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Once Out the Door: A Study of Division and Corps Level Airborne Assaults

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Technical Report,05 Jul 2015,26 May 2016

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The United States has not conducted a division or corps level airborne assault since the end of World War II. Consequently, there is a void in modern doctrine and experience regarding how best to employ a large-scale airborne assault, should a future conflict ever dictate the need for the employment of the capability. To overcome this challenge, modern planners must examine airborne operations from World War II and frame the lessons learned from those operations in the context of operational art and design. As such, contemporary planners can examine Operations Mercury, Dragoon, and Market Garden to extract lessons that will enable effective airborne assault planning at the division and corps levels. Each of these historical case studies presents unique lessons regarding airborne assault planning in the context of operational art and design. Holistically, World War II airborne assault studies exhibit key lessons regarding their inherent joint nature, the best methods for organizing the operational area to support the assault, and the psychological impact that airborne forces achieve against the opposition.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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