Counterattack: The Key to Success in the Defense
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
The AirLand Battle doctrine stresses the need for Army units to fight successfully when out-numbered. This dictum implies the conduct of defensive operations at the beginning of a war. The shift to offensive operations, the counterattack, can be the key to fighting out-numbered and winning. This monograph disc usses the selection of the objective of a counterattack and the proper conduct of the counterattack. Classical and modern works on military theory and doctrine are examined to determine the theoretical basis for the use of the counterattack as a defensive tactic. A lack of modern doctrine concerning the use of counterattacks becomes quickly evident. Next examined are the use of counterattacks in the battles of Cowpens, Austerlitz, Second Bull Run, and the experience of Task Force Kean at the beginning of the battles of the Pusan perimeter during the Korean War. Comparison of the results of battlefield use of the counterattack with the considerations of the theorists fills in the apparent gap in doctrine. The paper concludes with observations on practical objectives for counterattacks, the proper size for a counterattacking force, the selection of the physical target of the counterattack, and timing of the counterattack.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics