Surprise -- The Key to Victory
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CARLISLE BARRACKS
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The basic question addressed in the report is whether a successfully executed surprise attack could be the key element in determining the final outcome of a future war involving the three great powers today the United States, the Soviet Union, and Red China. The doctrinal views of each with respect to the use of surprise, various methods of achieving it, and historical examples of the effect of surprise attacks were examined. The possible objectives of a war initiated by any of the three powers and the effect a surprise attack might have on securing these objectives were analyzed. This analysis indicates that a successful surprise attack could well be the key to victory in a great power attack on a third nation regardless of whether or not it is an ally of another power, but that other factors would probably determine the outcome of an attack by a major power on the home land of another power.