The Problem of Width: Division Tactics in the Defense of an Extended Front,
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The problem of conducting a defense along a wide front is examined. This paper asks whether or not divisions should employ tactics on wide fronts different from those along narrower ones, and concludes that the answer is yes. The definition of an extended front suggests that an extended front leaves significant avenues of approach into ones sector unblocked by major maneuver forces. The paper next analyzes current US doctrine and comes to two conclusions. The paper examines five historical case studies to attempt to reach some conclusions about US doctrine and the problem of width the US 24th Infantry Divisions defense of the Kum River line in Korea in July, 1950 the Japanese 107th Infantry Divs defense of western Manchuria in Aug 1945, the US 28th Infantry Divs defense of the Skyline Drive during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II US Task Force Persecutions defense of the Driniumor River line in July, 1944, and the US 2nd Infantry Divs defense of the Naktong River line in Sept 1950. The paper then contrasts US defensive doctrine with Soviet offensive methods. The paper ends by arguing that the prime imperative of defending along wide fronts is the delay of the Clausewitzian defensive culminating point.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics