James Eling is an Army Reserve artillery Major attending Australian Command and Staff College. He is also Managing Director of Extreme Networks, an information technology company specialising in cyber security and agile software building methodologies. In the Australia Day 2022 Honours List, Major Eling was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal for ‘meritorious achievement as a Joint Task Group 629.2 Strategic Planner supporting Emergency Management Victoria State Control Centre during Operation COVID 19 ASSIST’.[1]

Commencing in 2018, The Principles of War podcast: Lessons from Military History on Strategy, Tactics and Leadership ambitiously connects Australian Defence Force doctrine to history through examining battles, campaigns, technology, leadership, and relationships. Through 144 podcasts, Eling focusses the listener on leadership, mission command, centre of gravity analysis, military innovation and combined arms. As of July 2022, The Principles of War podcast achieved 596,000 downloads.

The Principles of War

In addition to an excellent website, as a professional education resource, The Principles of War podcasts are delivered in three genres: (1) seminar series, (2) interviews, and (3) meticulous research.

(1) Seminar series: The Firepower Seminar series was produced by the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Company. Seminar presentations include Firepower: Lessons from the Great War, which, while informative, are sometimes of variable recording quality.

(2) Interviews: Eling’s interviews include the excellent Julian Corbett and British Maritime and Grand Strategy with Professor Andrew Lambert, the Laughton Professor of Naval History in the Department of War Studies at King's College, London. Eling also interviews Sir Max Hastings in the two-art podcast: Vietnam – An Epic Tragedy and Moral Centres of Gravity and Lessons Learnt from Vietnam.

In 17 episodes, Eling interviews Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith and Lieutenant Dave Sabben on events before, during, and after the 18 August 1966 Battle of Long Tan, Vietnam. In addition, Eling conducts a rare interview with Brigadier Ulf Henricsson, Swedish Army, on Mission Command and Mission Success with Nordic-Battalion 2. In this interview, Brigadier Henricsson describes leadership challenges from the 1993 deployment of a reinforced Swedish-Danish-Norwegian mechanised battalion to Bosnia, supporting the United Nations Protection Force.

(3) Meticulous research: The Principles of War is strongest when James Eling conducts his own meticulous research and analysis of key battles, campaigns, technology, leadership and relationships. In particular research and analysis of war in France, 1940; Malaya, 1941-1942; El Alamein, 1942; Bismarck Sea, 1943; New Guinea, 1943; and Nagorno-Karabakh, 2020 are a significant contribution to Australian Defence Force tactical thinking and our understanding of operational art.

Finally, Eling produced two fascinating podcast episodes on Admiral Horatio Nelson as Nelson, Mission Command and Mission Failure and Nelson and the Amphibious Raid on Tenerife.


I have listened to all 144 Principles of War episodes. At 30 minutes per episode, each is accessible and digestible in one physical training session or when driving to work.

Through The Principles of War podcast: Lessons from Military History on Strategy, Tactics and Leadership, Major James Eling provides an enduring contribution to our professional thinking, understanding and education. I highly commend Major James Eling’s efforts to encourage, explore, develop and advance professional military education.


Find Principles of War on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, PodNews, Spotify, and Stitcher. Learn about the great battles and campaigns of history through the lens of the principles of war. To find out more about the podcast, check out Principles of War on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.