Origins of Operation Art

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  • Origins of Operation Art.
    • Soviets Deep Battle - Menning
      • the nature and lessons of the First World War, the next major war would almost certainly be one of attrition. Soviets needed a doctrine to support their inferior economy.
        • the vast size of the Soviet Union ensured that some mobility was still possible.
      • Svechin also argued that a theory of alternating defensive and offensive action was needed. Within this framework, Svechin also recognised the theoretical distinction of operational art that lay between tactics and strategy.
      • The role of the operation was to group and direct tactical battles toward a series of simultaneous operational objectives along a wide frontage, either directly or indirectly, in order to achieve the stavka's ultimate strategic target(s)
      • Svechin determined the next war could only be won by attrition, not by a single or several decisive battles.
        • These would lay the blue prints for the organisation for Deep Battle Theory.
          • encompassed manoeuvre by multiple Soviet Army front-size formations simultaneously. It was not meant to deliver a victory in a single operation; instead, multiple operations,
            • which might be conducted in parallel or successively, would induce a catastrophic failure in the enemy's defensive system.
    • Germans prior to WW1 -Historian Krause.
      • Moltke - Contained in this short essay is the concept of strategic aim, and the operational direction to accomplish it.  
        • In Molkes written works, War Studies, he speaks about
          • moltke’s methods simply recognized that there were different levels of war.  
        • moltke centered his operational theory on the simple idea of marching separately and uniting on the battle field.  
    • Napoleon-Historian Chandler.
      • The emperor’s corps-size organizations could operate independently against larger enemy forces, while additional personnel and materiel resources were introduced to the battle.  
        • aiding these efforts were his aggressive tactics, focused objectives, active intelligence, and rm command of all aspects of a campaign.  
          • Highly motivated and closely controlled marshals of the empire were redoubtable instru- ments in achieving victory at the operational and tactical levels. 
        • Jena-auerstadt campaign of 1806 is the example that Dr. chandler cites as the beginnings of the successful application of the operational art. 
          • Napoleon had improved the operational instruments, the army corps and the staff system. 
            • all-arms divisions, of the Revolutionary Wars were now permanently replaced by army corps consisting of infantry divisions with attached artillery, corps cavalry and corps artillery. 
              • In comparison with the all-arms divisions, corps were tactically far stronger, which permitted them to fight on their own for longer and against a stronger enemy until other corps came to their support. Consequently, they could be distributed over a larger frontage. 
                • The advantage of a larger frontage increased chances of deceiving and surprising the enemy because a larger number of objects were threatened and more avenues of approach were available.
                  • A broader frontage also facilitated the outflanking of the enemy and the manoeuvre against his rear. 
                    • The strength of the corps also allowed one corps to fix the enemy in front while the other corps descended on his flank and rear. 
                      • The corps commanders were skilled and experienced executioners of Napoleon’s orders. 
            • The Prussian army could not boast operational instruments comparable to French army corps. All-arms divisions had only been improvised with the outset of the campaign. 
        • Napoleon had an ability to move large forces simply and swiftly, shift units from one mission to another, combine separate columns near or on the battle eld, and achieve decisive success demonstrated the main char- activistic of the operational art. 


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