Lectures on FSR (Field Service Regulations) 3 Revisited: The Tactical Thought of J. F. C. Fuller Applied to Future War
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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In 1932 J.F.C. Fuller published a book entitled Lectures on FSR III Lectures on Field Service Regulations, Vol. III. In this book, Fuller presented a vision of future war that was shown to be highly accurate by later events. This vision was based on a careful study of how future conditions would likely affect the elements of mobility, protection, and firepower. He reasoned that these conditions had now made the tank the master-weapon of the battlefield - the weapon around which doctrine, organizations, and tactics should be constructed. From this appreciation, Fuller then developed the tactical concepts for the employment of mechanized forces which he presented in his book. This paper examines the tactical thought of J.F.C. Fuller and applies his thinking to determine whether the tank is still the master-weapon of the battlefield. The paper concludes that based on the impact that current conditions are likely to have on the elements of mobility, protection, and firepower that the tank should no longer be considered the centerpiece of our doctrine, organizations, and tactics. Armored forces will continue to remain the weapons of decision, but the master-weapon, the weapon that will dominate the pace of future combat, is the helicopter.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics