Accession Number:

ADA174096

Title:

An Analysis of Manstein's Winter Campaign on the Russian Front, 1942-1943: A Perspective of the Operational Level of War and Its Implications.

Descriptive Note:

Research paper,

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1986-06-01

Pagination or Media Count:

90.0

Abstract:

The study begins just after the 6th Armys encirclement in Stalingrad and describes the four principal phases of Mansteins campaign the attempted relief of the 6th Army the protection of Army Group A as it disengaged from the Caucasus the prevention of Mansteins lines of communication from being cut and the counterblow to regain the initiative. The lessons learned from the campaign provide a perspective of battle at the operational level of war. The factors leading to Mansteins success are discussed and include superior generalship at the operational level superior tactical maturity of the Germans and German tactical and operational agility. The study describes the transition from the operational defensive to the operational offensive and how a defender can have the initiative. Mansteins use of depth is explained. The concepts of center of gravity and operational art as they pertain to this campaign are also described. The study concludes with the implications of the lessons learned for a NATO-Soviet conflict in a central European scenario. The study points out that Manstein demonstrated that victory is possible even when forced to react to the enemys plan. The ability of NATO to replicate, today, the agility of Mansteins forces and the synchronization achieved by his commanders is questioned. The implications of NATOs lack of operational depth, in contrast to Manstein, are described. The impact of changes in force design since World War II are also explained.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE