How to Maximize the Advantages of Interior Lines at the Operational Level.
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This paper examines the concept of interior lines of operations at the operational level of war. Initially, the theoretical concepts are examined from the works of Baron von Jomini, Carl von Clausewitz and Mao Tseutung. From these theorists the concepts of interior lines at the operational level are defined and explained culminating in some contemporary implications for the operational planner. Following the theoretical concepts is an examination of the historical perspective. The campaign selected for analysis is Napoleons First Italian Campaign of 1796. This campaign provides an examination of both the offensive and the defensive use of interior lines by one of historys premier practitioners of the operational art - Napoleon Bonaparte. From the study of this campaign it is seen how Napoleon used interior lines when overall numerically inferior to his opponent to sequence battles to achieve relative numerical superiority at the decisive point. This monograph concludes with an analysis of theoretical and historical perspectives with applications for the joint or combined operational planner of today. The analysis considers the requirements for the operational planner to have an operational grasp of terrain and a thorough understanding of theoretical and practical constructs of interior lines of operations.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics