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This research project studies the employment of airpower by the Fifth Air Force, under Gen George C. Kenney, in the Southwest Pacific Theater during World War II. The research began with two basic assumptions. First, it assumed that the strategic bombardment theory developed by the Air Corps Tactical School in the 1930s was the definitive doctrine of the Air Corps upon entry into World War II. Second, it assumed that General Kenney and his staff were required to develop a new doctrine for airpower employment since the situation in the Southwest Pacific did not lend itself to strategic bombardment of the Japanese industrial web. The research process proved both of these assumptions invalid.Study of historical records, personal accounts, and subsequent historical writings in several areas revealed that there was no clear and consistent doctrine for the employment of airpower...General Kenney assumed command of the Fifth Air Force with a clear vision of how to employ air forces to defeat the enemy. His diverse background gave him a balanced view of the roles airpower should play, and he was not convinced by the strategic bombardment theory that claimed invincibility for the bomber. His World War I experiences and teachings at the Air Corps Tactical School provided a strong belief in the importance of air superiority and attack aviation. He was innovative in modifying tactics and equipment, and in developing new roles for airpower as the situation dictated...This study surveys the development of airpower doctrine beginning with World War followed by major developments during the interwar period in several arenas. It then looks at the varied aspects of Gen George C. Kenney's career which prepared him to command the Fifth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific Theater during World War II. Finally, it considers General Kenney's employment of airpower in light of the pre-war doctrine development.
More than 200 airmen and historians met in Washington, D.C., on April 13 and 14, 1984, to discuss the men who have led American air forces. The first century of air power is drawing to a close and though some retired air leaders joined in the discussion, many have passed from the scene. What kind of men were they? What kind of leaders were they? What can we learn from their experience?The conference approached broad questions of leadership by taking a close look at two air leaders, Rear Adm. William A. Moffett (1869-1933) and Gen. Carl A. Spaatz (1891-1974). While Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics during the 1920s, Moffett did as much as anyone to nurture air power within the Navy. Spaatz, on the other hand, helped to lead the increasingly autonomous Army Air Forces during World War II and became the first Chief of Staff of the independent Air Force when it separated from the Army in 1947.Despite the major roles played by Moffett and Spaatz in the development of American air power, there has been little biographical work on them until recently. A decade ago Alfred Goldberg, chief historian in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, contributed an essay on Spaatz to Field Marshal Sir Michael Carver's The War Lords. Richard G. Davis, an Air Force historian, has just completed a dissertation on Spaatz's service in World War II. Meanwhile the Air Force Historical Foundation has sponsored a biography of Spaatz by Lt. Col. David R. Mets, USAF, Retired, and the first fruit of his effort is one of two essays on Spaatz published here; the other is by Maj. Gen. I. B. Holley, Jr., USAFR, Retired, who has drawn upon his many years as a professor of military history and biographer.
9 April 1940 German Invasion Of Norway - The Dawn Of Decisive Airpower During Joint Military Operationsby Major Brian T. Baxley
Operation Weserübung, the German invasion of Norway during the Second World War, is considered by many military historians to be the first joint military operation involving the combined planning and execution of air, land, and sea forces. After a brief introduction and an explanation of the significance of Norway, Chapter Three will analyze the planning process and strategy used by the Germans in late 1939 and early 1940 for devising this joint operation. Chapter Four examines, primarily from an airpower perspective, the plan itself and its execution during the first day of the operation by the Germans, and the British response. Chapter Five determines how German airpower was used, and in particular, what effect the Luftwaffe attack on 9 April against the British Home Fleet had against Britain's campaign strategy to control the North Sea. The final chapter examines three important lessons United States military planners should extract from Operation Weserübung and apply to operations in the 21st century. They are: 1) the joint operation of air, land, and sea assets produce a synergetic effect greater than the sum of their parts; 2) a difficult part of joint operations is the air command and control; and 3) airpower can decisively deny the enemy use of the land or the sea.
Although during World War I the United States employed observers on the battlefields of the Western Front, the information they provided lacked the substance and conclusions required to evolve the tactical doctrine of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). In initial engagements, the AEF was largely forced to rely, with predictable negative outcome, upon outdated concepts founded largely upon the prejudices of the Army's leadership.In August of 1914 the United States Army and Marine Corps demonstrated strong foresight, considering the isolationist perspective of the nation, in detailing officers to the battlefields of Europe. These officers were given little guidance, but their mission was clearly to report on military actions and developments in what was becoming the largest struggle in history. A significant military development of World War I noted by the U.S. was the advance of offensive infantry tactics to cope effectively with the characteristics and lethality of the modern battlefield.The United States, with a two and one-half year opportunity to observe tactics prior to the engagement of the AEF, arguably should have benefited from the experience of others. However, this was not the case. The AEF in its initial engagements, performed much as its European counterparts did at the onset of the war. Eventually the AEF performance improved, but only as U.S. soldiers and Marines gained personal battlefield experience.
After careful study of the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915, why did the British and the Americans come up to contradictory operational conclusions regarding the future applicability of amphibious operations? Divergent views from the lessons of Gallipoli campaign are the result of three differing operational approaches to strategic considerations that Britain and the Unites States faced in the 1920s and 1930s. The first were different theater strategic objectives that required different operational campaigns necessary to achieve each. The second was different operational experiences, which caused one side to focus on the past while the other to the future. The final was the different means available to operational commanders to execute their campaign.History can often provide contradictory lessons to those who wish to use it to practically apply operational art. Using analogies correctly is important. For the operational commander, drawing the correct lessons learned is made even more difficult by the very nature of inter-service rivalry. Derived from an analysis of the operational art and at operational level of war, the lessons learned from this campaign led directly to the development of sound doctrine, which developed in peacetime was absolutely essential in wartime. Finally, we continue to learn from failure more often than through success, but we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated by failure either.
This study investigates the original needs for and development of counterfire techniques in World War I. Concentrating on the experiences of the British and the Americans, the examination explores techniques of counterfire and their failures or successes.The first chapter investigates why World War I was the first war in which modern counterfire techniques were employed. Chapter 2 describes the British experience. Chapters 3 & 4 explain how the Americans trained for and fought in the war. The last chapter analyses those techniques and principles of action that had relevance for both nations.The study concludes that several techniques were necessary in World War I to suppress enemy artillery. First, efforts to destroy enemy artillery before battles were not as successful as efforts to neutralize it for the duration of the battle. Second, with the enormity of details necessary to collect intelligence, assign targets, preposition ammunition, and execute the program of fire, competent staff work became critical. Third, the intelligence procedures developed in position warfare were insufficient to suppress enemy artillery as the battle line moved progressively forward. Suppression of all terrain in the zone of operations that was capable of holding enemy artillery became necessary. Finally, artillery organization and control must be centralized.The study also identifies two techniques necessary to exploit successful counterfire. First, surprise over the enemy would invariably gain the initiative. The enemy guns would not recover from the surprise for the duration of time that neutralization fires continued. Second, counterfire must be integrated into the overall fireplan and the infantry scheme of maneuver. It did the commander no good if counterfire was successful only to fail to exploit that success with maneuver.
For over four years during World War I, Lieutenant Colonel (Later Major General) Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, commander of the German Schutztruppe led the men of the British East African Expeditionary Force on a chase over some of the most inhospitable terrain imaginable. As the commander of German forces in East Africa, he was the author of one of the most successful guerrilla fights in history. His innovative and creative solutions to daily problems proved to be the undoing of a succession of British commanders, allowing him to bleed Allied forces from European fronts. Although he never had more than 3,000 European and 15,000 native soldiers, von Lettow-Vorbeck consumed the efforts of over 250,000 Allied (mostly British) soldiers. Von Lettow-Vorbeck and the men of the Schutztruppe are little known outside of Germany, but they were never defeated and have the distinction of being the only Germans of World War I to occupy British soil. Despite their successes, their exploits remain obscured in the greater tragedy of the Great War.
On the opening day of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of World War I, the newly-created United States 79th Division was templated to advance nine kilometers through German-controlled terrain. However, the advance through the first four kilometers, which included the German strong point of Montfaucon, took two days. The slowed advance of the 79th Division is credited with slowing the progress of the entire American Expeditionary Forces' First Army, thus allowing time for Germans to react to the surprise American offensive. Thus, the central research question is: What were the factors that caused the delay of the 79th Division in their capture of Montfaucon? Little research has been completed on this subject, and most historians pinpoint the sole cause as inexperience on the part of the 79th Division. Therefore, an analysis will be conducted which takes into account the training received by the 79th Division in the United States, the training received in France, and other factors that influenced the outcome of the battle.
In November 1914, British Indian Expeditionary Force "B" conducted an amphibious assault on the Port of Tanga in German East Africa. The British possessed all the tools required for success; they outnumbered the defenders almost eight to one, they possessed the only artillery and naval guns available for the battle, and they landed where the Germans were weak. Despite these factors, a hastily organized German defense force of 1,100 soldiers not only defeated the 8,000 British soldiers, but also compelled Indian Expeditionary Force "B" to retreat to Mombasa.This thesis examines the manner in which German and British forces were organized, trained, equipped, and led. Additionally, it identifies the critical factors that together led to British defeat at Tanga.
This study analyzes the actions of the Australian Light Horse in the Middle East campaign during World War I. It shows the basis for their approach to war and how these techniques were successful by adapting to the circumstances of the situation. The Australian Light Horse demonstrated the traits of initiative and flexibility during the campaign in Egypt and Palestine by changing their modus operandi from mounted infantry to cavalry, a seemingly minor shift semantically, a major shift doctrinally.Their adaptability to the situations in the desert was largely responsible for their tactical successes and played a major part in the success of the operational maneuver of the mounted forces under General Allenby during the last year of the war. Most importantly, the lessons learned from their actions sustained the advocates of horse cavalry doctrine long after the apparent usefulness of the horse on the modern battlefield had diminished in importance.
This thesis addresses the unique composition of the 6th U.S. Marine Regiment and the role they played in the battle of Belleau Wood. It analyzes composition of the 6th Marine Regiment: 60 percent were college men, many of whom were college athletes. With the exception of the Battalion's senior officers and a handful of senior non-commissioned officers, the Regiment was composed of volunteers. Although they were put through rigorous training, these young Marines were not fully prepared for the war that they would face. These young men overcame shortfalls, and became leaders who motivated others to follow. The argument is that these men were able to use their educational and athletic backgrounds to overcome adverse training and combat conditions and proceeded to shape both the outcome of the First World War as well as the Marine Corps for the remainder of the 20th Century.
The modern tank was invented in 1916 as a means to mechanically overcome the stalemate of trench warfare brought on by the increased lethality of fires employed during World War I. Its introduction received mixed reviews among British leaders. Some advocated its continued role supporting infantry and artillery attacks. Others envisioned it as a revolutionary weapon with the potential to effect decisive results at an operational and strategic level. Still others viewed it as a useless and unnecessary drain on already-scarce resources of men and materiel. Ultimately, the tank was an ancillary sideshow and failed to produce a decisive knock-out punch leading to Allied victory in World War I. The purpose of this paper is to examine the reasons why the tank failed to become the decisive weapon of World War I. It specifically focuses on the genesis of logistics, maintenance, training, and production infrastructure, studying the interaction of development, employment, acceptance or lack thereof, and subsequent frictions which negatively influenced the ascent of tanks as the decisive weapon of World War I. By examining the British efforts to design support systems while simultaneously producing, fielding and employing multiple iterations of the tank, this paper seeks to promote a deeper understanding of the potential challenges facing other armed forces that are rapidly upgrading or replacing combat systems in the midst of the Global War on Terror.
When Should A Commander Be Relieved?: A Study Of Combat Reliefs Of Commanders Of Battalions And Lower Units During The Vietnam Eraby Major Thomas V. Draude
This study attempts to determine when commanders of battalions and lower units should be relieved during combat. The investigation analyzed actual reliefs during the Vietnam era to determine why the commanders were relieved, the availability of replacements, the role of counselling, and the effect on the unit.Investigation reveals that most reliefs were not caused by a single deficiency but rather by a combination of perceived shortcomings. Mission failure was not a significant reason for relief. Captains and lieutenants were more likely to be relieved than were lieutenant colonels. Replacements for the relieved commanders were usually available. Most reliefs were effected without prior counselling. The effect of the relief on the unit depended primarily on the unit's evaluation of the relieved commander's leadership and popularity.Further examination of the causes and effects of reliefs produced guidelines for commanders to consider before relieving a subordinate commander.
Attack On The American Embassy During Tet, 1968: Factors That Turned A Tactical Victory Into A Political Defeatby Major Robert J. O'Brien
What could have made the Military Police (MP) and Marine Security Guard (MSG) response more effective, averting negative media coverage and public opinion? The Tet Offensive has been widely acknowledged as the turning point of the United States (U.S.) effort in Vietnam. The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces attacked over 100 cities and towns on 31 January 1968, during the Tet holiday. At the epicenter of this cataclysmic event was the attack on the U.S. Embassy. Although this was a platoon level action, the publicity generated would be wildly disproportionate to the value of the Embassy as a military target. Controversy has continued unabated four decades later. The media role in conveying the outcome of the attack is still a subject of debate. The fact that the U.S. forces that successfully defended the Embassy were greatly outnumbered and not organized or equipped as combat troops was not portrayed in media reports.This thesis first examines the attack on the U.S. Embassy during the Tet Offensive of 1968, and what factors turned a tactical victory into a political defeat. The Marine Security Guards (MSGs) and Military Police (MP) were effective at preventing the enemy from entering and holding the Chancery. The MSGs and MPs at the Embassy achieved a clear tactical victory, yet the action was portrayed as a political defeat. Two sets of factors contributed to this portrayal: the political situation, including shifting public opinion and declining media-military relations; and actions taken by the State Department that directly affected the conduct of the action at the Embassy.
This study examines the reasons why the North Vietnamese launched a general offensive during the Tet holiday of 1968. Based on events of the previous year, conditions did not appear favorable for the North Vietnamese to undertake such a massive and risky operation. Several reasons accounted for this decision; political pressure from Russia and China for a resolution to the war, military failure to achieve victory through the use of the dau tranh strategy of war, the increasing inability of the Vietnamese people-North and South-to provide economic and social support for the war, and impatience on the part of the North Vietnamese leaders. North Vietnam's goal was to hasten the resolution of the war by a massive offensive and to quickly bring the United States and South Vietnam to the negotiating table. By prematurely launching this offensive, the North Vietnamese did not comply with the dau tranh model strategy of revolutionary war.
This paper studies the lines of communications (the Ho Chi Minh Trail) which went from North to South Vietnam, through Laos, during the Second Indochina War. The purpose of this paper is to study the proposal that the United States, during the Vietnam War, should have used ground forces in Laos to block these routes.In providing background information, this study examines the nature of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, political and strategic considerations, and US military actions which were applied against the trail network.Studying the military feasibility of an interdiction effort on the ground, this study finds that the US was physically capable of mounting an operation into Laos to block the Ho Chi Minh Trail.The finding of this study is, however, that such a move would not by itself have provided a winning solution to the war. Additionally, such an attack into Laos would have had serious adverse consequences for that country and US desires for the region.The conclusion of this study is that in this case (the Second Indochina War) a ground interdiction of enemy LOCs would not have been a productive course of action.
What Lessons Can Be Drawn From U.S. Riverine Operations During The Vietnam War: As The U.S. Navy Moves Into The Twenty-First Century?by Major David J. Spangler
This study examines U.S. riverine force operations in the Vietnam War to determine why the force was established, how and why it evolved, and what significance it held for the war as a whole. This study begins with Operation Game Warden, continues through Mobile Riverine Force operations, and ends with the completion of the SEALORDS campaign. The impetus for this research arose from the current debate in Washington as to whether or not the U.S. military has a real need for riverine forces and if those forces should be "stood up" today.Looking back through history gives an opportunity to view past riverine warfare conducted by the American military and determine the contributions such operations have made to the overall conduct of wars. This study shows that riverine operations have been crucial to success in certain environments in the past and points to their possible use in similar environments today. This study measures the effect of U.S. riverine operations in Vietnam and evaluates the contribution this type of force made to our war effort in that environment.This study promotes the use of Task Force 194, which conducted the SEALORDS campaign, as the model for establishing U.S. riverine forces today. This study points out that the nucleus of a riverine force must be maintained, doctrine modernized, and crew currency maintained in order to have any reasonable expectation for success at the outset of future riverine conflicts.
The performance of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) at the Battle of Ap Bac, January 2, 1963, established a narrative that the South Vietnamese were unwilling to fight or lacked aggressiveness. At the time of the Battle of Ap Bac, the South Vietnamese had been receiving direct military aid from the US and under the tutelage of American advisors for over eight years. Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann was the senior US Army advisor present and remarked after the battle, "It was a miserable damn performance, just like it always is. These people won't listen. They make the same mistake over and over again in the same way." In the context of those comments, ARVN did not show an appreciable increase in combat effectiveness with years of direct American support. The larger narrative surrounding the battle indicates that the performance of ARVN was a harbinger for future challenges and setbacks in South Vietnam. This battle and subsequent evaluation of the ARVN attribute the cause for combat ineffectiveness was the South Vietnamese lacking leadership and not possessing the necessary fighting spirit. Is the evaluation that the outcome of the Battle of Ap Bac hinged on the ARVN's lack of aggressiveness still valid when put in the broader cultural, social, and political context that existed at its birth?
This SRP examines Operation ROLLING THUNDER (1965-1968) bombing campaign in the context of military Principles of War and their applications. It analyzes accomplishment of strategic objectives and future implications for applications of airpower doctrine. It reviews the pre-Vietnam strategic situation, discussing its military, political, social, global, and doctrinal characteristics. It then analyses Operation ROLLING THUNDER by phases, focusing on its controversial aspects. This analysis concludes that Operation ROLLING THUNDER failed to accomplish most of its strategic objectives. It offers several contributing factors to account for this failure. This SRP concludes with examination of the lessons learned about airpower doctrine and of the strategic implications of Operation ROLLING THUNDER for the overall war effort in Vietnam.
This paper examines U.S. riverine operations in the Vietnam War. With the current drive to establish a riverine capability within the U.S. Armed Forces as an integral part of the GWOT and small wars of the future, the evolution and operation of the U.S. riverine force during the Vietnam War serves as an effective blueprint for the conduct of modern riverine warfare.American riverine forces in Vietnam operated in a diverse range of brown and green water environments, successfully conducting a wide variety of missions. The evolution of these forces reflected the continuing need to develop the capabilities necessary for these operations. Their success was largely derived from experience which resulted in the creation of a variety of discrete riverine task forces specially configured for their specific missions as the situation dictated. U.S. riverine operations in Vietnam illustrate the complex nature of operations in brown and green water and the inherently joint requirement of the forces involved. The lessons learned as a result of these operations should be incorporated as a fundamental part of the creation of any modern riverine force.
Military and civilian agencies conducted Psychological Operations on an unprecedented scale during the Vietnam War. Emphasis on PSYOP from MACV and the U.S. Mission resulted in the creation of an interagency organization providing direction to the overall PSYOP effort. The military PSYOP force supporting MACV underwent a series of organizational changes over seven years as the force struggled to meet ever-increasing demands, but never reached their full potential in Vietnam. Difficulties in measuring effectiveness combined with a lack of understanding of PSYOP techniques and capabilities more often than not resulted in the relegation of PSYOP to supporting "sideshow" status rather than the full integration into supported unit planning necessary for success. However, the evolution of the PSYOP force and reports from participants provide numerous lessons learned applicable to current operations under the aegis of the Global war on Terrorism.
This study examines the campaign to defend southwest France waged by Marshal Nicholas Soult against the Anglo-Allied Army of Arthur Wellesley from 1 July 1813 until 14 April 1814 to garner insights that are applicable to today's officer. In the first stages of the campaign Marshal Soult conducts an operational offensive across the Pyrenees Mountains but is defeated at the Battle of Sorauren. After this battle, Soult retreats back into France and attempts to defend the French frontier by occupying three successive river lines. Wellesley attacks and defeats Soult's army at each of these lines forcing the French to ultimately retire on Toulouse where the campaign ends.A study of this campaign illustrates that there are a number of intangible factors that effect the success of a campaign. These factors include the impact of the commander's vision on the conduct of the campaign, as demonstrated by his active involvement in the operations, the decisions he makes during the campaign, as well as his ability to translate strategic guidance into a sound operational plan. Other intangible factors identified include the effects of soldiers' morale on operations and the commander's employment of forces in the manner in which they are trained.
Battlefield Integration: Wellington's Use Of Portuguese And Spanish Forces During The 1812 Salamanca Campaignby Major John B. Yorko Yorko
This thesis examines how the Duke of Wellington used Portuguese and Spanish forces during his 1812 Salamanca campaign. Wellington assessed the strengths and weaknesses of his allies, and then leveraged them throughout the campaign within the constraints of dissimilar command relationships. He was able to supplement his British formations largely with Portuguese forces, as well as and prevent the numerically superior French from massing on his army through influence and interaction with Spanish forces. Scrutinizing how Wellington engaged in military actions with allies who had divergent political interests and varying degrees of military capability offers lessons in coalition warfare that are still applicable today.
U.S. Marines In Iraq, 2003: Basrah, Baghdad And Beyond:: U.S. Marines in the Global War on Terrorism [Illustrated Edition]by Colonel Nicholas E. Reynolds USMCR
Includes more than 75 photos, maps and plansThis particular book is about Marines during the first stage of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). It spans the period from 11 September 2001 to March and April 2003, when the Coalition removed Saddam Hussein from power, and concludes in November 2003 when the Marines left Kuwait to return to their home bases in the U.S.. While many then believed that the "kinetic" phase of the fighting in Iraq was largely over, as we now know, it was only a prelude to a longer but just as deadly phase of operations where Marines would be redeployed to Iraq in 2004 to combat insurgents (both foreign and domestic) who had filtered back into the country. However, this phase of the fighting would be very different from the one the Marines and U.S. Army had fought in the spring of 2003 in the march up to take Baghdad.The primary focus of the book is I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF)-the run-up to the war in 2002 and early 2003, especially the development of "the plan," with its many changes, the exhaustive rehearsals, and other preparations, and then the conduct of decisive combat operations and the immediate postwar period, mostly under the control of the U.S. Central Command's Coalition Forces Land Component Command. The book also touches upon other Marine activities in the Military Coordination and Liaison Command in northern Iraq and with the British in the south. Nonetheless, the primary focus remains on I Marine Expeditionary Force and the interactions of its constituent elements. Other forthcoming History Division publications will soon offer detailed narratives on Marines in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and II MEF operations inside Iraq.
Includes more than 30 photos, maps and plansThis study examines a counterinsurgency campaign conducted during the Iraq War between the fall of 2005 and spring of 2006 in the district of al-Qaim on the Syrian border. In many ways, the struggle to clear and hold the district marked a turning point for the U.S. Marines fighting to bring security and stability to al-Anbar Province. The tactics and procedures utilized by the Marines of Regimental Combat Team 2 as well as its numerous supporting units served as a model for future operations in 2006 and 2007.The Iraq War began in 2003 with a lightning quick assault by Coalition forces that toppled Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime within a matter of weeks. During the months immediately following the overthrow of the old regime, a lack of adequate security forces and indecision among policy makers rapidly led to a collapse of order and stability. By the summer a broad insurgency conducted by former regime loyalists, criminals, and Islamic fundamentalist fighters had broken out against the U.S. occupation of the country. The U.S.' initial goal of creating an independent, democratic government was superseded by the more basic and pressing need to establish a secure and stable Iraqi state.The lack of a unified approach to U.S. strategy in Iraq meant that it often fell to the commanders of smaller units (brigades, regiments, and battalions) to devise an effective means for defeating the insurgency in their particular areas of responsibility. It was in this type of operating environment that the commander of Regimental Combat Team 2, Colonel Stephen W. Davis, and one of his battalion commanders, Lieutenant Colonel Julian D. Alford of 3d Battalion, 6th Marines, undertook a concerted campaign to clear and secure al-Qaim District in western Iraq.
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