuver, approached the force B from a less defended side and surprised them.
      But force B still has more firepower compared to force A.

      Who has the initiative - force A, which imposed it's choice of where and when they wanted to engage in a combat or force B, which is caught by surprise but still has more firepower?

  25. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Its you acting and forcing the enemy to react to your moves. Like being the dealer in poker

  26. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >But what is "initiative" exactly?
    it means you're the one doing shit and the enemy is the one forced to react to you doing shit. that's literally it.

  27. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Being firstest with the mostest.

  28. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Initiative is like you have all the money in poker and you can go all-in vs someone who has basically nothing and can't afford to lose

  29. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    One way to put it is to be able to fight on your terms.

  30. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    violence of action

  31. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Do you wanna frick or do you wanna get your shit pushed in?

  32. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    When people are talking about 'the initiative', as in, 'retaining the initiative' in battle, what they mean is being the force that is doing the acting rather than the reacting.
    As much as possible, on both the offence and defence, you want to be the one dictating the terms of the battle to your enemy. On the offence? Locate your enemy, their weaknesses, attack when, where and how gives you the most advantages. Put them on the back-foot, maintain pressure, ensure that they are forced into a position of having to react to your actions rather than being allowed the time and room to respond on their own terms.
    On the defence? Know where your enemy is and what they want to achieve, what they have to achieve it. Begin the fight when you're ready, not when they are. Limit their mobility, take proactive measures to protect against likely actions and where possible deny them the chance to carry them out to begin with. Do not give your enemy the liberty to attack where and how they would like to.
    This is the lies for children version but you probably get the idea. It's about being the one setting the terms.

  33. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >having a sole idea or personnal will in defense/military context
    Yeah no thanks. Been there, done that, does'nt work.

  34. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    ^
    >o
    KYS?

    I still don't understand what I'm doing here or what language y'all are speaking. Have you tried an English Dictionary?

  35. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Your enemy reacts to your actions.

  36. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Initiative is acting so that the enemy must react to your actions.
    For example, during the ACW, Robert E. Lee had the initiative in 1863 from after his pyrrhic victory at Chancellorsville until shortly before Gettysburg.
    Lee was forcing the Union to react to the Army of Northern Virginia advancing into the North, it’s one of the reasons Lincoln fired Hooker and appointed Meade to lead the Army of the Potomac, because Hooker was slowly and lackadaisically following Lee with his army, and had refused to even confront Lee unless given more soldiers from Baltimore.
    Had Hooker remained in command, Lee would have likely moved his army unopposed through southern PA and captured Harrisburg without a fight.
    However, once in command, Meade
    was able to get the Army of the Potomac in position to intercept the Army of Northern Virginia and force Lee to lose the initiative and react to Meade, which Lee did by deciding to fight a pitched battle at Gettysburg on Meade’s terms.

  37. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Tempo, basically. More specifically, the ability to set the terms and pace of combat and maneuver in a war. A successful assault, for example, can force an enemy to retreat, giving you an opportunity to continue attacking them as they do so and preventing them from regrouping, fortifying, or otherwise do anything other than react to your own movements. The opposite of this would be getting bogged-down in some manner, allowing the enemy to attack you where and when they please, and forcing you to act reactively rather than proactively.

  38. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I always understood it as reacting to a situation and taking action quickly with minimal delay. From low to high levels of command, you get on with things and get shit done without constantly checking in. Russian forces are said to lack it due to their rigid command structures, whereas western training would place emphasis on commanders on the ground making decisions themselves.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      What you're getting at towards the end there is a long-time difference in military thinking. The traditional approach is essentially top-heavy command. Guy at the top decides as much as possible, and at each step down the highest possible link in a chain decides something. By the time you get down to the squad or fireteam there's essentially no decision-making left. The thinking being that all the decision-making happens with the decision-makers and all that's left to be done by the soldiers is the fighting and execution of the plan.
      While they didn't invent it, German forces in WW2 helped to popularise what has evolved into the default for most capable militaries. It's basically the opposite idea, you defer as much of the decision-making as far down the chain as you can. You reason that your well trained force can be trusted to make decisions on the fly, and as the people on the ground they have the best understanding of the situation as it evolves and any opportunities as they present themselves.
      What we're talking about here would be initiative in the colloquial sense. 'You took initiative and asked someone to use that tower as a lookout, without being ordered from higher'. That's not quite the same thing as 'the initiative', in the sense of the wider flow of battle.

  39. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Being able to act decisively. Otherwise your passive and react to either orders or enemy's actions (or not at all).

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