Historical Applications Of Maneuver Warfare In The 20th Century AUTHOR Major Peter E. Higgins, USMC CSC 1990 SUBJECT AREA Leadership EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TITLE: Historical Applications of Maneuver Warfare in the 20th Century THESIS: Future Maneuverist can better appreicate the utility and effectiveness of this approach to warfare if shown examples of its approach in past applications. ISSUE: A review was conducted of the definition and fundamentals of maneuver warfare to provide a foundation of better understanding for the battles that would be studied. In the First World War the paper covered two German applications of infiltration (Riga and Caporetto) and one British application (Magiddo). In the Second World War the German invasion of France and the British battle for North Africa in 1940 are covered. Finally, the Arab-Israeli conflicts of 1956, 1967 and 1973 are reviewed for examples that are pertinent to this type of warfare. Trends noted include the force employing the innovative tactics was usually inferior in forces, but would mass at the decisive time and place and surprise his enemy. The indirect approach is valid in order to hit an enemy from an unexpected direction, but is not as critical as time and the OODA loop. These tactics are best employed by a force that decentralizes command and control and emphasizes initiative. The examples also show that the employer of these tactics suffered few casualties, inclicted many and bagged a great deal of prisoners. CONCLUSION: Americans and Marines are result oriented. The two most important results to Marines are accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of our Marines. This paper has shown that maneuver warfare can accomplish both. Winston Churchill quote:" Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver, the greater the general the more he contributes in maneuver". HISTORICAL APPLICATIONS OF MANEUVER WARFARE IN THE 20TH CENTURY OUTLINE THESIS STATEMENT Future maneuverist can better appreciate the the utility and effectiveness of this approach to warfare if shown examples of its approach in past application. I. Introduction II. Maneuver Warfare A. Definition B. Fundamentals III. Infiltration Examples of World War I A. Riga B. Caporetto C. Magiddo IV. Blitzkrieg Examples of World War II A. France 1940 B. North Africa 1940 V. Arab-Israeli Conflicts A. 1956, War Sinai Campaign B. 1967, Six Day War C. 1973, Yom Kippur War INTRODUCTION Why should maneuver warfare and its history interest any Marine who is a professional? American history is replete with examples of our country's military forces beginning most of its wars and battles totally unprepared for conflict. So we made ourselves ready and off we went to beat the enemy. America is about to enter a new age where"peace through strength" will not satisfy a congress which can see no future enemies, only future elections. Americas readiness and uniformed servicemen will decline. Marines will be called on to fight outnumbered and possibly with inferior equipment. Expectations won't change though, Americans willstill expect Marines to win and Marines will always want to win. But at what price? Good leaders hold all Marines' lives as a precious commodity, and will try to preserve and husband those lives. Good leaders will be interested in maneuver warfare because this type of warfare can help us defeat our enemy while outnumbered and minimize our casualties at the same time. To better understand maneuver warfare, it would be helpful to examine its evolution in this century and see how effective and successful it has already been. For the serious student who is interested in achieving a real thorough historical feel for its evolution, one may study the tactics/battles of: Sun Tzu, Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Frederick the Great, Napolean, W. T. Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, Manstein, Patton and MacArthor. What these men basically had in common was to strike their enemy's weakness with strength, and to strike them where and when it was least expected and executed their operations with speed. MANEUVER WARFARE What is Maneuver Warfare? The Marine Corps' basic ground combat doctrine is called maneuver warfare. Maneuver warfare is an approach to war which emphasizes disrupting the cohesion of the enemy's tactical units and the mental process of the enemy commander--his ability to make correct and timely decisions--rather than simply attempting to inflict casualties at a greater rate than they are sustained, (Attrition Warfare). The commander uses maneuver to create a succession of unexpected and dangerous situations which occur too quickly for the enemy to react to them. However, by no means does maneuver warfare negate the use of firepower to destroy enemy forces or the use of maneuver to engage the enemy in close combat for the same purpose. In fact, the deterioration of the enemy's cohesion which is the goal of maneuver warfare is greatly hastened when the enemy has sustained significant casualties.1 This is a mental and physical type of warfare. You are mentally trying to engage the enemy commander (more on this discussed under OODA loop). It is a method of fighting outnumbered and winning. It requires sound tactical judgement and a great deal of subordinate initiative. To grasp the essence of maneuver warfare one must review the fundamentals that can be reduced to the following considerations: A. Focus on the enemy: not on terrain objectives. The enemy can be the objective vice terrain. If terrain is to be the objective that should be because it is useful to you or dear to your enemy, (disruptive to him if captured). Terrain can be used as an aiming point or reference point such as "destroy mortar position in vicinity of hill 18O" vice "seize hill 180". We don't always have to seize terrain to accomplish our mission. It is not always necessary to assign an objective as long as we have a mission. Thesubordinate may then want to choose an objective or several objectives.2 1. Operational Handbook 6-1 (OH 6-1) Ground Combat Operation, MCCDC, USMC January 1988, Page 1-5 2. William S. Lind, Maneuver Warfare Handbook B. Act more quickly than the enemy can react. Maneuver warfare is as much a mental approach to warfare as it is a physical one. The essence of maneuver warfare is to make and implement operational and tactical decisions more quickly than the enemy. However, this does not mean making rash decisions and executing imcomplete plans. The commander who generates a faster operational tempo gains a significant advantage. He seizes the initiative and dictates the course of battle until the enemy is overcome by events and his cohesion and ability to influence the situation are destroyed.3 This can be understood by examining the Boyd Cycle or OODA Loop (Observation, Orient, Decision and Action). Definition of Boyd Cycle: Conflict is viewed as a time - competitive decision cycle where the goal is to go through your decision cycle faster than the enemy (out cycle him). 1. Observation - observes one's self, physical surroundings, and the enemy. 2. Orient - take a mental image or snapshot. 3. Decision - analyze METT-T, make a decision and communicate orders. 4. Action - eventually, the enemy's activities have no relevance to your actions. The key to outcycling the enemy is to maintain a faster tempo. Tempo is a function of several factors. 1. Focus on the enemy. What he is doing, find his weaknesses and exploit them, and pit your strength against his weaknesses. 2. Seize the initiative. 3. Retain the initiative (keeps enemy off balance). 4. Act quickly and aggressively. 5. Use mission orders. This generates timely action, decentralized decision making and initiative. 3. OH 6-1, Page 1-5 What is lost with high tempo, or the trade-offs? Subordinate will make more mistakes. You may sacrifice precision for speed of action and units may lose some physical security although you gain security through speed and surprise.4 A Marine Corps Gazette article pointed out: Great Commanders in the past used deception, surprise, shock and firepower within a maneuver context to rapidly transition from one tactical maneuver to another - constantly keeping their foe off balance. The enemy finds himself reacting, to an ambiguous flurry of events, to which he cannot keep up with. He is plaqued by disinformation as the fog of war envelops him. We all know the primary objective in war is the enemy's mind. If we can break the enemy's will to fight, we can destroy his body no matter how powerful he is. Maneuver warfare creates shock, surprise and psychological paralysis. The enemy is left with a sense of hopelessness as he struggles to control the events around him. He is made to feel the futillity of fighting an adversary who is several steps ahead of him in both thought and action.5 So the idea is to speed up and outcycle him so that the enemy will either panic, become passive or just make totally poor judge- ment decisions. Maneuver warfare accepts chaos and confusion, seeking to work within it while magnifying the chaos for the enemy. Through decentralization, you will also generate confusion and disorder for the enemy.6 C. Support maneuver by fire. Firepower supports maneuver by creating gaps for maneuver, suppressing and disrupting enemy forces, or physically destroying the remnants of enemy units whose cohesion has been destroyed.7 Firepower is very important as Rommell testified in his book Infantry Attacks. He describes cases where a few squads were given whole machinegun companies and artillery batteries for fire support. 4. C&SC handout MCCDC "The Theory and Nature of War", Maneuver Warfare Theory fundamentals, Page 383 5. Major G. I. Wilson USMCR & Major W. A. Woods USMC "The Controversy; Attrition or Maneuver?" Marine Corps Gazette 6. W. S. Lind, "Misconceptions of Maneuver Warfare" Marine Corps Gazette January 1988 7. OH 6-1, Page 1-6 He constantly stressed plastering the enemy with fire as soon as he is encountered. Firepower can be used to open the way, to support maneuver by blasting a gap, or fixing the enemy in place so you can maneuver around him. Tempo must not be sacrificed for the need for immediate fire support. A few rounds that are immediately available may be worth more than a massive bombardment hours or days later.8 So what is needed is to decentralize fire support. Fire support should be used not as supporting arms but as combined arms where we combine supporting arms, organic fire and maneuver in a way that creates a dilemma for the enemy. The enemy effort to protect him- self from one threat makes him more vulnerable to another.9 D. Issue mission-type orders. Mission-type orders specify what must be done without prescribing how it must be done. In order to effectively issue mission-type orders, the commander must ensure that his intent is clearly understood so that subordinates can exercise initiative and still serve the ultimate mission. The high degree of initiative afforded subordinate commanders and the decentralization of decision-making authority provide for the rapid operational tempo essential to success. At the same time, certain combat functions, such as the coordination of fire support with maneuver, require explicit instructions. As a rule, orders should contain only the degree of detail needed to ensure necessary coordination.10 Mission tactics are also called "trust tactics". Leaders are expected to make decisions without constant supervision and without asking for permission as long as their decisions are within the framework of the commander's intent. Mission tactics replace control with guidance and allow the subordinate leader to do without question or doubt whatever the situation requires - even the disobediance of orders was not inconsistent with this philosophy.11 The German concept of mission can be thought of as a contract 8. Lind, Gazette 9. Lind, Handbook, Page 19 10. OH 6-1, Page 1-6 11. Captain J. F. Antal, USA "Mission Tactics" Armor Magazine, May-June 1987 or an agreement between senior and subordinate. The subordinate agrees to make his actions serve his superior's intent in terms of what is to be accomplished, while the superior agrees to give his subordinate wide freedom to exercise his imagination and initiative in terms of how intent is to be realized.12 In fulfilling the contract, the subordinate keeps in mind the short term of the contract which is the mission, and long term - the commander's intent. The commander's intent is a statement of the commander's desire and result of the operation, or what he wants to happen to the enemy. Ensures subordinates two levels down understand. The subordinate gives the intent precedence over the mission. The situation may dictate changing the mission to comply with the commander's intent. Of course, we want initiative on the battlefield, and when subordinates know the commander's intent, it will synchronize their efforts to support the will of their commander. In the absence of orders, a subordinate will still know what to do if he knows his commander's intent. He now has the latitude to take advantage of fleeting opportunities.13 E. Avoid enemy strength and attack enemy weakness. the commander bypasses located enemy strength--sometimes described as surfaces-- and exploits enemy weaknesses--also known as gaps--attacking aggressively at key locations where he can achieve local super- iority. He seeks to attack at an unexpected time and place and from an unexpected direction. Enemy weaknesses may take the form of physical gaps between enemy units or of inferior mobility or firepower, inefficient command and control, lack of initiative or flexibility on the part of commanders, poor night-fighting capability, discernible tactical patterns, or any identified characteristic that can be tactically exploited. Attacks follow the course of least resistance into the enemy flanks and rear.14 12. John R. Boyd, "A discourse on Winning and Losing", August 1987, Page 76 13. Major R. W. Glenn, USA, "The Commanders Intent: Keep it Short", Military Review Magazine, August 1987 14. OH 6-1, Page 1-6 Surfaces, whether an enemy strength or strong point, should be bypassed, and if it must be assaulted then use infiltration attack. A gap may be the enemy flank, or some diversionary effort may create a flank for us. We may find a gap through reconnaissance, infantry (recon screen) probing, or we can create one by conducting a penetration attack, or a supporting attack may create one, an infiltration or deception operation. F. Exploit tactical opportunities developed or located by subordinate units. This technique, sometimes known as "reconnaissance pull", is the means by which the commander attacks enemy weakness. In this manner, the course of battle is shaped by subordinate units. Higher commanders must maintain the flexibility and agility to react quickly and decisively to fleeting opportunities created by his subordinates. Operations should be fluid and continuous, each operation based on a previous success. Exploitation should be immediate and relentless, offering the enemy no respite until his total collapse.15 When a gap is discovered, the reconnaissance would pull other units through the gap. Other forces can pour through, widen the gap by rolling out behind enemy positions and collapsing them from the rear. Surfaces are isolated and generally destroyed by follow on forces.16 The commander will have a reserve, which he doesn't commit except to exploit success. He does not use it to reinforce failure or bail out a unit in trouble. It is his opportunity to influence the battle and make a bid for victory. In a situation where your intelligence is sketchy, keep 2/3 of your force in reserve so you have maximum flexibility, and it telegraphs little to the enemy about your intentions. G. Always designate a point of main effort. The main effort is the most important operational task to be accomplished; it is that task on which the overall success of the operation depends at that instant. The point of main effort is the subordinate unit assigned that task, to which is provided the necessary 15. OH 6-1, Page 1-6 16. Lind, Handbook Page 73 combat power and support. The commander masses combat power in support of the main effort, exercising economy and often accepting significant risk elsewhere. To do this will often deprive other commanders of what they regard as their fair share of combat power and support. In the offense, the main effort normally is the main attack. Through the main effort, the commander provides focus to the decentralized efforts of his command. All elements of the command must understand and support the main effort. The decisions of where to locate his main effort and when and where to shift it are among the most important and most difficult decisions a commander must make in combat.17 The commander focuses his assets and combat power on his main effort (called the "Schwerpunkt") to-achieve a decisive result. He may shift Schwerpunkt during battle if he discovers a better gap that should be exploited. The commander should deceive the enemy and create for him multiple threats, and keep him uncertain as to which is real. This will slow down his OODA loop by making it hard for him to make a decision. H. Avoid set rules and patterns. The enemy must not be allowed to anticipate tactical events or he will seize the initiative. Each combat situation is based on different circumstances and requires a unique approach. Leaders must take an imaginative, practical approach to solving tactical problems. They must not fight according to checklists.18 Maneuver warfare is more than just a formula for flank attacks. A usual goal is to attack the enemy in an unexpected place, but that does not just mean flanks. If you always attack his flanks, he'll soon figure out the pattern you follow, and he'll be waiting for you on the flanks. His flanks will in effect become his front. In WWII German General H. Balck practiced maneuver warfare success- fully, and he warned to never do the same thing twice, because if the enemy has adapted, he'll clean your clock.19 I. Act boldly and decisively. Commanders at all levels must be able to deal with uncertainty and must act with audacity, initiative, and inventiveness within their commander's intent to seize fleeting opportunities. When fighting a numerically superior enemy the commander must be willing to take prudent 17. OH 6-1, Page 1-7 18. OH 6-1, Page 1-7 19. Lind, Gazette risks, especially when there is the opportunity for a significant gain.20 When we penetrate deep into enemies' rear and acting within the commanders intent, we want to disrupt the enemy and its commander. We should cut his lines of communication, disrupt movement, paralize command and envelop adversary forces and resources. J. Command from the front. The commander must be located well forward in order to make effective and timely decisions based on first-hand knowledge of the situation. The commander must not be confined to his command post; rather, he should locate himself where his presence has the greatest influence on the battle.21 To appreciate what maneuver warfare means, you need to compare it to attrition warfare. Attrition warfare is a mutual casualty inflicting and absorbing contest where the goal is a favorable exchange rate. It is characterized by the physical destruction of the enemy, centralized command and control and low tempo of operations. It uses the direct approach to fighting (locate, close with and destroy), seeks certainty before making decisions, it requires superiority in firepower, manpower and logistics to win, and results in heavy casualties. And the main points of maneuver warfare are to collapse the enemy by disrupting his forces and shattering him, high tempo of operations, decentralized control, quick decisions and exploiting opportunities. WORLD WAR I In WWI, both the Allies and the Germans initially desired to be mobile and maneuver, but in the Western Front, the military professionals had new lessons to learn about the immobilizing effect of barb wire and paralyzing and deadly effect of machine guns, fast firing rifles and rapid firing artillery. The Western Front became bogged down in trench warfare from the North Sea to 20. OH 6-1, Page 1-7 21. OH 6-1, Page 1-7 Switzerland, because there was no room left to maneuver, and no flanks to turn. The eastern front was a different type of war because of the vast amount of area that Russia offered as a battle- ground. The Allies developed the tank to break the deadlock of trench warfare, but failed to capitalize on the breakthrough such as occurred at Cambrai in November 1917. The Germans developed the Stormtroop Tactics of infiltration. In order for change to occur, you first need an idea which will only appear if you can perceive a problem. The problem was the trench deadlock of WWI. The man with the idea was Captain Andre Laffargue of the French Army who in May 1915 led an attack on a German position. To improve tactics, he wrote a pamphlet titled "The Attack in Trench Warfare". The French published it for information only, the British didn't publish it. By 1916, the Germans captured a copy and issued it to all units.22 The Captain's tactics advocated a sudden attack to achieve a deep penetration. The momentum of this in-depth attack would disrupt the enemy, keep him off balance, and prevent him from organizing an effective response. To capitalize on disruption, the assault had to advance as far as possible. The 1st wave would identify - not reduce defensive strongpoints, and subsequent attack waves would destroy them. An artillery bombardment applied suddenly and in depth throughout the enemy area would precede the infantry assault. Disruption of enemy artillery batteries was particularly important to protect the infantry advance.23 22. Major T. T. Lupfer, USA, "The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine During The First World War", USA C&SC, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, July 1981, Page 38 23. IBID., Page 36 The Germans were anxious to put some of these ideas to the test and were impressed with his practical combination of surprise, firepower, and maneuver to break the tactical stalemate. In 1915 Captain Rohr was one of the first commanders of the Assault Detachment. His mission was to use his experience to develop new tactics and provide detachments to support offensives in the western front. What he had to work with included a machine gun platoon, a trench mortar platoon, a flamethrower platoon and some 76.2 mm field guns.24 The trench mortar had first been used in the Russo-Japanese war to breach thick belts of obstacles. The field gun was used for direct fire and made it possible to have immediately responsive fire support to meet their needs against enemy emplacements and machine gun nests. The flamethrower idea also comes from the Russo- Japanese war. It came in two sizes; large was only employed from the protection of a sap and could spray 40m. The smaller 2 man portable flamethrower could throw flame 20m. It was good for clearing trenches and bunkers, because the liquid flame would bounce off walls, around corners and through embrasures. They also commonly used hand grenades. A man with a bagful of hand grenades could clear a trench more effectively with less danger to himself than if armed with a rifle. Rohr would meld these weapon systems together into one unit. For an assault to be effective, he wanted speed and violence of execution. He first worked on perfecting the following three elements: (1) Replace the skirmish line with the surprise assault of squad size stormtroopers. 24. Captain B. I. Gudmundsson, USMCR, "Stormtroop Tactics Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918", Praeger, NY 1989, Page 47 (2) Use supporting arms (machineguns, mortars, artillery and flamethrowers) coordinated at the lowest level to suppress the enemy during attack. (3) The clearing of trenche by "rolling them up" with troops armed with hand grenades.25 The stormtroopers' mission was to cross "no man's land" and take possession of the enemy's trench. The squads were trained to move as individual units, taking advantage of the cover and con- cealment that the terrain provided. This changed the role of the NCO from being behind his men and pushing them forward to being in front of them to lead them, and making decisions. Indirect artillery was used to both suppress enemy batteries and provide a box barrage on the objective to seal it off from the battlefield. The preparatory fire was to suppress and paralyze the enemy so that the stormtroopers could maneuver. It came to be realized that artillery tended to keep heads down rather than tear them off. Accuracy and timeliness of fires, as well as the ability of the infantry to exploit its effects, came to be seen as more important than the volume or duration of fire.26 Stormtroopers were employed at Verdun in February 1916. They moved right up to the artillery barrage, risking the occassional casualty from short artillery rounds in order to be able to fully exploit the effects of the fire. Sometimes they could take possession of a trench within seconds of the barrage being lifted. This was when the French were caught in their dugouts. The second wave of the attack would contain infantry in skirmish lines who were to defend the captured trenches from counterattacks. The third wave of men would carry ammo, tools and material to improve the trench and build breastworks. The six machineguns assigned to the infantry battalion would also move forward with this wave.27 25. IBID., Page 49 26. IBID., Page 50 27. IBID., Page 61 The German infantry and stormtroopers had real problems progressing past this point where they would meet even more machineguns. That was the situation until infiltration came to be doctrine, which further decentralized the offense. The stormtroopers or infantry pushed deep into French positions whenever they could without insisting that the units on their flanks be able to make the same progress. Then they were able to strike at the French from the flank and rear and bypass strong points. Rohr's assault detachment grew to an assault battalion and provided training to different units' offfcers and NCO's wbo would return to their units and establish ad hoc assault units. The Reserve Bavarian Ersatz Division established their own elite assault group and experimented by placing them in reserve, vice leading the assault. Infantry companies would lead the assault deployed in skirmish lines. When they meet resistance, they couldn't easily overcome, or a strong point,then the assault group would reduce it. In May 1916 following a 75 minute bombardment, they captured a position with a 1800 meter frontage. It took them 25 minutes to overcome four lines of resistance. They bypassed strong- points to be reduced by assault groups and they pushed deep into the rear. They only stopped when the French counterattacked. This tactic is effective when we don't know the location of enemy strongpoints and skirmishes act as "recommaissance in force". This method was the precursor to tactics in 1917-1918 where small infantry units equipped with the means of providing their own fire support bypassed strong points in order to attack deep and took those strong points from the rear and flanks.28 General Ludendorff became Chief of Staff and he believed that by using Rohr's tactics and training his armys in the use of them, 28. IBID., Page 69 he could break the deadlock in the West and return to a war of ground maneuver. He authorized the formation of an assault battalion with each army.29 The Germans were more flexible and not afraid to decentralize. They realize that: "In war, both sides try to maneuver for an advantage and finally engage in battle. During the battle, fleeting opportunities may arise. An important advantage accrues to the side which can make appropriate decisions in a confusing environment and act on them quickly. The German command system tried to allow great latitude of decision to the local commander. In 1914, this extended to army and corps commanders. At the same time, there was need for centralized coordination. Accordingly, the high command issued generalized statements of its intentions, to serve as a framework for the independent initiative of subordinates. There was no guarantee that this system would always produce the right decisions. Not that high command could not and did not issue orders, they did, but they also expected appropriate action without orders".30 The German practice of giving generalized orders that allowed subordinates a maximum of initiative had a German name which translates to "leadership by directive". Understanding his leader's mission and intent and having detailed knowledge of the local situation, he is better able to adapt to a fluid, fast changing situation and make decisions. This system is fast because it avoids delay of passing information up the chain of command and waiting for a response or a decision. By the time the response is received, the situation may have changed and any fleeting opportunity is surely gone. The Chief of Staff wanted this concept used throughout the army. Through it was not universal at the tactical level, even by the end of the war, it increasingly became a matter not just for generals, but for lieutenants and sergeants as well. By World War II, its successor was "mission orders".31 29. IBID., Page 83 30. B. J. Meyer, "Operational Art and the German Command System in World War II", Dissertation for Ohio State University, 1988, Page 101 31. IBID., Page 132 Ludendorf also reminded all levels of command that leaders, including commanding generals and their staffs, belonged on the battlefield and should lead from the front. This would cause a positive effect on morale and give the troops confidence and respect for their leaders. In maneuver warfare this is stressed so that the commander knows first hand what is happening and can influence the battle by changing the focus of effort or committing the reserve in his bid for victory. One of the keys to the success of the infiltration tactics, was the coordination achieved with the artillery. Colonel G. Bruchmueller was the maestro who orchestrated so many of the German successful offensive fire support plans. He integrated it with the assault plan. Its fires had to be fast and accurate and its mission was neutralization rather than the elusive and costly destruction. He developed techniques for the sudden concentration of artillery fire rather than the prolonged artillery preparation. If kept short, the enemy had less time to bring up reserves. His plan included three or more stages: First Stage - Surprise, concentrate, hit headquarters, phone links, command posts and batteries Second Stage - All batteries fire on enemy batteries Third Stage - Fire on infantry positions and long range targets like troop concentrations and major approach routes The result was to cut enemy communications and isolate forward units. By 1918 Captain Pulkowsky made further progress to help the Germans achieve surprise in their assaults. He practically perfected a method of preparing tables for each artillery piece that when combined with atmospheric and weather data the howitzer could be laid and fired without registration and be retatively accurate with the first rounds. This also reduced the possibility of the enemy guessing or discovering the preparations for an offensive.32 32. Lupfer, Page 44 Aircraft also supported these combined arms attacks as recounted in this British story of the German counter offensive for Cambrai in November 1917. "Preceded by patrols, the Germans advanced in small columns bearing many light machineguns and flamethrowers. From overhead low flying airplanes, in greater mumbers than had hitherto been seen, bombed and machinegunned the British defenders, causing further casualties and distruction at the critical moment (dilemma air- planes and assault). Nevertheless, few posts appear to have been attacked from the front, the assault sweeping in between to envelop them from the flanks and rear."33 Besides straffing enemy troops in the immediate path of the stormtroopers, the planes dropped hand grenades on them. What occurred at Riga in September 1917? Along the Baltic coast, General Von Hutier had to cross the Dvina River, take Riga and continue the German advance to Petrograd. The Russian commander expected Hutier to eliminate the bridgehead first before crossing the river, and he defended the bridgehead with his best troops. Hutier's strategy was the exact opposite of what was expected. He would cross and swing north towards the coast to trap the Riga defenders. He was employing the indirect approach - a recognition that an enemy position could be made untenable as a result of successful operations elsewhere rather than by direct assault.34 The artillery employed mustard gas in a 5 hour preparation fire. The assault troops relied on speed and infiltration to work their way through the enemy successive defense lines, while waves of ground attack aircraft raked over the trenches with machineguns. Seeing the rapid advance past them, the Russians panicked and surrendered (9000). Both sides had negligible casualties. Hutier also tried to deceive the Russians by using three divisions in 33. IBID., Page 40 34. B. Perrett, "A History of Blitzkrieg", Stein and Day, New York, 1983, Page 28 supporting and diversionary attacks, while 9 divisions crossed the river 30 km east of Riga. What lessons were to be learned? This battle proved the value of surprise, the concentration of superior forces against weak spots in the enemy disposition, and the deep penetration of that weak spot in order to encircle a portion of the enemy force.35 Why was a battle in Italy at a place called Caporetto in October 1917 significant? The Austro-Italian front ran through the Alps. The Austro-German armies planned a massive assalt. The German infantry accompanied by light artillery and machineguns carried in trucks that would thrust down the roads and valleys and ignore the enemy on the high peaks and take Caporetto. General Below's army would sever Italian communications, outflank and cutoff the Italians on the high ground.36 The choice of the actual sector for the assault was chosen on a principle new to the eastern front - that of seeking the line of least tactical resistance.37 The Italians were isolated and panicked. Some fought while others gave up without a struggle. Within three days, 60,000 prisoners had been taken along with hundreds of guns. On 25 October the Italian 3rd and 4th army fell back to prevent encirclement. More than 800,000 had been lost through death, wounds and capture compared to losses of 5,000 for the Axis.38 German General Krauss violated a tenet of mountain warfare by sacrificing security for speed. He declined to take the ridges along his route of march. Surprised, the Italians did not capitalize 35. Gudmundsson, Page 120 36. A. Livesey, "Great Battles of World War I", Macmillan Pub., New York, 1989, Page 154 37. B. H. Liddell Hart, "Strategy", Signet, New York, 1967, Page 175 38. Livesey, Page 160 on this, and the Germans got behind the bulk of the Italian defenders and left them stranded and impotent on the mountain tops while they pushed on.39 General Von Below's orders to his forceiIncluded this statement: "Every column on the heights must move forward without hesitation; by doing so opportunities will be created for helping neighbors who cannot make progress, by swinging round in the rear of the enemy opposing him.40 At Caporetto Rommel using infitration tactics attacked the peaks and bypassed forward defenses, and captured an Italian infantry regiment with only a few German companies.41 In less than three weeks, the Italians gave up 70 miles and did not turn to fight until they reached the Prave River. Von Below was not able to capitalize because his infantry were only foot mobile and they had reached the limit of their endurance in the pursuit.42 Ludendorf felt confident he would achieve a penetration and breakthrough in March 1918 and he did. He would conduct a well coordinated attack in depth relying on surprise. In the deep penetration, the disruption of enemy units and communications was essential. Throughout their doctrine, keeping the enemy off balance, pressing the attack continuously, and retaining the initiative received great emphasis. The artillery preparation would be intense but not long because not only didn't the Germans have the manufacturing capacity of the Allies, but they found it to be a waste of ammo - those tactics didn't work. They used high explosives, gas and smoke. The gas was used for its disruptive characteristics. To conduct this attack, the German infantry 39. Gudmundsson, Page 132 40. Lupfer, Page 38 41. E. Rommel, "Attacks", Athena Press, Vienna, Virginia, 1979, Page 177 42. Perrett, Page 30 organized in depth. Speed and depth were the means of securing their flanks and rear: speed to keep the enemy from reacting in time to the attack, and depth to provide the follow-up units which would isolate the bypassed pockets of resistance and prevent these remnants from interfering with the continuation of the attack.43 The stormtroop tactics did work at Cambrai for the German counter offensive in November 1917, and the beginning of the Spring 1918 offensive the Germans make impressive gains. That battle was lost due to subsequent decisions. Captain Bruce Gudmundsson in his book "Stormtroop Tactics" says: "At the operational level, the weapon that kept the Germans from winning a war of maneuver on the western front was not the machinegun but the railroad. Stormtroop tactics worked, but the Allie's railroad and motor transport columns could always bring up more fresh troops. The means of dealing with this problem would have to wait for the next war. Beginning in 1939, the fully motorized amd partially armored Panzer Division gave the German army the means to move troops toward, across, and around the battle- field faster than the German enemies could move troops behind it. The new innovation wasn't the tank, it was the mobility of complete formations that could quickly exploit gaps in the enemy disposition. In 1918, the German infantry could use stormtroop tactics to tear gaps. But as long as the following formations depended on muscle power for mobility, those holes could never be turned into war winning victories".44 The Germans didn't have a monopoly on fighting smart. Following is a short account of what the British accomplished at Magiddo in Palestine in October 1918. General Sir Edmund Allenby's plan was bold and decisive. He wanted to penetrate the Turks' lines and capture some key road junctions to cut off the Turks' lines both of supply and retreat. His plan was to delude the Turks into believing that his attack would come in the Jordan valley, while it 43. Lupfer, Page 42 44. Gundmundsson, Page 172 in fact would strike hard in the west. The bulk of his cavalry was to ride north along the coast, and then swing in behind the Turkish 7th and 8th army's communication centers.45 Allenby didn't want to exhaust his cavalry but to preserve them for the exploitation, so his infantry would punch a hole in the Turkish line along with massed artillery. He intended to build up a large enough force to ensure the success of his assault by bringing both infantry and cavalry by stealth from his right wing to reinforce his left. To keep the Turks guessing as to his movement, it was necessary to deprive them of reliable overall reconnaissance. Allenby employed his aircraft to drive the enemy's aircraft from the skies. He used subterfuges as he moved troops to his left wing, like dummy camps and rows of dummy horses made from wood and canvas set up in the Jordan Valley. He had some groups of soldiers march back and forth to give the Turks the impression of a huge buildup of troops in the East. They also employed mules pulling sleighs about continuously to create dust clouds and suggest intense activity and an imminent attack.46 So successful were these ruses, that when the bombardment opened in the west, some 35,000 infantry, 9000 cavalry and 383 guns had been secretly deployed along a front of 15 miles. This was out of a total force of 12,000 cavalry, 57,000 infantry and nearly 550 guns. His men were British, Anzac, Indian and Arab and all were well provisioned. The ill-provisioned Turks could muster only 2,000 cavalry, 32,000 infantry and about 400 guns. The Turks supposing the attack would come in the area of the Jordan had only mustered a mere 8,000 infantry and 130 guns near the coast. Field Marshal Wavell later wrote, "The battle 45. Livesey, Page 170 46. IBID., Page 176 was practically won before a shot was fired". Along the remaining 45 miles of front, the British had only 22,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry and 157 guns in the line as against the Turkish force of 24,000 infantry and 270 guns.47 The main engagement began at 0430 on 19 September 1918. The cannonade of 383 guns lasted only 15 minutes before the infantry assaulted. Meanwhile, the British aircraft were bombing and straffing the 7th and 8th armies headquarters and telephone exchange to leave the command echelon groping in a fog of war at Nazareth. The assault overwhelmed the Turks, created a gap in their lines through which the cavalry could pass unmolested. The 7th Turkish army in the center realizing their right flank had been turned, and their rear menaced - tried to pull out only to have the units integrity destroyed by persuing aircraft and finally rounded up by Allenby's cavalry.48 Allenby's absolute victory was achieved through his observance of three of the proven maxims of warfare: surprise, mobility and the destruction of all enemy lines of communication. Having concentrated on superior force opposite the sector chosen for the breakthrough, Allenby achieved complete surprise. Then he used his cavalry's mobility to strike across the Turkish lines of communi- cation at the strategic objective of the Jordan valley. Meanwhile, the German commander Von Sanders command network was paralyzed by air attacks, and the raids of Lawrence of Arabia. Allenby's forces between 19 September to 26 October had advanced more than 300 miles northward and taken some 75,000 prisoners, 360 guns for the loss of fewer than 5,000 of his own men. This battle was said to be the first example of Blitzkrieg in modern times.49 47. Perrett, Page 51 48. IBID., Page 51 49. Livesey, Page 177 There were many developments between World War I and World War II that set the stage for Blitzkrieg. At the forefront in Britian was Colonel J. F. C. Fuller who pushed armored doctrine and German infiltration tactics to disrupt the enemy's rear command and communication system. He wanted faster tanks, but he overlooked mobile infantry to accompany, protect and work in conjuction with the tanks. The Royal Air Force avoided learning and practicing close air support until 1942. B. L. Hart wanted a true combined arms forces with mechanized infantry, but early attempts at combined arms exercised failed and so flagged Britians interest.50 Since the 1860's, the Germans preferred to outflank and encircle their enemy, or break through to disrupt his organization. Germany's enemies fought frontal battles of attrition in WWI. with broad frontage of attack to protect the flanks. The Germans believed in concentration on narrow front for a breakthrough. That concentration required a careful integration of weapons to overcome the enemy's defenses. Though restricted in many ways the Germans continued to improve their doctrine. General H. Guderian was most influential in German mechanization. The rest of the German army did not become true believers in the concept of mechanized blitzkrieg until the defeat of France in 1940. By 1929, he was convinced that it was useless to develop just tanks, or even to mechanize parts of the traditional arms. What was needed was a mechanized formation of all arms that would maximize the effects of the tanks. He planned on tanks, anti-tanks, guns, infantry, reconnaissance, engineers, artillery and support units all being mechanized for sustained mobile warfare.51 By 1935 Germany had three panzer 50. Captain J. M. House, "Toward Combined Arms Warfare: A Survey of 20th Century Tactics, Doctrine, and Organization:, USA C&CS College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, August 1984, Page 51 51. IBID., Page 54 divisions. The Luftwaffe learned from the Spanish Civil War that it could not ignore ground attack and had four Stuka drive-bomber groups by 1939. The French still believed in the dominance of the defense and established the Maginot Line. They also expected to have to rush to Belguim as they expected the Germans to attack from that direction. What tanks they had were to support the foot mobile infantry.52 The Russians wanted to be ready for an offensive war and planned on both mechanized formations and non-mechanized. They lacked close air support creditability. So as 1939 approached, Germany had two advantages the other powers lacked: a primitive but develop- ing close air support system and a command and control system that allowed for rapid maneuver. WORLD WAR II Probably the most famous Blitzkrieg attack was the German attack on France in 1940. Blitzkrieg means "lightning war", and Hitler was hoping for a short decisive campaign to reduce the negative impact upon his economy and his people. He couldn't possibly have received better results; Holland over-ran in 5 days, Belgium surrendered in 18 days and France succumbed in 6 weeks. He accomplished this through speed, surprise, deception and combat power. The speed in- volved his mechanized panzer divisions that crossed France and reached the North Sea coast in just 10 days.53 He was able to ac- complish this so quickly because of his speed of execution, and the surprise of how it happened. The French were caught off-guard, 52. IBID., Page 64 53. R. Wernick, "Blitzkreig", Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Va. 1977, Page 117 were in a state of shock, and because of their centralized control just couldn't put together a cohesive defense. Even General Rommel leading the 7th Panzer Division in Army Group "A" across France to the coast remarked that they were moving so fast that the Franch didn't have time to destroy the bridges in their path.54 The French were deceived because they believed the main attack was coming from Army Group "B"( the northern most group), through Holland and Belgium, with a supporting attack along the Maginot Line by Army Group "C"(the southern most group). They ware surprised because the German main attack came from Army Group "A"(the center group), through the supposedly untrafficable (to large armor forma- tions) Ardennes forest. Plus, it had a great deal of combat power. This attack by Group "B" did not occur until the French premier fighting units, and the British were up north in Belgium trying to stop Group "B".55 Then you must consider that the French and British outnumbered the Germans, they were prepared for fighting the last war. The French still believed that the defense was supreme. They had the Maginot line and a linear defense, rather than an elastic in-depth defense. Their military was still slow and centralized, and their tanks were all farmed out somewhat equally to the front. On top of that , there was little training between the infantry and armor or aircraft.56 54. J. Macdonald, "Great Battles of World War II", Macmillan Pub.Co. NY, 1986, Page 9 55. Brigadier P. Young, "Atlas of the Second World War", Berkley Pub Co., NY, 1977, Page 24 56. B. Bond, "Liddell Hart- A Study OF His Military Thought", Rutger Univ. Press, N. Brunswick, NJ, 1977, Page 132 So the main thrust would come through the Ardennes where the Ger- mans would have a much better chance of success, being the line of least expectation (indirect approach). They exploited surprise and showed appreciation for the oft taught lesson that natural obstacles are inherently less formidable than human resistance in strong de- fenses. They used a baited offense by attacking into Holland/Bel- gium, and drawing the allies up north to respond to the threat. Then the Germans sprung the trap, and split the allied army, and menaced half of it with encirclement and annihilation.57 The Germans were bold and took risks,but it paid off. They could of bagged a great many more prisoners if they hadn't of dragged their feet crossing to the coast, and closing in on Dunkirk. Liddell Hart alludes to the fact that the Germans were good maneuverist because they presented the French with dilemma's. For example: the Germans rapid progress beyond Sedan benefited much from the fact that it successively threatened alternative objectives, and kept the French in doubt as to the real direction they were heading to. The first dilemma, was the objective to be Paris or the rear of the allied forces in Bel- gium, then later was the objective Amiens or Lille? This German blitzkrieg campaign was extremely successful. At a cost of less than 30,000 dead Germany had conquered three countries, inflicted 400,000 casualties, and captured nearly two million sol- diers. Now for a British application of blitzkrieg tactics in this war we'll look to North Africa in December 1940. The Italians under Mar- shal Graziani had over 250,000 men in Libya, but they were only foot 57. L. Hart, Page 217 mobile. The allied forces under Major General O'Connor numbered 36,000 and they were mechanized. Italy wanted to push the English out of Egypt, and made an advance into the northern coastal area of Sidi Barrani (Egypt), and set up some fortified camps there waiting for extra men. O'Conner planned to conduct a spoiling attack on the Italians. He made maximum use of security by approaching at night and staggering departure times and dates. While conducting a diver- sionary attack on the coastal city of Maktila, his mechanized forces were passing through a gag in Graziani's defenses to attack other camps from the rear. Plus, another mechanized force headed for the coastal road at BuQ Buq, to cut the water pipeline, and isolate the objective area.58 Graziani's camps formed somewhat of a linear defense. The camps did have minefields and obstacles around them. The marshal dissipat- ed his armored forces among his infantry positions, instead of col- lecting them as an arm to be used for decisive action.59 The allies eliminated the long artillery registration, and pre- paration fires, and used artillery and mortar fire to demoralize the enemy, pin him down, and distract him from the unexpected assault. The attacks were quick, unexpected and followed the unmined path that led into the rear of each camp. The enemies tanks were quickly destroyed with some tank crews never making it inside their tanks. The Italians didn't get their aircraft up until that aftennoon,and once they did arrive they couldn't tell who was occupying which camp. The allies made good use of their air during these attacks. Though 58. Perrett, Page 108 59. Lt Gen Sir F. Tuker, "The Patterns OF War", Cassel & CO., London, 1948, Page 55 the Italians had air superiority , it had little adverse effect on the allies. The shocked, disorganized Italians became dispirited and 4,000 surrendered.60 The next day the assualt on Sidi Barrani was carried out. In four days it was over. The allies captured 4 generals, 38,000 men, 237 guns and 73 tanks. Next in the British plan was Bardia (right in side Libya). This camp was ringed with an anti-tank ditch, minefield deep barbed wire entanglements and concrete strong joints. It was ca captured on 3 January 1941 with 40,000 enemy prisoners. Equally strong Tobruk fell on 22 january with 25,000 captured. Then while pursuing the remaining parts of Graziani's army past Benghazi toward Tripoli, O'Connors units had intercepted them by cutting across the desert, and set up an ambush at Beda Fomm on 6 January 1941. Two forces of 3,000 men (total) by their tactics and audacity captured 21,000 prisoners.61 O'Connor was a very bold commander, in fact due to transporta- tion stringencies he had to establish forward dumps of water and am- munition right under the enemies nose. He had enough supplies for 48 hours. If not successful in that time he had to retreat. He had to plan on the same type logistics at Beda Fomm. The blitzkrieg tactics of armor with mechanized infantry, mobile artillery and close air support worked for O'Connor. In fact he destroyed 10 divisons, took 170,000 prisoners, 400 tanks and 850 guns.62 ARAB-ISRAELI WARS Liddell hart's theories had a big impact on the Israeli leader- ship and was studied before 1948. His strategy was viewed as vital 60. House, Page 90 61. Hart, Page 260 62. IBID., Page 372 to help overcome Israel's inferiority in arms and numbers, and the vulnerability of her people and territory. Part of the foundation of Harts theory and maneuver warfare is the use of initiative. Initia- tive is part of the Israeli Palmach tradition and their training en- courages initiative as exemplified in their slogan "The smallest un- it is the single man with his rifle." It is also stressed that offic- ers should lead by personnallexample from the front rather than by detailed orders.63 Early Isreali success is noted in Operation Horev (22December 1948-7 January 1949), that was designed to expel the Egyptians from the southern Negev. The Egyptians commanded all the important roads and were prepared for a conventional attack. Yigael Yadin, the Isrea- li Chief of Staff found the trace of a Roman road on an archaeologi- cal map running from Beersheba to Auja (near the southern border). He asked Rabin, Chief of Staff Southern Front to see if it was usu- able. Rabin reported "difficult but passable". With engineering im- provements the route was made passable for half tracks and medium tanks, and as a result complete strategic surprise was achieved. The operation was a brilliant success, with the Egyptians expelled from the whole of Palestine except the Gaza Strip by a force barely super- ior in numbers, and inferior in equipment.64 In the 1956 campaign Egypts defense in the Sinai occuppied pos- itions at key terrain points that lacked depth and flank security. They were vulnerable to outflanking movements and lacked a large counterattack force to support them.65 The Egyptians believed in cen- tralized command and control, and did not encourage initiative. 63. Bond, Page 241 64. IBID., Page 250 65. House, Page 174 Though he was never a disciple of L. Hart, General Dayans strate- gy in the 1956 Sinai campaign was very much in accord with the spir- it of Hart's doctrine. Rather than a direct attack on the enemy fortified perimeter to destroy the enemy, Dayan believed that the en- emies forces would disintegrate by becoming disorganized and col- lapse if the Israeli's could rapidly penetrate deep into the Sinai and cut the enemies communications. Isreal began the war with a paratroop drop behind Egypts front lines (in the Sinai) near the eastern entrance to the Milta Pass. Colonel Sharons brigade was to follow the line of least expectation and drive to reinforce the paratroopers. Meanwhile, General H. Las- kov, as a follower of L. Hart, and the armored corps commander in- tended to make the tanks play a key part. He wanted the tanks con- centrated in a few all-armored units which would be sufficiently powerful to break through the enemies defended zone, thrust deep in- to his rear areas, and then fan out to threaten several objectives. While supporting the infantry in the Abu Agheila- Umm Katef cross- roads attack, the infantry was held up and Ben Ari's tanks infiltrat- ed into the rear at Abu Agheila and then, with hardly a pause, drove on westward in blitzkrieg style to take control of most of the Sinai by the end of the second day (October 31). This was in direct contra- diction to Dayan's orders.66 Another notable exploit in this war was pulled off by Colonel A. Yoffe and his 9th Infantry brigade. He made a cross country march to Sharm el Sheikh(at the bottom of the Sinai Peninsula). He remark- ed that no one expected a whole brigade with a convoy of more than 200 vehicles to attempt a route only fit for camels. Sharons brigade 66. Bond, Page 255 was simultaneaously advancing down the east bank of the canal, and the two forces took the objective with minimal opposition. Yoffe's brigade was said to have made the impossible across the impassable. In less than 8 days fighting the Israeli's had routed the equivalent of two Egyptian divisions and conquered an area about three times the size of their own territory and at a cost of less than 200 troops killed.67 The Arab-Israeli Six Day War in 1967 was initiated by Israel conducting pre-emptive air strikes against the Arab air forces to guarantee Israel against air attacks. 5/6 June, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) with its 250 combat aircraft destroyed 309 Egyptian, 60 Syrian, 29 Jordanian and 17 Iraqi aircraft, most of them on the ground, against a loss of 26 of their own aircraft. They also knock- ed out several radar and surface to air missile (SAM) sites.68 Three Israeli divisional tasks forces were to attack into the Sinai. In the north General Tal's division with the objective of Rafah and El Arish, in the center Yoffe's division was detailed to advance through difficult terrain and shield Tal's flank. Sharons division to the south was to attack Abu Agheila/Umm Katef. Tanks of Tal's leading battalion broke through the Egyptian lines and led to early capture of El Arish. Yoffe demonstrated indirect approach in taking the line of least expectation . He sought to achieve surprise by overcoming natural rather than human resistance. Yoffe preferred a day long struggle through soft sand rather than risk a frontal at- tack. His route took him behind the main enemy defenses and enabled him to cut off their reinforcements to the front. 67. IBID., Page 257 68. M. Carter, "War Since 1945",Putnam Press, NY, 1981, Page 246 Sharon's victory was brillant. He operated at night against a well organized defense in depth. A paratrooper battalion landed in the rear and cleared a way through a minefield, while two tank forces after infiltrating the defense, converged from east and west.69 Defense Minister Dayan though greatly out-numbered estimated they could push the Egyptians back to passes (Milta,Gidi) in three weeks. Israel's victory was achieved at a cost of 778 dead and 21 prisoners while the Egyptians had 10,000-15,000 killed, 11,500 prisoners and loss 700 tanks. The IAF made very significant contributions. After initial victory, it switched its efforts to ground support role, and speeded up the ground attacks with close air support and air super- iority.70 In the 1973 Arab-Israeli War the Egyptians initiated a masterful river crossing of the canal on 6 October and totally surprised the Israeli's. The Bar Lev line couldn't hold and the Egyptians took their limited objectives penetrating only a few kilometers from the canal. They had built up their radar and SAM site concentrations in the area to make it almost impossible for the IAF to operate there and survive. The forces that crossed the canal were supported with three times their normal complement of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and anti-tank rockets (RPG-7), plus tanks. The Israeli's counterattacked without support of infantry, artillery or air support. The IAF main priority at this time was the Golan Heights area. These attacks took a horrendous beating, whereupon the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) took up positions to defend the passes in the Sinai. Why did Israel take such an initial beating? After her victories in 1948, 1956, and 1967 she could afford to be a little complacent. Nurtured on L. Harts strategy of 69. Bond, Page 255 70. Carter, Page 254 the indirect approach, which experiance had shown was best achieved on the ground by fast moving armored columns, and the fact that their Centurions and Pattons with superior crews, outmatched the Arabs Warsaw Pact armor. They became convinced that the tank on its own was a battle winner. They put great emphasis on tank crew training. They found that the tank that gets off the first shot in a tank battle has the best chance of winning. They strived to get off the first shot in 5-7 se- conds vice the normal 15 seconds.71 So the IDF relied largely on the tank-fighter-bomber team for its victories. The IAF made artilery seem unimportant because it could arrive more quickly than artillery could deploy.72 As Sryia was taking a beating from Israel, it requested that Egypt take some pressure off by renewing their attack. Egypt did so on 14 October with the passes as objectives. The Egyptians left behind them the security of their SAM and ATGM defenses, to meet the IDF in well prepared defenses with hull down fighting positions for the tanks. The IDF tanks, infantry (with ATGM) and the IAF des- troyed 264 tanks and approximately 300 armored personnel carriers (APC), for a loss of six tanks.73 The IDF was now ready to counterat- tack and exploit the gap discovered by Sharons forces on the 9th, to cross the canal. Showing they learned their lesson from their earlier attacks in this war, they raised the proportion of APC's to tanks from 1:3 to 1:1, and increasing the amount of artillery to support these formations. They would now fight as an all arms battle group, infantry in advance of armor and APC's. The APC's would pro- vide fire on areas from where ATGM could be or were fired. The unit could now operate whether they had close air support or not. In 71. LT COL J.A. English, "The Mechanized Battlefield, A Tactical Analysis", Peryamon-Brassey'sPub., Mclean,Va, 1985 Page 34 72. House, Page 176 73. Perret, Page 73 effect the infantry were crumbling the front to allow the passage of armor for exploitation.74 The IDF was now ready to change this war from one of attrition to one of maneuver. On the 15th Sharon had 200 paratroopers across (Canal) and rafted seven tanks. The next day he had two armored brigades a- cross by ferries and had started eradicating SAM sites which allowed greater support by the IAF. The IAF was also now using, shrike missiles a- gainst enemy radar. On the 17th they had one pontoon bridge across, and the next day two more bridges were completed. IDF had three divisons across the canal. They pushed south and completely isolated the Egyptian 3rd Army of 45,00 men and 250 tanks who were ttreatened with dying of thirst. They had turned the tables by carrying out a most daring operation against tremendous odds and in the face of great adversity. They achieved a great tactical victory by maneuver- ing themselves into a position to destroy the 3rd ARMY. The Arabs fought bravely (USUALLY), but weren't trained to think on their feet and take action- no one wanted to make decisions. The Arabs would become demoralized easily if bypassed, because they lacked unit cohesion and unit trust. The ISraeli small unit leaders could take charge, improvise and make decisions. Battles can easily be won or lost because of that big differance in leadership.75 Results; out of 2,000 IDF tanks, 400 were destroyed, although many had been repaired and returned to the war. The Syrians had 1,200 out of 1,820 destroyed and the Egyptians 1,100 out of 2,200. the IDF had 2,800 deaths compared to 8100 for the Arabs. IDF captured 8531 prisoners vice 508 for the Arabs.76 74. English, Page 80 75. C. Herzog, "The Arab-Israeli Wars", Vintage Books of Random House, NY, 1982 76. Carter, Page 271 Israeli victories in all three wars seemed to be a vindication of the theories of the apostles of mobility - Fuller and Hart. Hart regarded the six day war as the best demonstration yet of the theory of the indirect approach. They had shown that a small, highly trained and skilled army, equipped for mobile operations and commanded from the front by men of high intellegence and speed of thought, could defeat much larger armies that are more ponderous in thought and action. They had also shown that the combination of speed and surprise produced its own momentum. operations aimed to upset the enemy's equilibrium, psychologically as well as physically, were more fruitful than direct assault.77 Maneuver warfare has evolved from Blitzkrieg, which evolved from infiltration tactics. Maneuver warfare is not synonomous with Blitzkrieg because it is not necessary to always have tanks, air support and mobile infantry to achieve results. maneuver warfare is similiar to Blitzkrieg because of the emphasis in shifting from place as in Liddell-Harts indirect approach to time as in Colonel Boyd's OODA loop. Maneuver warfare works on the premise of knowing the commander's intent and trusting subordinates to use their initiative to make decisions to accomplish the mission. What can be noticed from the battles discussed is that victory was achieved with minimum casualties to the side employing it, plus many captured prisoners. Americans and Marines are result oriented. The two most important results to Marines are accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of our Marines. This paper has shown that maneuver warfare can accomplish both. We all need to learn about maneuver warfare and employ it, if for no other reason than that 77. IBID., Page 271 provided by Winston Churchill, "Battles are won by slaughter and maneuver, the greater the general the more he contributes in maneuver". BIBLIOGRAPHY Antal, J. F. Capt., "Mission Tactics", Armor Magazine, May-June 1987. Bond, B., Liddel Hart - A Study of His Military Thought. New Brunswick, N.J., Rutger University Press, 1977. Boyd. J. R., "A Discourse on Winning and Losing", August 1987. Carter, M., War Since 1945, N.Y., Putnam, 1981. English, J. A. LtCol. The Mechanized Battlefield, A Tactical Analysis, McLean, Va., Peryamon-Brassey Publishing, 1985. Glenn, R. W. Maj., "The Commanders Intent: Keep It Short", Military Review Magazine, August 1987. Gudmunasson, B. I. Capt., USMC, Stormtroop Tactics Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918, N.Y., Praeger Press, 1989. Hart, B. H. L., Strategy, N.Y., Signet, 1967. Herzog, C. The Arab-Israeli Wars, N.Y., Vintage Gooks of Random House, 1982. House, J. M. Capt, USA, "Towards Combined Aims Warfare: A Survey of 20th Century Tactics, Doctrine and Organization", USA Command & Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS. August 1984. Lind, W. S., Maneuver Warfare Handbook. Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1985. Lind, W. S., "Misconceptions of Maneuver Warfare", Marine Corps Gazette, January 1988. Livesey, A., Great Battles of World War I, N.Y., Macmillan Press, 1989. Lupfer, T. T. Maj. USA, "The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine During the First World War:, USA Command & Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, KS, July 1981. Macdonald, J., Great Battles of World War II, N.Y., Macmillan Press, 1986. Meyer, B. J. , "Operational Art and the German Command System in World War I", Dissertation for Ohio State University, 1988. Perrett, B., A History of Blitzrieg, N.Y., Stein and Day, 1983. Rommel, E. , Attacks, Vienna, VA, Athena Press, 1979. Tuker, F. Sir LtGen., The Patterns of War, London, Cassel & Co., 1948. US Marine Corps, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. Ground Combat Operations. OH 6-1. Quantico, 1988. US Marine Corps, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. Command & Staff College Handant. "The Theory and Nature of War Maneuver Warfare Theory Fundamentals", Quantico. Wernick, R., Blitzkrieg, Alexandria, VA, Time-Life Books, 1977. Wilson, C.I. & Woods, W. A. Maj., USMC, "The Controversy: Attrition or Maneuver?", Marine Corps Gazette, Quantico. Young, P. Brigadier, Atlas of the Second World War, N.Y., Berkley Publishing Corporation, 1977.
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