Accession Number:

ADA210927

Title:

The Cannon Company a World War 2 Solution to the Close Support Problem of the 1990's

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

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

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1988-11-15

Pagination or Media Count:

41.0

Abstract:

Since World War I, the field artillery has been faced with a dilemma the delivery of immediately responsive close support fires vs. the delivery of massed artillery fires to destroy or neutralize interdiction and counterfire targets. The first requires maximum decentralization in organization for combat while the latter is best achieved through strong centralization of command and control of the available artillery assets. In recent years, a number of U.S. Army officers have called for a change in fire support organization and doctrine in order to achieve more responsive fire support. Yet many others continue to feel the current system provides the best balance between the two requirements placed upon the fire support system--fast vs. massed. The author of this study looks back to World War II to gain a perspective on how this dilemma was handled during that period. After an examination of the development of the cannon company both in theory and in actual practice, the strengths and weaknesses of this concept are evaluated in the context of 1943-45. The author surveys the changes in the dynamics of the battlefield that have occurred since the end of the Second World War, in order to judge how the fire support requirements have changed since 1945. He looks at changes in the armor, infantry, artillery, and aviation fields, and concludes that the need for immediately responsive close support fires is greater today than 50 years ago.

Subject Categories:

  • Fire Control and Bombing Systems
  • Guns

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE