German Operations in North Africa: A Case Study of the Link Between Operational Design and Sustainment
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph analyzes the operational sustainment of Rommels forces in North Africa. Rommels operations are examined from his arrival in North Africa in February 1941 through his last offensive to destroy the British Eighth Army at El Alamein in August-September 1942. The purpose of the study is to examine the tension between operational planning and sustainment in remote areas. The North African case study provides a unique example of the relationship between operations and sustainment because Rommel achieved both operational success and suffered operational failure in an austere environment. The paper serves as a vehicle that facilitates an improved understanding of how operations must be synchronized through effective operational and sustainment planning. After conducting an analysis of Rommels major operations the operational sustainment options available to Rommel are examined. Then the paper speculates on how Rommel might have improved the linkage between operational planning and sustainment. Based upon this analysis, the implications of logistics for operational planning is addressed. The study concludes that when operations are not sequenced in accordance with sustainment capabilities a campaign is in jeopardy. The results Rommel achieved can be linked directly to his sustainment capability.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics