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No Shells, No Attack! - The Use Of Fire Support By 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines During The 1982 Falkland Islands War

by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas R. Hogan

The 1982 British campaign to recapture the Falkland Islands was a naval operation of relatively short duration. Nevertheless, many of the British lessons learned are applicable to the U.S. Army. No notice deployment, assignment as part of a naval landing force, and combat operations beyond the range of land based close air support are all reasonable missions for light divisions. This study analyzes one aspect of the British experience-the use of fire support by 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. Through historical review, the study examines the use of mortars, artillery, naval gunfire, and close air support to complement ground maneuver. The purpose behind the study is to highlight the effectiveness with which 3 Commando Brigade utilized fire support during an island invasion, slightly more than one year before the U.S. Army experience in Grenada. Conclusions focus on three areas. In the first area, fire support relationships, the study contends that the British marriage of maneuver and fire support is exceptionally strong and that the strength is largely attributable to the utilization of the artillery battery commander at maneuver battalion headquarters. In the second area, fire support for naval operations, the importance of Army interoperability with naval gunfire and air support is developed. In the third area, fire support effects, the study asserts that the mental effects of fire support were a major contributor to British victory.

Argentina's Tactical Aircraft Employment In The Falkland Islands War

by Major Gabriel V. Green

The aerial forces of the Argentinean Air Force and Navy found themselves in a complex, unenviable position during the 1982 conflict with Great Britain for possession of the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas. Despite Argentinean numerical superiority, the modern weaponry and tactical proficiency of the United Kingdom's armed forces were a formidable threat. The Argentineans found themselves in a disadvantaged tactical situation due to a lack of preparation to include planning, intelligence, training, and resources necessary to counter a sophisticated military threat. To lessen their disadvantage, the Argentineans reorganized their Air Force; leveraged the tactical skill, innovation, and determination of their pilots; and employed their newly acquired air-launched Exocet anti-ship missile. This paper examines the context of the Argentinean political situation, explores the condition and reaction of the Air Force and Naval Air Arm to imminent conflict, details the aerial combat employment outcomes, and concludes with an evaluation of the results.Worldwide headlines declared either invasion or liberation on 2 April 1982. These words explained how both London and Buenos Aires felt after the Argentineans seized the Falkland Islands from the United Kingdom. Because of this action, the aerial forces of the Argentinean Air Force and Navy found themselves in a complex, unenviable position during the conflict with Great Britain for possession of the Falkland Islands. The Argentineans were in a disadvantaged tactical situation due to a lack of preparation to include planning, intelligence, training, and resources necessary to counter a sophisticated military threat. To lessen their disadvantage, the Argentineans reorganized their Air Force; leveraged the tactical skill, innovation, and determination of their pilots; and employed their newly acquired air-launched Exocet anti-ship missile.

The Fundamentals Of Soviet 'Razvedka' (Intelligence/Reconnaissance)

by Colonel David M. Glantz

Intelligence, simply defined as knowledge of the enemy and his intentions, is seldom a decisive factor in war. It does not alter the strength of contending armies and the overall war aims of contending states, and it may have little effect on the planning and conduct of operations. A force which lacks good intelligence may still succeed because of its strength, sound planning, and military efficiency. The converse is also true.Sound intelligence, however, can affect a nation's decision to go to war in the first place; and, once that nation is at war, it can reveal enemy intentions and dispositions. While providing a foundation for sound planning, it also forms a basis for conducting and verifying the effects of deception. Consequently, intelligence provides leverage with which to accentuate the positive effects of military actions, be they offensive or defensive.- Intelligence collection, analysis, and exploitation is a difficult process, made more so by the fog of war and by chance, which makes its effects even less predictable...Few nations have developed a healthier respect for the relationship between intelligence and warfare than has the Soviet Union. The four years of warfare on the Eastern Front during the Second World War, known by the Soviets as the Great Patriotic War, were unprecedented In scale and intensity. From the commencement of Barbarossa on 22 June 1941 to the end of the European war in May 1945, intelligence played a significant role in the course and outcome of operations. Most Westerners have only a sketchy awareness of that role. The Soviet intelligence failure of June 1941 and the apparent intelligence success at Kursk in 1943 have received attention in numerous works. Yet the appreciation of both has been, at best, superficial, replete with generalizations which have characterized most descriptions of war on the Eastern Front.

Ideology And The Fall Of Empires: The Decline Of The Spanish Empire And Its Comparison To Current American Strategy

by Major Enrique Gomariz Devesa

Sometimes, the ideology that formed the basis for founding an empire can become the cause of its fall. The decline of the Spanish Empire is a clear example of how ideology may both adversely influence national grand strategies and trigger processes of decline of an empire. The strong religious conviction of the Habsburgs was a fundamental factor in defining an imperial strategy that did not conform to the genuine interests of Spain as the core of the Empire. This strategy did not take into account limited Spanish capabilities that were not enough to achieve its religious goals.The purpose of this research is not to analyze in depth how religion influenced the decline of the Spanish Empire, but to use this process to establish a paradigm to explain how ideologies can become a negative influence on national policies. Once the paradigm is established, it will be compared to a similar process to develop some valid conclusions regarding the importance of defining national strategic objectives according to the interests and capabilities of each state.Over the last two decades, the desire to expand and promote democracy around the world became the dominant ideology in the United States. Therefore, its influence in the evolution of recent American national strategies serves as a valid comparison. This study presents some conclusions that not only might be applicable for the analysis and study of national strategies, but also may help to understand how and when ideologies that may be necessary to maintain the cohesion of nations and empires, can became a source of national decline.

The Soviet-Afghan War: Another Look

by Commander Mark S. Caren

This research effort reviews the Soviet military's involvement in Afghanistan from four general, perspectives: (1) systemic problems inherent in the Soviet military culture, (2) the use of surprise, (3) operational maneuver and the preeminence of aviation and (4) employment of mines and chemical weapons as an extension of maneuver warfare. This paper concludes that the lessons of this war have been learned by the Russians. There is every reason to believe that they can achieve the level of doctrinal changes required to be successful in future "local" interventions. It must be accompanied, however, by corresponding socio-military reform.

Afghanistan And Beyond: Reflections On The Future Of Warfare

by Dr Stephen J. Blank

Many military analysts believe or fear that the wars of the 1990s will be akin to the wars in the former Yugoslavia: small-scale but long-lasting and recurrent ethnic wars that also elude easy international resolution. There are consequently well-founded concerns about prospects for deployment of U.S. forces there in a unilateral or U.N. capacity. Some of the lessons of this kind of war were already apparent in the wars of the 1980s. They were known then as low-intensity conflicts and now as operations other than, or short of, war.This report focuses mainly on lessons from one of the most crucial of these wars, i.e., in Afghanistan as a result of the Soviet invasion in 1979, and attempts to draw lessons that are relevant for current wars, like those in Yugoslavia or the ex-Soviet Union. The purpose is to stimulate analysis and reflection on the strategic and operational, if not also tactical nature of these wars by both analysts and policymakers so that all interested groups can more easily come to terms with a form of warfare that promises to be both deeply destructive and deeply rooted in longstanding political and social antagonisms that cannot be easily or quickly resolved.Naturally some of the lessons drawn from Afghanistan and other wars may either only apply to Russian and Soviet forces or conversely may apply to war in general. But our primary intention is to make a contribution to the study of future wars particularly of the ethnic and small-scale type that promise to continue in many parts of the globe lest we devise better ways for averting and then resolving them.

The Campaigns Of Hannibal And Scipio: Searching For Congruency

by Major Michael R. Johnson

This paper analyzes the Second Punic War using the Contextual and Operational Elements found in the Campaign Planning Model to determine how Rome and Carthage conducted the war, and whether they maintained congruency as each respective country pursued their national objective. It examines how they selected their grand strategy, and how that strategy was interpreted and executed at the operational and tactical levels. The model highlights flaws in Carthage's formulation and application of its grand strategy which, combined with the lack of strategic insight at the operational level, kept them from satisfying their objectives. This paper also shows that Rome's formulation and execution of its grand strategy, even with several interim changes in operational strategy, flawlessly applied the tenets of the Campaign Planning Model and enabled Rome to always keep its strategic perspective firmly in view to secure eventual victory. This paper also recommends further study of Rome's operational strategy, in particular the campaign of its commanding general, Publius Cornelius Scipio. Scipio's campaign provides excellent examples of the principles of surprise and concentration, and demonstrates how innovation and mobility can produce an indirect strategy that can not only defeat a larger enemy, but also maintain flawless congruency with strategic objectives. Scipio provides an outstanding study in military genius, indirect strategy application, innovation, and statesmanship. He most closely embodies the soldier-statesman needed in modern coalition warfare.

Rome In The Teutoburg Forest

by LCDR James L. Venckus

This paper examines the battle of Teutoburg (9 A.D.), its consequences on the Roman world, and the role cultural misunderstanding played on the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. The Roman commander's cultural misunderstanding of his enemy caused mistakes at the operational and tactical levels, while the Roman Emperor's cultural misunderstanding brought about mistakes at the strategic level and created poor policy decisions following the battle, which affected Rome like no other battle in its history. Chapter 2 examines the consequences of other Roman loses (with much higher casualties) to show how none of them carried the same impact as the Teutoburg loss. They were but temporary "setbacks", while Teutoburg was Rome's first military "defeat" in its history. The Roman direction of conquest into Germania and the image of the pre-Teutoburg Germanic barbarian (an image which changes greatly into an elevated status following the massacre) are also examined. Chapter 3 examines the commanders of both sides and the battle itself. Chapter 4 looks at the significance of this loss. This battle caused Rome to adopt its first permanent defensive boundary and set the first limit of the Roman Empire.

The Role Of Spain In The American Revolution: An Unavoidable Strategic Mistake

by Major Jose I. Yaniz

Spain played a significant role in the outcome of the American Revolution by providing economic support and opening war fronts to fight the British in Europe and North America. Spain's support for the revolutionaries was a strategic mistake for its government, for it was not in Spain's national interests as a colonial power to do this.Neither France nor Spain helped the North American colonies to gain independence from Great Britain for altruistic reasons. Instead, both countries were eager to retaliate against Great Britain, which had become the undisputed global power after these countries' defeat in the Seven Years War...However, Spain, unlike France, still possessed extended and rich territories throughout the two American continents. This caused Spain to cautiously approach involvement in the American Revolution. Being a colonial power like Britain, Spain did not want the seed of independence to spread throughout its own colonies; therefore the country never officially recognized U.S. independence during the time of the American Revolution. Instead, and as a result of the Bourbon Family Compact with France, Spain declared war on Great Britain in 1779, but it would never fight within the Thirteen Colonies.Nevertheless, and despite the inherent risk, Spanish ports were opened to American ships, and Spain provided, initially by secret means through Paris and New Orleans and later on in a more straight way, financial support to the American cause in the form of money and supplies since 1776. Spanish money also financed expeditions such as De Grasse's Fleet in 1781 and the Washington's army on its march to the south that were decisive in the Yorktown victory. Moreover, Spain fought the British in the Spanish areas of interest, including West Florida, Central America, the Caribbean, and Europe, thereby opening several fronts which the British could not simultaneously manage, and threatening vital sea lines of communications of the global naval power.

The Military Decision Making Process And The Battle Of The Little Bighorn

by Major Jonathan T. Neumann U.S. Army

Based on his background, education, training, and the information available at the time of his attack, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer made good decisions as he lead the 7th Cavalry in its defeat at the Little Bighorn.Custer received the standard pre-commissioning education that West Point used to mold all future Army leaders. That education served him well in the Civil War where he enjoyed tactical success and a meteoric rise to fame and high rank. Following that conventional conflict, Custer entered into world of irregular warfare and voluntary forces. His defeat at the Little Bighorn ended 10 years of development as an unconventional warrior. Despite the common perception that his decisions invited disaster, by using the current Military Decision Making Process, and the intelligence available to him professionals of today can recreate the command decisions he made that day in June 1876 and possibly conclude that they were not to blame for the defeat.Custer's military decisions are very similar to those a current leader would make using current military decision making doctrine.

21 Army Group: Normandy To The Baltic [Illustrated Edition]

by Field Marshal Viscount Bernard Law Montgomery of Alamein KG GCB DSO PC

[Illustrated with 46 highly detailed maps of the actions]Field Marshal Montgomery commanded the Eighth Army from 13th August 1942 until the 31st December 1943, and the 21st Army Group from 1st January 1944 until the German surrender on the 5th May, 1945. Whilst in command of the British Army of the Rhine, in occupation of Germany, shortly after the end of the Second World War Montgomery set out to record the exploits and victories of the troops under his command.Both this volume and its companion volume, El Alamein to the River Sangro, are superb examples of military history as presented by one of the greatest generals to command victorious armies in the field. The texts are taken from his personal war diaries and are distinguished by his incisive style. The whole strategy and course of these two campaigns are presented to the reader with great clarity and accuracy.In Normandy to the Baltic the Field Marshal unfolds that greater task -- the planning and implementation of the greatest invasion the world has ever known -- Operation Overlord. He describes the whole plan behind. D Day and the Battle of Normandy. He continues with the battle for Caen and the capture of Cherbourg, the closing of the Falaise Pocket and the crossing of the Seine--through into the Low Countries and the Battle of Arnhem and the famous Battle of the Ardennes. He concludes with the battle of the Rhineland, the crossing of the Rhine and the rush across northern Germany to the final surrender. The whole pattern of the complex allied effort -- British, Canadian and American -- is described with extraordinary detail and each episode is analysed in retrospect.

Sir William Howe: A Study In Failed Strategic Leadership

by Colonel Brian Joseph McHugh

This paper examines the strategic leadership competencies of British General William Howe during the American Revolution (1775-1778). During the American War of Independence, General Howe displayed periodic tactical brilliance and operational competence but consistent strategic ineptitude. After arriving in America, Howe was quickly thrust into the position of Commander-in-Chief of British Forces and General of North America. Howe's lack of self-awareness, ineptness in managing the personalities of his subordinate commanders, personal biases, and lack of political savvy resulted in the strategic failure of the British war effort. Howe's difficulty in transitioning from tactical, through operational to the strategic level provides a useful example as to the dramatically different challenges faced by current leaders as they prepare for and address similar challenges in our contemporary operational and strategic environment.

Tactical Intelligence In The Army Of The Potomac During The Overland Campaign

by Major Todd T. Morgan

This study examines how Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Potomac used tactical intelligence during the Overland Campaign. Although Grant did not achieve his operational objective to defeat General Robert E. Lee in the field, tactical intelligence allowed him to continue the operational maneuver of the Army of the Potomac, which later contributed to the eventual defeat of Lee in April of 1865. The examination of tactical intelligence in the Army of the Potomac covers the period of 4 May to 12 June 1864. It encompasses campaign planning and preparation, as well as the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna River, and Cold Harbor. The study combines a general contextual overview of the campaign and battles with a focused discussion and analysis of tactical intelligence collection and use. The study also includes background discussion of influences that contributed to the lack of intelligence functions in the War Department and the Union Army, the intelligence organizations that emerged in the Army of the Potomac, and description of the primary forms and methods of tactical intelligence collection used during the campaign.

African American Sailors: Their Role In Helping The Union To Win The Civil War

by Major Don A. Mills Sr. USMC

Since the very beginning of American history, African Americans have served alongside their white counterparts in virtually every major armed conflict on the high seas. This was especially true during the Civil War. The Union Navy continued to experience a shortage of available manpower to sufficiently man its fleet of 600 plus ships. Life aboard naval vessels was particularly harsh and naval recruiters did not hesitate to enlist African Americans, free and slave, to ensure sufficient manning.African American sailors saw their service as an opportunity to rise above the status of social discrimination and segregation. Because of the shortage of able-bodied seamen in the Union Navy, African Americans were encouraged to join the naval service at a time when the Army and Marine Corps excluded their service. In an effort to attract African American recruits and to have them reenlist when their terms expired, the Navy tended to treat African American sailors with some degree of equality and respect once at sea. African American sailors were messed and quartered alongside their white counterparts. Per the leadership of the ship's captain, segregation and discrimination were regulated or was less prevalent than in 19th century America.The accomplishments of the Union Navy had a significant impact on its winning the war. The Union Navy could not have achieved its mission without nearly one-fifth of its total manpower, the African American sailor. Their numbers provided the credible force required to execute the strategic aims of the Anaconda Plan and helped to ensure a Union victory. The service of African American sailors allowed the North to end the war much sooner than it would have without their service, thus preventing an even greater number of loss to human life.

Unconventional Warfare In The American Civil War

by Major Jeremy B. Miller

Considering the history of unconventional warfare in the United States, and specifically, during the Civil War, it begs the question: Did the Confederacy's strategy to engage in unconventional warfare significantly contribute to its conventional strategy? Two assertions remain most accepted by historians and military personnel. The first prevailing opinion is that the Confederacy's use of unconventional warfare was ineffective and negatively affected the overall campaign. The second opinion is that the South's unconventional efforts yielded unparalleled success and prolonged the war. To evaluate the impact of the Confederacy's unconventional campaign plan, the methodology of this study addresses several subordinate questions: Did the Confederacy adopt an unconventional war strategy as part of its overall strategy? How did conventional military leaders apply unconventional warfare? What effects did unconventional warfare have on conventional operations? Was unconventional warfare at the tactical level linked to operational and strategic level objectives?

Inside The Lines: Meade's Victory At Gettysburg

by Major Phillip W. Chandler USMC

The concepts of interior and exterior lines gained prominence during the Napoleonic Era with the writings of Jomini. Interior Lines of Operation deal with forces whose operations diverge from a central point. The use of interior lines allows a commander to rapidly shift forces to the decisive point.The Battle of Gettysburg was a great historical example illustrating the impact of interior and exterior lines. At the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederates uncharacteristically fought along exterior lines. Their lines of communication stretched from Pennsylvania through the Shenandoah Valley south to Richmond. This was an extremely precarious situation for General Lee and weighed heavily on his decisions at Gettysburg.The Army of the Potomac, under command of newly appointed General Meade, found themselves operating from interior lines at Gettysburg. On July 2 and 3, this became a major factor in General Meade's ability to react to the offensive actions taken by the Army of Northern Virginia.I propose that Lines of Operations, as espoused by Jomini years earlier, was the decisive factor in the Gettysburg Campaign. I believe that the use of interior lines by General Meade, specifically throughout the day and night of Day 2 and again on day 3, allowed the Army of the Potomac to gain victory. The Army of Northern Virginia on several occasions achieved momentary breaks in the Union lines only to be repulsed by Union forces shifted from other positions. General Meade would not have been able to rapidly shift these forces to the decisive point unless he was operating on interior lines.Throughout the three days of battle, General Meade applied Operational Art in positioning his forces at the decisive time and place. One must keep in mind the significance of General Meade's actions at Gettysburg. He defeated the venerable General Robert E. Lee on the battlefield, a feat elusive to all previous commanders of the Army of the Potomac.

The Tullahoma Campaign, The Beginning Of The End For The Confederacy

by Major Julian D. Alford

The results of the Tullahoma Campaign had enormous effects on the outcome of the American Civil War. The Tullahoma Campaign was the beginning of the end for the Confederate cause and was a huge step in the preservation of the Union.The Tullahoma Campaign of 1863 is often overlooked and overshadowed by the simultaneous events of Gettysburg and Vicksburg. For the North, Rosecrans and his Army of the Cumberland conducted a campaign of light attacks and aggressive maneuvers that drove the Confederate Army of Tennessee completely out of the state. The results of the campaign for the Union formed the starting point for General William T. Sherman's capture of Atlanta and his subsequent march to the sea. For the South, losing the Tullahoma Campaign and the ultimate retreat from the state of Tennessee proved to be too much from which to recover. With the loss of manpower, agricultural staples, the industrial base of the region and most importantly, the Chattanooga railroad center, the Tullahoma Campaign was the beginning of the end for the Confederacy.At the beginning of the war, the Federals stated three major objectives that they needed to accomplish in order to be victorious. First, take Richmond and kill the secessionist spirit by conquering the Rebel capital. This had been attempted repeatedly but never accomplished up to this point. Second, control the Mississippi Valley and secure the western waterways. Grant had accomplished this objective by capturing Vicksburg. Finally, seize east Tennessee and hold the Nashville-Atlanta corridor, which was seen by the Federals as the major artery in the southern lifeline. Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland had achieved most of this objective in the Tullahoma Campaign and Major General William T. Sherman would finish the objective the following summer. Winning the Tullahoma Campaign and capturing Middle Tennessee was the start of obtaining the third stated objectives.

Choke Hold: The Attack On Japanese Oil In World War II

by Stephen L. Wolborsky

After WWI, Army airmen like Billy Mitchell, in a bid for service independence, touted land-based air power's dominance over ships. Later, airmen at the Air Corps Tactical School developed a theory of independent air power application based on strategic bombing. These airmen persuaded Congress to purchase the tools to implement strategic bombing-fleets of heavy bombers-by citing these aircraft as optimum for defending the US coasts against enemy ships.However, when the opportunity to test the efficacy of bombers against ships presented itself in WWII's Pacific Theater, Army Air Force (AAF) leaders proved reluctant to throw their full support behind such an effort. A key aspect of the US Navy's Pacific strategy was an intense campaign against Japanese commercial shipping. This blockade, primarily targeting oil after late 1943, was spearheaded by US Navy submarines. A blockade proved the most effective means of attacking Japan's oil, although AAF leaders preferred strategic bombing of the Japanese home islands, including oil facilities, over blockade support. This preference was particularly true for the B-29. This thesis analyzes the campaign against Japanese oil to explore why an oil blockade was effective against Japan and, more important, to examine how service parochialism distorted the development of a rational military strategy in the Pacific Theater.

Swinging The Sledgehammer: The Combat Effectiveness Of German Heavy Tank Battalions In World War II

by Major Christopher W. Wilbeck

This thesis is a historical analysis of the combat effectiveness of the German schwere Panzer-Abteilung or Heavy Tank Battalions during World War II. During the course of World War II, the German Army developed heavy tank battalions to fulfill the concept of breaking through enemy defenses so faster, lighter mechanized forces could exploit the rupture. These heavy tank battalions had several different tables of organization, but were always centered around either the Tiger or the Tiger II tank. They fought in virtually every theater of Europe against every enemy of Germany. Ultimately, the German military created eleven Army and three Waffen-SS heavy tank battalions. Of the Army battalions, the German command fielded ten as independent battalions, which were allocated to Army Groups as needed. The German Army assigned the last heavy tank battalion as an organic unit of the elite Panzer Grenadier Division Grossdeutschland. The Waffen-SS allocated all of their battalions to a different Waffen-SS Corps.Because these units were not fielded until late in 1942, they did not participate in Germany's major offensive operations that dominated the early part of World War II. Germany's strategic situation after mid-1943 forced their military onto the defensive. Consequently, there are very few instances when heavy tank battalions attacked as a breakthrough force. During the latter part of the war, they were used in many different ways to provide defensive assistance along very wide frontages. This study assesses the German heavy tank battalions as generally effective, primarily because of the high kill ratio they achieved. However, based upon observations from a wide variety of examples, this study also outlines several areas where changes may have increased their effectiveness.

The Ethics Of Bombing Dresden

by Lt Col Raymond H. Wilcox

This study describes the events, doctrine, and technical developments of World War II (WWII) that led to the destruction by area bombing of the city of Dresden and the deaths of 135,000 of its citizens. Prior to our entry into WWII our bombing strategy was to employ large numbers of high altitude bombers with heavy defensive firepower, flying in formation, using precision daylight bombardment. This ethical bombing technique was observed early on in WWII, but at some point the ethic changed. Why? Was it a change in the ethics of the commander or country, or was it due to a technological push through the development of on-board radar? This analysis will show that although no specific order or directive specified the destruction of Dresden, those in charge had tacitly endorsed it. History shows us that because of this change, the face of war in Europe also changed. To this day, the firestorm of Dresden remains one of the deadliest and ethically most problematic raids of WWII.

Analysis Of German Operation Art Failures, The Battle Of Britain, 1940

by Lieutenant Colonel John Turner

The Battle of Britain was the first major defeat for the Germans of WWII. The Battle of Britain was an air operation designed to give Germany air superiority over both the English Channel and England. Gaining air superiority was considered by the Germany Army and Navy as absolutely essential prior to "Operation Sea Lion," the landing and invasion of England. Because the Luftwaffe was never able to establish the requisite air superiority, Sea Lion was cancelled.This paper examines the German Operational Art issues from a historical perspective. It concludes the failure of the Luftwaffe belongs to Reich-Marshall Goring, operational commander for the Battle of Britain. His main failure, as operational commander, was repeatedly making tactical decisions from the operational level rather than leaving this to on-the-scene tactical commanders. Secondly, he was never able to identify Fighter Command as the British Center of Gravity. Thirdly, he never understood the intelligence advantage gained by the British as a result of their newly invented radar early warning system. As a result, Germany lost the battle.

Discarded Victory - North Africa, 1940-1941

by Dennis H. Thompson

The Anglo-Italian campaign of 1940-41 resulted in one of the most lopsided operational victories of the entire Second World War. Strategic misjudgement at the highest levels of British political and military leadership would discard the opportunities won by its fighting forces in North Africa and commit them to a catastrophic intervention in Greece. In 1940, Italy fielded a numerically overwhelming, but technologically deficient, conscript military force on the continent of Africa. Italy's political leaders expected her 500,000 strong North African army to quickly defeat the British troops stationed in the theater of operation. The British forces, though inferior in numbers, were well-trained regulars who possessed more superior weaponry than their Italian foes. In the brief, high intensity conflict waged in the North African deserts from December 1940 to February 1941, the British would annihilate an Italian army of 130,000 soldiers. On the verge of complete victory in the North African theater, the British would commit an act of extraordinary strategic misjudgement and divert their efforts to Greece in order to engage the Axis forces on the continent of Europe. The discarded early victory in North Africa would lead Britain to catastrophe in Greece, cost them the initiative in the war, and nearly led to their defeat in North Africa.

Air Power In North Africa, 1942-43: An Additional Perspective

by Colonel F. Randall Starbuck

The hastily mounted invasion of French Northwest Africa in November of 1942 was a gamble. It exposed American inexperience. That inexperience went from Roosevelt on down to the soldier in the foxhole. Half-trained men were pitted against Vichy France and didn't know whether to expect open arms or open fire. Later, those same inexperienced men would meet Rommel at the Kasserine Pass. This naivete was exhibited by both men and leaders. Torch was Eisenhower's first major operation--a gigantic airlift and sealift preceded by months of intrigue. The outcome of the campaign settled several air power issues and revealed many lessons. The battles fought by the United States forces during the North African Campaign of 1942 and 1943, particularly the Battle for the Kasserine Pass in February 1943, were a breaking and testing ground for much of the employment of those forces during the remainder of the Second World War. Three air power key lessons were learned on the North African battlefield. First was the need for coordination between air and ground forces. Second was the folly of sending untrained airmen into combat. Third was the importance of tactical air targeting by ground force commanders.

Marshal Louis N. Davout And The Art Of Command

by Major John M. Keefe

This paper involves an in-depth study of the art of command at all three levels of warfare. It examines this art through the eyes of one of Napoleon's ablest Marshals, Louis N. Davout. The paper addresses and accomplishes three primary goals. First, it defines the art of command and shows its relevance to modern day warfare. Second, the paper shows that Marshal Davout was the best of Napoleon's generals and had an art of command that rivaled the Emperor himself. Finally, the paper demonstrates how Davout was instrumental in winning the battle of Abensberg-Eckmühl.The study proves that Marshal Davout displayed an art of command at Abensberg-Eckmühl that ensured success for Napoleon during the early phases of his Austrian campaign of 1809. It does this through a detailed analysis of his actions throughout the five days of fighting from April 19 to April 23, 1809. The study then draws conclusions to help define the art of command from Davout's actions.

Analysis Of The Battle Of Iwo Jima

by Major Charles F. Sprietsma

"Among Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue". This statement by Fleet Admiral Nimitz following the Battle of Iwo Jima succinctly summarizes the degree of effort, dedication, and personal sacrifice required of American servicemen to capture the island. The Japanese defenders also displayed these qualities, but the United States forces prevailed because they combined this effort, dedication, and sacrifice with superior application of basic principles of warfighting. Analysis of the application of these principles will help us understand why the battle developed and ended as it did. To do this, we must first examine the battle itself.

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