The Essential Elements of Operational Surprise
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
This monograph examines operational surprise by answering the question, What are the essential elements for producing operational surprise This issue is important because very little has been written about operational level of war. Surprise remains a basic and essential element in battle. The monograph first examines the theoretical foundation for surprise. Next, both historical and contemporary evidence are examined to derive the elements that are necessary for achieving operational surprise. The four historical campaigns discussed are France 1940, Normandy, Ardennes, and Sinai 1973. Conclusions and implications are drawn from the analysis of these four campaigns. This monograph concludes that operational surprise may be attained by deceiving the enemy as to the exact time, location, and strength of a desired action, and by using new methods, techniques, and technology. Surprise is also achieved by reinforcing the enemys false assumptions and expectations to ones advantage. Several factors that make these means so unique from those used to achieve surprise at the other levels of war are discussed. The importance of pre-conception to the operational planner is highlighted. Finally, several implications are discussed. Specifically, the need to take advantage of operational surprise while on the defense is emphasized.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics