In Pursuit of Military Excellence: The Evolution of Operational Theory
Taylor & Francis, 1997 - 398 pages
This work offers and interpretation of the intermediate field of military knowledge situated between strategy and tactics-better known as 'operational art'-and traces the evolution of operational awareness and its culmination in a full-fledged theory. Shimon Naveh identifies four key landmarks in the evolution of operational theory: nineteenth-century military thought and the roots of operational ignorance; the emergence of the Blitzkrieg concept; the evolution of the Soviet Deep Operation theory during the 1920s and the 1930s; the crystallization of the American Airland Battle theory fifty years later. The profound conceptual developments associated with the Soviet Deep Operation and Strike Manoeuvre theories are used as a yardstick for critically assessing German military theory, from Clausewitz's 'battle of destruction' to the Blitzkrieg. Naveh concludes that the Blitzkrieg lacked any solid conceptual basis and constituted a manipulation of tactical patterns, and hence the German defeat by the Russian Army in the Second World War amounted to the victory of a superior culture of military thinking over an inferior one. Furthermore, it was the Soviet conceptual breakthrough which, in fact, permitted the crystallization in the 1970s of the American Airland Battle theory-a doctrine successfully implemented in the Gulf War. -- From back cover.
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achieve action activity Airland Battle American application approach armed Army aspects attack attaining basic Battlefield Blitzkrieg campaign centre Clausewitz cognitive combat combined command concept concerned conduct constituted context Corps course critical deep defensive defined definition depth derived destruction direction Division Doctrine dynamic echelon effect element enemy entire essential expressed fact field fighting finally forces formations front German History Ibid idea infantry initial integral Liddell linear logic London Maneuver Warfare manual mass means mechanical method Military Review mission mobility Moreover Moscow nature objectives offensive officers opera Operational Art operational level operational manoeuvre operational theory Panzer patterns political principle problems referred reflected result Russian shock simultaneous Soviet Staff Starry strategic strike success tactical tank term theoretical theory thinking thought tion tional Tukhachevskii units universal various Voprosy warfare