Kharkov and Sinai A Study in Operational Transition
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
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This study tests the hypothesis that, at the operational level, there are essential elements of operational transition that the commander may use as a guide to determine the actions that must be taken to pursue the positive aim, the counteroffensive. The actions a force takes from the successful defense to the initiation of a counteroffensive is operational transition. To define the search for essential elements of operational transition, the paper begins with a review of theory and current US Army doctrine concerning the mix of offensive and defensive actions in the operational defense. It than closely examines two successful operational transitions by forces that were surprised, outnumbered and mal-positioned. The campaigns chosen for study are Mansteins counteroffensive against the Soviets on the Eastern Front from February to March 1943 and the Israeli counteroffensive against the Egyptians in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics