There are words that are confusing, as with tactics and strategy, that most of the time are used believing that they have the same meaning. When we speak of these terms we can say that they have emerged from the military field, although currently they have become popular in business, games and sports.
The difference between tactics and strategy can be exemplified by the following: in a war against another nation, in which the objective is to win the war, it is between the strategy that aims to destroy the army to neutralize its military capacity and the tactics implemented by combatants to perform specific actions in specific locations.
What is a Tactic:
A “tactic” is, by definition, a course of action adopted by one or more subjects to achieve one or more specific objectives, in other words, it is a method to obtain a certain result. The term derives from the Greek τακτική which means “tactics”. The concept of “tactic” can be used in many different fields, for example in warfare (military tactics), in a duel, in economics, in marketing, in sports, in rhetoric, in games, in negotiation, in international relations, in treating a disease or a simple discussion.
The typical techniques used in military tactics, which are later also used in other fields, are:
* The concentration of most of the means and efforts at the point and at the most critical moment
* The speed of movement;
* Surprise, that is the advantage obtained by attacking the enemy in times and / or modalities that he does not expect
* The exploitation of the characteristics of the land or the environment for his benefit, in particular for defense, but also for the attack, think, for example, of the cold of Russia in Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign of 1812 or the battle of Thermopylae fought by the Spartans of King Leonidas.
What is a Strategy:
A strategy is, by definition, the description of a long-term plan of action used to organize “on paper” and coordinate “in the field” a generally large number of actions aimed at achieving a predetermined purpose. The concept of strategy , like that of ” tactics “, can be used in various fields, as we mentioned earlier.
Differences and examples between Strategy and Tactics
Tactics differ from strategy in that while the former is generally limited to a limited space and a “short-term” time, the latter is a broader plan of action, including large spaces and long times. it is generally made up of several different steps, each step can be distinguished by a different tactic. An example of the difference between the two concepts is easily understood when a nation goes to war against another nation. The objective is to win the war and one of the possible strategies is, for example, to neutralize its long-term military capacity; Putting this strategy into practice will require a series of separate actions ; the tacticsIt could be that the infantry is deployed in a certain way , causing them to carry out a series of actions in a specific place, while at the same time the navy and aeronautics will maneuver their vehicles to carry out others in other places.
Another example could be the fact that while the tactic is about how to fight a given battle, the strategy is whether the battle should be fought or not. In some ways, the tactics in a war take on more military overtones, while in business they are more political.
Examples: “Victoria de Pirro”?
Pirro responded to one who showed him the joy of victory that “another victory like this would be ruined.” This was because he had lost most of the forces he had brought with him, almost all of his best friends and his top commanders; there were no others who could be inscribed, and the Italian confederates did not cooperate. On the other hand, like a fountain flowing out of the city, the Roman camp was quickly and completely filled with rested men, not broken by sustained losses, but driven by their own anger capable of gathering new strength and a new resolve to continue. war. ‘
Pyrrhus had achieved a tactical victory , but that had led him (and he was conscious, according to Plutarch) to an announced strategic defeat.
TheStrategy , both in war and in business, includes all the ancillary activities that make it possible to manage a conflict in a broader framework. Among the most important, logistics. the tactic refers only to the individual battle, and has no effect on the conflict in an extended way. An army, like Pyrrhus’s, had won, but had become so weakened, outside its supply lines, that it had lost the war.
Other strategic mistakes
Another important strategic error was that of Hitler, when he decided to attack Russia (with whom he had a non-belligerent pact). And after winning all the tactical battles, carried out against a retreating enemy that was defeated, his forces, including the Italian contingent, found themselves prisoners of the vast Russian steppes and adverse weather conditions, leading to disastrous defeat. of Stalingrad, which for many is considered the cornerstone that marked the change of balance during World War II. So, great tactics, but bad strategy.