The Evolution of Operational Art--The Reconquest of Burma, 1943-1945
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph examines the evolution and practice of operational art. The campaign for the reconquest of Burma in 1943-1945 as conducted by LTG William J. Slim while in command of Fourteenth Army is analyzed. The intent of the monograph is to evaluate theory in light of historical evidence, with operational art as the focus. The analysis reveals the importance of establishing a clear operational aim and of balancing the aim with means, ways, and risk. The Burma campaign is analyzed to answer two questions what does the campaign suggest about the evolution of the operational art and what does it suggest about the relationship between the theory and practice of operational art The two major operations of Fourteenth Armys campaign are described and analyzed. Slim set the aim of Fourteenth Army in both the Imphal-Kohima and Irrawaddy operations as the destruction of the main enemy force. To attain this aim Slim stretched his means to the limit, employed sound yet innovative ways, and accepted necessary risk. The analysis includes a discussion of Slims application of certain theoretical aspects of a discussion of Slims application of certain theoretical aspects of a discussion of Slims application of certain theoretical aspects of operational art. These include center of gravity decisive and objective points interrelation of offense and defense decisive battle use of maneuver to create a force superiority and strategic, operational, and tactical activities.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics