The Charge of the Light Brigade: Integrating Heavy and Light Forces for Offensive Desert Operations
Monograph rept. AY 1989-1990
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph examines the feasibility of cross-attaching heavy and light forces for the conduct of offensive desert operations. Current U.S. Army doctrine in cross-attaching heavy and light forces is shallow. The author analyzes the experience of the British 8th Army in North Africa during WWII and the Israelis during their two most recent wars. The focus is on how they employed heavy and light forces offensively, and what doctrinal implications their experience has for the U.S. Army. The study examines the capabilities and limitations of our heavy and light forces in the context of a desert environment, and discusses considerations and special concerns for cross-attaching heavy and light forces to include the difficulties in synchronizing these type of operations. Finally, salient lessons learned from the National Training Center over the course of nine heavy-light rotations are highlighted with respect to the battlefield operating systems. It is concluded that a heavy- light mix for offensive desert operations is a viable concept. Both British and Israeli armies had to resort to them to accomplish tactical missions. The complex terrain of the requires a flexible, tailorable force. A heavy-light mix provides the synergistic effect necessary for offensive operations that neither force by itself could achieve. But U.S. Army doctrine for these type of operations is generally conceptual, with noticeable shallowness above the battalion level.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics