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The Name Enough Division and Seizing the Initiative in Large-Scale Combat Operations

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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The recently published Field Manual FM 3-0, Operations identifies large-scale combat operations as the greatest challenge facing US Army forces in the future. These operations against peer threats will be significantly more demanding in terms of operational tempo and lethality relative to the US Armys recent experiences in overseas contingency operations. The US Armys armored forces must prepare to seize and maintain the initiative by employing the elements of operational art to succeed in large-scale combat operations. Considering this challenge, the US Army 4th Armored Divisions application of the elements of operational art specifically tempo, operational reach, transitions, and risk in large-scale combat operations provides an example of how armored units seized, retained, and exploited the initiative against a peer threat in the European Theater of Operations of WWII. Insights gathered from case studies of the 4th Armored Divisions actions against the German Army in Operation Cobra and the encirclement of Nancy can inform todays commanders and staffs as they wrestle with overcoming the challenges presented by large-scale combat operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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