Mission Command Principles Applied to Paramilitary Forces in Europe During the Second World War
Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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This monograph examines how Special Operations Forces exercise mission command MC as a philosophy in a denied environment against a peer adversary. It first establishes a clear historical doctrinal precedent for MC philosophy and principles in paramilitary operations, demonstrating the utility and necessity of the concept moving forward. It centers on doctrine informed by paramilitary operations in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. Then, the paper describes how the current doctrinal version of mission command needs augmentation in order to be applicable to paramilitary partnerships. The paper offers a new definition of MC philosophy and principles specifically for paramilitary operations. In the context of this new definition, the monograph highlights how Special Operations Forces applied the philosophy and principles of mission command to paramilitary operations in occupied Europe during World War II. The work examines Operation Jedburgh with the French resistance, Allied operations with the Yugoslavian resistance, and Operation Gunnerside with the Norwegian resistance. The case studies serve to highlight the need for multiple augmentations to the characteristics of mission command philosophy and principles in a paramilitary context. This papers analysis suggests that the principles and philosophy of MC, when altered to be more applicable to paramilitary partnering, are a useful tool for understanding historical challenges in an environment similar to worst-case contemporary potentialities.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Humanities and History