Accession Number:



Army operational fires: the king of battle in the Italian Campaign during World War II

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,26 Jun 2017,24 May 2018

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U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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This monograph addresses the concept of operational fires and studies the relationship between operational fires and maneuver. By analyzing the US Armys experience in the Italian Campaign during World War II, the evidence suggests a balanced, synergistic relationship between operational fires and maneuver to maximize combat power and options. Operation Husky in Sicily and Operation Shingle at Anzio in Italy are the two campaigns used for detailed analysis. Evidence related to the case studies suggests the role of operational fires increased as the role of operational maneuver decreased in both campaigns and found a growing proficiency in the use of operational fires by the US Army through the war. This monograph concludes the role of operational fires is equally important today. The author presents conclusions that suggest the importance of flexible fires forces that can be rapidly centralized, the need for Unmanned Aerial System UAS platforms dedicated to acquiring targets for operational fires, and the desirability of a rocket capability in the current divisional force structure to extend the space in which operational fires can favorably shape the tactical fight.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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