Accession Number:

ADA196039

Title:

Operational Pause versus Offensive Culmination: Lessons in Eisenhower's Broad Front Strategy

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1988-04-26

Pagination or Media Count:

54.0

Abstract:

FM 100-5 cites the theoretical concept of the culminating point as one of the essential considerations in campaign design. In his work On War, Clausewitz introduced this concept to the lexicon of operational theory. In doing so he advised that even though it is critical to offensive campaign design, the point of offensive culmination is very difficult to determine and should be approached with discriminative judgement. This monograph evaluates the concept of offensive culmination in the context of the Allied effort against Nazi Germany on the western front in World War II. During the conduct of this campaign, General Eisenhower forced a pause in the midst of successful pursuit because the feared culmination. Many criticized this decision accusing Eisenhower of unnecessarily extending the war at great cost. This criticism grew into the still unresolved broad front-single thrust debate. Through close inspection of this debate factors emerge which prompted Eisenhower to choose an operational pause to avoid offensive culmination. These same factors are clearly evident in theory and current U.S. doctrine as essential to good campaign design. Not surprisingly, they were key to the design of initial Allied invasion of the continent, OPERATION OVERLOAD. Keywords Decision making.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE