- From Frederick the Great to Napoleon, 1st Edition
- A History of Operational Art
- The Evolution of Operational Art
- Reward Yourself
- Striking A Balance Between Operational Art And Operational Craftsmanship - Task & Purpose
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. The Evolution of Operational Art: From Napoleon to the Present John Andreas Olsen and Martin van Creveld Abstract Broadly defined as the grey area between strategy and tactics, operational art spans the theory and practice of planning and conducting campaigns and major operations aimed at accomplishing strategic and operational objectives in a given theatre of operations.
More Broadly defined as the grey area between strategy and tactics, operational art spans the theory and practice of planning and conducting campaigns and major operations aimed at accomplishing strategic and operational objectives in a given theatre of operations. Authors Affiliations are at time of print publication. More Less.
Print Save Cite Email Share.
From Frederick the Great to Napoleon, 1st Edition
Show Summary Details. Subscriber Login Email Address. Library Card.
View: no detail some detail full detail. The final chapter deals withthe future of operational art in irregular warfare. Theory is critical to refining and improving existing methods of applying operational warfare, and its importance cannot be overstated; however, to be useful, theory and its accompanying vocabulary must be combined with a proper examination of historical trends and practical experience. The present volume attempts to achieve that combination. Supplying War Martin Van Creveld. Following the Russian Civil War, the Soviets initially continued to view warfare largely through the traditionally accepted bifurcation of war into the realms of strategy and tactics.
Svechin, in a series of lectures on strategy given at the academy in and , proposed an intermediate category of war that he called operational art. Tactics are the material of operational art. The operation is the means of strategy, and operational art is the material of strategy. During the mids, N. Varfolomeev used strategy as the organizing framework for the war in its entirety and tactics as the employment of forces in the engagement, while operational art acted to integrate disparate tactical actions into a unified operation.
The conduct of an operation is not a matter of tactics. It has become the lot of operational art.
A History of Operational Art
Furthermore, Varfolomeev drew attention to the critical importance of logistics to operational art in combating operational exhaustion. Henceforth, Soviet theorists sought to better detail how to accomplish these operations in depth in order to formulate a practical theory of operational art. Vladimir Triandafillov, chief of operations of the Red Army staff, was given the task of developing a useable theory of operational art.
In February , Tukhachevsky stated,. The more rapidly we pursue him, the less time we give him to organize his retreat after the battle, and the more we hasten the disintegration of his armed forces and make it impossible, or at all events difficult, for him to enter upon another general engagement. In short, a series of destructive operations conducted on logical principles and linked together by an uninterrupted pursuit may take the place of the decisive battle that was the form of engagement in the armies of the past, which fought on shorter fronts.
Tukhachevsky boldly sought to create one uninterrupted deep operation through the merger of several successive operations. The campaign and the operation would become a single entity through the linking of the initial and subsequent operations into a single unbroken operation that was extended both spatially and temporally so that it coincided with the campaign.
The integration of a series of operations into a single entity extended to campaign-like depths geared to serve a strategic end was a logical consequence of Soviet military thought and the opportunities afforded by the fielding of increasingly sophisticated military means—increasingly motorized and mechanized forces, improved tanks, and military aviation. According to Isserson, the problem confronting Soviet operational art was that the offensive had to defeat the enemy throughout the entirety of his defense, to operational depths.
At the same time, this meant that the power of the offensive would dissipate as it advanced into the depths of the defense. Instead of advocating for a series of successive operations, he argued that a modern operation was a series of successive operations because the thickening of the defense meant that modern offensive efforts could not all occur at the same time or in the same place. The lessons that the Soviets took from the Spanish Civil War — called some to question the application of operational art through the Soviet theory of deep operations.
Varfolomeev died in prison. Comparatively, Isserson was lucky; he was arrested in and spent the next fourteen years in a labor camp. Not only were the theorists of operational art liquidated; their ideas were also now suspect on political-ideological grounds. Those officers who survived the purge were largely unable or unwilling to openly use the operational theories developed by Tukhachevsky and his confederates.
The Red Army now possessed an operational theory and doctrine for its employment that was frozen by the Stalinization of military science, separated from its strategic context, and severed from its theoretical roots. However, before these Soviet theorists were purged, they were able to enshrine their work into Soviet military theory and doctrine. While Red Army operations during the Second World War avoided references to the theory of deep operations, the work of these military thinkers clearly provided the theoretical template that undergirded Soviet operations.
The Evolution of Operational Art
As the war progressed, and Soviet commanders became more competent at handling large mechanized formations, Soviet operational art returned to the concept of deep operations that Tukhachevsky and Isserson outlined in PU By the end of the war, Soviet operational art achieved the stunning successes that the prewar theorists had promised. In the postwar era, Soviet military thought focused on the requirements of nuclear war. In the mids, following de-Stalinization, deep operations was resurrected and many of the theorists purged during the interwar era were rehabilitated.
Lobov noted in , were little known and poorly appreciated even within the Soviet Armed Forces.
One professor at the U. Army following the Vietnam War, which included the incorporation of operational art into U.
Army doctrine and the acceptance of a doctrine—AirLand Battle—that bore an uncanny resemblance to deep operations. The U. Army was vaguely aware of advances made by the Soviets in military theory during the interwar era. However, the U. Army was contemptuous of them, particularly the concept of operational art. Its usefulness may have been high in a period of wars of the World War II type, but even then that is questionable.
Army formally embraced operational art in s. In the wake of the Vietnam War, the U. This change in emphasis led to an attempt to formulate a doctrine suitable to the reemphasis on war in Europe. In , U. This highly tactical doctrine sought to achieve victory through the amassing of uncoordinated tactical successes achieved through the attrition of the Soviet first echelon in force-on-force direct fire engagements while leaving Soviet follow-on echelons unscathed.
Active Defense was an unsophisticated doctrine that was defensive and reactive in nature, and as such the Army rejected it. Just as importantly, Active Defense reinforced the tactical myopia of the U. Army and contributed to the growing disconnect between strategy and tactics. In June , U.
Striking A Balance Between Operational Art And Operational Craftsmanship - Task & Purpose
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Edward C.
Donn Starry, commanding general of U. The new chief of staff of the Army wanted the focus of the doctrine to be at the brigade level while also addressing higher levels of command such as the corps and theater, unlike Active Defense, which focused almost exclusively on the company level. This order eventually led to the U. Meyer desired that the U. He expressed this in a white paper issued in February Two midlevel officers, Lt. Huba Wass de Czege and Lt. Don Holder, played key roles in the writing of AirLand Battle and the acceptance of operational art by the U.
Holder was an armor officer who had previously taught history at the United States Military Academy.