When you hear about subjects regarding the military, you do hear a lot about weapons, you hear a lot about, the weapons technology, you hear about a lot of battles and those are very important factors that need to be looked at. There is also another factor that is often overlooked: it is the role of geography that it plays in war.
There’s a field dedicated to this known as military geography. Military geography is how geography plays a big role in war. You have geopolitics involved.
Let’s talk about one thing the land itself. Geography is a big part of war because war is fought on the ground. Wars are often fought over land. In many cases, the land plays a role in how many battles take place.
Risk of Mud
For instance, nothing slows down artillery— nothing slows down vehicles– like mud. When you have mud, it is the universal enemy of armies trying to win. Mud is one thing to consider.
Desert warfare deals with the extreme heat. In some places, like, Afghanistan, you have a desert area and an area where it can get extremely cold. When this occurs, you have to really think about just the fact that there’s not a whole lot of water available. You’re always around that risk of dehydration and then, in many areas, you have to deal with sand dunes and sand storms.
Where you have a lot of US military when they’re in the desert, they’re wearing these very late in life uniforms– the camouflage looks different than if you were to fight in say, the jungles. The goal is to blend in with your surroundings when you’re in the desert. Different clothing for different environments has often played a big role in how many wars have taken place.
When you’re up in the mountains, you have the threat of altitude sickness. You have to have an occasion where you have troops that are not used to fighting up in the high mountains– where the air is thin up there. There’s always that factor, and then you’ve got the factor of just such a range of terrains– so rugged. You have to be strong to just get throughout terrain.
And then terrain hawks also make it harder for vehicles to get thru, and then you also have to think about colder weather– extreme cold weather– and then you have to think about avalanches.
Avalanches are constant threat in many high mountainous areas where you’ve got a lot of snow and it doesn’t take much to set off an avalanche. You also have to think about something else when it comes to– you also have to think about what mountains can be good places for?
Me and hot humid weather do not get along and I live in a climate where it gets really hot in the summer. You can imagine how rough it would be in war! you can imagine. In tropical areas– the jungle– you gotta worry about catching malaria, you gotta worry about just the amount heat and humidity soldiers can withstand and just how it wears on the body– especially if you’re not from that climate.
You always need a good map, and without a map, yeah– you got problems. It’s about strategy, it’s about knowing where you’re going. Where you’re going to act, where the enemy is, where you think the enemy might be, where that fortification is or where this target is you have to have a map you need a map. It’s necessary to have a map.
Without that map, you’re gonna have problems– for example, you might walk into a trap. With today’s technology with geographic information systems (GIS) with remote sensing, it is sort of guessing being for how you have to have your cartographic resources for war.
Geography is one of those things is in the details and it is something that it manages to sneak itself and it’s always a role even if you’re not recognizing it. Geography is one of those things you should always be looking at in a lot of fields. This is why you have the field, military geography. Geography plays a role in wars.