Blueprinting Success: The Tropic Lightning in Korea, June to October 1950
Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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Adversarial near-peer equity on the battlefield has altered the future of ground-based combat. US Army doctrine has recently updated to address this emergent threat. In doing so, the primary revision is to Field Manual 3-0, Operations. This shift in echelon focus moves away from tactical, brigade combat team-centric counter-insurgency towards operational, division-led large-scale combat. Simply put, the US Army is going back to what it does best, fighting and winning the nations conflicts on land. To gain a clear understanding of how to win, this paper uses historical analysis to judge the past success of a US Army division in large-scale combat. What resonates throughout research for this study is a correlation between maneuver and victory. The US Armys 25th Infantry Division and their success in Korea in 1950 is a case study worthy of examination in the context of how a division maneuvers to fight and win on offense and defense. This study demonstrates tempo, culmination, operational reach, and risk mitigation stand out as the amalgam necessary to achieve maneuver superiority and deny it to an enemy force. Further, it proves that 25th Infantry Divisions masterful combination of these four elements of operational art allowed the division to gain and maintain the initiative through this decisive maneuver while denying it to the North Korean Peoples Army.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics